About 47.5 million Americans cycle according to Statista, most of whom are young adults. The number of cyclists continues to increase as it has increased from around 43 million to 47.5 million in recent years. And although it may not be the riskiest sport, it still poses a threat. In 2019, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), about 843 bicyclists died due to motor vehicle collisions. Additionally, the number of bicyclist deaths for those age 20 and older have tripled since 1975.
If you are in the market for life insurance and you are an avid cyclist, you may be wondering what the best life insurance is for cyclists. In finding policies, you may consider specialized coverage options to accommodate your sport and feel safe cycling.
Can being a cyclist impact life insurance rates?
When you apply for life insurance, your insurance company will go through an underwriting process to determine the risk associated with insuring you. The underwriting process usually involves a medical exam, family medical history check and questions regarding your age, hobbies, driving record and more. Cycling could affect your life insurance in various ways. While it may not directly impact your life insurance rates, the benefits of cycling may have an indirect impact.
Cycling often leads to many physical and mental health benefits such as decreased stress and a healthier physique. Healthier people generally pay less for life insurance because insurers associate health with lower risk. Therefore, cycling has the potential to indirectly lower your life insurance rates.
Some other potential health benefits that cyclists often experience are:
- Weight control: Cycling may be a good way to maintain or even reduce your weight and body mass index. The sport can help build muscle and burn fat and calories. Cyclists can also change the intensity and velocity of cycling for a higher impact workout.
- Prevents diabetes: One in 10 Americans have diabetes and one in three have prediabetes according to the CDC. Lack of physical activity is often one of the major causes of diabetes.
- Improves joint mobility: As people get older, joint mobility usually decreases and the possibility of arthritis increases. Because cycling utilizes coordination, movement, balance and strength without needing to be high-impact, it is often recommended to those with knee arthritis to reduce their symptoms.
- Improves mental health: Studies have shown the impact of exercise on the brain. Since cycling qualifies as exercise, it could help reduce anxiety, depression and poor moods. Exercise could also lead to improved self-esteem and brain functionality through the endorphins it releases to the brain during physical activity.
Best life insurance for cyclists
There are different classifications of life insurance. The four types are preferred plus, preferred, standard plus, and standard, which all have different meanings as the table below shows:
|Life insurance classifications||Meaning|
|Preferred Plus||Preferred plus is generally reserved for very healthy individuals. With this classification, you are more likely to receive a quote that is less expensive than someone who falls under a lower category.|
|Preferred||The preferred life insurance classification is still assigned to healthy individuals. However, these individuals may have minor health conditions, like high blood pressure.|
|Standard Plus||Those who qualify for standard plus are still considered healthy, but may have a few health concerns that need closer attention as time progresses.|
|Standard||The standard life insurance classification is usually for applicants who are considered riskier to insure than those who qualify for standard plus and above. If your weight to height ratio is less than ideal or if your medical exam reveals progressing health issues, then you might be put into this category.|
Because of the health benefits from cycling, cyclists might expect to fall under the preferred or preferred plus life insurance classifications. However, due to the risk associated with cycling, providers may also include those factors in underwriting life insurance policies for bikers.
Bear in mind that your total health accounts for more than a single activity. Your family history, age and other hobbies could place you in either insurance classification for any given reason. You can determine the average cost of life insurance or obtain a life insurance quote online within a few minutes.
Term life insurance provides coverage for a limited period of time. Usually, term lengths between 10 and 30 years are available for selection. At the end of the term, many insurers allow you to either renew your existing policy or convert it to a whole life policy. If you die before the term ends, then a death benefit would be provided to your beneficiaries.
For cyclists, term life insurance could be a beneficial option as it is generally cheaper than a whole life policy and could help make up for any potential risk insurers associates with cycling. The death benefit can be used to cover outstanding debt, funeral costs and more.
Whole life insurance provides coverage for your entire life, as long as all premiums are paid. However, whole life insurance is typically one of the most expensive life insurance types, especially when compared to term life insurance.
However, if you have the financial means to invest in whole life insurance, it may provide the coverage you are looking for as a cyclist. For example, with the risk of death and injury associated with cycling, the cost of whole life may be worth it since the policies are typically able to accumulate cash value over time and provide additional funds in case of an emergency. Some types of permanent life insurance even offer flexible options for paying.
Life insurance for healthy individuals
Many individuals may not consider purchasing life insurance until they become worried about their health or become older. However, it is impossible to plan for unexpected tragedy and may be worth considering life insurance while young, when rates are generally lower.
Some insurance companies reward healthy individuals for leading a healthy lifestyle, such as HealthIQ. Cyclists may consider insurance providers that specialize in coverage for healthy individuals, as you may save more on life insurance premiums than with traditional life insurance firms. HealthIQ specializes in offering coverage for people with healthy lifestyles and reports that its insureds can save up to 41% on premiums. To begin the quote process, you can answer personal health-related questions, take its health literacy test and verify the types of activities you participate in.
Other considerations for life insurance
Being a cyclist and leading a healthy lifestyle are not the only things that life insurance companies will look at when determining your risk and life insurance premium. Other factors cyclists may consider when applying for coverage include:
- Family medical history: During the underwriting process, the life insurance company will likely review your family medical history to check for any health concerns that arise. If you have a family medical history of heart disease, for example, it could be the difference from being placed into the preferred classification versus preferred plus.
- High cholesterol: Insurance companies might increase your insurance rates if your cholesterol levels are considered high. It may be worth keeping in mind that cycling might increase your cholesterol if the exercise is highly intense or you are new to it.
- Occupation: Life insurers also consider your occupation in the underwriting process, as it could come with its own set of risks. For example, active-duty military and construction work might be more likely to injure themselves than someone working a standard office job. Even if you participate in a healthy activity, like biking, you may see higher rates due to your job.
Cyclists are likely to experience several health benefits resulting from their regular physical activity, but it may not always transfer to insurance rates. If you feel that your current life insurance company does not reflect your healthy lifestyle, it could be worth speaking to an agent to figure out your options. Multiple companies are available if you decide that switching your life insurance to another company better suits your circumstances.