/ Life assurance

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BusyLizzie on 11 Jan 2017
Apologies if this topic has already been done to death (and further apologies for the infelicity of that expression).

I have life assurance to protect my husband as I am the breadwinner - he's ok if I keep going till retirement but there's a gap if I pop my clogs before then. The policy I have is about to expire so I'm trying to put a new one in place. The insurer gave a quotation, which was ok, and then went through the health and lifestyle checks. Hobbies: yes, I do rock-climbing and mountaineering, no, I do not do bolted routes only, yes, I climb above Severe.

This doubled the premium, and turned a reasonable deal into an unattractive one. Now, as those who climb with me know only too well, I am the most numpty of climbers, I can't imagine leading above Severe, and a doubled premium seems like over-kill.

I wondered if the answer was to get BMC insurance for climbing and other insurance for everything else, but this insurer won't do a deal that excludes climbing.

Any thoughts or recommendations?

marsbar - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:
Shop around I guess, and try an insurance broker as they might know which company to try.

Post edited at 10:50
Skyfall - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:

I looked at this some years ago and I couldn't find an insurer to include climbing at a reasonable cost (ignoring the silliness of some of the questions). There are some who claim to be specialist for this sort of thing but, being honest, the cost was still rather eye watering. The only way was to exclude climbing and hope I didn't kill myself climbing (and/or get some BMC type cover) but I did find insurers to do that. Events overtook me and I got life insurance through work (in fact mine and the other half's) which didn't have any conditions but, as you say, that only applies whilst I/we work.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure many insurers will provide cover if you exclude climbing.
kathrync - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:

Try Summit Financial services - they sorted something out for me a couple of years ago.

Alternatively, the cover they arranged for me was through Vitality so they might be worth contacting directly.
John_Hat - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to kathrync:

Agree with mentioning Summit.

I solo a lot at reasonable grades, which was always a problem with traditional life insurers.

I had two quotes - a perfectly reasonable quote from Summit that didn't include my soloing habit (so all types of rock climbing at any grade as long as I used ropes or was bouldering), and an expensive one that did include the soloing.
wbo - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie: As a pedant I wonder if seconding above severe counts as climbing above severe?

Dave Garnett - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to John_Hat:

> I solo a lot at reasonable grades, which was always a problem with traditional life insurers.

I wonder what the added risk really is, from an actuarial point of view. I can imagine a risk assessor assuming that it must be a sign of more generalised risk-taking behaviour but what would the statistics would really indicate?

Ferret on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Dave Garnett:
I'm quite interested in this... personally I see climbing and mountaineering as being about assessing and managing risks, not taking them.

I tend to assume that risk in climbing is fairly self limiting - none of us go out to kill ourselves and everybody tends to participate inside their limits. Clearly that sometimes goes wrong, and some individuals operating at the ragged edge exist, but on average.....

And then to counteract the above, I also assume that I am a very low risk as I don't do a lot of the stuff that insures assume everybody does... i.e. I go out drinking in the big city about twice per year - most insurers probably assume that most adults do 2 nights per week 'on the town' with all the associated risks of that to health, longevity and possibility of drunken damage to self etc. I don't 'do' football so I'm never in a crowd of drunken folk some of whom are looking for match day trouble, I'm fit and active whereas the average population is less so. etc, etc.

So - it's a bit of an annoyance that they basically take an 'average risk' then start lumping on badly thought out extras to cover my 'risky' stuff, without nocking anything off for all the good stuff I do and all the possibly bad stuff I avoid.

I'm thoroughly of belief that I'm much more likely to end up damaged/falling under a bus/mugged/or just fat and unfit and unhealthy if I partook of 'normal' city life and didn't do my outdoor lifestyle for which I get no credit.

Oh - and OP - I'm with Vitality via Summit and was happy with how they defined what I do. Premiums don't seem 'to bad'....
Post edited at 14:33
BusyLizzie on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:

Thank you all very much - this sounds hopeful. I will investigate.

Very many thanks!

BusyLizzie on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to wbo:

> As a pedant I wonder if seconding above severe counts as climbing above severe?

I agree, it doesn't. But (a) the insurer's computer doesn't understand the difference and (b) there are some dear folk of this parish who are encouraging me to be brave, and they are not going to take "no, I'm not insured" as an answer! And I don't want to limit what I can do for that reason.

BusyLizzie on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Ferret:

I agree with what you say, and was indignant for the same reasons!
Lord_ash2000 - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:

I've always wondered what the best grade to put down on those sorts of forms would be, in terms of getting the cheapest quote.

If I was assessing it I'd probably give the cheapest insurance to people who are steady on-sighting E3-E4's with many years experience including a good few at that level. I've no data to back this up but I'd trust the skill, experience and judgement of a solid E3 climber, on-sighting an E3 not to hurt himself than a relative newbie who just struggles their way up chossy HS's with poor gear placing skills who's just been lucky enough so far to not have had to put them to test yet in a fall.

But on paper, one guy is climbing "extremes" and the other is sticking to the nice safe easy lines. Do they factor in experience? As that would play a big roll in it too, I'd rather trust a VS climber who's climbed at VS/HVS for 20 years and knows what they are doing than some kid from the wall who's only climbed a year but thinks he's strong so went out and climbed a short E5 with no idea what he was doing but managed to boulder his way through it anyway.
Yanis Nayu - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:

I wonder what would happen if your policy limited you to E1, and you fell off Three Pebble Slab...
Simon Reed - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:

Don't be put off by your recent experience looking for suitable life cover!

We've been insuring climbers for over 18 years now and from your description I'm confident Summit Financial can offer you full cover without any additional charge for your climbing.

If you still need help we can give you an immediate quote over the phone that includes your climbing and any other outdoor sports and hopefully have you insured within 24 hours.

The Team at Summit Financial - 0345 565 0937
richlan - on 16 Jan 2017
In reply to Simon Reed:

You might want to add the fact that if one of the covered party has a long standing (common) medical condition and is under a consultant then you can't provide cover.....

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