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Life Insurance for Race Car Drivers (and or Motorcycles too)!

Life Insurance for Race Car Drivers.

When it comes time to helping professional or amateur racers find a quality life insurance policy that they can both qualify for and afford, there are two things that we can say for sure. 

The first is that…

Not all racers are going to be like the ones you see on TV dressed in suits covered by sponsors. And, not all life insurance companies are going to be super enthusiastic about ensuring someone with a passion for going as fast as humanly possible!

Which is why…

We wanted to take a moment and answer some of the most common questions we get from folks who are looking to purchase a traditional life insurance policy as a professional or amateur race car driver. Questions that will be answered will include:

  • Can I qualify for life insurance if I am a professional or amateur race car driver?
  • Why do life insurance companies care if I am a professional or amateur race car driver?
  • What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
  • What 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!

Can I qualify for life insurance if I am a professional or amateur race car driver?

Yes, some race car drivers may be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. The only problem is that the term “race car driver” is going to be way too vague of a description for a life insurance company to render any kind of decision. This is why most of the best life insurance companies are going to want to ask you a series of questions all about your racing before they’ll even consider you as a possible client.

Why do life insurance companies care if I am a professional or amateur race car driver?

Insurance companies are always analyzing risk. This is why they’re going to want to know all sorts of things about you, ranging from how much you weigh and how tall you are to whether or not you have a family history of cancer or heart disease.

But that’s not all…

Most life insurance companies are going to be worried about it. They’re also going to be worried about “lifestyle” choices. Lifestyle choices such as whether or not you like to smoke or use tobacco, travel to exotic locations or have a propensity for driving fast as evidenced by your driving record. In addition to whether or not you either choose to work or participate in dangerous hobbies such as auto racing.

But, is race car driving risky?

Some thrill seeking sports or hobbies sound super dangerous but actually come with pretty low risks. Skydiving, for example, results in very few deaths every year. But race car driving is a different topic altogether.

After all…

Even driving a regular car comes with some risks. You see, on average, around 38,000 people die of car accidents every year in the United States. It is, in fact, the second most common cause of accidental death (beat only by poisoning, which includes drug overdose) in the United States today.

Now…

 It’s safe to say that the majority of these car accidents are just normal people driving – not race car drivers. But some of these are no doubt race car drivers. A race car driving accident can happen on a legitimate speedway or racetrack or even during a street race. We all remember how Paul Walker and Roger Rodas died while drifting.

And that’s the problem…

Because auto racing can take on many forms. Some “forms” will be highly regulated and controlled (presumably to reduce one’s risk) while others “forms” will be much less regulated and presumably much more dangerous.

Professional vs. Hobby Race Car Drivers

It may seem like a professional race car driver will have an easier time getting insured than a hobby race car driver. However, that’s not necessarily true. The sport is so dangerous, and there are things to consider.

  1. A professional driver may take more risks than a hobbyist because they are more confident. As a result, they are still at a high risk of a deadly crash.
  2. Professionals engage in high speed, driving much more often.
  3. However, a professional is more likely to wear and use safety equipment to survive a crash. This includes:
  • Helmets
  • Head and Neck Support (HANS)
  • Fireproof clothing made of fire-resistant fiber
  • Gloves
  • Rollover protection in the car
  • Safely designed bucket seats with thigh support
  • Proper restraints (seatbelts) with a 4-point harness, 5-point harness, or 6-point harness
  • Safety Nets
  • Fire Suppression
  • A master cut-off switch to prevent electric shock

Some other devices and precautions may make driving a professional race car even safer. 

This is why before being approved for coverage, one should expect to be asked quite a few questions about their race car driving so that the insurance companies can get a better idea about what “kind” of risk you will pose to them should they decide to approve your application.

What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?

Typical questions you’ll likely be asked may include:

  • Are you considered a professional or amateur racer?
  • Do you belong to any racing clubs or sanctioned racing organizations?
  • What “type” or racing do you participate in?
  • Where do you race? On a track, on regular streets?
  • Do you compete for money or prizes?
  • What type of vehicle do you race?
  • How often do you race?
  • What kind of fuel does your vehicle use?  
  • Do you ever race using nitrous?
  • Do you ever participate in illegal car races?
  • Have you ever been involved in an accident while racing?
  • In the past two years, have you been hospitalized for any reason?
  • Do you have any “issues” with your driver’s license?

With these questions answered, most life insurance companies will usually have a better idea about what “rate” you might be expected to pay.

What rate (or price) can I qualify for?

As one can see, there are many variables about one’s race car driving that can affect the outcome of one’s life insurance application. It’s also important to remember that other factors such as one’s age, health, and family medical history will also likely play a role in determining your “rate” as well.

Which is why…

It’s basically impossible to know for sure what “kind” of rate (or even if you’ll be able to qualify for coverage at all) until we’ve had a few moments to speak with you directly. 

That said, however, there are a few “assumptions” that we can make about how most life insurance companies will “view” race car drivers which will generally remain true, which we can now discuss so that you may gain a better idea about what “kind” of rate you may be able to qualify for.

Generally speaking…

Most race car driver applicants will fall into one of three different categories. There will be those who are “deemed” uninsurable either because the form of racing is considered too dangerous or their passion for racing has created a series of other “issues” preventing them from qualifying for a traditional life insurance policy (think suspended license).

The second group…

Of individuals will be those who can qualify for coverage but will be required to pay a “flat extra” surcharge on top of whatever “normal rate” they are approved for. This flat-extra rate can become quite significant at times, particularly when applied to a larger life insurance policy.

And lastly…

Some individuals may be approved for a traditional life insurance policy with an auto racing exclusion, which would state that their life insurance policy would not be enforceable if you died while participating in any kind of auto racing activity. The benefit here would be that you would not be charged extra for your insurance, and you may be able to purchase an Accidental Death Policy, which would provide coverage to you in the event that you did die while racing.

*** 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 auto racing. For this reason, please be sure that you confirm with the insurance company directly that you would be covered if you died while racing a vehicle.

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?
  • 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.

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