The 5 hobbies that make insurers hate you

Updated: 

base jumping

You might think that your hobbies make you an interesting and rounded human being. However, life insurers aren't interested in your personal growth, they just want to know whether you're likely to die from your down time. It means that there are a number of hobbies which could add a big chunk to your life insurance premiums - or could stop you getting cover altogether.

So which hobbies do insurers like the least, and why?


The National Centre for Health Statistics in the US calculates your chances of dying from popular hobbies, and while it puts the risk of death from running or swimming at 1 in a million, other hobbies score significantly higher.

Base Jumping

It's not going to come as a huge shock to anyone that this is exceptionally risky. However, it may come as a shock to realise that your risk of dying while base jumping is one in 60.

Unsurprisingly life insurance companies hate base jumping. They hate everything about it - from the fact it's likely to get you killed to the fact that's illegal. As a result, Lloyds of London has blacklisted it and you cannot get cover.

Hang gliding

Your chances of dying while you're out hang gliding are one in 560. It's not really particularly surprising that insurers will run a mile when you disclose your hobby. Typically they will ether exclude cover for the time you're hanging from a small pole mid-air, or they will charge you roughly five times as much for your cover.

Motorsports

If you race anything from cars to motorcycles, then your insurer will consider you a major risk. You should be fine if it's a one-off (and you tell them in advance). However, once it becomes a hobby they will tend to add a specific charge to cover the racing. The additional premiums will depend on the type of racing you are doing - the vehicle and the speeds. Typically this will triple your cover, but it can cost you up to £1,500 more each year for cover. Perhaps this shouldn't be such a surprise, given that your risk of dying while racing motorcycles is 1 in 1,000.

Mountain Climbing

Insurers may not be too worried if you get roped up and climb the wall in your leisure centre every-so-often. However, if you climb alone, without a safety harness or very high up, then your insurer is going to get stressed. It's hardly surprising really: the risk of dying from the sport is 1 in 1,750 each year.

You will find plenty of insurers who will cover you for no extra cost. However, they will exclude climbing from the cover. If you want to be covered when you're clinging to a rock face, you can expect spend anything from five to ten times more than standard cover.

Diving

Your risk of death when scuba diving is 1 in 34,000 which makes it three times more risky than sky diving. Anything from equipment failure to coming up too quickly can mean your premature demise.

Most insurers will exclude cover for the time you are diving. However, it's not uninsurable. The extra cost will depend on how deep you are diving and your previous experience. If you go below 150 feet you won't usually find anyone to cover you. If you dive to about 100 feet you can expect to pay around £400 a year more for £100,000 worth of cover.

Help yourself

These sorts of figures may seem like a big price to pay for cover. However, if you insist on taking part in a sport which has a reasonable chance of killing you each time you go out, you can't really blame insurers for taking a dim view of it.

For every activity there are steps you can take to reduce your risks, and your insurance premiums. You should start with a specialist broker or insurer who can hunt down the best deal for you. Then you should consider things like taking professional courses and qualifications, using the right equipment, keeping details of your experience, and cutting down the frequency with which you take part in the sport: they're are all useful ways to get a discount on your premium