Hazardous Activity

DEFINITION of 'Hazardous Activity'

A recreational pursuit that a life or disability insurance policy considers high risk. Hazardous activities include scuba diving, BASE jumping, hang gliding, race car driving, flying a plane, horseback riding, bungee jumping, parasailing, off-roading and more. If one of your hobbies falls under an insurance company’s definition of a hazardous activity, you may not be able to get life or disability insurance, or you may have to pay a higher premium because the insurer considers you high risk. Another possibility is that the insurer will issue a policy, but it will exclude the hazardous activities from coverage. This exclusion means that if you become disabled or die while, say, bungee jumping, the policy will not pay, but if you become disabled or die because of a car accident, the policy will pay.

BREAKING DOWN 'Hazardous Activity'

If you’re tempted to omit a hazardous hobby on your insurance application in order to secure approval, be aware that insurance companies might find out about your hobbies through other means during the underwriting process, such as through reviewing your medical records and noting injuries sustained from hazardous activities, and may deny your application. Worse, if they don’t find out and issue your policy, they could later deny a claim if you die from a hazardous activity that you partake in regularly and didn’t disclose on your application. If you want coverage and can’t get approved because of your hobby or can’t afford the higher premiums, you may need to find a new, nonhazardous activity to occupy your free time. However, occasional participation in a hazardous activity, such as going scuba diving for the first time on a vacation, will not classify you as a high-risk applicant.

Having a hazardous job can also make getting life and disability insurance more difficult. If you are an underground miner, construction worker, offshore oil rig worker, offshore fisherman or lumberman, your occupation will likely classify you as high risk because hazardous activities are part of your daily life. While your employer might offer some insurance coverage, it might not be enough to fully protect your family.