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May 20, 2019

Can a Vacation Affect My Chances of Getting Life Insurance?

does travel affect insurability

Anticipating a fun getaway adds a lot to the overall vacation experience. So that means planning a vacation is half the fun, right?

Not necessarily.

With the excitement of travel comes booking flights and rental cars; finding the right place to stay; budgeting for meals, entertainment, and other expenses; finding enough entertainment for the kids; and making sure your house (and pets, if you have any) are taken care of when you’re gone. With your plate full of logistics, wondering if your upcoming trip will impact your insurability may not have even crossed your mind.

You may already know that when you apply for a life insurance policy, factors like age, health history, and habits (like smoking) all can affect your rates and insurability. But sometimes other considerations come into play, too.

According to Gallup, six out of 10 Americans took a vacation in 20171. While vacationing in general might not impact your application, the kinds of vacations you take might. That’s because certain hobbies can make it harder to qualify for coverage, “such as hang gliding, skydiving, hot-air ballooning and rock climbing,” according to nerdwallet.com2.

In addition to the kinds of activities you’re planning on doing on vacation, the destinations you travel to could affect your life insurance application. Mcmha.org tells us that “problems arise when you’re traveling to countries with known issues that could affect your life expectancy in a very direct way.” So while traveling within the U.S. and to safe countries is probably a-OK with the insurance company, traveling to countries with threats of terrorism or countries that are “experiencing significant health crises,” along with the frequency you travel to such places, might indicate your risk of an early death is higher … and that’s because “everything in the life insurance universe is based on risk”3.

However, it’s important to note that underwriting that includes travel habits varies by state. According to jrcinsurancegroup.com, there are several state exemptions for life insurance, including (but not limited to) Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Washington, Maryland, and New York, which have laws that “prevent an insurance company from considering the applicant’s past or future travel, or both no matter what the purpose of the travel is.” These laws vary by state, and may change over time with legislation4. It’s important you check with your state’s insurance commissioner/department of insurance to see if such laws would apply to you.

If you’re wondering how your travel habits might impact your insurability or your life insurance rates, contact an independent broker or a licensed insurance agent. And make sure you have fun, but stay safe out there.

  1. Six in 10 Americans Took a Vacation in 2017, Gallup

  2. 5 Surprising Things That Affect Life Insurance Rates, Nerdwallet

  3. Can Travel Affect Your Life Insurance Application?, Term Life Insurance Saver

  4. World Traveler Life Insurance, JRC Insurance Group

Categories: Life Insurance, Term Life Insurance, Whole Life Insurance

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