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How Your Job Can Affect Your Life Insurance Rates

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This content has been reviewed by an experienced licensed SelectQuote life insurance agent to ensure accuracy. Learn more about our editorial standards.
by Ryan Kiedrowski last reviewed August 2022
A construction worker works his job on site after he learned his high-risk job may impact his life insurance rates

There are several factors that affect life insurance premiums, such as driving history, hobbies, finances, and criminal record. The underwriting process evaluates the risk of insuring you based on both your initial life insurance application and a medical exam.

In addition to health factors and age, did you know your job plays a part in determining your life insurance premiums, too? For some high risk professions, finding affordable life insurance can be difficult. Learn how high risk professions can have a direct impact on life insurance rates. 

Why does my job impact my life insurance rates?

The answer is the risk your job poses. An office worker in a business park in the suburbs deals with significantly less risk to their health and safety than a coal miner, construction worker or soldier. If your job typically requires a heavy amount of protective gear or places you in close proximity to dangerous equipment, higher insurance premiums or rates are extremely likely.

Depending on the type of work you do and the protection required to do it, insurance companies may charge you life insurance rates with additional fees. For some high-risk occupations, life insurance carriers may assign you a “table rating.” They may even charge substandard rates that are significantly higher than the lowest health rating. In some cases, companies may choose to decline you for life insurance altogether.

Your risk may be elevated even if you don’t have a dangerous occupation. Some underwriters may look at employees who frequently travel for work and note the increased risk of being involved in a car accident.

High-Risk Jobs that Have the Highest Life Insurance Rates

Jobs that are considered high-risk and may impact your life insurance rates include:

  • Law enforcement
  • Fishing industry
  • Construction workers
  • Mining and quarry workers
  • Oil and natural gas
  • Electric powerline construction or maintenance
  • Aviation jobs
  • Bartenders
  • Firefighters
  • Lumber workers
  • Active military members

Employment in these industries does not mean you’ll automatically be denied a life insurance policy. You may just be subject to higher premiums. If there are any concerns about your job, your insurance agent might ask more clarifying questions about what you do, where you perform your work and other specifics.

In addition to your life insurance premiums, your high risk career can impact the insurance riders that are available to you. For example, many risky careers automatically make you ineligible for a disability income rider which pays monthly benefits if you’re injured and can’t work. Most insurance companies won’t offer it to people who face a high chance of being disabled in the course of their work.

It’s important to be fully honest and transparent about your job, its risks, and your responsibilities. Lying about your job, hobbies, health, and other factors could impact you being approved for the policy or how the death benefit is paid out to your loved ones. 

How does my income impact my life insurance rates?

Your income won’t play into health classifications or premium rates, but it does impact the total amount of insurance coverage you’re eligible for. Some insurers may require minimum household incomes to qualify for coverage. In addition, a lower approved amount of coverage will decrease your life insurance premiums.

How to Reduce Life Insurance Costs if You Have a High-Risk Job

People in high risk occupations who want to save money on life insurance costs should consider the following:

  • Shop for term life insurance: Term life insurance is one of the most affordable types of life insurance, especially since you only buy it for as long as you need it. If your high risk job situation isn’t permanent, you could shop for a shorter term policy and reevaluate your options down the road.
  • Take group life insurance through your employer when possible: While group life insurance doesn’t typically offer the same level of protection that a personal term life insurance or permanent life insurance policy would, it can reduce your overall coverage needs. 
  • Re-shop if you change jobs or your job duties change: You can always go through the underwriting process again. Even though life insurance typically becomes more expensive as you get older, you could still see a significant decrease in premiums due to leaving your dangerous job.
  • Pay your premiums annually: Oftentimes insurers will offer an additional discount if you choose to pay your premiums on an annual basis instead of monthly. This can sometimes result in savings as high as 5%. 
  • Comparison shop with SelectQuote: By working with SelectQuote, we can shop multiple trusted life insurance companies at once to give you a better picture of what your options for coverage are. 

Secure Life Insurance Coverage with SelectQuote

High-risk jobs make shopping for life insurance a more complicated affair, it is still possible to find affordable coverage. If you’re looking for a way to compare life insurance rates but don’t have the time to commit to shopping around, we can help.At SelectQuote, our licensed insurance agents can save you time and money by comparing prices and coverage from some of the most trusted insurance companies in just minutes.

We do the shopping. You do the saving.