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Life insurance for BASE jumpers

Secure coverage despite extreme leaps, but you'll pay top dollar.

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Fact checked

If you’re a BASE jumping enthusiast and looking for life insurance, you might not easily find an insurer that’s willing to cover you. That’s because of the risk that comes with catapulting from fixed objects — the building, antennae, span and earth the sport’s named after. For affordable life insurance, you may need to get creative with policy types and providers.

Can I get life insurance as a BASE jumper?

Yes, but your policy options will be limited, and premium rates are likely to be more expensive than other policies. Because many insurers simply refuse to cover BASE jumpers outright, look into insurance agents or brokers that specialize in high-risk coverage to improve your chances of approval.

Traditional life insurance will likely be the hardest for you to get, because your risk assessment will be very high. Instead, consider:

  • Accidental death and dismemberment coverage. This coverage pays out if you die as a result of an accident, and you can usually add it as a rider to a standard policy. AD&D coverage works best in tandem with exclusionary life insurance. Few companies may offer this coverage, even if you base jump, but you’ll likely pay top dollar.
  • Exclusionary life insurance. You can apply for a traditional life insurance policy, but BASE jumping–related deaths are excluded from coverage. This means the benefit isn’t paid out if you die while BASE jumping, but premium rates will be more affordable.

How to get life insurance that covers BASE jumpers

BASE jumpers can access life insurance with higher premiums or by excluding the sport from their policy.

Pay a higher premium

You might accept increased rates due to the higher level of risk, allowing you to continue BASE jumping while maintaining life insurance coverage. However, your insurer may add a flat extra fee per every $1,000 in benefits.

If you have a $500,000 benefit and the flat extra is $7, that’s an extra $3,500 on your annual premium. Add that to a BASE premium of $675 for an annual cost of $4,175 — or $347.92 a month.

Exclude BASE jumping from coverage

Some insurers may agree to cover you if BASE jumping is excluded from your policy. Death or injuries resulting from your participation in the sport won’t be covered by your policy, but you can enjoy other benefits of life insurance protection. In this case, you might consider a smaller, supplemental policy that covers BASE jumping only.

Each method comes with benefits and drawbacks that depend on your circumstances. Talk to an insurance broker about providers that specialize in high-risk coverage before making a decision.

Do I have to tell my provider if I BASE jump?

Yes. Otherwise, if an accident occurs while you’re BASE jumping, your insurance company can deny the benefit claim — just when your beneficiaries need it most.

What types of risks does BASE jumping include?

BASE jumping is an adrenaline junkie’s sport, and death or a permanently disabling injury can occur due to major risks of:

  • High contact velocity with a cliff or other static structure
  • Electrocution
  • Violent weather and other unforeseeable factors

The BASE Fatality List (BFL), an unofficial record of BASE jumping fatalities dating back to 1981, features more than 320 names. In addition, the rate of deaths seems to be increasing, with more than 275 of those names recorded since 2000.

BASE jumping appears to have five to eight times the risk of skydiving, according to a study out of Norway, landing it among the most extreme sports you can participate in.

What information will an insurer ask for?

If you participate in BASE jumping or any other extreme sport, you’ll provide a range of details about your adventure activity when you apply for coverage.

Along with the typical questions about your age, gender and health status, expect to report to your insurer:

  • Your level of experience and participation — for instance, whether you’re a conventional BASE jumper or use a wingsuit.
  • Details of any training you’ve received.
  • Any licenses, certificates or qualifications you hold.
  • Any clubs or BASE jumping associations you belong to.
  • Where you go to participate in BASE jumping.
  • The number of times you participate each year.
  • Whether you participate in competitions, record attempts or exhibitions.

These details can help an insurer determine the risk associated with your level of the sport and the likelihood that you’ll make a claim on your life insurance policy.

Compare life insurance companies with an AD&D rider

What factors can affect the cost of premiums and coverage?

Insurers account for several factors when assessing your level of risk, such as experience and training or the altitudes from which you jump.

These factors influence the chances of you dying or suffering a serious injury in a BASE jumping accident. Generally the higher your level of risk, the more you’ll pay for cover. Your insurer may also add exclusions and restrictions to your policy.

What if I jump professionally?

Most life insurers exclude professional or paid participation in sports from their coverage. Check the list of general exclusions from any insurer you’re interested in before you apply for a policy, and ask pointed questions about when your benefits apply.

Speak to an insurance broker for specialized advice on assessing your needs and finding insurers that can offer appropriate coverage.

Bottom line

If BASE jumping is a hobby for which you jump for joy, look for a flexible provider that allows you to tweak coverage to make it more affordable. Shop the market to compare life insurance options for the best rates you’re eligible for.

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