High risk life insurance

Ever wondered how much James Bond’s life insurance would cost him? Chances are, his premiums would be astronomical – but he’s probably too busy having fun to worry about it and besides, Miss Moneypenny would sort it all out anyway. But when it comes to us mere mortals sorting out our own life insurance – when does ‘high risk life insurance’ apply and what does it actually mean? 

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Life insurance – the basics

Let’s be blunt – life insurance pays out when you die, helping to ensure that your loved ones are financially taken care of should the worst happen to you. Like most other types of insurance, life insurance is all about risk. So the greater the chance of something happening (in this case, death) then the higher your premiums are likely to be.


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What is high risk life insurance?

Sadly, there’s no way to sugar coat it – some of us are at a higher risk of passing away earlier than others and life insurance providers need to work out who, because the price of your premium is based on how likely it is that a claim will be made.

So high risk insurance applies to those of us who are, well, at a higher risk of popping our clogs. And it’s not just James Bond types who might fall into the ‘high risk’ category; there are some surprising factors that you might not have even considered:

  • Your overall health – you’d expect this to come up in any discussion about life insurance. Providers will want to know how old you are, how much you weigh, whether you smoke and how much you drink. So if you, smoke more than you can count on your two hands, and drink until you can’t remember your name, then it’s more than likely you’d be classed as ‘high risk’.
  • Your medical history – if you’ve had a history of illness, for example if you’ve ever been diagnosed with cancer then you could be considered at higher risk of developing it again. It could also be excluded from your policy which means that if you died from cancer, there wouldn’t be a payout.
  • Your family’s health history – the health of your family can also determine whether you fall into the high risk group. If there’s a history of heart disease, then in the eyes of your insurance provider, that could pose a health hazard to you too.
  • Your job – for some of us, the most dangerous thing that could happen at work is getting a paper cut. For others, who put their lives on the frontline, the chances of a fatality are sadly much greater. These include firefighters; the police; or anyone who serves in the armed forces. But it’s not just whether you’re paid to do something risky – if you volunteer to do something like crewing a lifeboat, then you’d be equally ‘high risk’.
  • Your hobbies – if you’re not content to spot trains and just can’t get enough of skydiving, pot holing, mountain climbing or bungee jumping, then be prepared to pay more than your average stamp collector (or philatelist if we’re living on the wild side).
  • Where you live – where you live could put you in the ‘high risk insurance’ category and that’s because some areas are considered more dangerous than others.

How can I reduce risk and get cheaper premiums?

It’s simple – if you smoke, stop. Even if you smoke e-cigarettes, you could be classed as a smoker. This may sound unfair but technically, it still contains nicotine so as far as insurance providers are concerned, you’re still a smoker. If you drink alcohol, it’s not about cutting it out altogether; it’s about drinking in moderation and staying well within recommended guidelines.

Plus, there are all the other lifestyle changes that you could make to show that you’re aiming for longevity. So think about taking a bit more exercise (just 30 minutes a day is what most adults need ) and don’t give in to temptation when it comes to naughty food. You know how it goes: “a moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips” and potentially a greater burden on your wallet – so try to restrain yourself.

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Finding life insurance

You want to protect the people you care about, but you can’t be there to look after them forever and whilst no one’s saying that money can ever replace you, it can at least offer some financial stability at a tough time.

So regardless of how risky your lifestyle is, you can find out more about life insurance with our simples guides. Whether you have an existing condition like diabetes or want advice because you’ve just become a parent, at comparethemarket.com, we’re want to help.

We should point out though, that any life insurance prices you see on our site will be based on someone with standard health conditions. If you want to get an accurate quote or discuss potential options in more detail and make sure you have the right level of cover, give our friendly team at LifeSearch a call: 0800 072 1147 (Mon-Fri: 8am – 8pm Sat: 9am – 2:30pm)

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