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Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs Life Insurance Companies Hate

Researcher & Writer
April 07, 2020

Chances are if you reading this, you probably have a pretty dangerous occupation or at least know someone who does. The reality is, hazardous occupations have a direct effect on getting life insurance.

In fact, many of you reading this article may have already been told that you can’t qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy simply because of the type of work that you do. For this reason, we put this article together so that we can help those who are having a difficult time finding the right life insurance policy for their family simply because of what they do for a living.

The 2 main topics that will be discussed in this article about life insurance and high risk occupations are:

  1. The 10 most dangerous jobs life insurance companies hate and why!
  2. Two types of life insurance policies that should be considered for those with dangerous occupations. Specifically: Fully Underwritten Term Life Insurance policies vs Simplified Issue Life Insurance policies.

With that said, let’s dive right into it!

Top 10 Most Dangerous Occupations That Life Insurance Companies Hate!

The following occupations will place you in the high risk life insurance category.

1.  Fishing Industry

Number one on our list of life insurance high risk occupations is the fishing industry. Now one only need watch about 30 seconds of the hit show Deadliest Catch to realize that crab fishing in the Bering Sea is a pretty dangerous job.   

In addition, it should be noted that not all of the individuals that die while working in the commercial fishing industry are on boats.  After all, there are many different occupations within the fishing industry as a whole, occupations such as fish farming and fish processing, which can also be quite dangerous.

For this reason, it’s essential that anyone working, even remotely in what could be described as part of the fishing industry as a whole, speak first to a licensed life insurance agent, with access to dozens of different life insurance comapnies so that they can be sure to get the best deal.

Call today: 888-234-8376

2.  Loggers

Well I guess it could be said that if the Discovery Channel has decided to do a show about your line of work, you’re probably going to have a difficult time buying life insurance.

3.  Aircraft pilots

Number three on our life insurance with dangerous jobs list is the inclusive category of pilots. When it comes to discussing aircraft pilots you really have a mixed bag.  

Yeah sure, someone who flies a commercial airliner would be considered an aircraft pilot, but how about someone who flies:

  • A private plane?
  • A blimp?
  • A hot air balloon?
  • A hang glider?
  • Or how about someone who isn’t a professional pilot, but does fly a plane for recreational purposes?

As you can see, for a life insurance agent who knows his/her stuff and has worked with aircraft pilots before, it’s really important to understand exactly what type of aircraft you pilot.  Additional information that will be key in determining which insurance company is going to be best for pilots will include:

  • What type of instrument rating do you as a pilot have?
  • How many hours do you fly annually?
  • And which countries do you fly in and out of?

As you can see, getting life insurance as a pilot can be rather complicated, which is why it’s very important for “pilots” to take their time and do their research before buying a life insurance policy.

4. Miscellaneous extraction workers

The term “miscellaneous extraction worker” is an extremely broad term that generally refers to any professional that is involved in the extraction or removal of natural resources from the ground and/or sea.

Extraction workers will generally be working with or around heavy, dangerous, drilling equipment as well as large construction vehicles.  Job titles that will often fall under miscellaneous extraction workers might be:

  • Oil field or platform worker
  • Large scale construction demo removal specialist
  • Etc.

Unfortunately, the life insurance industry has taken special notice of these types of professions which is why it will be more difficult to find coverage as an “extraction worker”.

The good news is that “more difficult does not mean impossible” so if you’re having a difficult time finding coverage because of this job title, give us a call today and we can guide you in the right direction.

5.  Iron and steel workers

Number five on our top ten most dangerous jobs life insurance companies hate list is iron and steelworkers. These jobs will often times be overlooked when it comes to applying for life insurance.

Unless your job title is “High Rise Steel Worker” or “Smelter” those that work in the iron and steel industry will often times just be lumped into general factory workers or construction workers, which is a good thing!

The important part for someone who works in the iron or steel industry or any industry for that matter is that to be completely honest on your life insurance application.  Typically, life insurance coverage can be found for any occupation, provided that you’re open and honest from the beginning.

6.  Roofers

Finding life insurance for high risk occupations might be a little easier for number 6 on our list. 

Even though this can be a dangerous profession, some insurance companies don't consider this to be as high-risk as others. This means you could find better rates with certain companies.

7.  Garbage Collectors

Yep, that’s right, the #7 spot belongs to garbage collectors.

Garbage collectors work with heavy and potentially hazardous equipment, making them high-risk for a life insurance company. 

8.  Farmers and Ranchers

Farmers and ranchers also work with potentially hazardous equipment. The good news is that there are companies out there that may not categorize you as high-risk depending on the details of your occupation. You may be able to get cheaper life insurance.

9.  Driver/sales workers and truck drivers

With driving accidents accounting for most accidental causes of death in the United States, it’s no wonder that those who drive on our highways and roadways for a living would be considered high-risk.

10.  Power-line installers and repairers

With this occupation, you are working with high voltage while also high in the air. Often you could be installing or repairing in bad weather. It's pretty easy to understand why this would be considered a high-risk occupation. 


Fully Underwritten versus Simplified Issue

When it comes time to actually apply for life insurance, in some situations, applying for what is called a simplified issue life insurance policy rather than a traditional fully underwritten life insurance policy may be the more prudent course of action especially if one is applying for life insurance for the first time.

Fully underwritten life insurance

Fully underwritten means that the life insurance company will essentially have you go through a more in-depth process to get approved and decide how much you will pay for life insurance.

During a fully underwritten term life insurance policy, applicants will need to:

  • Complete a multiple page application where basically every question that is asked, will become part of the actual application process. So if they ask about what type of job you have, that type of job will most likely be factored into the decision making process.
  • You’ll also need to complete a medical exam that will include both a blood and urine sample, which will be used to screen for many common medical conditions in addition to screening for nicotine and many frequently used narcotics.
  • You’ll also need to allow most insurance companies to order a “prescription database report” which will provide the insurance company with a record of all the medications you have ever had prescribed to you.
  • A DMV report in addition to a criminal background check will also most likely be ordered.
  • A “soft credit” check may also be ordered depending on the amount of coverage being sought or if the applicant has had a previous bankruptcy in the past.
  • And lastly, full medical records may also be requested from your primary care physician should the insurance company need or want any additional information prior to making a decision.

So as you can see, even if your “Dangerous Job” doesn’t play a factor in determining whether or not the insurance company is willing to provide coverage, there are a host of other potential obstacles that may or may not play a role.

Simplified issue life insurance

A potential alternative to a fully underwritten life insurance policy for many would be what is called a simplified issue life insurance policy.

With a Simplified issue life insurance policy, many of the obstacles typically found in the fully underwritten life insurance policy simply aren’t there.  For example:

  • Rather than submit to a medical exam, simplified issue policies will generally just ask a few medical questions to determine the relative health of their applicants.
  • In addition, many of the so called “life style” factors such as:
    • Dangerous Occupations.
    • Dangerous Hobbies.
    • Exotic Travel Destinations.
    • Extreme body mass ratio’s.
    • Previous Bankruptcies.
    • Prior Arrests.
    • Etc.

May not factor into an insurance company’s review process, which could potentially make these types of policies an ideal choice for someone who may otherwise not qualify for a traditional fully underwritten life insurance policy.

There are also a few drawbacks to these policies such as:

  • Cover you for both natural and accidental causes of death immediately upon approval, but at a higher cost than a fully underwritten policy would. Or in other words, simplified issue life insurance policies can cost more than fully underwritten life insurance policy.
  • Simplified issue life insurance policies will also generally be more restrictive, or have less options.
    • They have lower coverage amounts
    • They may also not offer specific riders such as:
      • Guaranteed renewable.
      • Return of premium.
      • Accelerated death benefit.
      • Child or family insurance riders.
      • Etc.


If you have a dangerous job it can be harder to qualify for life insurance. Some jobs won't qualify for a traditional life insurance policy, but you have options. 

Finding the right company is key in getting life insurance, especially if you can qualify for traditional life insurance. If you aren't able to qualify for fully underwritten life insurance you might want to consider a simplified issue policy. 

If you aren't sure where to start, give us a call and a life insurance agent can help walk you through the process of finding the right life insurance for you.

Written by
We are a team of life insurance experts with the simple mission of helping you find the best coverage for your unique situation. We research, review, and rank life insurance companies to make that process easier.