Life insurance for rock climbers

A carabiner for your financial legacy

Last updated:

Man hanging off the side of a cliff

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

If you’re looking for life insurance as a rock climbing enthusiast, prepare to pay more in premiums – but understand that it’s possible to keep costs in check by modifying your hobby.

Can I get life insurance as a rock climber?

Yes. While most insurers view rock climbing as a high risk activity, it’s just one of many factors involved in the underwriting process.

However, keep in mind that premiums are typically more expensive for rock climbers than folks who stay planted on the ground. Most providers charge a flat extra fee per $1,000 of life insurance coverage for rock climbers. So if you buy a plan that has $250,000 of coverage, at the very least expect to pay an additional $250 in premiums per year.

Individuals who mostly climb at a gym indoors with a harness probably won’t be charged extra.

Is there anything I can do to get a lower rate?

Yes. Depending on the provider, it may be possible to lower your rate by:

  • Adding a rider to exclude death while climbing. Some providers will insure you at regular rates, as long as they don’t have to pay the death benefit if you die while climbing. Ask an agent about whether that’s an option.
  • Climbing shorter mountains. The higher the rock, the higher the risk. Staying closer to the ground may result in lower rates.
  • Limiting the amount of time spent climbing. More time spent climbing leads to a riskier profile. Cutting down on time spent up in the air may equal lower premiums.
  • Mention certifications or special training. It’s good to show you’re qualified and have extra safety knowledge to match your adrenaline cravings.
  • Equipping yourself for safety. An underwriter might call to ask what kind of safety equipment you climb with. Arming yourself with the best tools for safety could reduce your overall risk.
  • Approaching easier peaks. Your insurer might ask about your experience level, and what kinds of mountains you climb. A history of tamer climbs could help lower rates.
  • Buying two policies. While you’ve got to be honest in both applications, consider buying one big benefit policy with a rider that excludes death while climbing, and another smaller benefit policy that includes death while climbing. Your loved ones will be covered regardless, though you’ll only pay a flat fee on the cheaper policy.
  • Reducing your benefit amount. Since most life insurance for rock climbers is determined by a flat fee per $1,000, reducing your overall benefit amount could work wonders for lowering the cost of premiums.
  • Improving your overall health. If you can’t imagine adjusting your climbing habits, it may be smart to think about other factors within your control. For example, eating healthier and cleaning up bad habits could influence rates too.

Keep in mind that a rock climber will be viewed in the best light by an agent that’s schooled in rock climbing vocabulary or a provider that specializes in high-risk coverage.

I rock climb professionally. Are my rates still going to be affected?

Insurers may choose not to cover you at all if you climb in a professional capacity. This is because the more often you climb, the higher the statistical likelihood that you will have an accident.

What types of risks does rock climbing include?

Even if you take every precaution when you go rock climbing, it is still a dangerous sport and things can go wrong that are completely out of your control. Common risks faced by rock climbers include the following:

  • Falling rocks can strike you from above and knock you from the cliff face.
  • Climbing ropes can be compromised and possibly severed on sharp rock edges.
  • The weather can suddenly turn bad, trapping you on a mountain or making a descent impossible.
  • You can miscalculate the time available and run out of daylight while still climbing.
  • Anchors that have not been properly rigged can give way, causing you to fall.
  • Compare multiple providers
  • Calculate how much coverage you need
  • Get a quote in 2 minutes

Get a FREE life insurance quote

What's Your Birthdate?
Where Do You Live?
What Is Your Gender?

More info
Promoted

Compare life insurance providers

Name Product Issue Ages Coverage Range Medical Exam Required State Availability
18 - 85 years old
$10,000 to $10,000,000+
Depends on provider and policy
All 50 states
Compare quotes from 16 life insurance companies side by side.
18 - 75 years old
$100,000 to $10,000,000
Yes
Get a term life insurance quote from this A+ rated company, founded in 1875. Customize your policy with additional life and disability riders.
18 - 64 years old
$100,000 to $3,000,000
No
All 50 states
Customized term life insurance policies up to $3 million, no medical exam required.
20 to 60 years old
$100,000 to $8,000,000
No
Not available in New York
Term life insurance with no policy fees and the freedom to cancel anytime. Simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.
25 - 60 years old
$100,000 to $5,000,000
No
Available in all states except for Montana
Offers term life insurance with accelerated underwriting. No-exam coverage up to $1,000,000 for those who qualify.
20 - 80 years old
$25,000 to $10,000,000
No
All 50 states
Quickly get a quote for coverage with this marketplace, which compares term & whole life insurance policies from 45+ carriers.
20 - 85 years old
$100,000 to $1,000,000
Depends on policy
All 50 states
Get a term or whole life insurance quote from Fidelity Life - starting as low as $15/day.
18 - 80 years old
$50,000 to $25,000,000
Depends on provider and policy
All 50 states and D.C.
Get a quote within minutes from more than a dozen insurers.
21 - 54 years old
$50,000 to $1,000,000
No
Not available in Alaska or New York
Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.
eCoverage
eCoverage
25 - 83 years old
$25,000 to $1,000,000
Depends on policy
Get a term life quote from eCoverage - starting at as low as $15 per month.

Compare up to 4 providers

Injury and death statistics for rock climbing

Rock climbing is the world’s fastest-growing adventure sport, so accident statistics will no doubt grow along with its popularity. But if you look at research carried out over the past few years, some trends are already apparent.

According to a 2014 study entitled Accidents in North American Mountaineering, the biggest contributing causes to climbing accidents in the US between 1951 and 2012 were: climbing without a rope, overestimating one’s abilities, and not having adequate protection and equipment. The major types of injuries incurred were: fractures, lacerations, sprains and bruises. As far as fatalities are concerned, a study by the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group (RMRG) in Boulder, Colorado found that the majority of climbing fatalities in Eldorado Canyon State Park occurred as a result of lead fall, lowering off ropes and rock falls.

From 1998-2011, 23 people died from rock climbing in Eldorado Canyon State Park alone.

What information will an insurer require?

There are a number of questions an insurer may ask you in relation to your rock climbing activities. Your answers will help determine the level of risk you represent. They may ask you about the following:

  • Your training and level of experience
  • Your age and level of physical fitness
  • Any climbing licenses or qualifications you have
  • Any memberships of climbing associations or clubs
  • How many times you climb in a year
  • Participation in competitions or record attempts
  • Whether you are a recreational or professional climber
  • The type and extent of safety equipment you use

What specific factors can affect premiums and type of coverage?

Specific factors that may affect how much you pay, how you are covered, and if you can be covered at all can include the following:

  • The type of climbing you do. Rock climbing is a term that encompasses the entire spectrum from trail hiking and bouldering right up to canyoning and free climbing (climbing unroped).
  • Whether you climb alone or with a group. Climbing alone is considered highly dangerous, as there is no one to help you if you get into trouble.
  • How often you climb. Some insurers impose maximum limits on the amount of climbs you can do in a year.
  • How high you climb. Mountaineering can involve climbing at high altitudes, where altitude sickness can be a risk factor.

Three ways you can be covered

Most providers will offer rock climbers life insurance as long as the level of risk is not too high. The three types of cover they will normally offer are as follows:

  1. Premium loading. You will be charged a percentage loading of anywhere from 25% to 300% above the standard premium cost, depending on your level of risk.
  2. Exclusion. Rock climbing will be excluded from your cover. This means that any death or injury related to participation in rock climbing will not be covered by your policy, although you’ll still receive the other benefits of life insurance protection.
  3. Normal insurance. In some cases you’ll be charged as normal; for example, if you only participate in indoor rock climbing with harnesses.

Bottom line.

The price of life insurance for rock climbing is determined by how much time you’re up near the sky, as well as your skill level and overall safety. Compare providers who specialize in covering high risk individuals to find the best rate.

Frequently asked questions

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site