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Living life can be risky, even when taking the proper steps concerning your health, diet, and lifestyle.  In fact, those regarded as high-risk are individuals with a hazardous occupation, high-risk lifestyle, hobby, and complicated medical condition.  At a certain age, you may even be considered high-risk.  If this includes your circumstances, you will want to learn and educate yourself on high-risk life insurance.

Essentially, every individual needs to secure life insurance in order to financially protect their family members and other loved ones.  Unfortunately, if you are considered high-risk for life insurance protection, you will learn that it is a tedious process to locate life insurance companies that provide the coverage that you need, at a rate that is affordable.

If you are considered high-risk, it is a good idea to contact an independent and experienced insurance agent to assist you in finding the insurance coverage that best meets your needs and budget.

High risk focuses on health, lifestyle, and occupation.  Take a look at the following examples:

  • Lifestyle: Smoking – The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) indicates that over 45 million adult Americans over the age of 18 smoke tobacco. This behavior accounts for 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. every year, which is equivalent to about 443,000 people.

  • Occupation: First Responders – According to the NFRO (National First Responders Organization), there are approximately 10 million First Responders in the United States. This includes police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and other personnel whose occupation is about saving the lives of people who may be in dangerous situations.

  • Health: Unfortunately, serious health conditions flourish among individuals in the United States. Conditions such as diabetes, Hepatitis C, COPD, HIV, Cancer, and many others are considered high-risk by national life insurers.

What is High-Risk Life Insurance?

Individuals considered high-risk due to health-related issues, high-risk lifestyles, or dangerous hobbies will need to purchase high-risk life insurance protection.  There are numerous groups that are considered high-risk and they include:

  • High-Risk Occupations – High-risk professions include pilots, high-rise construction workers, welders, underground miners, police officers, firefighters, and many other dangerous and hazardous

  • High-Risk Hobbies – Despite the safe and secure weekday occupation, you may enjoy hobbies considered high-risk, such as skydiving, car racing, piloting small aircraft, mountain climbing, or scuba diving.

  • High-Risk Lifestyle Choices (Habits) – Includes smoking cigarettes or cigars, chewing tobacco, drug use, or consuming alcohol.

  • High-Risk Medical Conditions – Includes challenging or terminal conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, or Hepatitis C

The good news is that there are numerous life insurance companies that specialize in life insurance protection for those considered high-risk.  Purchasing the life insurance policy you want and need is not impossible regardless of your occupation, habits, hobbies, age, or existing medical condition(s).

What do High-Risk Life Insurance Underwriters Look For?

The insurance provider determines its particular requirements and limitations for each life insurance classification.  If you do fall into a high-risk classification, numerous specific factors will be considered by the insurer depending on the risk involved.  However, this does vary quite a bit from company to company.

Take a look at the following examples and become aware of what insurance underwriters look for before offering high-risk insurance quotes.

High-Risk Profession – When working in a high-risk profession such as commercial fishermen or merchant seamen, the insurance underwriter will contemplate two factors before deciding a rate classification:

  1. They will rely on reports provided by the U.S. Department of Statistics that offer specific information regarding injuries or deaths in each profession.
  2. They will also review experiences that the company has with insuring individuals in these high-risk professions.

High-Risk Hobbies – When dealing with high-risk hobby applicants, the underwriter will typically order a supplemental questionnaire based on the hobby. For example, if you report that you participate in mountain climbing activities, you will likely be asked the following:

  1. How many mountain climbing events do you undertake each year?
  2. How high do you normally climb on each trip?
  3. Do you climb alone or with a support group?
  4. Have you suffered any climbing injuries in the past?
  5. What qualifications do you have or have you taken safety courses?

High-Risk Habits – Just as there are good habits for a healthy life, there are bad habits that are detrimental to life. Cigarette smoking is the most common bad habit insurers have to contend with.

Underwriters will want to know how long you’ve smoked and your average daily consumption of cigarettes, if you continue to smoke.  Additionally, they will want to know how long you have abstained if you have quit smoking.  You can expect laboratory tests to be performed to verify answers to health-related questions.

High-Risk Health Issues – If your high-risk circumstances include a high-risk medical condition or disease, you will be asked additional health-related questions pertaining to the particular illness or condition revealed on your application. For example, should you disclose that you have had a past or present diagnosis of cancer, your insurance underwriter may require information for the following:

  1. When was your diagnosis of cancer made?
  2. If in remission, for how long?
  3. Current medication management
  4. Other treated medical conditions over last 5 years
  5. Date of last treatment
  6. Results of any diagnostic tests or medical follow-ups

Setting Your Expectations for High-Risk Life Insurance

Although high-risk insurance is generally more complex due to numerous variables and varies from company to company, an independent insurance agent can provide the guidance needed to your questions answered.  Contact a life insurance professional today and start finding the right insurance policy for you.


For more information about life insurance for individuals with high-risk medical, lifestyle, or occupational issues, contact the professionals at Structured Wealth Strategies at (800) 342-4189 during normal business hours, or contact us through our website whenever it’s convenient.

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