Despite the risks involved, skydiving is a popular sport. According to the United States Parachuting Association (USPA), nearly 3 million jumps were completed in 2020, down from 3.3 million in 2019. Due to skydiving’s popularity and risks, life insurance coverage for skydivers can be hard to find. But does life insurance cover skydiving? Just like auto insurance and homeowners insurance, life insurance companies each have their own rules on calculating risk and coverage options. If you are an avid skydiver or plan to take a dive in the future, here’s what you should know about buying a skydiving life insurance policy.
Skydiving and life insurance premiums
When calculating your life insurance premiums, the insurance company will determine the level of risk associated with insuring you. Generally, the higher of a risk you are, the higher your premium will be. Additionally, if you present too great of a risk for insurance companies, you may even be denied coverage.
Each life insurance company has its own rating process. However, the process typically includes a medical examination and includes factors like your age, health, family medical history, lifestyle and even hobbies. This is why it can be helpful to get several quotes; each company’s premium may vary based on their rating algorithm. To find the lowest-priced option, you may want to compare quotes from several carriers.
While the USPA reports a fairly low number of deaths related to skydiving each year, the sport is still considered dangerous. Most life insurance quotes will ask questions about your hobbies. Being asked if you skydive or are planning to skydive in the near future is relatively common. If you answer “yes” to this question, you will likely be viewed as a high risk. However, keep in mind that you should never lie on a life insurance application; if you are a skydiver or plan to skydive within the time period specified on the application, do not answer “no” in an attempt to get a lower rate. That would be considered insurance fraud and could result in your application being denied and lead to fines and criminal charges.
Denial of coverage
Listing skydiving as a hobby on a life insurance application can result in higher rates, but it can also result in an outright denial of coverage. Even the largest life insurance companies can deny you coverage if you are deemed too risky to insure. Your skydiving hobby alone could preclude you from coverage, or you might be denied due to your medical exam. Your denial might come from a combination of these two factors, as well. If you are found to have a medical problem that could increase your risk of health complications and death while skydiving, that could flag you as too high of a risk to insure.
Life insurance for skydivers
Some life insurance companies offer skydivers specialized coverage options if standard coverage is not feasible. Skydivers can apply for both term insurance or permanent insurance, just like anyone else. While term life insurance lasts for a set period of time, such as 10 to 30 years, permanent life insurance lasts until your death (assuming the premiums are paid) and includes whole life and universal life options. Working with an agent or using a life insurance calculator might help you decide which type and how much coverage to buy.
Specialized life insurance
To customize your options as a skydiver, you may want to consider a specialized life insurance policy. Because of the increased risk you assume when you skydive, insurance companies may be hesitant to insure you on a standard policy. A specialized policy that takes your hobby into account and assigns your premium accordingly may be a good option.
Accidental death insurance
Accidental death insurance may also be a good choice for skydivers. This type of policy provides compensation for certain accidents that result in death. If you have accidental death insurance and skydiving is a covered event, your beneficiary will receive the death benefit if you pass away from a skydiving accident.
Should I lie about skydiving?
Absolutely not. Lying about your skydiving hobby to an insurance company can result in your application being denied, your coverage being rescinded (if your policy is already in place when your lie is discovered) and charges of insurance fraud. Additionally, if you were to die from a skydiving accident and you did not disclose your skydiving hobby to your life insurance company, your beneficiaries may not be entitled to the full face value of your death benefit. Being honest on your application can help ensure a smooth application process and death benefit payout.
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to report skydiving on my life insurance application even if I don’t do it a lot?
If you think you will be going skydiving during your life insurance coverage period, you should still report skydiving on your application as a hobby. You can explain to your underwriter the frequency of your skydiving hobby since each life insurance company has its own rules and policy guidelines. Being honest about your lifestyle on your insurance application is always the best course of action.
What if I decide to skydive after I already have a life insurance policy?
If you already have a life insurance policy in place when you decide to go skydiving, you might have coverage if anything goes wrong, as long as you didn’t lie on the application. Contact your life insurance company to let them know of your plans and talk to a representative to see if your coverage would extend if the worst happens.
Is skydiving really that dangerous?
The USPA reported 11 skydiving deaths in 2020, 15 in 2019 and 13 in 2018. The highest number of reported deaths since 2000 was 35 in 2001. Considering the number of skydivers in the U.S. each year is between 2.5 and 3.3 million, the death rate is quite low. However, as you might expect, jumping out of a plane still makes you a higher risk to insurance companies, regardless of the low fatality rate.