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Occupational hazards and life insurance
Be there for your family in the event that something happens to you while at work.
If you have a high-risk job, life insurance is especially important as a way to protect your loved ones if something happens to you at work. But you may need to compare several companies to find one that’s willing to offer coverage.
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What is a high-risk job?
A high-risk job is one that exposes you to dangers you wouldn’t normally face. Construction workers, offshore fishermen, police officers, electricians, pilots, loggers, farmers, firefighters and underground miners are just some of the occupations that are considered risky.
But just because you work in one of these professions doesn’t necessarily mean an insurer will automatically classify you as high-risk applicant. When applying for life insurance, your risk is based on a number of factors, including what equipment you use, where you work and what you do.
You may be considered a high-risk applicant if you:
- Work high off the ground, such as cleaning windows or helping to build large buildings.
- Work with explosives or around dangerous chemicals.
- Work underground.
- Use or are near firearms at work.
- Are in the military.
- Travel to war zones for work, including journalists, camera operators and photographers.
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Can I get life insurance if I have a high-risk job?
Possibly, but you may have to pay higher premiums. Your ability to get coverage depends on what job you have, what other risks you face and what insurer you’re applying with.
To increase your chances of getting coverage, talk with the insurer you’re interested in before applying to find out if they accept applicants with high-risk jobs. It’s also a good idea to talk with your coworkers to find out what life insurance companies they use.
Can I get life insurance if I work in another country?
Yes. Being a seasonal overseas worker shouldn’t automatically disqualify you from coverage, and being overseas generally won’t lead to a claim being denied. But it’s best to talk with your insurer and read all the fine print to make sure there aren’t any exclusions that would prevent you or your beneficiary from filing a claim.
Most policies will come with a list of exclusions, or situations that will lead to a claim being denied — even if you’ve paid your premiums. Check the fine print to make sure that you’re not at risk of a denied claim if you get into an accident at work.
Exclusions can include:
- Pre-existing conditions.
- Accidents or illnesses that happen before the waiting period is up.
- Active engagement in war.
- Taking part in acts of terrorism, strikes, rioting, insurrections, a coup or criminal activity.
- Claims related to drugs or alcohol.
- Self-inflicted injury or harm.
What can I do if my application is denied?
If your application is denied, talk with the insurer to find out more information about why. You may be able to reapply for a lower amount or different type of coverage, or you may be better off applying with a different insurer.
If you’re having trouble finding a policy that works for you, consider working with an independent life insurance agent to help you find an insurance company that fits your needs.
Getting life insurance with a high-risk hobby
You can also be denied coverage or charged higher premiums if you have a high-risk hobby, including:
- Involvement in most motor sports.
- Inherently risky hobbies like hunting, polo and racing.
- Hobbies that pose a risk of falling from a great height, like bungee jumping, hang gliding and sky diving.
- Rock climbing and mountaineering.
- Scuba diving.
- Professional sports.
Getting life insurance can be more difficult if you have a high-risk job — but it’s also more important. Take the time to compare life insurance companies to find one that’s the right fit.
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