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JZickler

Life insurance for a climber??

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My wife an I are expecting and I'm looking into life insurance options. I'm begining to realize that insurance co. don't offer affordable rates for climbers. I'm sure some of you have been through this before - any beta?

 

Many thanks,

 

Jeff

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Did the same thing last year. Had a lot of people scoff at it, but bottom line is, if I eat it, I want my wife to be taken care of.

 

Through my insurance company, they said if I don't climb for a calendar year, the added clause gets removed and lowers the price substantially. I can then climb after that, and it won't affect the premium. I figure it'll happen sometime.

 

I do know that American Alpine Club has a partner that offers life insurance. I never looked at rates, because I saw it right after I signed my policy. I'd say check that out, and perhaps other folks have some ideas.

Edited by xhen

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I read thru my State Farm Policy and didn't see anything that excluded climbing related deaths. Suicide, war, etc. weren't covered, but climbing wasn't listed. Rates were very reasonable.

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I read thru my State Farm Policy and didn't see anything that excluded climbing related deaths. Suicide, war, etc. weren't covered, but climbing wasn't listed. Rates were very reasonable.

 

Should add I have State Farm too. And i'm covered if I take a whipper and deck or if I eat it in a crevasse or avvy.

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Huh. I never ran into any trouble. I have pretty large life & disability policies (through my current employer) and neither of them care about climbing -- I asked specifically. And when I was insurance hunting, I looked at 3 or 4 different companies (I can't remember whom, but definitely State Farm was one of them) and none of them cared at all about climbing, either -- I asked, specifically. Strangely, nearly all of them had exclusions for piloting a small airplane, though.

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Yup, State Farm here too, and no cares about climbing, SCUBA, sailing, etc. As rob mentions, they do frown upon the private pilot thing.

 

Also, I carry additional LI/AD&D through my employer, and also a large policy through my professional organization (American Society of Civil Engineers) that has no limits except suicide, and that restriction was dropped after two years. The ASCE policy is dirt-cheap by comparison to the SF policy. I highly recommend looking into your occupation's representative organization (if you have one) to see if they offer a "member's benefit" of reduced-premium LI. Best thing I ever did re: looking out for the fam was to get that policy.

 

And my employer just upped my LI by a factor of 5 for going to AFG. I've got so much LI on me right now I'm worth 10X dead as compared to what I'm worth alive. :laf:

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y'all with State Farm - did you get your policy *after* you had been climbing? If so, how long has it been since you've had your policy?

 

I've started to look, and the best I can tell, restrictions eclipse after the policy has been in effect for 2 years. BUT, if you climb, and you don't declare it, and you die climbing within those first 2 years, I suspect that there would would difficulty making a claim.

 

It also appears that State Farm makes a distinction between rock climbing and mountain climbing. Although I don't think they know enough to ask it specifically, if you die on a glacier within the first 2 years (and you don't declare mountain climbing as an activity), *and* they can prove you had in the past done some glacier travel (ie, mountain climbing), it seems like there would be problems making a claim.

 

Has anyone else run into this, or is it just me b/c I opened my big mouth? (fortunately, I just asked over the phone. no applications have been filed)

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y'all with State Farm - did you get your policy *after* you had been climbing? If so, how long has it been since you've had your policy?
Yes. I've had my SF LI for 10+ years. I've been with SF for 25+ years for other policies (auto, renter's, homeowner's, personal articles, etc.).

 

I've started to look, and the best I can tell, restrictions eclipse after the policy has been in effect for 2 years. BUT, if you climb, and you don't declare it, and you die climbing within those first 2 years, I suspect that there would would difficulty making a claim.
Yes, true with SF. Not true with my MetLife policy thru ASCE. Only exclusion was suicide, and that dropped after 2 years, as I said in my first post above.

 

It also appears that State Farm makes a distinction between rock climbing and mountain climbing. Although I don't think they know enough to ask it specifically, if you die on a glacier within the first 2 years (and you don't declare mountain climbing as an activity), *and* they can prove you had in the past done some glacier travel (ie, mountain climbing), it seems like there would be problems making a claim.
Not sure I remember if there was a difference identified. In either case, if you don't declare it and you die before the exclusion drops, your NOK will find it difficult to press a claim to fruition.

 

Has anyone else run into this, or is it just me b/c I opened my big mouth? (fortunately, I just asked over the phone. no applications have been filed)
No, it's not just you. I opened my mouth too, cuz I wanted to be sure the wife (at the time) and the kids (still to this day) would derive a benefit in the event of my early demise.

 

It is my contention that attempting to deceive an insurance provider by refusing to disclose certain information relating to your active participation in an activity that is, in the event of your death while engaging in that same activity, readily discovered and/or corroborated, is foolhardy, pound-foolish, and stupid. Insurance companies are much more adept at tricking you than you are at tricking them. Be honest, tell the truth, and don't die in the first 2 years. That's all there is to it. Just sayin'...

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y'all with State Farm - did you get your policy *after* you had been climbing? If so, how long has it been since you've had your policy?

 

I've started to look, and the best I can tell, restrictions eclipse after the policy has been in effect for 2 years. BUT, if you climb, and you don't declare it, and you die climbing within those first 2 years, I suspect that there would would difficulty making a claim.

 

It also appears that State Farm makes a distinction between rock climbing and mountain climbing. Although I don't think they know enough to ask it specifically, if you die on a glacier within the first 2 years (and you don't declare mountain climbing as an activity), *and* they can prove you had in the past done some glacier travel (ie, mountain climbing), it seems like there would be problems making a claim.

 

Has anyone else run into this, or is it just me b/c I opened my big mouth? (fortunately, I just asked over the phone. no applications have been filed)

 

State Farm, after climbing. They asked me an inordinate amount of questions, and I made the gal asking ask her manager a few clarifying questions. Asked about gear and crap. They do differentiate between rock and mountain. The only thing that it made different was the cost. My premium is insane compared to my wifes. But I've already told her, if she eats it, I'm going on a climbing trip with my brother to mourn.

 

They didn't mention restrictions eclipsing after two years, but they did say if I don't climb for a calendar year (Which may happen in the future), I can get it removed. Then if I climb after, I'm still fine. I guess. When that time comes, I'm going to make sure my ass is still covered if i finally punch the ticket.

 

I'm with sobo. Declare it, be honest, otherwise they will screw you when you really don't want to be screwed.

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State Farm here. I'm surprise I'm the first to spray about my "Elite Preferred" status. (It was my good blood) I had been climbing for 15 years when I got it. I specifically asked "if I die climbing, does my wife get paid?" Answer, as long as you not doing anything stupid and adjuster wouldn't raise any stink. So, no free soloing I guess.

 

Also I went with state farm because they have by far the best "pay out" on claims. Worth extra coin as far as i'm concerened.

Edited by luvshaker

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I'd say it might be more important to invest in disability insurance than life insurance.

 

I figure that your wife will be sad but she will get over it if you bite it on a climb. She will have a chance to move on. If you merely suffer a brain injury and she has to care for you for the rest of your life she will not have that option.

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I'd been climbing for 20+ years when I got my State Farm insurance. They asked some questions about climbing. I answered them truthfully. (said I mountain climb and rock climb, etc.) They didn't charge me extra.

 

It may help that I bought a lot of insurance from them and I told them I'd take my business somewhere else if they denied me or had some sort of climbing exclusion. (I have $2 million in life, auto, home, and a $3 million umbrella.)

 

My disability is through work. It's a group policy with no exclusions.

Edited by KaiLarson

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i put an ice-tool through my forehead the day before my 1st life insurance inspector came around to inspect my skin-suit only to find my fine, crisp stitches - shit, i said, i just hit meself in the head w/ a hammer (not even a white-lie!), what can ya do? for reasons i've still not understood, they turned me down :grin: they said somethign about climbing above 14,000 feet being unkosher, pointing to my denali climb the summer before. fuck'em.

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I'd say it might be more important to invest in disability insurance than life insurance.

 

I figure that your wife will be sad but she will get over it if you bite it on a climb. She will have a chance to move on. If you merely suffer a brain injury and she has to care for you for the rest of your life she will not have that option.

 

Interesting point Matt. I have a small policy through work, but probably can't hurt to reinforce the disability.

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The insuance company has a year from the policy effective date to find out if you are a climber, amateur pilot or any other dangerous profession/hobby. After that time, all of your "dangerous" hobbies are covered. So if you can answer NO to those questions with a straight face and clean conscience you'll probably be ok.

 

 

Life insurance is fine, it covers the boob job and bass boat your wife will need to attract a new father for your kids but I'd focus more on Disability insurance. If you get hurt can your wife lift you onto the tiolet and wipe your butt? Will she be able to in ten years? Will she want to?

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I need just enough disability insurance to pay for my physician-assisted suicide.

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I've got so much LI on me right now I'm worth 10X dead as compared to what I'm worth alive. :laf:

 

Paul, will you marry me?

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Huh. I never ran into any trouble. I have pretty large life & disability policies (through my current employer) and neither of them care about climbing -- I asked specifically. And when I was insurance hunting, I looked at 3 or 4 different companies (I can't remember whom, but definitely State Farm was one of them) and none of them cared at all about climbing, either -- I asked, specifically. Strangely, nearly all of them had exclusions for piloting a small airplane, though.

 

May be you are lucky. There are many insurance companies they are specific on climbing. And hey, exclusions for piloting makes sense as its a kinda risky job.

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y'all with State Farm

 

Anyone who has spent an evening around a campfire with Sobo would come to a quick conclusion that you are high f**king risk.

 

If there was someway to freesolo whilst driving 80 through a snowstorm in an Afgan bombing range, you know who would be the poster child for that endevour.

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Just because you can get insurance doesn't mean they will pay out on the policy. Check out the company with Consumer Reports, the BBB, etc. I found this out the hard way. My insurance policy through work refused to pay out on my disability claim, as well as a colleague's. (He had multiple myeoloma cancer and needed two bone marrow transplants.) I spoke with a lawyer who said the insurance company was one of the worst ones out there and they had built their entire practice around suing them.

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Don't lie on your application. There's a two year incontestability clause with most companies that will not pay if anything happens to you during that period. But when it comes to paying out, you can trust the life insurance companies to be hawks about things like this. What a PP mentioned before is a worthy option; mention that you are a climber, and ask if you can have a one/two year period during which you'll sacrifice the climbing. You can also choose to do this on your own prior to the application. Even though life insurance rates are prohibitively high for climbers, there are many workarounds, like group life insurance through an employer, smaller cover amounts, creating exclusions that prevent the company from paying a death benefit if something happens to you on an expedition, or a community organization like one a PP mentioned before. Good luck!

 

Pat Cassidy

Disclaimer: I work for AccuQuote and this is my personal opinion.

 

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I bought a $500k 20 year term policy a few years back from New York Life. They asked a lot of questions about climbing, which I answered truthfully. They said the only way I'd ever get a non-climber rate from them is if I signed that I'd gotten rid of all my gear. The policy is expensive (about $90/month) compared to the non-climber version. I've been considering adding another policy that doesn't cover climbing-related incidents. Reading through this thread though, it's probably wiser to put the money into long term disability.

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The insuance company has a year from the policy effective date to find out if you are a climber, amateur pilot or any other dangerous profession/hobby. After that time, all of your "dangerous" hobbies are covered. So if you can answer NO to those questions with a straight face and clean conscience you'll probably be ok.

 

This is NOT true. They have 2 (two) years in which to uncover any misrepresentations. This is true in WA as well as OR. Should you die during that two-year period and the insurer uncovers any misrepresentations, your beneficiaries receive nothing.

 

When I bought my policy, I told them the truth: that I 'was' a climber but had stopped climbing. The specific language the insurance company used was 'roped' climbing (apparently unroped climbing was cool). After two years I started climbing again, albeit sporadically.

 

Think long and hard about what you say when applying for life insurance. If you are turned down, or make any misrepresentations that result in being turned down, you go into a database that other companies check when you apply elsewhere.

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