Hazardous occupations and activities

Hazardous occupations and activities

I'm looking for insurance cover, but I do some interesting things;

By interesting things, I'm assuming this is related to your hobbies, activities and occupation. 

Insurance companies do take an interest in what activities you do because sometimes they are risky. Immediate things which come to mind for most people are bungy jumping and parachuting. The list is much longer.

It is probably better to approach this from the aspects of the situation you are in, what do you do?

  • Compete (Professional Sports and Racing (Animals and vehicles))
  • Is it physical? (Martial Arts, Rugby, etc.)
  • Are heights involved? (more than 10 meters off the solid ground)
  • Is speed involved? (outside running, cycling and driving a private car on a public road)
  • Do you require special safety equipment? (High tension electrician, professional abseiler)

If you are in any of these situations, while you and those around you may not have had any problems with accidents or injuries, your risk when compared to someone working at a desk or in a traditional trade may be significantly higher.

I've used this example before, a discussion with a potential client, John. John worked on high voltage pylons in remote areas. These pylons are up to 70 meters high and don't have safety railings. For John to get to the pylon, he had to fly in a helicopter to the pylon then be winched down to the pylon to work on it or the wires on them. Now from his point of view he felt his risk is managed, safety gear, no accidents and those around him do a similar job and have a similar experience. To be fair, if there was an accident, electrocution or a fall it's unlikely they would survive, so they are very very careful.

Let's take this situation and look at the risk facing the insurance company when compared to someone behind a desk.

  • There's a helicopter involved, how many hours are involved in flying? Helicopter accidents happen more often than people think, there had been two on the news when I was discussing the case above.
  • Does the Helicopter have all doors in place and closed?
  • Are the passengers always strapped in? No, as they have to be winched down to the pylon. So heightened the risk of falls.
  • What heights are involved, 70-100 metres in the air on the end of a rope or a pylon. Hmm, not a great situation with high winds or mechanical failure.
  • What voltages are involved, up to 400,000 volts, normal domestic supply is 230 volts, there is a bit of a difference.

You can see fairly quickly that this situation is far from flying a desk.

So thinking about your situation, how far away from flying a desk are you?

What risk do you have to manage daily for you to do what you do?

You probably do this naturally from experience, so you will have to stop to think about it.

How do insurance companies manage these risks? 

The most common approach is to exclude the activity or occupation, but this isn't always the case. The insurance company can often offer cover at an increased rate; it’s a better option as the risk is included in your cover. Loadings and exclusions are called special terms, which I have written an article on which you will find here.

Primarily loadings will be per mille loadings rather than percentage loadings.

If you want to know what cover you can get, give us a call, and we'd be happy to discuss you situation with you and give you a better picture about what cover is available for your activity or occupation. 

Jon-Paul Hale

Written by : Jon-Paul Hale

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