Extreme Sports

If you participate in sky diving, motocross, kite surfing or mixed martial arts, we can help find you cover and make sure you and your family are protected if something should happen to you!

While regular sports such as cricket, football, Australian Rules, Netball and Basketball are usually protected, extreme sports are generally assessed on a case by case basis.

These sports may include:

  • Sky Diving
  • Motor Racing
  • Kite Surfing
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Scuba Diving at certain depths
  • Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
  • Other

Our guide will take you through:

  1. Why should you be protected?
  2. Types of Cover Available
  3. The statistics
  4. Finding an Insurance Company – How Life Insurance Direct can help you
  5. What information you need to provide
  6. Why do you need to provide this information
  7. What are your cover options
  8. Non-extreme sports

Why should you be protected?

Extreme sports represent some of the riskiest sports one can participate in and unlike regular sports such as football, rugby, Australia Rules or cricket, the likelihood of serious injury or death is greatly increased.

By protecting yourself from the risk of injury, severe trauma or even death, you can have peace of mind knowing you are financially protected while participating in your favourite sport.

Types of Cover Available:

  • Life Insurance is generally available for those who participate in extreme sports, with insurers applying either standard rates, a loading o an exclusion.
  • Trauma or Critical Illness insurance is available for up to 60 critical illnesses
  • Total and Permanent Cover is available however there may be some exclusions
  • Certain extreme sports may be excluded from total and permanent disablement cover
  • Income Protection is available however there may be some exclusions

The statistics:

An increase in participation has led to a greater understanding of the sports by life insurers, allowing them to offer more favourable cover:

  • It is estimated that around 150 million people participate in action or extreme sports world wide
  • There are 990 skateboard parks in Australia, with an estimated two being built per week since 2005.
  • The membership of the Australian Kite Surfing Association has quadrupled between 2002-03 and 2010-11, increasing from 519 to 2130
  • The number of scuba diving certificates issued worldwide has increased from 48,000 in 1970 to 19 million in 2010
  • The ‘X’ Games was founded in 1995 and featured 27 events. In 1997 the Winter ‘X’ Games was founded and watched by 38,000 spectators. In 2011, the Winter ‘X’ Games were watched by over 39 million people and were attended by over 114,000 spectators.

Injury Statistics:

The increased participation has also led to a greater prevalence of injuries occurring in Adventure Sports:

  • Injuries in extreme sports have increased by 10% each year 2001 – 2007 highlighting the dangers of participation
  • Off-road motor sports accounting for the highest rate of major head trauma and death with a rate of 118.9 per 100,000 participants per year.

Finding an Insurance Company – How Life Insurance Direct can help you

We have extensive knowledge of not only extreme sports but of the life insurance industry and will work with you to find the best possible cover.

As not all life insurers will provide cover for your particular extreme sport, the access we have to the major insurers provides us with a greater level of flexibility in finding you cover.

What information do you need to provide?

When going through your life insurance application, you will need to provide information specific to your sport in order for us to find cover for you, in addition to the regular life insurance information.

Standard Life Insurance Information

Extreme Sports Questions

Height

The type of extreme sport you participate in

Weight

Your level of experience and training

Age

Certificates and licenses you have

Gender

Any affiliations or memberships of clubs or associations

Smoking Status

Locations of participation

Level of Cover

Number of times participating in sport per year

State

Any participation in competitions, exhibitions or record attempts

Any other relevant information such as engine size, diving depths etc

Why do you need to provide this information?

By providing information that is specific to the extreme sport you participate in, life insurers can provide more accurate quotes comparisons and make better decisions about whether or not they want to insure you.

In addition by providing us with all the relevant information, we can better negotiate cover for you thanks to our extensive experience.

What are my cover options?

While most sports are generally accepted at standard rates, extreme sports are generally handled on a case by case basis.

Cover options:

1) Full cover at standard rates:

The best possible outcome for you, life insurance companies may offer full cover at standard rates. Whether or not they choose to insure you on standard rates will depend on:

  • How often you participate in the sport
  • Your experience
  • Where you are participating in the sport
  • The level of risk of the extreme sport

We will always work with you and the insurance companies to try and get you standard.

2) Premium Loading (Higher premium to cover the higher risk)

Insurance companies may apply a percentage loading to your premium so that you can continue to participate in your sport and maintain your cover.

A general percentage loading may be 25% – 300%. If a 50% loading is applied, this means that if your annual premium is $1,000, the loading applied would be $500, making your total annual premium $1,500.

Loading will be applied if the company is willing to cover you but deems the extreme sport you participate in as particularly high risk and puts in place a loading to reflect this.

While your cover may cost a little bit more expensive, the positive is that you can be covered while participating in the activity.

3) Exclusion

Insurers may apply, or you may accept, an exclusion on your policy for your particular sport. This means that you policy will be accepted at standard rates but you will not be covered for death or injuries that result from participating in that sport or in activities related to that particular sport.

Insurers may apply an exclusion if they deem the extreme sport you participate in too risky. Exclusions may be reviewable every 12 months and we will always work with you and our life insurance partners to avoid exclusions if you want cover.

4) Dollar per mill premium (higher premium/$1,000 of cover)

A dollar per mill premium is when a dollar amount (generally between $2 and $15) is applied to your base premium for every $1,000 worth of life cover you have.

For example if you have $1 million worth of life cover and you have a $3/mill loading applied to your policy, you will pay an extra $3,000 in annual premiums on top of your standard premiums.

Example:

Level of Cover $1,000,000
Dollar per mill loading $3.00
Annual Loading Amount $3,000 (3×1000)
Base Annual Premium $1,000
Total Annual Premium with Loading $4,000

*Please note that a dollar per mill loading may not be applied in all circumstances and it will depend on how often you participate in your chosen sport each year, your level of experience and a number of other factors.

Non-extreme Sports

In most cases it is possible to take out cover at standard rates if you participate in non-extreme or action sports such as football, cricket, basketball, netball and rugby.

Please note cover is generally only provided if you are not participating in the sport as a professional.

You may also like:

Our Life Insurance Guides
Guide to Pre-Existing Conditions
Calculating your level of cover

Published: October 2, 2013

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