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Term Life and Lifestyle Changes

What if you do pick up skydiving?

As you're going through the term life insurance application, you'll notice lots of questions that have to do with certain dangerous hobbies such as skydiving or scuba diving.  Now you may thing these are no more dangerous than driving a car (and you might be right) but the life insurance carriers tend to be more of the conservative and bow-tie wearing sort so they're apt to disagree.  in fact, all kinds of things can change in life such as starting to smoke or just falling into bad health.  Some things we can't control while others, we can.  What happens say if we adopt a "dangerous" past-time after submitting a term life insurance and even being approved?  Good question.  Let's take a look and be conservative in our take on it to protect you.

Let's take a fictitious Bob as an example.  Bob's in good health and does not have any extravagant hobbies.  He applies for and is approved with term life insurance at the best tier since he's in perfect health.  Five years later, he goes through a mid-life crisis after losing some hair and he aggressively takes on the sport of skydiving.  He's flinging himself out of planes every weekend in a bid to push back Father time.  So how does his new hobby and the resulting shoulder tattoo affect his term life insurance eligibility?  Can the carrier cancel his coverage now that he's adopted skydiving as a passion?  All good questions.

For first point of advice is this.  Answer the questions honestly and completely at the time of underwriting for your term life insurance policy.  In Bob's case, he had no intention of skydiving when going through the underwriting policy.  He could honestly say "no" to those questions.  This is different of course from intending to skydive and just not putting it on the application.  Again, to protect yourself, answer honestly up front.  It's penny wise and pound foolish to save on term life premium by hiding information and then not having the policy pay out because you hid information on the application.  That doesn't make any sense and yet it  happens all the time.  Don't give the life insurance carriers a way not to pay by concealing information.  Back to our situation with Bob, he didn't not skydive at the time of completing the application so he was honest in saying no.  The fact that he took up the sport 5 years later does not change that fact as the life insurance carrier was able to underwrite based on correct information at the time of application.  What about if something happens when he is skydiving?

This is tricky and to some extent, you want to be conservative.  The carrier might pay out according to the benefits providing you were honest on the application.  They will probably check to see if you have actually been skydiving all along.  To be very conservative, assume that they not pay out for the skydiving situation.  They might but if I were a betting man, there is probably a clause which offsets paying benefits for extreme or dangerous activities somewhere deep in the policy.  If anything, you may have to fight for payment of a claim resulting from skydiving or like-minded activities.  Again, the key concern is to be accurate on the application and during the underwriting process. 



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