Life Insurance and Base Jumping.
Seeing how Base Jumping is one of the most dangerous recreational activities in the world, it easy to see why someone who likes to base jump would want to purchase a life insurance policy.
It’s also easy…
To understand why a life insurance company may be a bit nervous about insuring a Base Jumper regardless of how healthy they may be. This is why we wanted to take a moment and discuss what life insurance options may be available to someone who does actively base jump.
Questions that will be addressed in this article will include:
- What is Base Jumping?
- Why do life insurance companies care about Base Jumping?
- What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- What kind of rate (or price) can I qualify for?
- What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
What is Base Jumping?
Since there are some many different adrenaline sports out there nowadays that can sort of “blend” into one another, the first that we want to do is just briefly explain what we mean when we talk about “base jumping.”
So, for our purposes…
Here in this article, Base Jumping will be defined as a recreational sport where you jump from a point using a parachute or wingsuit to help you fly through the sky. The name of the sport actually comes from the categories of places from which you might jump:
S: span, or earth.
E: Earth, which usually means a cliff or mountainside.
And as you’ll notice, there is no mention of the word “airplane” in the description of this sport, which is why Base Jumping is considered a separate sport by those who participate in them and by the life insurance industry as well.
Why do life insurance companies care about Base Jumping?
Pretty much any time someone chooses to engage in an activity that would be considered by most to be dangerous, it’s fair to say that most life insurance companies are going to be a little “bit” interested in it especially if the activity in question requires someone to leap off a building or cliff for the sole purpose of experiencing a MASSIVE rush of adrenaline!
And the funny thing is that…
Base Jumpers, unlike other folks who like to Sky Dive, Rock Climb, or Bungee Jump, know (and are generally willing to admit) that their sport is dangerous. We know this because very few Base Jumpers like to claim that their sport isn’t all that dangerous.
Base Jumping is so dangerous that it’s probably safe to say that those who are really serious about the sport and are fully immersed within this small community of participants probably know someone who has died while jumping.
Statistically speaking, BASE Jumping accidents occur in about 1 out of every 2,300 jumps. And by “accidents”, we mean deaths!
Which sounds really bad, but when you compare this to Skydiving, where there is only one death per 3 Million Jumps, you may want to seriously reconsider whether or not you would like to continue being a Base Jumper!
This brings us to our next topic, which is…
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
Typical questions you may be asked might include:
- Do you engage in low BASE jumps or high BASE jumps?
- Are you a solo BASE jumper, or do you do tandem BASE jumps?
- How many times per year do you jump?
- What kind of parachute do you use?
- Do you use a wingsuit?
- Do you use skydiving gear (which is considering much more unsafe) or modern purpose-built BASE jumping gear?
- Are you a professional base jumper?
- Do you ever travel outside of the United States to base jump?
- Do you jump from antennas, cliffs, mountains, buildings, etc?
- Do you use a slider for faster openings or a 3-ring release system?
- Do you travel abroad for jumps or participate in BASE jumping events?
These questions will help most life insurance underwriters determine the kind of risk associated with your hobby.
What kind of rate (or price) can I qualify for?
Unlike other adventure or high-risk sports, where an insurance company may choose to approve one’s application (albeit at a higher rate). Most (if not all) traditional life insurance companies are going to choose to Deny anyone who actively participates in Base Jumping.
That said, however…
Some life insurance companies out there may be willing to insure you a Preferred or Preferred Plus rate, provided you are willing to accept a “base jumping exclusion” on your policy. Which would mean that you would be fully insured provided that your death was not related to a Base Jumping accident.
Probably isn’t what you want to hear, but there are a couple of advantages here. The first being that you will be insured if you die from some type of accident not related to Base Jumping, like a motor vehicle accident or a slip or fall accident.
The second advantage is…
That you would be insured due to any kind of “natural” cause of death like one caused by a heart attack, stroke or cancer
You would also avoid any added “flat rate” charges that are typically added on to a “high risk” life insurance applicant, which can cause an individual’s life insurance to become quite expensive.
Sadly, though you would not be insured while Base Jumping.
This is why…
We here at IBUSA spend so much time trying to learn as much as we can about all of our client’s “activities” when participating in activities such as Base Jumping because there are always those situations where a life insurance company may be willing to make an exception in certain situations.
It’s also why…
We may try and find an Accidental Death Policy that does not have a specific exclusion for base jumpers that might be available to some individuals as well.
*** Important Note ***
While Accidental Death Policies are designed to provide coverage against dying in an accident, many will have exclusions for deaths caused by participating in dangerous activities such as Base Jumping. For this reason, please be sure that you confirm with the insurance company directly that you would be covered if you died while jumping.
This brings us to our final topic today, which is…
What can I do to improve my chances of purchasing the “right” life insurance policy for me?
In our experiences here at IBUSA, we’ve found that usually, the “best” approach in helping someone find the “best” life insurance policy for them is to first:
- Fully understand what an individual is trying to achieve by purchasing their life insurance policy.
- Are you looking to:
- Cover the cost of a mortgage?
- Replace lost wages?
- Protect a child or spouse?
- Or just cover one’s final expenses?
- Are you looking to:
- Then provide one with plenty of options to choose from so that you’re not limited to just one or two different options.
This is why…
We here at IBUSA choose to work with so many different life insurance companies so that when it comes time to help you decide “which” life insurance company is going to be the best for you, we don’t have to apply a…
“One Size Fits All”
Approach. Instead, we can make dozens of different life insurance companies compete for your business.
So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today and experience the IBUSA difference.