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Consumers should know their risks when buying life insurance

Life Insurance and Annuities
by Jeff Lee
Consumers should know their risks when buying life insurance
Consumers should know their risks when buying life insurance

Polls show that millions of Americans who value life insurance do not have it, and this is for a number of reasons. However, one thing that they may not know about but which could significantly impact their premiums is the risk factor that goes into the activities they undertake on a regular basis. Knowing the odds of potential major accidents could end up going a long way toward helping them find the best coverage given their lifestyle and unique needs.

One of the big reasons that many young people get life insurance is that they want to protect their families financially in the event of an accident that results in their deaths, but many don't know the actual odds that such a thing might happen based on what they do in their everyday lives, according to a report from the consumer financial advice site Nerdwallet. For instance, 1 in slightly less than 1,900 people die as a result of falling down the stairs, while 1 in about 9,200 drown in their bathtubs each year.

Everyday odds, long and otherwise
Meanwhile, 1 out of every 3,375 deaths in the U.S. comes as a result of a person choking on his or her food, while only 1 in 3 million die of food poisoning, the report said. Other everyday activities that can result in death include being in a car (1 in 470) and crossing the street on foot (1 in 704). Meanwhile, 1 in 911 die on motorcycles, while 1 in 4,545 die while riding a bike. Finally, 1 in a little more than 8,000 die on airplanes.

In addition, weather events and natural disasters can occasionally be deadly, but far less often, the report said. For instance, 1 in slightly less than 5,900 die as a result of cold weather, while one in more than 6,700 die in hot weather. Floods only kill about 1 in 158,400, while lightning strikes kill 1 in nearly 165,000. Earthquakes are the least likely to be fatal, killing about 1 in 180,000.

Mountaineering is extremely dangerous.Rock climbing is extremely dangerous.

Lifestyle choices
Those who like to partake in mountaineering run a fairly significant risk, resulting in death for 1 in 167, the report said, and hang gliding kills about 1 in every 560. Less risky activities include simply hiking in the mountains (1 in 15,625), scuba diving (1 in about 34,500), or skiing (1 in 1 million). The odds of being killed by an animal remain quite small; people have only about a 1 in 42,000 chance of dying from a venomous snake or lizard bite, while wasps, bees, and hornets kill nearly 1 in every 56,000. Finally, a dog bite will typically kill about 1, in 116,500.

This is important information to those looking to buy life insurance, because while some risk factors are unavoidable, others very much are. Those worried about the cost of coverage might want to look at ways they can reduce their risk to bring down their premiums long-term.

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