High risk life insurance – A guide to getting the right cover for ‘high risk’ applicants

High risk life insurance

If you are aged over 50, working a risky profession or have a pre-existing medical condition, you may be classed as a ‘high risk’ life insurance applicant and therefore, you might face difficulties when trying to obtain cover.

High risk life insurance is sometimes referred to as impaired life or impaired risk cover, which basically means that you fail to meet the insurance company’s standard criteria to get the most affordable life insurance rates.

The term 'impaired' signifies that you are seen as a higher risk to the insurance company (i.e. you are more likely to pass away and make a claim on your policy), so you are therefore more ‘difficult’ to insure without giving expensive premiums.

However, if you are labelled as an ‘impaired’ or ‘high risk’ applicant, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t obtain life insurance cover at an affordable price.

High risk life insurance – How to get the right deal

If you are deemed as impaired then the insurer has decided that, due to certain key factors, a claim is more likely to be made on your policy. These factors tend to be health-related (for example, you have a pre-existing medical condition, you've been smoking all your life) but sometimes they can be because you have a more ‘risky’ job or even a dangerous hobby.

As a result of being deemed high-risk by the insurance company, your premiums will be more expensive compared with those a ‘standard’ applicant might be quoted.

Therefore, it is even more important for you to compare quotes to help find the best deal for your own circumstances.

Therefore, it is highly important that you compare quotes online or with life insurance brokers to make sure that you’re getting the best deal for you and your circumstances. For help with finding the right life cover for you, get a free quote today from Bobatoo:

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What is deemed a high risk factor on life insurance applications?

There are many reasons why you may be deemed as a high-risk applicant by life insurance companies, these include:

  • Your age
  • Health status
  • If you are a smoker (or have been within two years of your application)
  • Your weight/BMI
  • Your lifestyle
  • Your job/profession
  • Your hobbies

For example, if you are over 50 and/or you have a pre-existing medical condition, then you may fall into the ‘high risk’ category for many insurance companies and be expected to pay higher premiums for your cover.

Certain elements of your lifestyle may also lead you to be flagged up as high risk. This could be if you are a smoker, are overweight or drink alcohol excessively. Your job could also be a potential high-risk factor.

Some occupations such as helicopter pilot or oil rig worker are naturally more dangerous and will attract higher premiums, as will police officers, bus drivers, prison officers and those who work in the military.

It is important to always be truthful to the insurance company when applying for life insurance, and be honest about everything from your age, occupation and medical history to your smoking status and hobbies. If not, you run the risk of your policy being invalidated after a claim – putting your family’s financial security at risk if you were to pass away.

What jobs are ‘high risk’ for life insurance?

Exactly what occupations are judged as high risk depends on the insurance company, but many will see you as impaired or high risk if you:

  • Regularly work at a height exceeding 12 metres
  • Work in a job which requires you drive a lot
  • Work in a hazardous environment such as a building site
  • Work underwater or underground
  • Work with explosives, pyrotechnics or dangerous chemicals
  • Operate heavy machinery
  • Often undertake heavy lifting

In terms of specific job titles that may be viewed as high risk, these typically include:

  • Taxi drivers
  • Bus, lorry, HGV or coach drivers
  • Motorbike couriers
  • Offshore oil or gas workers
  • Soldiers
  • Policemen/women
  • Prison officers
  • Firemen/women
  • Airline pilots
  • Professional sportsperson
  • Rally driver or race driver
  • Fishermen or trawlers

To get an affordable life insurance today or to speak to a life insurance adviser, get in touch with Bobatoo, obligation-free:

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