High Risk Insurance

When we think of short term insurance the most obvious that comes to mind is probably car -, householder or content – and homeowner insurance. There are also other important types of short term insurance such as personal liability and personal accident insurance. When you take out short term insurance one of the questions you will always be asked is regarding your occupation.

High risk occupations and short term insurance

Insurance is all about risk; certain risks are simply too high to insure and others will demand a bigger premium due to the high probability of risk. A high risk occupation is one that carries a bigger than average risk of the probability of injury, illness, accidents or death taking place, due to the nature of the work. The result of the higher risk is that much higher premiums will be asked.

What occupations are seen as high risk in South Africa?

The list will be very long if we are going to look at it in detail, but broadly speaking, the following categories of jobs are seen as high risk occupations: police and defence force, mining, security services, aviation, building industry (in particular demolition work), journalists, entertainment and some professional sports such as rock-climbing and racing for example.

In South Africa, with our high crime rate and also the high incidence of HIV, there are more occupations that will be classed as high risk, which may not be seen as high risk in other areas of the world. Here we can think of health workers as an example.

Even a high risk hobby will affect your insurance needs

You may not be in a high risk occupation but if you partake in a high risk hobby or sport you need to bring this to the attention of the insurance company where you apply for short term insurance. Examples we can think of are diving, speed contests, some water sports, mountaineering, skydiving, hang-gliding and many more.

Declaring all the facts

Depending on the type of short term insurance you are applying for – the fact that you partake in a high risk occupation or sport becomes even more important. If you are a professional driver car insurance companies will not offer you car insurance – you will have to obtain professional or specialized insurance cover. Driving at night and driving under pressure will also increase your car insurance premiums.

Withholding any material facts from your insurance company is not a good idea. You may do so to try and save money but, when you need to claim against a loss the true facts will come to light and your claim will simply be repudiated.

Exclusions of high risk occupations or other activities

You will find that many insurers will have a list of excluded occupations and activities which they are not prepared to insure. The areas of disability – , liability – personal accident and medical insurance cover are particularly sensitive to high risk occupations and activities. So it is important to check the exclusions on your insurance policies.

Where do you get short term insurance if you are in a high risk occupation?

If you work for a company or public service institution you can ask your Human Resources Department, staff – or Union Association for advice. There may be insurance companies offering special rates to your company.

If you are self-employed it is best to ask an insurance broker for advice on specialized short term insurance. The broker will obtain a number of quotes for you; specifically geared towards your particular needs and you can then decide on the best option.

Disability cover

Disability cover is important for anyone from the first day you start working. Disability cover can be part of both short term and long term insurance so make sure that you have the right balance between the two without paying for duplicated insurance.


You may have to pay more for your short term insurance if you are in a high risk occupation but can you afford to be without it?