Life Insurance for Athletes and Sports Professionals

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9 minute read

Originally published: June 18, 2024

Get life insurance with multiple sclerosis in Canada

Life Insurance for Athletes and Sports Professionals

Talk to one of our experienced advisors today!

9 Minute read

Originally published:June 18, 2024

Get life insurance with multiple sclerosis in Canada

Athletes and sports professionals have unique financial planning needs that differ from those of individuals in other professions. Due to the physically demanding and high-risk nature of their careers, athletes face specific challenges when it comes to securing their financial future. This makes life insurance an essential component of their overall financial strategy.

Life insurance plays a role in providing financial security for athletes and their families. It ensures that, in the event of an unexpected tragedy, their loved ones are protected and can maintain their standard of living. Life insurance can also serve as a vital tool in managing the unique risks associated with athletic careers, such as career-ending injuries or sudden retirement. By understanding and addressing these specific needs, athletes can better safeguard their financial future and ensure lasting peace of mind for themselves and their families.

Understanding High-Risk Considerations for Athletes

Athletes and sports professionals are often categorized as high-risk occupations due to the physically demanding and injury-prone nature of their work. A high-risk occupation is defined by the increased likelihood of physical harm or life-threatening injuries that can occur as part of the job. For athletes, the constant physical exertion, high-impact activities, and competitive environment significantly raise the risk of accidents and health issues.

Certain sports are considered higher risk than others due to their inherent dangers. For example, football players face frequent collisions that can lead to concussions and other severe injuries. Boxers are at a high risk for traumatic brain injuries due to repetitive head impacts. Motorsports athletes contend with the dangers of high-speed crashes that can result in life-threatening injuries. These examples highlight the elevated risks associated with various sports, making comprehensive life insurance coverage critical for athletes in these fields.

How High-Risk Factors Affect Premium Rates and Policy Availability

High-risk factors associated with athletic careers impact life insurance premium rates and policy availability. Because athletes are more prone to injuries and health complications, insurers often view them as higher-risk clients. This increased risk translates into higher premium rates to compensate for the potential greater likelihood of a payout. Additionally, some insurers may limit the types of policies available to athletes or impose stricter conditions and exclusions.

The Underwriting Process for Athletes

The underwriting process for athletes involves a thorough assessment of their health, lifestyle, and career-related risks. Insurers will look for specific factors that could influence the likelihood of an athlete filing a claim. This includes evaluating the athlete’s medical history, the nature of their sport, the frequency and intensity of their training, and any previous injuries or ongoing health conditions. Underwriters may also consider the athlete’s off-field activities and personal habits that could further impact their risk profile. By understanding these aspects, insurers can more accurately determine the appropriate coverage and premium rates for athletes and sports professionals.

Case Study: The 29-Year-Old Athlete in Toronto

You should consider no medical life insurance if you don’t mind a smaller death benefit, are looking for coverage as fast as possible, you do not qualify for traditional coverage, or you don’t want to do a medical exam.

Meet Joseph, a 29-year-old professional hockey player based in Toronto. Joseph’s career is both exhilarating and demanding, characterized by rigorous training sessions, intense games, and the constant risk of injury. Given the physicality of hockey and the high probability of injuries such as concussions, broken bones, and joint damage, Joseph found himself facing significant challenges when seeking life insurance coverage.

When Joseph approached various insurers, he encountered higher premium rates than those quoted to his peers in less risky professions. Insurers considered his occupation high-risk due to the frequency and severity of injuries commonly associated with hockey. Additionally, some insurers were hesitant to provide coverage at all, citing the potential for long-term health complications stemming from repeated injuries on the ice.

During the underwriting process, insurers delved into Joseph’s medical history, scrutinizing his previous injuries, surgeries, and any ongoing health issues. His frequent travel for games and training camps also raised concerns, as it added another layer of risk. Despite being in peak physical condition, the cumulative risks associated with his profession made it difficult for Joseph to secure affordable life insurance.

Ultimately, Joseph worked with a specialized insurer familiar with the unique needs of professional athletes. By providing detailed information about his health regimen, injury prevention measures, and off-season activities, Joseph was able to secure a customized life insurance policy that met his needs, albeit at a higher premium rate than average. This shows the importance of working with knowledgeable insurers who understand the specific challenges faced by high-risk professionals like athletes.

Life Insurance Products for Athletes and Sports Professionals

Athletes and sports professionals have unique needs when it comes to life insurance. The high-risk nature of their careers requires specialized products that provide adequate coverage and financial security. Tailored life insurance products are designed to address these specific needs, ensuring that athletes can protect their income, family, and future, even in the face of career-ending injuries or other unforeseen events.

Types of Coverage Options Available

Term Life Insurance: Term life insurance is a popular choice for athletes due to its affordability and simplicity. This type of policy provides coverage for a specified period, such as 10, 20, or 30 years. If the insured athlete passes away during this term, the policy pays out a death benefit to the beneficiaries. Term life insurance is ideal for athletes looking for temporary coverage during their peak earning years or until they reach certain financial milestones.

Whole Life Insurance: Whole life insurance offers lifelong coverage and includes a savings component known as the cash value. This type of policy is more expensive than term life but provides guaranteed death benefits, fixed premiums, and the potential to accumulate cash value over time. Athletes who prefer long-term financial planning and want to build cash reserves for the future may find whole life insurance to be a suitable option.

Disability Insurance: Disability insurance is crucial for athletes, as it protects their income in the event of an injury or illness that prevents them from performing their sport. This type of insurance provides a monthly benefit to replace a portion of the athlete’s income, ensuring financial stability during recovery. Disability insurance can be tailored to cover both short-term and long-term disabilities, making it a vital part of an athlete’s overall financial strategy.

Policy Riders and Add-ons for Athletes and Sports Professionals

When it comes to life insurance, athletes and sports professionals often need more than just a standard policy. Policy riders and add-ons can provide additional coverage tailored to their unique needs. These options enhance a basic policy, offering extra protection and peace of mind.

Specific Riders Beneficial for Athletes

  1. Accidental Death Benefit Rider: An accidental death benefit rider provides an additional payout if the policyholder’s death is due to an accident. Given the high-risk nature of many sports, this rider is particularly valuable for athletes. It ensures that their beneficiaries receive extra financial support in the event of an unexpected, accident-related death.
  2. Waiver of Premium Rider: The waiver of premium rider is essential for athletes. If the policyholder becomes disabled and is unable to work, this rider waives future premium payments while keeping the policy in force. This ensures that the athlete’s coverage continues without the financial burden of paying premiums during a period of disability.
  3. Income Protection Rider: An income protection rider provides a monthly income benefit if the policyholder becomes disabled and cannot perform their professional duties. This rider is particularly crucial for athletes, as it helps replace lost income and maintain financial stability during recovery from an injury or illness.
You should consider no medical life insurance if you don’t mind a smaller death benefit, are looking for coverage as fast as possible, you do not qualify for traditional coverage, or you don’t want to do a medical exam.

Post-Retirement Life Insurance Needs

Retiring from professional sports brings significant changes to an athlete’s life, including their life insurance needs. During their active career, athletes often focus on protecting their income and ensuring financial stability in the event of an injury. However, after retirement, their priorities shift. They may need to focus more on long-term financial security, estate planning, and ensuring their family’s well-being.

As athletes retire, their income often becomes more stable and predictable, but it may also decrease compared to their peak earning years. This change necessitates a reevaluation of their life insurance policies to ensure that they continue to meet their financial goals and obligations.


Life insurance is a crucial aspect of financial planning for athletes and sports professionals. Their high-risk careers necessitate specialized coverage that addresses the unique challenges they face, both during their active years and post-retirement. By understanding high-risk factors, exploring customized coverage options, and planning for career transitions, athletes can secure comprehensive protection for themselves and their families.

As athletes transition out of professional sports, their life insurance needs change. Moving from employer-provided coverage to individual policies requires careful consideration of future financial goals and potential gaps in coverage. By working with knowledgeable financial advisors and selecting appropriate policies and riders, retired athletes can ensure their financial security and peace of mind.

Ultimately, proactive life insurance planning allows athletes and sports professionals to focus on their careers and personal lives, knowing that they have safeguarded their financial future. Whether still competing or enjoying retirement, having the right life insurance coverage in place is essential for long-term financial stability and protection.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Life Insurance for Athletes and Sports Professionals

Yes, athletes can get life insurance with pre-existing conditions, but it may affect their premium rates and policy options. Insurers will consider the severity and management of the condition. Working with a specialized insurer familiar with athletes’ needs can help secure coverage that addresses these challenges.

Athletes can reduce their life insurance premiums by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding high-risk activities outside their sport, and opting for policies with higher deductibles. Providing detailed health and fitness information during the underwriting process can also help demonstrate lower risk to insurers.

Yes, it is possible to get life insurance during the off-season. In fact, the off-season can be an ideal time for athletes to review and update their coverage since they may have fewer immediate career-related risks. This period allows athletes to focus on their financial planning without the pressure of an active sports schedule.

If you change sports or careers, your life insurance policy may need to be updated to reflect the new risk profile. It’s essential to inform your insurer about the change, as it could impact your coverage and premium rates. Working with a financial advisor can help you adjust your policy to ensure continuous and adequate coverage as your professional circumstances evolve.

Find a solution for what you’re looking for 

If you change sports or careers, your life insurance policy may need to be updated to reflect the new risk profile. It’s essential to inform your insurer about the change, as it could impact your coverage and premium rates. At Protect Your Wealth, we work with and compare policies and quotes from the best life insurance companies in Canada to ensure the best solution for you and your needs. We provide expert life insurance solutions, including no medical life insurance, critical illness insurance, term life insurance, and permanent life insurance to build the best package to give you the protection you need.

Contact Protect Your Wealth or call us at 1-877-654-6119 to talk to an advisor today! We’re proudly based out of Hamilton, and service clients anywhere in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba including areas such as Kitchener, Grande Prairie, Richmond and Brandon.

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