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Life Insurance for Rodeo Athletes.

During a typical life insurance application, most folks will, at some point, begin to ask themselves…

“Why would a life insurance company care if __________________?”

Now, it could be because the applicant is wondering why it would matter if they have:

  • Filed for bankruptcy in the past two years?
  • Do you plan to travel outside the United States in the next 12 months?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor?
  • A brother (or some other immediate family member) has ever been diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, or diabetes?

But what doesn’t seem to confuse many folks is why a life insurance company might be worried about insuring someone who actively works or participates in “Rodeo Events” or is a professional “Rodeo Athlete.”

This is why…

We wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to apply for a traditional life insurance policy as someone who does participate in rodeos so that we can answer some of the most common questions you may have about what it might be like when applying for a traditional life insurance policy.

Questions that will be addressed will include:

  • Can I qualify for a life insurance policy if participating in a Rodeo Sport?
  • Why do life insurance companies care if I work or participate in a Rodeo Sport?
  • What kind of questions will the insurance companies likely ask me?
  • What kind of rate can I qualify for?
  • How can I improve my chances of qualifying for the “best” life insurance policy?

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Can I qualify for a life insurance policy if I participate in a “Rodeo Sport”?

Yes, some folks who work or participate in the rodeo industry can and will be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy. The only problem is that sometimes the policy that they can qualify will either cost more than what a person who doesn’t participate in these “types” of activities would or the policy may contain specific “exclusions” eliminating coverage related to one’s “rodeo activities”.

Why do life insurance companies care if I work or participate in a “Rodeo Sport”?

Pretty much any time someone chooses to engage in a profession or 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, particularly if the activity in question requires someone to try and impose their will on a large and potentially dangerous animal.

And even though working or participating in a rodeo might not be as dangerous as some other “adrenaline” charged activities such as:

That doesn’t mean life insurance companies will be “OK” with it. After all, just knowing that someone participates in a “Rodeo Sport” really doesn’t tell us much about what you do now.

Because the fact is…

There are many different rodeo events one can choose to specialize in, each with its unique risk factors. For example, it may surprise you to know that bull riding is not the most dangerous rodeo sport. Bareback riding is the most dangerous. Other events at the rodeo include:

  • Roping,
  • Team roping (aka “heading and heeling”),
  • Breakaway Roping,
  • Barrel Racing,
  • Goat Tying,
  • Steer Wrestling,
  • Steer Riding,
  • Bull Riding,
  • Bronc Riding,
  • Steer Roping,
  • Pole Bending.

As you can see there are quite a few different activities one can pursue as a “rodeo athlete.” This is probably why rodeo athletes have one of the highest injury rates of any sport, even football.

And while…

Approximately half of all rodeo injuries indeed occur during the bull riding events; many of the more severe injuries will occur during several of the other events, particularly those involving bareback Riding. This is why, before any life insurance company is willing to approve your application, they will want to know more about what “type” of events you participate in and how frequently you do them.

What kind of questions will the insurance companies likely ask me?

Typical questions you’ll likely be asked may include:

  • What event or events do you participate in when competing at a rodeo?
  • Is this what you do for a living? Or do you compete in amateur events?
  • How often do you compete in rodeos?
  • Have you ever been seriously injured in an event?
  • Do you belong to any unions or organizations that sanction the events you compete in?

These initial questions will usually help a life insurance company determine whether they need to learn more about your activities before proceeding with your application.


We should not say that athletes aren’t the only ones who may see their life insurance applications affected because they work in and around rodeos. Volunteers, coaches, groundskeepers, vets, animal caregivers, and others around the animals may also be asked questions about their careers or passions. After all, you don’t necessarily have to climb on top of a bull or a wild horse to get hurt by one now, do you?

What kind of rate can I qualify for?

As one can see, many variables can come into play when determining what “kind” of rate someone who likes to participate in rodeos might qualify for. This is why it’s next to impossible to know for sure what “kind” of right you might be able to qualify for without first speaking with you directly. That said, however, we have found here at IBUSA that most Rodeo Athletes will fall into one of four categories.

There are four general categories into which most Rodeo Athletes fall.

Category #1

The first group you may end up in will be those who are simply flat-out and denied coverage. Now, we have to be honest with you: This doesn’t happen all that often, but if it turns out that you are a Professional Rodeo Performer, it is conceivable that you may be denied coverage.  This is especially so if you apply with a life insurance company that tends to be more “strict” when ensuring a “dangerous” career or hobby.

Category #2

The second “category” that you may be able to qualify for will be one where you are approved, but you have to pay a “surcharge” due to your rodeo activities. And unfortunately, this “surcharge” can be pretty significant!

Category #3

The third category that you might be able to qualify for would be a Standard or average rate.  This may just be fine with you if this is all your health would allow you to qualify for. However, if you are in great shape, being forced to pay a Standard rate simply because you participate in rodeos might be a tough pill to swallow.  

Category #4

The last category you might be able to qualify for would be a Preferred or Preferred Plus rate, with an exclusion to your policy that if you were to die due to some accident directly related to a rodeo event or activity, your life insurance policy would NOT pay a death benefit.

And while…

This may seem like a total rip-off, but what you might find is purchasing a policy like this and combining it with a low-cost Accidental Death Policy that would provide coverage if you die from a rodeo accident could be your best bet, provided that the accidental death policy that you are considering doesn’t also have some exclusion for deaths occurring while participating in a “rodeo event.”

*** 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 those commonly performed at a rodeo. For this reason, please be sure that you confirm directly with the insurance company that you would be covered if you died while competing or practicing for a rodeo event.

This is why…

Working with a true life insurance professional is important because even though you may be perfectly healthy and like to participate in rodeos, your life insurance application will become a bit “complicated.” This brings us to the last topic we wanted to discuss today, which is…

 How can I improve my chances of purchasing the “right” life insurance policy?

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 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 will 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.

8 comments… add one
  • Patricia March 10, 2023, 1:36 pm

    Hey, just touching base with you guys wondering if you could help it point me in a direction.
    We have a team of 15 kids coming from Australia to compete at Junior World finals in Las Vegas.
    They will be rough stock competitors and need health insurance to cover them.
    Do you do this or know of someone who does?

    • IBUSA March 10, 2023, 1:48 pm


      Unfortunately, we don’t offer any health insurance, so we wouldn’t know how to advise you in your search.

      That said, we wish you the best of luck in Vegas!


  • PAUL B. May 5, 2023, 7:39 am

    Dear Sir/Ma’am,

    Can we seek your assistance please?

    Our son (age 19) is doing a 30 day Rodeo/Bullriding Course in Texas in August. Can he get insurance/medical cover for this please and if so, how much would this cost? (We are UK citizens).

    Many thanks for your help – much appreciated. Regards, Paul Burns

    • IBUSA May 8, 2023, 6:36 am


      Your situation provides a few unique challenges for us. First, we only focus on life insurance policies here at IBUSA, so we wouldn’t have any experience helping people find medical insurance. Second, while it’s possible for foreign citizens to be able to qualify for life insurance within the United States, it’s often a complex drawn out process which given the fact that you’re looking for coverage to be in place by August would probably make that impossible too.

      Perhaps, the organizers of your son’s event might have a “group” or “participant” option you might consider.

      Thanks and good luck!


  • Just Jenn October 17, 2023, 8:20 pm

    Please help! My son is 19 and has been bull riding for about a year now. He’s never been seriously injured, just a few scratches. He goes through periods where he rides once or twice a week to then taking several weeks to months off when out of season for our area. I’m looking for something to cover final expenses in case of an accident in or out of the ring. Is this something you provide? Thanks!

    • IBUSA October 18, 2023, 9:43 am

      Dear Jenn,

      At the age of 19, it’s highly likely that any life insurance policy he selects will come at a relatively affordable cost. Our recommendation is to contact us, allowing us to assess his available options and help him discover a suitable fit.

      Thank you,


  • Susan G. November 15, 2023, 11:55 pm

    Hello. Do you provide coverage for junior rodeo competitors? Susan.

    • IBUSA November 16, 2023, 7:46 am


      Most of the insurance policies that we offer here are intended for those over the age of 18, so we probably wouldn’t be able to offer you something you’re looking for.



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