Does my job affect my life insurance?
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Last updated: 23/07/2020 | Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes
When applying for life insurance an insurer will consider a variety of factors to assess how likely it is that you will be making a claim. One of the variables will be the type of job you have. Certain professions will carry a higher risk than others and when an insurer is putting together a policy, they will take this into account. It’s not always easy to work out exactly how your job will affect your policy, so we have put together a quick guide to give you an idea of what to expect.
Exactly what qualifies as a dangerous job and what does not is left slightly open to interpretation but there are obviously some roles which will leap out at an insurer as carrying a particularly high risk. For example, if you work in a 9-5 office job then you will be deemed less likely to have occupational hazards and therefore considered as safer. Conversely, if you are a rescue worker, someone who will be dealing predominantly with dangerous situations you will be seen as a higher risk for insurers.
One factor that will be taken into account is the amount that someone travels for their work. If you are in a role that forces you to be on the road a lot then an insurer will factor this in as it greatly increases the chances of you being in an accident. There are also certain factors that although will not classify your role as particularly risky, may be taken into consideration such as stress and how a job may affect you in the long term. If you work in a high-pressure job with long hours, then this could be seen to affect your health in a less obvious way than working as a bomb diffuser. Although criteria will change depending on who you speak to, a general rule is that the more elements a job contains that could increase the chances of causing harm to yourself, the more likely an insurer will classify you as being in a risky job.
This will be down to the insurer as the way that each company calculates risk will be slightly different from the next one. There will be some that use government statistics and then make decisions based on that whereas others will calculate risk through studies that they have conducted which means they will have differing results. Exactly how much more you will pay will be calculated on a number of factors such as the risk of personal harm, the number of hours you work as well as things like your age or any pre-existing health conditions that could be exacerbated by any negative effects that you would face as a result of your profession. Essentially if you work in a job that could increase the chances of death to the holder then you will end up paying more for your policy.
In some instances, your job may prevent you from being able to take out a life insurance policy altogether. If you are in the army facing combat, this obviously holds a very high risk of exposure to dangerous situations and many insurers will refuse to issue you a standard policy altogether. A job with a high risk of fatalities will face similar difficulties as insurers will not be willing to take the risk. You may want to have a look at specialised policies which only deal with those in such high-risk professions. Similarly, if you have a terminal illness, you will be hard put to take out a life insurance policy.
While insurers would not classify a job that benefits your health in the same way as one that could cause harm to it, they may factor in side-effects of your job when drawing up your policy. If you are a personal trainer, for example, a role that requires a high level of fitness, then an insurer may consider you as less of a risk and therefore offer you a better rate on your premium.
The simplest response to this would be to get a job that doesn’t carry any danger, but for many people, this simply will not be an option. Some factors though will be in your control, reducing the amount you travel or the hours that you work could have a positive impact on how much your policy costs. Working for a company that has a good level of health and safety standards may also come into play, if a certain construction company is known as having a disproportionately high level of accidents then an insurer could see this as a red flag.
When it comes to trying to save money on your life insurance one important thing to remember is to include all the details of your work when applying. Although it may seem like omitting small details may result in a better deal for yourself, an insurer will void a policy in the case of a claim if they find out about any details left out that they believe are pertinent.