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Life Insurance for Commercial Fishermen

Life Insurance for Commercial Fishermen | The Complete Step-by-Step Guide for [2022]

Is it difficult to purchase life insurance for commercial fishermen? The short answer is no, especially if your overalllife insurance for commercial fishermen health is good. Purchasing life insurance for a commercial fisherman is going to be a little more involved but still a simple process. Being a crewmember on an ocean going fishing boat is actually classified as a very high risk occupation. But you should have no problem applying for life insurance and being approved with competitive rates.

 We will go over everything commercial fishermen need to know to receive the best rates possible step-by-step in this blog post.  



Can Being a Commercial Fisherman Affect My Life Insurance Rates?

In some cases depending on your job duties and what body of water you fish in, your rates could be affected to some degree. If you are in good health and the only concern is the dangers of commercial fishing, a simple flat extra fee could be applied. This is an added charge above and beyond your base premium. Another way your rates could increase is through a health classification otherwise known as a rate class change.

A simple example would be going from a preferred non-tobacco rate class to a standard plus or a standard non-tobacco rate class. Anytime an applicant is exposed to a more life threatening exposure, the premiums usually go up a little to cover the additional risk the carrier is undertaking.


Flat Extra Fees and How They Work

Flat extra fees are very common with hazardous occupations, sports and hobbies. This is simply a fee that is used on a regular basis to cover the extra cost of the higher than normal risk an insurance company is taking. A common example would be with a $2.50 flat extra charge.

This charge would be multiplied to each thousand dollars of coverage. For example: you purchase a $100,000 term policy which has a base premium of $800.00 per year. You would multiply $2.50 times 100 due to the fact you have a face amount of $100,000. The flat extra fee would be $250.00. You would then add the $250.00 to the base premium of $800.00 for a new grand total of $1,050.00 per year. If a flat extra fee is added onto a commercial fishermen’s base rates, it can usually vary from $2.50 to $5.00 per one thousand dollars in the policies face amount.


Is Commercial Fishing Covered by Life Insurance?

The quick answer would be yes, commercial fishing is covered by life insurance policies. If you purchased your coverage prior to your occupation as a commercial fisherman there will never be a problem. If you are planning on purchasing new coverage while you are currently fishing. You just have to make sure you answer all questions on your application honestly when you get to the questions of dangerous sports or occupations. You don’t have to worry, commercial fishing is covered by life insurance.


The Dangers of Commercial Fishing 

The life insurance companies have to be concerned with all the danger associated with commercial fishing. Anything that could cause a fatal event is what they want to be aware of so they can underwrite an application accordingly.

Here are just some of the many dangers the insurers are well aware of:

  • Vessel Disasters – 50% of commercial fishermen deaths are caused by capsized or sunk fishing vessels.
  • On-Deck Deaths – 12% of commercial fishing deaths happen on the deck of the fishing vessel itself.
  • Man Overboard (MOB) – Falling into the water is the second most common cause of death to a fisherman. Between 2010 and 2014, there were 210 fatal falls into the water and none of the victims wore a floatation device. 53% of these deaths were not witnessed by any of the crew members.
  • Diving Related – Over 5% of deaths were scuba diving related.
  • On-Shore – The statistics show that 3% of commercial fishermen deaths occurred from on-shore related deaths. They died from drowning due to slipping off of docks into the water and working with dangerous chemicals.

Due to new safety measures taken every year in the commercial fishing industry. There has been a reduction in reported injuries and deaths. 

Commercial Fishermen Deaths Between [2003-2009]

Crab Fishermen – There were 37 Crab Fishermen killed.

Lobster Fishermen – 17 Lobsterman lost their lives.

Shrimp Fishermen – There were 36 Shrimpers killed on the job.

All of these commercial fishermen died from injuries due to drowning, inhalation of poisonous chemicals, coming into contact with heavy moving objects or contact with electrical current.


The Application Process for Commercial Fishermen

Anytime you are planning on purchasing life insurance, you should contact an experienced independent agent to act as your advisor. Independent agents such as ourselves work with all the best life insurance companies so you can apply with the most liberal company for commercial fishermen. The guidelines vary from one carrier to another so you want to find the best fit for your specific job duties.

Here are some of the most important questions you will be asked when you go to apply:

  1. What type of safety equipment to you wear?
  2. What commercial fishing safety courses have you taken?
  3. How long would your normal shift last?
  4. Do you fish full or part time?
  5. How many years experience do you have?
  6. What are your daily job duties?
  7. How long are you on-board a vessel vs on-land?
  8. What is the size and type vessel do you work on?
  9. What kind of medical supplies and equipment do you have on-board?
  10. What type of bodies of water do you fish on?
  11. What states or countries to you fish in?
  12. Does your vessel employ a medical professional?


Best Life Insurance Companies for Commercial Fishermen

We work with over 40 life insurance companies. Some companies are more sensitive or liberal to different types of risks. Here is a basic list of just some of the best life insurance companies for commercial fishermen. 

  1. Banner Life
  2. Prudential 
  3. Liberty Financial
  4. AIG American General
  5. Protective Life
  6. Transamerica

The company we have found that would be our number one choice for the lowest rates for commercial fishermen would be Banner Life with no close second. They are very liberal to hazardous occupations and have excellent rates.


The Importance of Good Health In the Fishing Industry

As with many hazardous occupations that require strength and endurance, commercial fishing is at the top of the list. This occupation is much safer for younger men in very good physical condition. They have a much better chance to contend with all the dangers of commercial fishing and attempt to prevent injuries or death. This is a simple statistic that the insurance companies are well aware of.

If a commercial fisherman submits an application and they are in poor health, the chances for them to be approved starts to diminish depending on their specific medical conditions. This type of work demands physical strength, endurance and the ability to react fast to danger. If your current health is below average, you will most likely be assigned a more costly health class or possibly even be declined if your conditions are severe. The commercial fishing industry is always ranked in the top three most dangerous jobs in the world list and for very good reason.


Rate Classifications and Your Level of Risk

The number one category that dictates what your premium will be is your assigned rate classification otherwise known as a health class. This refers to such classes you probably already heard of such as preferred best, preferred, standard plus, standard and so forth. If you fall below a standard rate class you will then be assigned a table rating such as rate table A through J or the number system of 1 through 10.

The higher you go in the rate tables the more costly your life insurance will be. Read our life insurance health classification blog post for a complete description of how these health classes work and their importance.

The rate class you are assigned to, literally determines what your premiums will be. Choosing a life insurance company that will place you in the best rate class will be your ticket to the lowest rates possible.

How to Find the Best Life Insurance Rates for Commercial Fishermen

  • Connect With an Independent Agent – This is your first step so you don’t waste your valuable time. An independent agent can represent all the top rated companies where a captive agent such as a State Farm agent represents only one. The captive agent has his employer’s best interest in mind where the independent agent otherwise known as a broker has your best interest in mind.
  • Don’t Hide Anything From Your Agent – Always tell your agent everything so he can be aware of every detail. All the information you provide to your agent will help him find the best rates for you. Choosing the most applicable life insurance company is the most important step in the application process.
  • Run a Medical Pre-Screen if Necessary – If you have any medical condition or take any prescription medication, a medical pre-screen will be a valuable step to eliminate surprises later. An insurance company will find out everything they need to know in your application. You will want your agent to take out 10 minutes to know your medical history so he can choose the most appropriate company before you apply.
  • Apply Over the Telephone – Not only is a telephone application fast and simple (15-20 minutes), but you can explain all your answers so the life insurance company you apply with has a total understanding of your answers to each question. An underwriter who can’t fully determine a risk thoroughly may have to assume the worst case scenario, so being able to verbally explain your answers is the smart way of applying. If you apply over the phone, you will eliminate a lot of time consumption and writer’s cramp if you were to apply with a paper application.


The Three Main Types of Life Insurance to Consider

  1. Term Life Insurance – Term life insurance will always have the lowest cost and will allow you to get the highest face amount you may need without breaking the bank. You can choose term life insurance products with a term period of 10 to 40 years. These policies can also be converted into permanent life insurance during the life of your term policy period.
  2. Universal Life – Universal life insurance is a permanent life insurance products that will last for the rest of your life as long as you keep paying your premiums. It does cost over double the price of term but it will last the rest of your life with no possible gaps in coverage like term product can.
  3. No Medical Exam – No medical exam life insurance is also known as Non-Med life insurance also. The application is shorter than a conventional plan design and the physical exam is also waived. The side effect is these plans cost more than conventional term policies for commercial fishermen, I would go the standard application route to keep the premium as low as possible.


What is Return of Premium Life Insurance?

Many people who purchase term life insurance understand the fact that their policy will terminate at the end of the termreturn of premium life insurance for commercial fishermen period stated in their contract. They also know that if they are still living and the policy comes to an end, the life insurance company comes out smelling like a rose. All of the premium dollars paid in will be considered pure profit. There is another good policy that most people are not aware of that prevents this called “return of premium” life insurance.

If you are planning on purchasing life insurance for commercial fishermen. Consider these policies that will return every penny you paid in if you outlive the term period. After the term period ends, you would receive a check in the mail for every penny you originally spent on your premiums. Keep in mind that there is no tax on that money also. You could put that money in an investment for your retirement of anything else. Call us and we will be happy to quote you right over the phone.


Where Can I Compare the Best Rates & Companies?

You can easily compare the best life insurance quotes for commercial fishermen on our websites instant quoting systemlife insurance for commercial fishermen anytime you would like. You will see approximately 40 of the top life insurance companies compared side-by-side. Keep in mind that health conditions can easily impact your rates so we suggest contacting us first before getting to involved with the rates you see an a quoting system. We are always here to help you.


Why Work With Us?

Why work with us is a very good question and we want to give you a good sensible answer. We don’t make promises we can’t keep or tell you what you want to hear like some of the other agents do everyday. What we can tell you is we have over 25 years of experience and work hard to get our clients the best policy and the lowest premiums possible. The best part is you don’t have to listen to any sales related BS or fluff which can be an insult to anyone’s intelligence. 

We simply show you what your options are by researching our list of over 40 companies we deal with and let you take it from there. If you decide to apply, we will provide the best of care every inch of the way until you are approved with the rates that we both are happy with. There is no sales pressure or any dog and pony show whatsoever, just a good professional experience we know you will be more than happy with.


In Conclusion

Helping people purchase life insurance for commercial fishermen is one of our specialties. If you work in the high risk commercial fishing industry, we are well experienced at helping people in your field get the best rates. This is what we have done everyday for over 25 years. Keep in mind that if you purchase life insurance now and then retire or change occupations to any job more safe. Many of the companies will reconsider your application and consider lowering your rates if your health history has not changed.

We are available to help answer any of your questions 7 days a week from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Thank you for reading this blog post, I hope it has answered many of your questions.

All the best,
Jack Venturi

Take a moment to set up a time to get all your questions asked at a time convenient to you. There is no cost or obligation for our help. 


Jack Venturi Independent Life Insurance Agent

Jack Venturi

Independent agent and founder of

Jack Venturi has over 30 years of experience selling all forms of individual and commercial insurance including Property & Casualty, Health, Disability and Life insurance. Jack has helped thousands of people all across the United States purchase the best life insurance products at the lowest possible premiums over the phone (800)-897-5699 and online.