Is it difficult to purchase life insurance for commercial fishermen? The short answer is no, especially if your overall health is good. Buying life insurance for a commercial fisherman will be a little more involved but still a simple process. Being a crew member on an ocean-going fishing boat is classified as a very high risk occupation. But you should have no problem applying for life insurance and being approved with competitive rates.
This blog post will go over everything commercial fishermen need to know to receive the best rates possible step-by-step.
Table of Contents
- Can Commercial Fishermen Purchase Life Insurance?
- Flat Extra Fees and How They Work
- Is Commercial Fishing Covered by Life Insurance?
- The Dangers Associated With Commercial Fishing
- Best Life Insurance Companies for Commercial Fishermen
- Can Commercial Fishing Affect My Life Insurance Rates?
- The Application Process for a Commercial Fisherman
- The Importance of Good Health in the Fishing Industry
- Health Classifications and How They Affect Your Rates
- How to Find the Best Life Insurance Rates
- The Three Main Types of Life Insurance to Consider
- What is Return of Premium Life Insurance?
- Comparing the Best Rates & Companies
- Why Work With Us?
- In Conclusion
In some cases, depending on your job duties and what body of water you fish in, your rates could be affected to some degree. For example, 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 are prevalent with hazardous occupations, sports, and hobbies. This is simply a fee that is used regularly to cover the additional cost of the higher-than-normal risk an insurance company is taking. A typical example would be a $2.50 flat extra charge.
This charge would be multiplied by every thousand dollars of coverage. For example, you purchase a $100,000 term policy with a base premium of $800.00 per year. You would multiply $2.50 times 100 because you have a face amount of $100,000. Therefore, 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 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 policy face amount.
The quick answer would be yes, life insurance policies cover commercial fishing. There will never be a problem if you purchased your coverage before your occupation as a commercial fisherman. However, suppose you are planning on buying new coverage while you are currently fishing. You 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.
Life insurance companies have to be concerned with all the dangers of commercial fishing. Anything that could cause a fatal event is what they want to be aware of to underwrite an application accordingly.
Here are just some of the many dangers the insurers are well aware of:
- Vessel Disasters – 50% of commercial fishermen’s 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. Any of the crew members did not witness 53% of these deaths.
- 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 docks into the water and working with dangerous chemicals.
Due to new safety measures being taken every year in the commercial fishing industry. There has been a significant 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.
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.
Anytime you plan to purchase 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 that 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:
- What type of safety equipment do you wear?
- What commercial fishing safety courses have you taken?
- How long would your standard shift last?
- Do you fish full or part-time?
- How many years of experience do you have?
- What are your daily job duties?
- How long are you onboard a vessel vs. on-land?
- What is size and type of vessel do you work on?
- What kind of medical supplies and equipment do you have onboard?
- What type of bodies of water do you fish on?
- What states or countries do you fish in?
- Does your vessel employ a medical professional?
We work with over 40 life insurance companies. Some companies are more sensitive or liberal to different types of risks. Here is an essential list of just some of the best life insurance companies for commercial fishermen.
- Banner Life
- Liberty Financial
- AIG American General
- Protective Life
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.
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 excellent 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.
Suppose a commercial fisherman submits an application and is in poor health; their chances to be approved start 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. As a result, the commercial fishing industry is consistently ranked in the top three most dangerous jobs in the world list, and for excellent reasons.
The number one category that dictates your premium is your assigned rate classification, otherwise known as a health class. This refers to types 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 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 is. Read our life insurance health classification blog post to describe how these health classes work and their importance fully.
The rate class you are assigned to 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.
- Connect With an Independent Agent – This is your first step to avoid wasting 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, whereas 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 crucial 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 practical step to eliminate surprises later. An insurance company will find everything they need to know in your application. Therefore, 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 straightforward (15-20 minutes), but you can explain all your answers. Hence, the life insurance company you apply with completely understands 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 explain your answers verbally is the intelligent way of applying. Furthermore, applying over the phone will eliminate a lot of time consumption and writer’s cramp if you were to apply with a paper application.
- Term Life Insurance – Term life insurance will always have the lowest cost and 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.
- Universal Life – Universal life insurance is a permanent life insurance product 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 the term, but it will last the rest of your life with no possible gaps in coverage like term product can.
- No Medical Exam – No medical exam life insurance is also known as Non-Med life insurance. 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 traditional term policies for commercial fishermen. I would go the standard application route to keep the premium as low as possible.
Many people who purchase term life insurance understand that their policy will terminate at the end of the term period stated in their contract. They also know that if they are still living and the policy ends, the life insurance company comes out smelling like a rose. All of the premium dollars paid in will be considered pure profit. Another good policy that most people are unaware of prevents this is called “return of premium” life insurance.
Suppose 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 or anything else. Call us, and we will be happy to quote you right over the phone.
You can easily compare the best life insurance quotes for commercial fishermen on our website’s instant quoting system anytime you would like. You will see approximately 40 of the top life insurance companies compared side-by-side. Remember that health conditions can quickly impact your rates, so we suggest contacting us before getting too involved with the rates you see and a quoting system. We are always here to help you.
Why work with us is an excellent question, and we want to give you a perfectly 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 every day. However, we can say that 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 show you your options by researching our list of over 40 companies we deal with and letting you take it from there. Then, if you decide to apply, we will provide the best care every inch of the way until you are approved with the rates we both are happy with. There is no sales pressure or any dog and pony show whatsoever, just an excellent professional experience we know you will be more than happy with.
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 every day for over 25 years. Keep in mind that if you purchase life insurance now and then retire or change occupations to any job safer. In addition, many companies will reconsider your application and consider lowering your rates if your health history has not changed.
We can help answer any of your questions seven days a week from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Thank you for reading this blog post; I hope it has responded to many of your questions.
All the best,
Suppose you have any questions about life insurance for commercial fishermen. Contact us today to help you with no cost or obligation. We are brokers that work for our clients, not the insurance companies. Our job is to help you get approved for the best policy for your needs with the lowest rates possible. You can also set up a time at your convenience to talk.