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Overcoming barriers in unusual risk cases

This article is part of
Guide to Unusual Risks Protection

Many healthy and active people in the UK, whether they are firefighters, factory workers or police officers, are finding it harder - or more expensive - to get cover. This is despite some of these people being in peak physical condition.

There are other risky jobs that are less well known, such as sky-diving instructors. While it has been difficult for such people to get life insurance, given the nature of their occupations, this historic disadvantage is changing.

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More people, in more jobs, can now get some form of cover - you just need to look around for those providers willing to consider a host of factors - such as the age and good health of the client - not just the occupation.

Andy Doran, protection underwriting philosophy manager for Aviva, explains: “The vast majority of occupations, including those considered ‘unusual’ - such as a professional surfer, for example - will be able to secure life insurance at standard rates.”

So which are the UK’s most deadly jobs? Based on the number of work-related deaths in the latest available statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), building and construction - not the military - has been the most deadly occupation.

Statistics from the HSE also revealed there were 1.7m working days lost in 2015 as a result of job-related illness in the UK construction industry alone.

Top five deadly professions

1. Builders

In 2012 to 2013, 39 builders died - most through falling from a great height. Figures slightly improved between 2014 and 2015, but even so there were 35 deaths recorded.

2. Farmers

Including workers in the forestry and fishing professions, there were 29 fatalities, five of which were caused by animals.

3. Refuse collectors

In 2012 to 2013, 10 people died on the job.

4. Garage workers

Eight people towards the end of 2013 had died after working in mechanics, garage working and car sales.

5. Estate agents

While this might not be considered a dangerous or risky occupation, four estate agents died at work in 2012 to 2013. A further 70 were seriously injured.

According to the HSE, the top five deadliest profession figures do not include the number of those people who died in road accidents while travelling to and from work.

The figures also do not include mining, which has traditionally been considered most risky, but because there are only three pits left in the UK, the death toll is proportionately smaller than others.

Construction industry

Source: HSE

But new products will help create a more even playing field for people in ‘risky’ occupations.

Sesame Bankhall Group’s Jeff Woods believes with innovation will come more flexibility and therefore reductions in premiums.

He says: “Continuous innovation and development in this area should be a focus for protection providers of all shapes and sizes.”