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In This Article I’m Going To Describe The Process Of Applying And Getting Approved For Life Insurance If You’re An Amateur Athlete Or A Professional Athlete
Regardless of whether you are a high school athlete, collegiate athlete, or professional league athlete, most likely you’re here today because you’re not sure what factors you need to consider before starting the process of getting life insurance coverage.
You probably also want to make sure you know what your options are for life insurance so that you can ascertain the best overall value and don’t end up paying more than you necessarily have to.
In This Article, We’re Going To Talk Specifically About A Number Of Factors Including:
- Things Life Insurance Companies Consider When Determining Your Insurability As An Amateur Or Professional Athlete
- Types Of Life Insurance Coverage Available To Both Amateur And Professional Athletes
- Flat Extras And How They Affect Your Premium
- Strategies To Increase Your Approval Chances
Different factors that all life insurance underwriters consider before making a decision on your application
Amateur versus pro
Your level of competitiveness and your athletic endeavor has some measure of significance as to whether you may or may not be approved for life insurance coverage. For example, underwriters are aware more often than not, injuries and issues occur more frequently as the athlete gets older as well as environments get more competitive.
It is more likely, especially in a more high impact sport or with professional leagues, there will be more stringency imposed by the life insurance company when determining your eligibility for life insurance coverage. Whereas if you are an amateur competitor and compete as a hobby rather than a full time profession, you may experience less stringency than you would if you’re a professional athlete.
Either way, it’s important that you work with a broker to figure out which companies will provide the most flexibility.
Level of impact
Regardless if you are an amateur or a professional, it’s important to understand all sports aren’t equal. For example, sports car racing has a higher degree of injury and thus is considered a riskier sport.
Contrast golf with football. It’s clear that amateur professional golf players are going to experience less trauma to the head, body, and brain than either an amateur or professional football player. Therefore, the level of hand to hand contact and impact that you experienced in your sport will affect how an underwriter decides to rate your level of insureability.
Body mass index
Your body mass index matters regardless of the fact that you are an athlete or not. If you are in a sport which requires more muscularity and strength, you may have a higher BMI but not necessarily be overweight or obese.
Therefore, it’s important to work with an insurance agent that can clearly and coherently explain to the life insurance underwriter your particular circumstance. Otherwise, if the underwriter looks clearly at your height and weight and makes a determination on your body mass index, they may determine you are overweight and may unfairly give you a higher premium due to what is perceived to be a higher risk factor.
It’s important to work with a broker who understands that BMI is not the end all, be all. It’s just one point in a collection of points to consider in life insurance eligibility.
Type of sport
The type of sport you play has a direct impact on whether or not you’ll be eligible for coverage. The less risk there is to bodily injury and trauma, the less likely you’re going to experience flat extra rate ups or be rated up higher than a normal non athletic person in the majority of the population.
The riskier the sport becomes, the more impact that’s involved, the higher risk of death, injury, illness, disease or disability, the higher likelihood insurance underwriters are going to associate and include higher premiums.
Supplement use does have somewhat of an impact on your eligibility for life insurance coverage. Many people who are athletes, both amateur and professional, will take supplementary nutritional products to enhance their performance.
Supplements may include whey proteins, amino acids, creatine as well as illegal supplements like steroids, human growth hormones, IGF and so on. Regardless of what kind of supplemental product you use, be fully transparent during the application process in disclosing your usage.
Your underwriter needs to know all the details associated with your health, whether your supplements are prescribed to you or not. So make sure that you list anything you take when filling out your life insurance application.
Your current health
As with all life insurance applications, your current health has a direct impact on your eligibility for life insurance coverage. Life insurance underwriters will ask pro and amateur athletes a collection of health history questions to collect relevant health information. This helps them not only determine if they want to insure you, but also the ultimate price that you’ll pay.
Common questions asked include:
Do you have a history of…
- Heart problems
- Kidney problems
- Liver problems
- Neurological problems
- Lung problems
- Mental health issues unique to sports
You’ll also be asked if you have health issues related to…
- Orthopedic problems
- Head trauma
These questions give a clearer picture of your health overall, as well as your lifestyle.
In addition to your health, other factors of your lifestyle will be graded in an attempt to determine your insurability as a professional or amateur athlete. When underwriters discuss lifestyle questions, what they’re usually pertaining to are things like whether or not you smoke, use legal or illegal drugs, whether prescribed or not, your credit history, as well as your driving history.
- Do you have DUIs?
- Do you have a criminal record?
- Do you have misdemeanors? How frequent have those been within the last several years?
- Do you smoke? How long have you smoked? What do you smoke?
- What drugs do you take? What frequency do you take drugs?
All of these questions will determine the insureability outcome. And again, it’s much easier to get an insurance decision by being forthright and honest than it is to try to cover up the truth and not be transparent.
It could end disastrously if the insurance company discovers you were not honest or withheld information during the application process. This could result in the end of coverage or coverage not paying out when needed most. So please be honest in this process because it ultimately gives you the best outcome.
What types of life insurance are available to amateur and professional athletes?
In this section I’ll briefly discuss life insurance options for amateur and professional athletes, regardless of the kind of sport they participate in or the degree of contact they experience.
Term insurance is the most popular form of life insurance coverage. It’s the least expensive, costing 5 to 10 times less than permanent life insurance. It also provides the most coverage per dollar.
Term insurance is most commonly purchased because it’s affordable and is used to cover the more common reasons why people own life insurance, which include:
- Income replacement
- Providing a legacy for surviving family members
- A temporary obligation such as a short term mortgage
Term insurance has its downsides. The rates typically go through the roof at the end of the term, which only lasts 10, 20 or 30 years on average. And if you outlive the term, but still need insurance, this puts you in a difficult position financially.
With that said, term insurance still is the most popular form of life insurance coverage simply because it is the least expensive option for a set period of time.
Term Life Insurance Coverage – 10 Year Term – $100,000 in Coverage
Term Life Insurance Coverage – 10 year Term – $250,000 in Coverage
Term Life Insurance Coverage – 10 year Term – $500,000 in Coverage
Term Life Insurance Coverage – 10 year Term – $1,000,000 in Coverage
Permanent insurance usually includes whole life insurance and some forms of universal life insurance coverage. Permanent life insurance is designed to never cancelled due to age or health as long as the premiums are paid.
Permanent life insurance plans usually are used for estate planning or they’re used to pay for final expenses such as funding for a burial or cremation. Most commonly, people who purchase permanent plans are people with large resources that need estate tax provisions and funding, or those who have very low income sources that need to pay for burial expenses, but don’t have savings to accommodate for final expenses.
Rates For $10,000 In Burial Insurance
Rates For $25,000 In Burial Insurance
$150,000 Whole Life Insurance, Life Pay
$250,000 Whole Life Insurance, Life Pay
I mentioned this earlier while describing what to expect to pay for your life insurance coverage.
As an athlete, assuming you are in a riskier type of sport, you are going to be classified most likely with some sort of additional flat extra. A flat extra is essentially an additional fee added to your premium.
Let me give you an example:
Let’s say you qualify for $500,000 in life insurance coverage and your yearly premium is a $1,000. However, because you participate in a high risk athletic endeavor, the life insurance underwriter has determined that you qualify for a flat extra rating, which means in this example, for every $1,000 in life insurance coverage, you must pay an additional $1.
If you do the math this means you will pay an extra $500 on top of your established premium. So in total, your yearly cost will be $1,500.
Flat extras can range from several dollars up to higher amounts, depending upon the risk factors the underwriters have determined.
Keep in mind that this is something you may experience, but what you pay will ultimately is come down to a combination of risk factors including:
- What sport you participate in
- The level of impact experienced
- Your health
- Your lifestyle
- And other factors
Strategies to increase the odds of an approval outcome for an amateur or professional athlete
Before we finish up, I want to share a couple of great strategies insurance agents use to better serve clients like you with a better overall life insurance package.
Exams – should you take them?
I’m a big believer in exams, especially for professional and amateur athletes. The reason is fairly simple. The more up-to-date information you can provide a life insurance company, the better chances you have of being accepted and getting a cheaper premium.
If you’re in healthy shape, the likelihood of you getting a very good rating is much higher than if you were to opt for a non-medical process of getting life insurance, which typically requires a much higher premium.
Typically a professional or amateur athlete isn’t suffering from major health issues, so it makes sense for you to go for this money saving option.
Make sure your life insurance agent writes a detailed cover letter with your application
Cover letters are really important to include with your life insurance application. Why? Because the underwriting process is still a human endeavor. By that I mean an underwriter looks over your application to determine whether or not the application is going to be approved, rated up or declined.
The underwriter operates based off of the examination results as well as the questions you answer on the application that you complete with your life insurance agent. But going off of the set questions and answers, this is still limited information and sometimes more of an explanation is needed to account for things like a high BMI.
An individual can have a high BMI because of their muscular design, but still be in perfect shape. That’s something we’ll want to know in a cover sheet. A good agent will also take time to explain:
- What their client does for a living
- Whether they’re an amateur or professional
- The type and degree of contact
- And any other factors that would play a role in determining insurance
Many, many insurance underwriters will also agree that agents who provide cover letters are more likely to get their policies approved at a much better rate.
Work with a broker
Whether you’re a professional or amateur, it’s really important that you don’t work with a one trick pony agent. By that I mean an agent that works for only one company.
Since you’re profession most likely puts you in a category of higher risk, and thus a higher premium, you want to shop around for the best deal. The only way to do this is through a broker who has access to a number of insurance companies and is able to find the best coverage for the lowest price.
Brokers like us here at Buy Life Insurance for Burial work with the most competitive carriers that give us access to different ranges of underwriting decisions based on people’s health, occupations and professions, including athletic endeavors. So give us a call at (888) 626-0439 or send us a message here on our site so we can help you get quality life insurance coverage.