Posts tagged ‘extreme sports’

Life Threatening Extreme Sports

“There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are only games.”

No one’s pinned down the author of the quote, but people have kept repeating it.

The implication is that “real” sports must involve high levels of life-threatening danger.  Rugby, boxing, football, or luge don’t count.  The opportunity to break limbs, lose teeth, smash your face in, or get brain damage are not enough for extreme sport enthusiasts; you have to actually risk your life and get a sickeningly huge adrenaline rush for it to count.

In fact, some people define extreme sports as those activities that create adrenaline rushes for participants.

A few examples of extreme sports include:

  • Bungee jumping
  • BASE jumping (skydiving from a non-flying object)
  • Hang gliding
  • Sky diving
  • Rock climbing
  • Caving
  • Motocross
  • Ice yachting
  • Mountain biking
  • Speed skiing
  • Barefoot water skiing
  • Scuba diving
  • Cliff diving
  • Whitewater kayaking
  • Snowboarding
  • Wingsuit flying
  • Aggressive inline skating
  • Kite Surfing
  • Ice Climbing

The only extreme sport on this list that I’ve tried is scuba diving, and it felt very safe and un-extreme to me, unless you count the fact that some barracuda were swimming very close to us in the ocean on one dive.

I think I wouldn’t have dared scuba dive, though, if I hadn’t been taught the sport in a swimming pool, and gradually worked my way up to ocean dives, months later.

I did once sign up for a skydiving class, when I was 19.  I went to the classes, learned diligently, but on the morning of our actual in-an-airplane skydive, I remained frozen to the edge of my bed, in my bedroom, and wouldn’t even answer the phone as my friends from the class called to see what I was doing.

So, why do people want to do extreme sports?  Why are they willing to put their lives on the line for an adrenaline rush?  Don’t they value their lives?

At a website called Bandolier: Evidence Based Thinking About Health Care, there’s a chart where you can see how likely you are to die doing various extreme sports.

According to Bandolier, BASE jumping is the most dangerous extreme sport, and the safest sport listed is skiing.  Here’s a sampling of the list:

Risk of:

Dying while skiing:  1 death in 1,556,757 visits to the slopes

Dying while canoeing:  1 in 750,000 outings

Dying while rock climbing:  1 in 320,000 climbs

Dying of cardiac arrest, running a marathon:   1 in 126,000 runners

Dying while hanggliding:  1 in 116,000 flights

Dying while skydiving: 1 in 101,000 jumps

Dying while BASE jumping:  1 in 2,317   jumps.

Is it the sport itself or the danger lurking beneath the sport that entices people to participate?  Researchers say that extreme sport enthusiasts are usually very competitive in nature, and crave the respect and awe that successfully achieving a goal in extreme sports can bring.

The participants themselves say that they want to find out how much their bodies can do, and how far they can push themselves; others admit they’re hooked on the adrenaline rushes that come with near-brushes with death.

I work hard to keep my family members fed, clothed, protected and safe.   I don’t even let the people I love run with scissors.  Forget hanggliding over live volcanoes, kayaking over shark infested ice floes, bungee jumping with dental floss tied to your underwear, ice skating at terminal velocity or being the crash test dummy for a snowboarding run.

Extreme sportists are, to use the most accurate medical term I can think of — nuts.

But that’s just one woman’s opinion.


Extreme Sports and Life Insurance

There is nothing like the adrenaline rush of jumping out of a plane to parachute to the ground, hang gliding across a mountainous valley or skiing through a back country bowl.  For those who enjoy extreme sports, these experiences are what make them feel alive.  However, finding extreme sports life insurance when there are so many risks of death involved can seem like a nearly impossible endeavor.  There is life insurance specifically designed for these people though.

Insurance Risks

It is no surprise that insurance companies gamble on an applicant living a long and healthy life so that there are fewer claims and the company makes more money.  The lower the risk involved, the lower the insurance premium.  They therefore favor those who live a healthy lifestyle.  Ironically, those who indulge in extreme sports are generally very healthy.  The lifestyle habits are the red flag for insurance companies.  If it is found that a policy holder engages in these activities, the premium rates may be raised or the coverage may be cancelled.

Dealing with an Existing Life Insurance Policy

They say that honesty is the best policy and in life insurance this can be true.  Call on an existing policy to discuss the ramifications of participating in an extreme sport before beginning.  Sometimes an insurance company will just charge an additional surcharge to cover the risks involved.  They generally have a rating sheet that determines the amount of risk involved.  Other companies may chose to deny coverage or cancel an existing policy if they deem the level of risk to be too high.

Why Lying is Bad

Everyone learns that lying is bad by the time they reach kindergarten.  However, many adults still think that telling a “little white lie” is okay at times.  With insurance this can be even riskier for the policy holder than it is for the insurance company.  Misinformation or inaccuracies on a life insurance application can lead to grounds for voiding the policy.  If the applicant is climbing mountains, hanging off of cliffs or spelunking into deep dark caverns, tell the truth.  While it may lead to an application being denied, at least there will not be an unwelcome surprise for loved ones in the event of the policy holder’s death.

Watching for Exclusions

If an extreme sports life insurance policy is issued, be sure to review it to make sure there are no exclusions that would affect the policy during an extreme sport.  Exclusions limit the coverage that a claim can be filed for a specific event.  This protects insurance companies by eliminating the possibility of having to make a large payout if there is a death caused by the exclusion.  These are frequently added for medical conditions, suicide, war and dangerous activities.  If a traditional insurance company puts in exclusions though, there is still the option of a specialty extreme sports life insurance plan.

Searching for an extreme sports life insurance policy is as easy as entering your information into our quick form and getting fast accurate quotes from traditional insurance companies and companies that specialize in extreme sports life insurance plans.  Compare and review the quotes to find the best options for you and get the protection you need to protect your family today.