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Term Life Insurance for climbers and pilots

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  • Term Life Insurance for climbers and pilots

    So I was dumb...I didn't buy term life insurance when I was a resident. I had essentially become a hibernating climber whose greatest risk was paper cuts while reading the latest climbing magazines. Then I get my first real job, I start climbing again, and I decide to start learning to fly. I should have purchased a policy right before graduation and I could have answered underwriting questions with 100% accuracy and yet not be considered high risk.

    Now I'm finally getting around to being a responsible adult with plans to purchase a term life policy, and I'm facing an uphill battle - attempting to not pay an arm and a leg for a policy.

    Has anyone else faced this situation? If so, any guidance or ideas that you've seen would be great. I consider both activities to be very calculated and low risk but to an underwriter who watches football for a hobby I'm not sure how I can convince him or her of this. Should I look for other avenues to protect my family in the advent of my untimely demise? Such as 429 plans, putting a bunch of money in index funds and forgetting about it, and other ways that should I not be able to produce income (or to breath) they will still be alright. I can't stop climbing and flying; I like it too much. If I could find a way to do that for a living I'd stop being a doctor. Thank god insurance companies don't understand the risks of backcountry skiing or whitewater kayaking - then I'd really be screwed.

     

    Thanks for any advice.

  • #2
    The most important thing for you to do is work with an experienced insurance agent that represents several carriers and can informally get an idea of what will happen in underwriting (in terms of classification) assuming all else is good before you ever apply for coverage. Certain carriers are more favorable then others and you will save yourself a lot of time and hassle doing it this way instead of picking a company and simply hoping for the best.

    You will want to provide the agent with the answers to questions such as these:

    Climbing

    1. What type of climbing (trail, rock, ice, mountain)?

    2. Are you a member of a club?

    3. How often do you climb?

    4. Date an location of your last climb?

    5. How long have you been climbing?

    6. Did you complete any courses related to climbing?

    7. Do you ever climb without a rope? If yes, how often, location and degree of difficulty?

    8. Do you ever climb alone? If not, how many people do you typically climb with?

    9. What would your normal climbing experience look like?

    10. Are you a lead climber? Again, where do you climb? Type of climbing and Yosemite Decimal System?

    11. What time of year do you climb?

    12. What equipment do you normally carry?

    13. On your average climb, how many hours/days will you be climbing?

    14. What about average height and degree of difficulty?

    15. What is the maximum height you have climbed, level and date?

    16. What are your future climbing plans in terms of goals and locations?


    Piloting

    1. What type of license do you hold?

    2. How long have you had it?

    3. Do you intend to qualify for a higher grade certificate?

    4. What are the total number of hours that you have flown as a pilot?

    5. Do you fly anything home built, experimental or a prototype (I doubt this but one never knows)?

    6. Have you ever done aerobatics, air racing or stunt flying?

    7. Have you ever had a aircraft accident, been grounded, fined or reprimanded for violating air regulations?


    Then the agent can run illustrations of coverage based upon the underwriting category to compare the premium rates from one carrier to another based upon the amount and guaranteed premium duration that you are considering.

    Comment


    • #3
      You might want to look into an AAC plan too:

      http://americanalpineclub.org/p/insurance

      Obviously, the sooner you hit financial independence the better, but going completely without life insurance when people you care about depend on your income doesn't seem wise to me.

      Also take advantage of any insurance policy available to you that doesn't ask about dangerous hobbies- employer provided group plans or medical association group plans. You may be able to cobble together a million bucks or more of term life without ever having to admit you're a climber/pilot.
      Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

      Comment


      • #4




        You may be able to cobble together a million bucks or more of term life without ever having to admit you’re a climber/pilot.
        Click to expand...


        How often do those plans have restrictions such that they won't pay out if you die while performing a high risk activity? Same for your disability insurance? That's great if someone will insure* me, but if I get disabled climbing then what?

        Comment


        • #5
          May be it is a sign that term life insurance is not for you.

          I  see insurance as a trade off between a risk and cost and typically the insurance company and it's sales people come out ahead.

          May be you can enroll in a group insurance in which you do not get punished for being actively fit and  enjoy life.

           

          Comment


          • #6







            You may be able to cobble together a million bucks or more of term life without ever having to admit you’re a climber/pilot.
            Click to expand…


            How often do those plans have restrictions such that they won’t pay out if you die while performing a high risk activity? Same for your disability insurance? That’s great if someone will insure* me, but if I get disabled climbing then what?
            Click to expand...


            Many of them don't. That's my point. They don't even ask.
            Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree with Larry for the most part.  Unlike you, I've been climbing pretty steadily (predominantly single pitch sport) since college and don't fly planes.  I got all kinds of advice including not disclosing my climbing, but I didn't like that idea.  I went through several independent agents, and most of the quotes I got after filling out the questionnaire were outrageous.

              Finally, I got a term policy through State Farm (which independent agents don't quote).  30s male in good health, 20 year 1.5M policy, I pay about $1200/year. Separate laddered 30 year 1M policy at about the same rate.  State Farm gave me their Preferred rate (one step below their cheapest rate). The agent was able to lean on the underwriter to get me bumped up a category after initially being two steps below the cheapest rate.

              I plan to jettison as soon as I'm self insured. Haven't investigated rates in a while, but don't count out smaller proprietary insurers.

               

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