Ahh, the dangerous hobby thing. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s and a bit into my 40’s and 50’s, we rock climbed, bouldered, and mountain climbed, rappelled off of anything that our rope would reach most of the way down and even did a Tyrolean traverse of a canyon in Wyoming with the rope tied around the axle of our car on one side and a tree on the other.
As my cousin and I ran around Wyoming doing all of this we tried to do everything as safely as possible, but dangerous is probably a good way to describe it. He had taken some rock climbing training in college but hardly the kind of training that would make for a bombproof experience with me anywhere in the equation. I trip and fall over plain old life more often than I can remember.
What would an insurance company have thought about our activities? If we fully disclosed everything we did, given that we were always top roped doing anything but trail climbing, I think some of them would have still been scared to death to offer. If they did offer we would have been in the range of having to pay $3.50 to $5 per thousand flat extra charge. If it was a company that could have excluded climbing I’m sure they would have preferred that way out.
Living in Colorado we view mountain climbing, at least in state, as exercise and recreation. With 54 14,000+ foot moutains in our state, a goal for many is to try to book all of them while still young enough to enjoy it. Most are no more than trail climbing with more danger coming from the weather than the actual ascent/descent. I’ve found a few life insurance companies who will allow this trail climbing type of activity at standard rates with no flat extra and include some of the most popular out of state climbs such as Mt’s Rainer and Hood.
But when ice, snow, crevasses, crampons, rope and travel out of the country hit the spread sheet then, even with much experience and guides when appropriate, there are only two routes to take for full coverage. You can either buy a life insurance policy with full coverage for climbing which will include a flat extra of, best case, $3.50 per thousand per year, or you can in some situations get a policy with a climbing exclusion and purchase an accidental death policy to cover your alter ego the climber.
Bottom line. Climbing and other risky avocations are a situation where you definitely want someone to shop the case and fight for the best possible outcome. At $3.50 per thousand it doesn’t take long to leave thousands or tens of thousands a year on the table. If you have any questions or would like to compare your current coverage to what you might be able to get, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.