Life Insurance for Extreme Sports

Life insurance for extreme sports participants can be hard to get because life insurance companies consider the risk of death higher. Life insurance rates for extreme sports are likely to be much higher than average, if the company will cover you at all. To find a life insurance policy if you participate in extreme sports, consider guaranteed issue policies.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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The Rundown

  • Life insurance for extreme sports offers coverage for often-excluded activities
  • Rates depend on the activity and frequency of participation
  • There are other options if you’re denied coverage

Certain activities are considered high risk, making it difficult to obtain life insurance coverage. The best insurance companies understand that people take part in these activities and offer policy options. Understanding the specifics of life insurance for extreme sports will help you learn how to obtain coverage.

So what are extreme sports? They’re generally nontraditional sports that involve more risk than typical sports like baseball or bowling. If you see it at the X-games, you probably need “Xtreme sports” life insurance to be covered in the event you die while participating.

For those looking to obtain life insurance quotes for extreme sports, enter your ZIP code to find the best life insurance rates in your area.

What is life insurance for extreme sports?

Life insurance companies determine eligibility and rates on risk. Certain activities are considered high risk by providers, potentially making it difficult to obtain coverage. Life insurance for extreme sports allows those participating in these risky activities to obtain coverage.

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How is life insurance for extreme sports determined?

The Insurance Information Institute says that the two principal types of life insurance are term life and permanent life insurance. Term life insurance is cheaper and lasts for a specified amount of time. Permanent life insurance lasts for the lifetime of the policyholder but rates are usually higher.

The rates that you’ll experience when purchasing extreme sports insurance depend on several factors. The most common factors that impact affordable life insurance for extreme sports include:

  • Type of sport
  • Dangers associated with the sport
  • Frequency of participation in the sport
  • Level of experience
  • Type of equipment used

When you apply for coverage, you’ll be asked to provide a list of activities that you take part in. The life insurance company for extreme sports will use this list to judge your risk before offering coverage.

The life insurance company places each applicant in a risk classification category. The higher the category, the more likely you are to obtain coverage. Life insurance for extreme sports risk classification categories include:

  • Preferred select
  • Preferred
  • Standard plus
  • Standard
  • Preferred smoker
  • Standard smoker

Those that are considered too risky are placed in a table rating system. This determines the percentage above the traditional rates they’ll pay. Most extreme sports enthusiasts are table-rated.

What activities are considered high risk for life insurance for extreme sports?

While every activity is judged on its risks to the applicant, sports insurance companies pay special attention to certain activities. These extreme sports are the most likely to be table rated, resulting in high rates.

When considering life insurance for extreme sports, activities that are commonly table rated include:

  • Flying
  • Scuba diving
  • Motorsports
  • Parachuting
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Hang gliding
  • Paragliding
  • Skydiving
  • BASE jumping
  • Mountain or rock climbing
  • Extreme biking
  • Skateboarding
  • Snowboarding
  • Skiing
  • Surfing

Participants in these activities can expect higher rates than most life insurance applicants.

How can you buy life insurance for extreme sports?

Finding extreme sports insurance can be difficult due to the increased risk of injury or death. However, there are some tips that you can use to find coverage. The following are good ways of achieving life insurance coverage for extreme sports.

Talk with other extreme athletes

Regardless of the activity, others likely take part as well. You’re likely not the only one who is attempting to obtain life insurance coverage. Other extreme athletes might have recommendations on companies or policies.

Be Honest About Your Activities

You might be timid about sharing the activities you participate in because it can make it more difficult to obtain coverage. However, the life insurance company won’t be responsible for providing a payout if you die during the activity.

Share how Often You Participate

It might seem as though frequent participation in an extreme sport would be detrimental to your coverage. But a life insurance company might consider you an expert if you participate frequently. This could make it easier to obtain coverage.

Shop Around

Life insurance companies view risky activities differently. One company might not offer coverage for an activity at all, but another company might consider it less risky. This could result in more coverage or lower rates.

Following these tips won’t guarantee better coverage but can make it much easier to obtain life insurance for extreme sports.

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What if you’re denied coverage for life insurance for extreme sports?

If a company considers you too high risk and denies coverage, there are alternate options. The coverage might not be as good but it will provide some protection should something happen to you while taking part in your activity.

Group Life Insurance

Many employers offer group life insurance. The coverage isn’t as good as an individual plan but it’s an option if you’re considered too high risk for individual policies.

Guaranteed Issue

Guaranteed issue plans are designed for those that are too risky for life insurance companies. This type of policy features less coverage and higher rates but doesn’t require a medical underwriting process.

Graded Benefit Whole Life Insurance

Most people attempt to avoid this type of coverage because the payout is gradual. However, it’s an option if you’re not eligible for other policies. The payments for this type of plan are usually completed within the first two years following the policyholder’s death.

What questions should you expect about life insurance for extreme sports?

Most life insurance companies will ask various questions when you apply for coverage. These questions will help them assess your risk. The following are common questions you might receive about life insurance for extreme sports.

General Questions

  • Do you plan on participating in activities involving heights?
  • Do you plan on participating in any full-body contact sports?
  • Do you plan on driving a motor car, motorbike, or motorboat?
  • Do you regularly take part in any other hazardous activities?

In-Depth Questions

  • What is your level of experience with the activity?
  • Do you hold any certifications or licensing?
  • Are you a member of any extreme sports clubs or associations?
  • Where and how frequently do you participate in the activity?
  • Are you involved in any competitions or record attempts?

Sport-Specific Questions

  • What engine size is used?
  • What are your diving depths?
  • How many jumps have you completed?
  • How many successful dives have you completed?

It’s important to be honest when answering these questions. Any answers determined untruthful can result in the cancellation of your policy. It’s even possible that a company can cancel your policy after your death to avoid paying out if you lied to obtain the policy.

Life Insurance for Extreme Sports: The Bottom Line

Obtaining life insurance coverage for extreme sports can be difficult due to the applicant’s high risk. However, companies understand that people take part in these activities and offer coverage for them. Examining the specifics of life insurance for extreme sports will teach you how to obtain coverage.

If you’re interested in life insurance rates for extreme sports, enter your ZIP code to discover the top life insurance quotes in your area.

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