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How do I get life insurance with a risky occupation?

LifeSearch author Katie Crook-Davies
3 min read

by Katie Crook-Davies, Protection Writer

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Katie works with insurers and distributors to make protection propositions more accessible, pricing more transparent and marketing messages more simple.See author bio

Guide last reviewed 10 Oct 2023

Do you consider your job to be high-risk? Sometimes, what insurers would call a riskier occupation is very different to what we would all generally consider to be high-risk, particularly when looking at different types of insurance product. Luckily, in our experience, there are rough rules that most insurers follow, which we’ve explained here.


How do insurers decide if an occupation is high-risk?

An insurer would say that an occupation, or job, is high-risk if it is in some way hazardous and would increase your chances of claiming on an insurance policy. 

Jobs that insurers often think of as high-risk include mine workers, railway workers, soldiers, pilots, policemen and firemen.

Wondering whether your job is high-risk? Our advisers can help. Give us a call on 0800 316 7253 for a chat about your work and what that means for your life insurance options.

Can I get life insurance if I have a risky occupation?

Yes. Luckily insurers will cover most occupations for life insurance, and will even charge their standard prices for many jobs. There are some roles, however, that insurers will charge more for. If an occupation is considered particularly dangerous, chances of claiming on life insurance increase and therefore an insurer may charge higher premiums.

Can I get critical illness insurance if I have a risky occupation?

If you have a risky job you will probably be able to purchase critical illness insurance, but with a specific exclusion for your occupation. This means that if you were to develop a serious illness as a result of your job, you wouldn’t be able to claim for it on your critical illness insurance policy.

Certain professions are linked with increased risks of serious health conditions, so insurers will disallow or exclude claims resulting specifically from the job. All other claims will be covered as normal.

Can I get income protection insurance if I have a risky occupation?

Income protection insurance replaces your income if you become ill, or have an accident, and are unable to work. This product is probably the most surprising product when it comes to risky professions. That’s because jobs that are considered high-risk for life insurance and critical illness insurance, may not be considered high-risk for income protection insurance, and vice versa. 

If you think about it, the types of illness and injury that can result in time off work are different for different types of job. If you sprain your ankle, for example, you will still be able to sit at an office desk typing away, but if your job involves being on your feet all day, then a sprained ankle might prove problematic. Doctors are often considered a higher risk occupation for income protection insurance because something as simple as a hand injury could mean that they’re unable to operate on patients, and therefore won’t be able to work.

It’s for this reason that income protection insurance has the strictest rules around occupations. Certain jobs will only be covered by some forms of income protection insurance, and the costs of cover can vary greatly from one insurer to the next.

Explore insurance options for your line of work with an expert adviser

If you’d like to protect your earnings but are worried about getting cover because of your job our advisers can talk through your options to find the best product for you.

Get fee-free advice & quotes
LifeSearch author Katie Crook-Davies
Katie Crook-Davies Protection Writer
Katie is an independent insurance consultant who is passionate about protection and wants to share that passion with others through engaging marketing content. She hopes that one day people will get as excited about protecting themselves and their loved ones, as she does!
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