Can I take out Life Insurance if I have a Risky Profession?

life insurance for risky profession

Some professions are generally riskier in nature than other typical jobs. The daring and courageous people often pursue careers full of adventure. Where it pays off in the form of better salaries, it can be a hassle in other life factors.

People who pursue risky jobs include Special Services military, firefighters, oil rig personnel, under-cover cops, private pilots, and professional WWE athletes , and many more! While their life has glory and personal gratification, with highest salaries, it becomes very hard for them to become eligible for buying adequate life insurance.

Life insurance is not an accessory and buying suitable types is made mandatory by law in many US states, currently. The people with risky occupations have difficulty getting insured due to their unpredictable life expectancy.

When anyone applies for life insurance, they undergo a medical exam and an underwriting process. When the insurer agency underwrites their application and sees any of the above mentioned high-risk occupations, they hesitate in application approval.

The greater the life expectancy of an applicant, the better it is for the insurer to insure him. And the lesser the life expectancy, the less are his years of stable life, so the premiums of risky job personnel are very expensive, mostly. Can I take out Life Insurance if I pursue a risky-job? Some might ask! Sure, you can but expect least coverage and highest premiums.

Also Read: Can Someone Take Out a Life Insurance Policy on Me Without My Knowledge?

Unfortunately, any high-risk occupant usually has to pay premiums that are 25%-200% higher than the premiums that any normal healthy non-smoker of that age would be paying for a similar coverage policy.

  1. What are the high-risk jobs?
  2. What types of life insurance is most suitable for people with risky professions?
  3. What does Table Rating or substandard mean?
  4. What are the Best life insurance firms for High-Risk job professionals?

What are the High-Risk Jobs?

Some of the truly risky professions for which the life insurance agencies cost significantly more are:

Active Duty Military

The people who pursue active military duty especially if they’re at an undisclosed area or outside the US. The militants working in special forces, rangers, marine force recon, marine raiders, delta force, MEALS, or in US air force Para-rescuers, who endanger their lives on a daily basis are considered risky job personnel. Life insurance companies find it hard to insure them with standard policies.


The Chief Executive Officer or Chief Financial Officer of any multinational is generally considered as a person with a high-risk job. On the surface, this job seems harmless but since he runs the whole organization, obviously he has to make many international travel plans every week. These frequent flyers keep traveling across the globe 24/7. Due to their frequent visits outside the US, insurers are hesitant to offer them typical life insurance policies.

Commercial Pilots and Private Pilots

Commercial pilots are also considered as high-risk applicants due to frequent use of aircrafts. They are asked a lot of questions during the application and underwriting process. The insurer company asks if the applicant pilot flies internationally, recreationally or domestically. Based on the answers, his premium amounts are decided.

Delivery Drivers

A driver’s job is harmless and can easily get insured with typical rates for everyone else. But if the delivery driver transports hazardous substances or toxic masses, as a part of his job; he would be considered as a high-risk applicant by any life insurance firm. He would have to answer many different questions and would usually end up paying higher premiums than normal too.


If the dentist turns out to be a military missionary; then he would be considered as a high-risk life insurance applicant and would be dealt with accordingly. For typical, run-of-a-mill dentists, the same rules apply as for any non-risk professional would!


If you practice scuba diving for fun on vacations, it will not affect your application status with the life insurance agency. But if you are a Scuba Rescuer and save people’s lives as an occupation, it’d be a completely different story. You’d be a high-risk applicant with volatile or shifty life expectancy. Therefore, you’d end up with lesser coverage and very high premiums.


Only doctors related to the military, posted at undisclosed locations, military missionaries are considered high-risk applicants in the eyes of the life insurance agencies. These people will be liable for more expensive life insurance too.

Ranchers and Farm Workers

A normal farmer is not a high-risk job pursuer but a farmer at hemp is a high risk. Due to the illegal nature of marijuana, any such rancher or farmer would be going for a high-risk life insurance policy.

Firefighters and First Responders

Fire fighters pursue the most courageous career saving lives of so many people. But the firefighters and first responders who have to jump smoke and fire as a part of their duty frequently would be high-risk life insurance applicants, too.


Only very successful lawyers who are frequent flyers and spend a lot of time outside the US would be considered as high-risk life insurance applicants.

Oil Rig Workers

It is potentially very dangerous to work on the oil rig; it pays off awesome stipends but it is a truly high-risk job. Oil rigs are full of dangerous machinery, hazardous gasses and poisonous chemicals. Any minor mistake of one person can set off a giant fire which can result in mass casualties. The oil rig personnel are also charged way more for premiums and get smaller life insurance coverage in the US.

Police Officers

Cops who do parking duty or administrative tasks usually get life insurance easily. But the under-cover cops or members of the SWAT team are included in the high-risk applicant category. They can buy life insurance after a long and tedious life insurance underwriting process. They are also liable to pay large premiums.

Professional Athletes

Where the professional golf player would easily buy life insurance on steady premiums, a professional athlete of MMA or WWE might have to undergo a tedious process. After answering a series of unusual questions related to their job, they can land an insurance policy for life, but with very expensive premiums on a monthly basis.


Ones working for military or outside US consultants will find it difficult to get easily insured with a life insurance policy.


What types of life insurance is most suitable for people with risky professions?

Term Life

They can choose a term life specified for a certain time period ranging from 10-30 years. Their premiums would be on the higher side compared to non-smoker healthier people with normal safe day jobs. But they can afford the premiums and get insured for the specified term. The death benefit payout would be substantial enough in size to cater to the financial needs of their dependents after their demise.

However, if you outlive the term of a term life policy, you’re not liable to receive any death benefit. You can get a refund on the premiums you paid with an interest amount, if you chose the ROP Returns on Premiums Term Life policy to insure yourself with.

Whole Life

This is a value component permanent life insurance form. It is stable and steady and it lasts for a lifetime. It relieves you of the stress of expiring. It has a huge death benefit and an accrued cash value component in it. Cash value gets larger over decades due to the interest of 3%-10% applied on it. Since you pursue a high-risk job, you’re entitled to pay very high premiums already. Premiums amount also goes to cash value in a certain percentage every month.

Though always remember! That the monthly premiums for any permanent life insurance policy are already 10-15 times higher than the temporary term life, with the same policy coverage value.

Guaranteed Acceptance

Guaranteed acceptance can account for burial insurance of any and every person. It forgoes a medical exam or health question. Usually has a small coverage of $10,000-$40,000. Accounts for the final funeral and burial costs of any person after his death.  It comes with a 2 years’ waiting period and offers graded death benefits. It accepts all applications, terminally ill patients and high risk professionals, though you have to be 45 years or older, in age.

What does Table Rating or substandard mean?

There are certain parameters on which any life insurance agency rates your application. If you have a truly risky job and have a highly volatile life expectancy, you fall in the category of “sub-standard”. It is also known as “Table Rating”. This puts you in a position to get charged much more for the premiums every month and you get small coverage.

Table ratings include people with lower life expectancy than standard; for example, a person with a BMI body mass index more than 39, people with terminal illness, serious disease patients, people with high-risk jobs etc.  

What are the Best life insurance firms for High-Risk job professionals?

  1. Best overall: Prudential
  2. Best for high risk occupations: Transamerica
  3. Most affordable: Protective
  4. Best Guaranteed Acceptance: Mutual of Omaha