Author Topic: ? About Life Insurance for Climbers  (Read 1659 times)


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? About Life Insurance for Climbers
« on: January 28, 2013, 09:34:06 am »
I've had a term policy for years now.  When the policy was underwritten I disclosed that I participated in mountaineering activities so I figured I was good.  Recently I went through all the bills one by one trying to lower the monthly payments.  So I called around to a few different life insurance providers and did the rig-a-ma-rol, except this time around all the ones I called had an extensive list of questions pertaining to climbing (Where, When, How, What Grades, Rescue Insurance).  My concern is that I answered no such questions for my current policy which, by the way, is less than half the premium I was quoted by everybody.  So, next step, I call "my guy" and ask "am I all set?".  He assures me "nothing to worry about but, I can't send you anything in writing that you don't already have".  Next step, I turn the office upside down and find the policy disclosures which I'm not convinced answer my question completely.  The clause he referred me to says something like this I think (It might as well be in brail)  After two years of paying premiums claims cannot be denied should the death occur accidentally( I THINK). 

Does anybody know what the law REALLY is? Is it a law or just the contract terms?  Who does the law actually protect? If I bought the farm in another state would this law still apply to my policy(GRIM I KNOW)?

Lawyers in here? Please...

Offline strandman

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Re: ? About Life Insurance for Climbers
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2013, 10:09:44 am »
Good luck.

There are so many variables, I'm not sure the insurance people even know.  What is "climbing"  ??? some say ropes... no ropes.. mountaineering ????

I have a small policy from AAA that specifies activities but not climbing

Offline DanRudmin

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Re: ? About Life Insurance for Climbers
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 10:13:01 am »
When I had travel insurance for trips, the exceptions I remember were no high altitude rescues (I think above 20 000 ft), no rally car racing, and no war zones.

I still called my fall a snow-shoeing accident just to be on the safe side.

Offline pappy

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Re: ? About Life Insurance for Climbers
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 01:57:02 pm »
Insurance is state regulated and therefore can differ, but I know in GA and I think it is normal everywhere that after two years, benefits cannot be denied for any reason regardless of cause of death, including suicide. If there is no specific exclusion in your policy and you did not lie in your application, then you're good to go at any time for that massive avalanche in huntington's. I'm not a lawyer, but for business and personal reasons I have had to buy an absurd number of life insurance policies. Before the early '90s it seems like they would just ask a couple of pertinent questions, like what kind of climbing and whether you wore a helmet. Then the questionaires got massive and massively dumb. But I was never turned down for a policy. I have also heard the theory advanced (by a race car driver who sat on my board and had to go through the same sh!t) that the insurance companies are most concerned by those who infrequently or have relatively recently begun participating in a hazardous activity, the idea being that if it's something you've been doing regularly for ten years, and you're not dead yet, then you must have a handle on it.

If you're gonna be stupid, you gotta be tough.

Offline Nico

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Re: ? About Life Insurance for Climbers
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2013, 04:13:29 pm »
Lawyer here. I had the same questions about my policy and checked it out. Pappy speaks the truth, including that the law varies state to state. For a comfort level, check out the insurance statutes in your state. Most states, maybe all, provide that for accidental death after two years (or thereabouts - check the statute) coverage can't be denied because of what you put on the application. For example, Maine's Title 24-A Section 2407 says "There shall be a provision that the policy shall be incontestable after it has been in force during the lifetime of the insured for a period of not more than 2 years after its date of issue, except for nonpayment of premiums and, at the insurer's option, provisions relating to benefits in the event of total and permanent disability and provisions granting additional benefits specifically against death by accident or accidental means."

So in Maine a policy is incontestable after 2 years, except maybe you don't get "double indemnity" if you die by accident and you lied in the application.

New Hampshire is almost the same,

So you should feel free to tie in with a bowline, step off to lower when your partner thought you were rappelling, and climb twitchy snow.

Offline sherpajosh69

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Re: ? About Life Insurance for Climbers
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 09:49:12 am »
Yeah, had the same issue. Purchased a full life policy, disclosed all activities, got covered no problem. Went to purchase a term life, as a just in case, disclosing the same information, and was denied. Apparently the underwrighter missed the climbing addendum the first time around. But kudos to the company they still honor the full life policy with no caveats.