If you’re looking to cross skydiving off your bucket list or maybe pursue a skydiving license, you’ve probably considered the risks associated with jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. You may also have wondered if skydiving is covered by life insurance or liability, and if you might need to purchase skydiving accident insurance. Here’s how skydiving can impact your ability to retain life insurance and how to prepare if a life insurance policy purchase is in your future!
The decision to obtain insurance for skydiving is a personal one. Unlike some activities that mandate insurance coverage, skydiving does not require it – especially for tandem jumpers. Skydiving centers do not typically provide insurance and because of that, you will be required to sign a release waiver before making your jump. So, while it is not required, some frequent skydivers may opt to get life insurance. It all depends on the jumper’s personal preference and risk tolerance.
Check with your carrier — your insurance may cover you if there is no exclusion for skydiving! Insurance providers differ in their approach to high-risk activities, with some offering coverage tailored to adventurous pursuits. Many standard life insurance policies exclude skydiving and won’t cover deaths related to extreme or high-risk sports.
When purchasing a life insurance policy, you will usually fill out a questionnaire that asks about your lifestyle and which high-risk sports you participate in. From there, the carrier will decide if the policy excludes payout if you die as a result of partaking in one of these extreme activities.
If you are an avid skydiver or contemplating taking up the sport of skydiving, exploring insurance options might be an interest to you. Start by researching insurance carriers and their policies. Some insurance companies specialize in covering high-risk activities, including skydiving. Seek out carriers that understand the unique risks and safety protocols associated with skydiving and can provide comprehensive coverage options.
Your life insurance premiums are based on your risk assessment profile, so engaging in skydiving as a hobby may raise the price of your policy. Insurance companies assess the risks associated with various activities that you partake in, and skydiving is often perceived as a higher-risk sport.
If you are a frequent jumper, your premiums could increase significantly to offset the higher risk. When shopping for life insurance, always be upfront and honest about the activities you partake in so that your insurance agent can find the best coverage for you. Before committing to a policy, carefully review the terms and conditions and pay close attention to any exclusions or limitations related to skydiving.
Coverage for skydiving accidents is typically addressed in specialized insurance policies. Skydivers are recommended to seek out smaller, independent insurance companies that are more likely to offer insurance that is specifically designed for skydiving, i.e. ones that will not void the life insurance cover. Typically, skydiving accident insurance will only cover you during a jump, but it may also include disability or personal liability benefits if something goes wrong during the skydive. These types of policies are typically offered at a lower cost than those of traditional life insurance.
You also have the option to purchase a normal life insurance policy that does not include skydiving, and then add an “accidental death and dismemberment” plan to cover you. Depending on the insurance carrier, it can be offered as a standalone policy or bought as an addition to a traditional life insurance policy. Some travel insurance policies may be suitable for recreational skydivers, as they are designed to protect you from incurring financial risk on a trip and those who plan to participate in extreme activities.
In 2022, the United States Parachute Association (USPA) recorded 20 fatal skydiving accidents out of 3.9 million recorded jumps – that is 0.51 fatalities per 100,000 jumps. Tandem skydiving has even better odds with one student fatality per 500,000 jumps on average over the last decade.
Since skydiving record-keeping began back in the 60s, skydiving safety statistics have consistently improved. This is due to improved parachute technology; skydiving safety seminars like the United States Parachute Association (USPA) Safety Day annually held at dropzones all over the world; strict licenses/certification processes; training standards; and the prevalence of USPA Group Member skydiving centers (like us!) who are required to follow strict safety rules and regulations.
In the unfortunate event of a skydiving accident, determining liability depends on the circumstances surrounding the incident. Skydiving accidents may involve operator errors, hard openings, participant interference, or equipment malfunctions. More commonly, skydiving accidents are attributed to landing problems like intentional low turns performed by sport jumpers. Individual USPA membership includes coverage through third-party liability insurance.
When shopping around for skydiving accident insurance, it’s important to recognize that insurance companies assess risks differently, which can significantly impact your coverage options and premiums. For those engaging in extreme sports such as skydiving (or SCUBA diving, ice climbing, mountain biking, etc.), we suggest comparing policies from multiple insurers. This allows individuals to find a plan that offers the best coverage for their lifestyle at a competitive price. However, obtaining life insurance for skydiving is a personal choice that aligns best with your needs. Do your assessments; evaluate your risk tolerance, research insurance options, and make an informed decision that considers both your passion for thrill and safeguarding your financial future.
With all this being said – we’re pros at skydiving, not insurance! If you have any questions about getting skydiving life insurance or how skydiving can affect your life insurance policy, reach out to an insurance company. Now, if you have skydiving-related questions or inquiries about our dropzone – we got you! Hit us up at Skydive Monroe and we would be happy to assist you. Blue skies!