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life insurance (yawn...)


Original Post
Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 50

I had a 10 year life insurance policy that is due to expire and the company wanted to increase the monthly rate 450%, so I am cancelling it and looking elsewhere.

Everyplace I have looked so far asks about rock climbing and either doesn't want to cover me or charges more. Anyone else out there have this problem? Any insurance agents on MP? 


aikibujin · · Castle Rock, CO · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 294

Are you a Costco member? I just got an e-mail ad from them on their life insurance product. I was going to looking into it when I have more time, maybe worth taking a look.

https://www.protective.com/costco/quote/

J. Albers · · Colorado · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,793
Jim Fox wrote:

I had a 10 year life insurance policy that is due to expire and the company wanted to increase the monthly rate 450%, so I am cancelling it and looking elsewhere.

Everyplace I have looked so far asks about rock climbing and either doesn't want to cover me or charges more. Anyone else out there have this problem? Any insurance agents on MP? 


I didn't have a problem, but using the same agent and companies, my brother did have a problem getting a policy about a year or so after I did. Not sure if something changed or if it was just that he is 5 years older. In my case, all the companies asked about climbing, but only a few charged noticeably more. In my brother's case they all charged a lot more. Painfully more. Good luck Jim.

Andrew Rose · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0
Matt B · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 64

Here's a weird situation: I got life insurance before I started climbing and locked in a 30-year rate (lucky me!), but does climbing now somehow get the company out of paying if I were to say, die in a climbing accident?

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 50
Matt Bentley wrote:

Here's a weird situation: I got life insurance before I started climbing and locked in a 30-year rate (lucky me!), but does climbing now somehow get the company out of paying if I were to say, die in a climbing accident?

I have wondered about that. Unless you died climbing, I don't know how they would ever know. If they don't ask, I guess you don't tell. Not sure if they would pay if you did die climbing.

However, not telling them if they ask would be fraud and, even though they would probably be none the wiser, would be a bad idea. 

J. Albers · · Colorado · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,793
Jim Fox wrote:

I have wondered about that. Unless you died climbing, I don't know how they would ever know. If they don't ask, I guess you don't tell. Not sure if they would pay if you did die climbing.

However, not telling them if they ask would be fraud and, even though they would probably be none the wiser, would be a bad idea. 

I think if you don't disclose that you are a climber and then die climbing, they most certainly will not cover you. That said, if you were not a climber when you signed up for the policy and then you started climbing some years later, I think that they still have to cover you. I believe that there is a time limit past which they cannot opt out based on new information (health, activity or otherwise). Maybe that time limit is like a year or two? I can't remember the specifics.

germsauce Epstein · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 55

I was part of a thread on this earlier- see if you can't find it in the archives.  USAA, which does all of my other insurance, denied me based on my very specific answers to their questions about my rock climbing activities, "what grade", "how high" etc...   I ended up with American Family Insurance, I think it's a decent rate for significant coverage.  It's the only solace I have to keep making my questionably unsafe decisions at this stage in life. 

Martin le Roux · · Superior, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 237
Matt Bentley wrote:


Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 50

The worst part is, I really don't climb much anymore but don't want to stop either. 

Much more likely to die doing activities of daily living (such as driving in Denver) vs. climbing anyway. 

Martin le Roux · · Superior, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 237
Jim Fox wrote:

I had a 10 year life insurance policy that is due to expire and the company wanted to increase the monthly rate 450%, so I am cancelling it and looking elsewhere.


Jim: At your age and mine that's unfortunately a fact of life (or death). Once you get above 50 mortality rates increase exponentially with increasing age (of course they're bounded above at 100%). You'll find that's reflected in almost every insurance company's premium rates. At least with your existing policy they're obliged to renew at guaranteed rates, regardless of your current health or participation in "extreme sports". If you want to change insurers you'll have go through the whole underwriting process, and at the end of it you may not end up with a better rate, even if they don't charge extra or deny coverage for climbing (and in my experience it's extremely difficult to find an insurer that doesn't).

If you have a job with a medium-sized or large company you may have access to a group life plan that doesn't charge extra for "extreme sports". But you'll probably still have to go through a medical exam.

If you haven't already done so, you should consider whether you still need the same amount of coverage you had in the past. Basically the point of life insurance is to replace lost future income that your dependents would otherwise have relied on. As you get older there's less future income to replace.


 

Matt B · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 64
J. Albers wrote:

I think if you don't disclose that you are a climber and then die climbing, they most certainly will not cover you. That said, if you were not a climber when you signed up for the policy and then you started climbing some years later, I think that they still have to cover you. I believe that there is a time limit past which they cannot opt out based on new information (health, activity or otherwise). Maybe that time limit is like a year or two? I can't remember the specifics.

Yup. That's what I figured. It was definitely a couple years after getting the policy that I took up the sport, and I answered everything truthfully at the time. Thankfully, they asked a few questions in a time-specific manner (i.e. do you plan on living overseas in the next 5-years), and I definitely wouldn't answer deceptively. I just lucked out in that I lived in west TN where rocks are pretty non-existent, so I got into climbing after moving to Boulder a few years later.

Side-note: west TN is mostly swamp or just plain flat. If anyone knows of any good rocks out there, let me know. It would be nice to be able to climb when I visit my family in the future. I don't even think Memphis has a rock gym...

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 50
Martin le Roux wrote:

Jim: At your age and mine that's unfortunately a fact of life (or death). Once you get above 50 mortality rates increase exponentially with increasing age (of course they're bounded above at 100%). You'll find that's reflected in almost every insurance company's premium rates. At least with your existing policy they're obliged to renew at guaranteed rates, regardless of your current health or participation in "extreme sports". If you want to change insurers you'll have go through the whole underwriting process, and at the end of it you may not end up with a better rate, even if they don't charge extra or deny coverage for climbing (and in my experience it's extremely difficult to find an insurer that doesn't).

If you have a job with a medium-sized or large company you may have access to a group life plan that doesn't charge extra for "extreme sports". But you'll probably still have to go through a medical exam.

If you haven't already done so, you should consider whether you still need the same amount of coverage you had in the past. Basically the point of life insurance is to replace lost future income that your dependents would otherwise have relied on. As you get older there's less future income to replace.


 

Good advice, thanks. 

I have quite a bit of life insurance through my employer. The term life that is about to expire is something I took out 20 years ago at a time when I had a child at home and still had a big house mortgage. I probably don't really need that additional coverage anymore and may just forget about renewing it. 

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
germsauce Epstein wrote:

I was part of a thread on this earlier- see if you can't find it in the archives.  USAA, which does all of my other insurance, denied me based on my very specific answers to their questions about my rock climbing activities, "what grade", "how high" etc...   I ended up with American Family Insurance, I think it's a decent rate for significant coverage.  It's the only solace I have to keep making my questionably unsafe decisions at this stage in life. 

Good to know, I do banking, auto and renters through USAA.  I'm amazed they get that detailed with your climbing activities.....

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240

Just remember you started climbing yesterday and you will be fine.

If your friends know better you didn't die climbing you slipped while hiking outdoors.

brianszero · · southampton, new jersey · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 5

I bought a term policy about 20 years ago and I had already been climbing for 5 years and they got pretty detailed as far as, how many days a year, how high, high altitude ect..) I believe I pay roughly $200 per year for that clause.  Once you already have a policy you can start pretty much any activity after the fact. Scuba diving, flying a plane ect is even more painful. Just remember that if an insurance company is on the hook to pay a large claim then they will for sure investigate so they don't have . 

It may make you think twice when you think back to that spring break trip you got "resort scuba certified" to dive on and paid with your credit card..

Jim Fox. I bought my policy to give some protection for my wife and kids to get them through their college years and to cover what mortgage I may have left. I have 5 years left on my policy and only one of my 2 kids will still have a year or so left and my house will be close to being paid off. I don't really see much benefit to paying high premiums later in life and banking on them paying off. The rates over 50 or 60 are so high you are better off just saving that money and guarantee that you can use it later. 

SeƱor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Christopher Smith wrote:

Good to know, I do banking, auto and renters through USAA.  I'm amazed they get that detailed with your climbing activities.....

For all the reasons that USAA is a great insurance pool for things like renters and auto insurance it's probably a bad one for life insurance. 

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240

Climbing up a cliff, base jumping off the top and landing in a lake with scuba gear... sometimes follow up with small 10-15ft waterfalls with kayaking is not good for getting issuance?

PatMas · · Tulsa, OK · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

I had to answer how many vertical feet I climb per year for life insurance once. Interestingly enough they didn’t care about the fact that I ride a motorcycle and occasionally drag race motorcycles. I’ve had way more close calls on the bikes!

Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 50
brianszero wrote:

I bought a term policy about 20 years ago and I had already been climbing for 5 years and they got pretty detailed as far as, how many days a year, how high, high altitude ect..) I believe I pay roughly $200 per year for that clause.  Once you already have a policy you can start pretty much any activity after the fact. Scuba diving, flying a plane ect is even more painful. Just remember that if an insurance company is on the hook to pay a large claim then they will for sure investigate so they don't have . 

It may make you think twice when you think back to that spring break trip you got "resort scuba certified" to dive on and paid with your credit card..

Jim Fox. I bought my policy to give some protection for my wife and kids to get them through their college years and to cover what mortgage I may have left. I have 5 years left on my policy and only one of my 2 kids will still have a year or so left and my house will be close to being paid off. I don't really see much benefit to paying high premiums later in life and banking on them paying off. The rates over 50 or 60 are so high you are better off just saving that money and guarantee that you can use it later. 

Thanks. I agree. My mortgage is almost paid off, my son is grown and I still have life insurance through work, so probably will let the renewal drop. 

I was paying $170 a month for past 10 years and it would increase to $821 a month if I did renew with the same company (not happening). Interestingly, I did get a quote for $137 a month for a 10 year term policy with another "name brand" insurance company but they aren't sure about the climbing thing yet. 

Probably will do nothing. Don't guess I need that much insurance any more.  

Doug Hemken · · Madison, WI · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 5,699
Jim Fox wrote:

Good advice, thanks. 

I have quite a bit of life insurance through my employer. The term life that is about to expire is something I took out 20 years ago at a time when I had a child at home and still had a big house mortgage. I probably don't really need that additional coverage anymore and may just forget about renewing it. 

Once I figured out my wife didn't need the money, we dropped my self-funded life insurance.

Insurance is a bet, and one that you hope you'll lose.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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