Dangerous Professions and Health Conditions that Increase Life Insurance Premiums

dangerous professions

If you have a dangerous profession, don’t be too shocked when your life insurance quote is higher than expected. Anything that puts you at an increased risk of dying early means there’s a higher chance that your insurance company will need to pay the death benefit.

And they don’t want that. 

Life insurance companies make money off people surrendering their policy. As well as letting their policy lapse when their dependents grow up. If you die early, this is less likely to happen. 88% of universal life insurance policies don’t terminate with a death benefit. Insurance companies are basically dodging death benefits whenever they can. 

So, life insurance companies screen their applicants for dangerous jobs. Or health conditions that are more likely to lead to a death benefit being paid.


What Jobs Do Life Insurance Companies Look For?  

Different companies have different underwriting guidelines. Your profession will affect your premium at one company differently than it will at another. So shop around if you’re in any of these dangerous professions. 


People Who Work at Heights

  • Roofer
  • Electrical powerline installer
  • Construction worker
  • Tree surgeon



  • Commercial or private pilot
  • Helicopter 


Emergency Personnel 

  • Police
  • Ambulance driver
  • Firefighter 
  • EMT


Working Underground

  • Miner


Armed Forces

  • Army
  • Navy
  • Air Force


These are the big red flags for insurance companies but there are plenty of other jobs that could raise your premiums as well. For example a security officer in a dangerous location or an athlete in a rough sport. 


Health Conditions That Increase Life Insurance Premiums

A person’s health will increase their life insurance premiums even more than their dangerous profession will. For obvious reasons, most life insurance plans will require you to have an examination of your physical health and your family’s history of disease before receiving coverage.  

Almost any health condition can increase your life insurance premiums. Still, there are some that will impact those premiums the most. 


Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one killer in the world. Ischaemic heart disease is responsible for 16% of the world’s total deaths. Consequently, this is the condition that will raise your premiums the most. Even if you only have a history of heart disease, that’s enough to raise your premiums.


Cancer is the number two killer in the U.S. after heart disease. Any history of cancer will be noted by the examiner and will likely lead to higher premiums. Although the type of cancer you have/had will determine to what extent. As well as the treatment you received. Some minor cases of skin lesions may not affect your premiums at all.  



There are two types of diabetes. People with type I diabetes that developed in childhood will have much higher rates. They may even have a hard time finding an insurance company to insure them at all. Adult-onset type II diabetes who control their condition with diet or medication will have an easier time finding lower rates. 



Obesity is a risk factor for many diseases so your weight will be taken into consideration when determining your premiums. However like with dangerous professions, the extent which your premiums will be affected will vary based on the company. So shop around for different quotes.


High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure significantly increases your chances of developing heart disease or stroke. So even if you don’t have heart disease or any family history of it, you may have this preliminary condition.

High Cholesterol

If your levels of LDL cholesterol are too high, it will build up in the walls of your arteries. This narrows the arteries and decreases blood flow. Ultimately raising your chances of developing a blood clot.

Pulmonary Disease or Respiratory Concerns

Conditions affecting the lungs will lead to higher costs of insurance. Cystic fibrosis, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis are only some of the lung conditions companies will look out for. Even lifelong asthma can raise your premiums.


Preparing To Apply For Life Insurance Coverage

Of course, you can’t change a chronic diagnosis but there are some conditions that raise your premiums that you can do something about. For example, if you know you’re going to want life insurance in the near future you may want to spend some time working on your health. That way you can lower your cholesterol and high blood pressure (if they’re high). 

Eating a healthy diet and making exercise a priority will do wonders for your blood pressure and cholesterol. Your health at the time of your application will determine the premiums you are paying for the entire time you are covered (in most cases). 

There are a lot of factors that go into determining why your premiums are high. Whether you’re looking into getting insurance or getting rid of the insurance you already have, the conversation with your family can be difficult. 

Changing or Getting Rid of Your Life Insurance

If your health has improved since you first applied for coverage, you may be able to lower your premiums. Similarly, if you’re no longer involved with one of the previously mentioned dangerous professions, you may be able to change your premium. 

If you’re looking to get rid of your life insurance policy altogether, consider a life settlement before you allow your policy to lapse or expire. Any of these health conditions will give you an easier time obtaining a life settlement if you do decide to sell your policy

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