If you regularly browse the Internet or have been in a home decor store at all recently, you have probably seen the saying “Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then always be Batman,” on some product or another. While we can all pretty much agree that Batman is cool, his lifestyle choices are quite risky. It’s a good thing that Batman’s secret identity is *spoiler alert* American billionaire Bruce Wayne because Batman would never be able to qualify for life insurance to protect his future family.
Bruce Wayne is a businessman. He owns Wayne Enterprises. On paper, Bruce Wayne is actually a great candidate for permanent life insurance because he could definitely use the tax benefits and it would help fund a buy-sell agreement for his company. However, if Mr. Wayne were to be honest on his life insurance application, he’d never get approved.
Life insurance companies need to know your occupation and if you participate in any risky hobbies. Their underwriters evaluate applicants and determine coverage amounts and premiums based upon the company’s specific underwriting guidelines. These guidelines have been created based on risk evaluated by actuaries. To sum it up: the more physical risks you make in your life, the higher your insurance premiums will be.
Why Batman’s Gadgets Will Be His Downfall…
Bruce Wayne is a businessman by day and a crime-fighting super hero by night. Unlike other super heroes such as Superman, in which bullets bounce off of him, and Wolverine, whom can heal himself in seconds, Batman is a normal human who uses his intellect, martial arts skills, and vast wealth to keep Gotham safe. His hand-to-hand combat fighting is the least of his worries! Let’s take a look at some of the dangerous gadgets Batman uses when handing out justice.
One of Batman’s most frequently used gadgets is his grappling gun. It allows him to repel down and shoot up buildings with the greatest of ease, but one slip off a too-angled roof and boom. Batman’s dead.
Life insurance underwriters would compare this “hobby” to rock climbing. Underwriters will typically evaluate the application of rock climbing enthusiasts by taking into consideration how often they climb and by using the Yosemite Decimal System (YDS). This three-part system is used to rate the difficulty of walks, hikes, and climbs. The system is divided into five classes. The higher the class, the riskier the climb, and the higher the life insurance premiums will be.
Explosive Gel and Bat-Bombs
When Batman is chasing a bad guy and said bad guy runs into a building and barricades the door, guess what? Batman just pulls out his explosive gel gun or Bat-Bomb and boom. No more walls. Well, cool, but what happens if Batman can’t run back in time before they blow? Also, technology isn’t fool-proof. Batman is running around with these bombs attached to his belt! One wrong move and bye-bye Batman.
Life insurance underwriters would compare this to the risk that members of the SWAT team or bomb squad go through. If you put yourself in harm’s way on a daily basis for work, the life insurance underwriters are going to be a little hesitant about approving you for a standard policy. Definitely take advantage of any group life insurance policies your employer offers just in case you are denied an individual life insurance policy based on your occupation.
Batmobile and Batpod
I suppose these all-terrain vehicles aren’t gadgets but, anyway, they can get up to insane speeds and are equipped with all sorts of dangerous weapons. While Batman doesn’t believe in killing people, which is nice of him, he does use these weapons to blow up obstacles in his way and uses the afterburners, a.k.a. rocket boosters, for bursts of speed which can propel him long distances and over large gaps… like buildings.
Batman’s car insurance premiums must be through the roof. Also, with those afterburners, speeding tickets are probably common. Just as car insurance providers penalize you for speeding violations, life insurance companies don’t appreciate them either. They associate too much speeding with someone who enjoys living life a little on the wild/careless side and because speeding can cause accidents which can cause death, life insurance underwriters are going to penalize you by means of higher premiums if your driving record is mediocre at best.
Batglider and Memory Cloth Cape
Both the Batglider and his high-tech memory cloth cape have one main purpose: to allow Batman to fly through the sky like a bat. Nothing could ever go wrong with that, right? Batman may be against killing, but the bad guys he chases aren’t. A villain could easily shoot at Batman’s glider or cape, causing Batman to plummet to the street. Also, technology has hiccups sometimes. What happens if Batman jumps off the side of a building pressing his “eject wings” button and the wings don’t eject? Bye-bye Batman.
Life insurance underwriters would compare Batman’s flying gadgets to hang gliding. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, your chances of dying while skydiving is 1 in 101,083… your chances of dying while hang gliding, however, are 1 in 560. You can see why life insurance carriers don’t welcome hang gliders with open arms.
If you purchase term life insurance and then become Batman, your premiums will not increase. This is one advantage of buying life insurance sooner rather than later. However, we are not encouraging you to become Batman… just stating facts.
Why It’s a Good Thing You Aren’t Batman…
Now, life insurance underwriters are not in the business to deny applicants. They want you to approve you for coverage. If you participate in a risky hobby or have a dangerous job, chances are you can still be approved for life insurance but you will have to pay higher premiums and maybe even have to pay what is called a “flat extra”. A flat extra can be added onto a policy for a number of years or it can be permanent. This flat extra compensates the insurance company for the added risk it is taking on by approving the applicant.
If your lifestyle includes more than one risky hobby, like Batman’s, this is when the potential for rejection comes along. Life insurance companies cannot financially justify approving someone for life insurance when they, for example, use explosives on a weekly basis and then BASE jump for fun on the weekends. There is too much risk there. So, unless you are an adrenaline junkie you can likely get approved for life insurance.
Curious about how much life insurance might cost you? Get a free term life insurance quote instantly – no need to enter contact information. You can then apply right online. The online application will ask you about any “hazardous activities” you participate in. After you submit your online application to Quotacy, the team will review it and let you know before submitting it to the carrier if your activities will impact your pricing.
Rest assured that you do not have to commit to anything right away. You will not be asked for any billing information until later after you have accepted an offer from a life insurance company and have your life insurance policy issued. We also want to note that if you purchase term life insurance and then become Batman, your premiums will not increase. This is one advantage of buying life insurance sooner rather than later. However, we are not encouraging you to become Batman… just stating facts. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or contact us directly.
Photo credit to: Hunny Alrohaif
About the writer
Writer, Editor, and Co-host of Quotacy's Q&A Fridays
Natasha is the content manager and editor for Quotacy. She has been in the life insurance industry since 2010 and has been making life insurance easier to understand with her writing since 2014. When not at work, she's probably studying and working toward her Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation while throwing a tennis ball for her pitbull mix, Emmett, or curled up on her couch watching Netflix. If it’s football season, the Packers game will be on. Connect with her on LinkedIn.