Life Insurance After You Drop a Risky Hobby or Habit
Posted August 8th, 2017 by Alexa Goyette
Maybe you consider yourself a daredevil, someone who likes to live on the edge. No height is too much for you and no challenge is too tough. You know that if you tried out for The Amazing Race, you’d be a shoo-in. If this sounds like you, you might be experiencing sky high life insurance rates.
Life insurance companies often charge people more on their monthly life insurance payments if they partake in an activity that they deem dangerous. Someone’s chances of being killed raise when he or she takes part in unsafe behavior; as a result, his or her insurance company feels that they are more likely to pay out on his or her policy than other customers’ policies.
Whether you have a term life or permanent life insurance policy, you might be facing higher rates based on your lifestyle. That said, if you take part in activities that may be risky or life-threatening, you need life insurance. Just as your life insurance keeps an eye on your medical history, they’re in tune with your day-to-day as well. What sorts of behaviors might cause your life insurance rates to raise and what happens if you decide to quit?
There’s a reason your mom may have steered you away from playing certain sports or trying a few of the hobbies you had your sights set on as a kid. I’m sure you all remember Ralph’s mother in A Christmas Story when he asks for a Red Ryder air rifle: “You’ll shoot your eye out!” Believe it or not, your insurance company has a similar mindset.
No matter how fit or skilled you are, your life insurance might look at some of your hobbies as life-threatening. Someone who participates in extreme activities like motocross, rock climbing, skydiving, or scuba diving may be charged high insurance rates or may even be denied coverage, as your insurance company may view this individual as a liability.
Between 2010-2013, there were 234 deaths in the United States as a result of scuba diving. In 2014, there were 24 fatalities due to skydiving. Your life insurance company is very aware of the statistics, and they know that if something happens to you while taking part in a risky hobby, they will need to pay out your life insurance.
If you decide to drop a risky habit to save money, you’ll want to get in contact with your life insurance provider to let them know about this lifestyle change. Your price adjustment may take some time to get into place, so be patient. In due time, your rates will lower drastically.
Any smoker knows that this habit will cause your life insurance rates to skyrocket. Insurance companies consider smokers as higher risk individuals, as smoking can lead to serious health issues down the line, so they will dish out higher life insurance quotes to these people. At Farmers Insurance, smokers’ rates are about double or triple the rates of nonsmokers.
What happens if you quit smoking? Though you’ll save hundreds annually just by cutting out buying packs of cigarettes, you’ll save on another important front: your life insurance policy. Fortunately, your life insurance company will provide some positive reinforcement if you make the choice to quit smoking. After you speak with your life insurance company, you’ll see your premiums decrease every subsequent year, until you’ll eventually receive the same quotes as nonsmokers. Farmers allows its customers to offset the rate difference after two years of staying nicotine-free.
What won’t help? Switching to a different nicotine product. Using nicotine gum, patches, nasal sprays, or e-cigarettes won’t cut your costs, as people who use these products often continue to pay smokers life insurance costs. Lying on your life insurance application also won’t help you. Your medical record will surely reveal your habit to insurance companies. Not only is there no purpose to lying, as your insurance company will find out the truth anyway, lying to your life insurance provider is considered fraud and can do some serious harm to your life insurance policy and benefits.
If you’re a smoker, hopefully knowing how much money you’re throwing away on your life insurance policy will be the driving force to help you quit. If you enjoy activities that are considered risky by your insurance company, you might think twice before continuing with it; however, if it’s something you truly enjoy, it may not be worth giving it up.
The most important way to make sure you’re paying an adequate amount – whether you’re a smoker, former smoker, or someone who enjoys living on the edge – is to shop for quotes. Life insurance is an important investment that many Americans pay too much for; you deserve the best rates, no matter your risk level.
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