22 March 2013 0 Comments

Avocation, Occupation, Aviation

risky lifestylesWhat do you do in your off-time?  What do you do full-time?  Do you do any or none of this while in the skies?

In addition to your health, these are questions that need to be answered and will have a bearing on the premium you are charged for life insurance.  I’ll discuss some specifics regarding what affect your avocation of mountain climbing, occupation as a steeplejack, or piloting an airplane will have upon the premium you pay for life insurance.  But, first some general tips with regard to how to present these activities to the insurance company and  your agent.

First, be honest with how you answer questions asked by the agent and in the completion of an application for life insurance.  Second, don’t volunteer information that could be detrimental and listen very carefully to questions on the application before you answer.  For example, do not begin a conversation with an agent by saying, “I’m thinking about racing speedboats.  What affect will that have on my life insurance premium?”  Instead, apply for the policy and wait for the questions that are asked pertaining to these activities.  That application is likely to ask whether you have had any such activity in the past 5 years or whether you contemplate or plan to partake in such activities in the future.  Answering about past activities is quite simple:  it is what it is.  The reference to future activity might be very subjective.  Your future involvement in hazardous activities may have only been private thoughts you bounced around during your morning shower.  If so, then do not offer those Walter Mitty dreams as a “yes” answer.  On the other hand, if you have enrolled in a course in speed boating or flying, the answer must be “yes.”

Don’t ask the agent for an interpretation of the question.  If in doubt, read it again and then answer.  Just be aware that a misrepresentation could cause the death benefit to be rescinded during the first two policy years for death from any cause, even if it had nothing to do with the activity that was concealed.  Once your current and future involvement has been established, paint the picture in as positive light as possible and be sure your agent has shopped the case with the most competitive companies dealing with your avocation, occupation or aviation activities.  Underwriting decisions will range from “preferred” to “decline” with an array of extra charges of $2.50 to $25.00 per thousand in between.

And that’s where we go next…specific charges for particular avocation, occupation and aviation activity. 

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