There are many risks that life insurance companies evaluate before they decide to provide a policy or deny coverage.
Even then they have to determine what premiums will be charged in the event that a policy is provided.
Not all risk factors are related to your health; in fact, your occupation could very well influence whether you receive coverage and how much that coverage costs.
Occupations that are considered hazardous are those which expose workers to conditions that are higher risk than most people such as anyone on the road for a long amount of time, loggers who could be killed by machines or falling trees, or people on boats who could be swept out to sea.
Most Dangerous Jobs according to Life Insurance Companies
There are many occupations considered dangerous by life insurance companies.
In addition to this list, there are dozens of other dangerous occupations that can increase your life insurance rates and limit your coverage options.
Here are some of the most dangerous jobs in the eyes of life insurance companies:
- Police Officers
- Garbage Collectors
- Truck Drivers
- Power Line Repairmen
This means people who work in the fishing industry.
It is considered to be one of the most dangerous occupations, with 131 out of every 100,000 people who die annually on the job.
Commercial fishing, fish farming, even fish processing can be considered as dangerous occupations by life insurance companies.
Loggers have a death rate of 97 people for every 100,000 every year and with many potential accidents in their line of work.
This is definitely a dangerous occupation that can raise some red flags on a life insurance application.
Aircraft pilots have about 69 deaths annually out of every 100,000 pilots.
However, when applying, life insurance companies want to know more, such as what planes are flown, whether the pilot is a commercial one or a private one, how often they fly, and where they fly.
For people who are commercial pilots, regular life insurance rates can usually be obtained, but for those who are recreational pilots, life insurance coverage may be a bit harder to find.
As a police officer, it may seem that you are not going to be able to get life insurance at an affordable rate due to your high risk job.
This could not be farther from the truth. Depending upon the department that you are engaged in every day, it is possible to get affordable coverage.
Law enforcement that works out in the public every day, put their lives on the line on a daily basis. This fact alone should make you want to be sure that you have the coverage that you need to protect your family if the worst were to happen.
Roofers face a death toll of 36 deaths per 100,000 people so life insurance companies will investigate the working conditions of the roofing activities.
Commercial Roofers, for example, face higher risks than residential roofers because they work on larger properties that are often higher up.
Garbage collectors have a lower death rate, but still, there are 33 deaths per every 100,000 people.
That is a death toll four times higher than firefighters. For that reason, extra fees may be in their future.
Farmers and ranchers have the same death toll as drivers: about 24 out of every 100,000 people.
So, they are considered a hazardous occupation and may get charged a standard premium category or face an extra fee.
Anyone who drives a truck or is an on-the-road sales worker is going to pay more as well.
People who drive on the road for a living have a much higher rate of death, roughly 24 people out of every 100,000.
The biggest issue with drivers is finding time to complete the medical exam, since drivers are often on the road and it can be impossible to know where the next destination will be until en route.
Power Line Installers/Repairmen
People who install and repair power lines run risk of electrocution or falling and 23 people per year die on the job.
This type of job is a higher risk position which is likely to earn you higher premiums.
Now, just because you work in these industries does not mean you are automatically denied.
There are many companies willing to work with high risk individuals.
Can I Be Denied Life Insurance Because of my Occupation?
If you have a high risk occupation, you will usually not be denied life insurance coverage but the company will add an occupational premium in the form of a flat rate. Most of the time this premium is an extra flat rate per $1,000 of coverage.
So, if you took out a $200,000 life insurance policy, the company in question might charge you an additional $2 per $1,000 of coverage resulting in an annual increase of $400.
However, the most high risk occupations may result in denial of coverage entirely, learn more about them here:
Hazardous Waste or Explosives Driver
Now, we talked about truck drivers being accepted, but there is a hitch.
Anyone who is a hazardous waste or explosives driver in particular, who actively transports explosives or hazardous waste is going to run the risk of denial.
High Rise Steel Worker/Smelter
Iron and steel workers have a death toll of 42 out of every 100,000 workers so obviously, the job is dangerous.
However, this title spans many occupations and could be a general factory worker or even a construction worker. A high rise steelworker/smelter could face rejection from normal life insurance policies (the term and permanent coverage) because of their job, especially if they are not 100% honest about their activities.
Some people are afraid that they will be denied coverage because of their job so they lie about their job title or their activities and when this is found out the companies will deny coverage because of the dishonesty more than anything.
Oil and Gas Drilling (Miscellaneous Extractor)
Anyone who works on an oil and gas operation, especially an offshore one, is going to face a harder time getting life insurance because there are more risks than most jobs.
Most high risk jobs like driving, come with one main risk: driving. Working on an offshore oil rig comes with the risk of explosions, fires, being swept out to sea, mechanical failures, and more.
What Can I Do if I am Denied Coverage Because of My Occupation?
If you are denied coverage because of your occupation, you have two alternatives:
No Exam Life Insurance Coverage
This is a form of life insurance without a medical exam.
If, for example, you are a smelter and you have an injury from a work-related accident, you might not want to disclose that injury.
If that is the case, you could complete a smaller application, typically 1 page in length, and just submit shorter answers to a non-invasive medical questionnaire.
Some companies will call you for a follow-up phone interview, but you won’t have to undergo a physical exam where blood and urine samples are taken.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Coverage
If you have a high risk occupation and you have otherwise been denied coverage, guaranteed issue life insurance is your remaining option.
As the name suggests, this is guaranteed which means the companies won’t say no—instead they will just offer you a lower death benefit (often no more than $50,000) and a higher premium.
Best Life Insurance Companies for People With Dangerous Occupations
There are hundreds of life insurance companies out there. These companies are some of the best life insurance companies for people with dangerous occupations.
While some of them may not be the best for your specific situation, for the most part, these companies are consistently among some of the highest rated life insurance companies in terms of financial ratings and customer satisfaction on top of their rich histories of claims paid out.
Best for smokers or pilots.
Prudential has an A+ rating from A.M. Best.
They are known for the third best rate class in the life insurance industry.
Best for fishermen and loggers.
Aetna has an A (excellent) rating from A.M. Best.
They are known for flexible premiums without additional flat rates for hazardous occupations.
Best for those who are denied coverage elsewhere.
AIG has an A (excellent) rating from A.M. Best.
They are best known for guaranteed issue policies that are affordable.
Best for all high risk occupations on this list.
Banner Life has an A+ rating from A.M. Best.
They are known for their accidental death riders included free of charge.
Best for guaranteed issue universal plans.
Protective has an A+ rating from A.M. Best.
They are known for some of the lowest rates on the market.
Finding Life Insurance with a Dangerous Job
Just because you have a dangerous job does not mean you are not entitled to affordable life insurance coverage.
Regardless of your occupation, there are life insurance policies out there that are meant to fit anyone.
Finding the best life insurance coverage with a dangerous occupation can feel overwhelming, but that is why we are here to help.
We strongly recommend comparing numerous life insurance rates from multiple companies to make sure you get the best rates possible.