Gearing Up

Ed Scott

From the first jump, all skydivers know the value of being prepared. We train, retrain, review the Skydiver’s Information Manual, practice in a hanging harness, perform gear checks before every jump, read incident reports to educate ourselves, seek out experts and take myriad other steps to be as prepared as possible for any skydiving eventuality. Doesn’t it make sense that we should also prepare for other eventualities, even bad skydiving outcomes? That’s where life insurance and accident insurance come in, with the goal of preparing your loved ones for your untimely departure or severe injury. Life insurance and accident/disability insurance are different, and you need to know those differences in order to get the protection that best serves your needs.

Life insurance is self-explanatory: The insurance company pays an amount you’ve chosen and paid premiums toward to those you choose upon your passing from any cause, be it illness or accident. For years, skydivers struggled to obtain reasonably priced life insurance—and often couldn’t even get a quote—simply because they jumped out of airplanes for a hobby. But that changed when USPA used its group buying power and partnered with Insure Easy Life, an insurance broker and certified financial planner, to negotiate on behalf of its members for life insurance, as well as a host of other insurance and financial products and services. They found underwriters willing to review skydiving safety statistics and learn how the true risk of skydiving has declined over the years. USPA members now qualify for life insurance at preferred underwriting rates, not just the substandard rates once offered to skydivers. (You still must meet health requirements to get preferred rates.) There is no limit to the amount of coverage you can purchase, and every USPA member can receive a quote.

Accident insurance, or AD&D (accidental death and disability) as it’s known, pays in the event of accidental death only (not from illness), but also pays for various types of permanent disabilities. Rates are generally much lower than life insurance, and thus more affordable. USPA is pleased to endorse an AD&D plan by IMAC Insurance Agency for USPA members and their families. With this insurance, you are covered when you are involved in an accident, whether through skydiving or an unrelated activity. At limits of $100,000 (for a skydiving accident) and $200,000 (for any other type of accident), you are insured for loss of life, limb, sight, speech or hearing, as well as paralysis, anywhere in the world. 

Our newest offering is life plus disability (life insurance with a disability rider). This new type of policy allows you to receive the full death benefit in the event you are disabled and unable to perform two out of six activities of daily living as determined by your doctor. The proceeds are paid monthly and are tax-free, and you can use them for any purpose. Unlike with traditional disability insurance, skydiving activities are fully insured. The insurance is not tied to your job or income, and you can maintain it into retirement. And unlike traditional long-term care insurance, you can spend the monthly income any way you desire, with premiums that will not increase as you get older. 

Odds are very high that you will survive and be in good health long after your skydiving days. But accidents happen in skydiving and all other activities. Ensure your family is prepared if you’re injured or worse. Go to the bottom of the page at to learn more about each of these plans and pick the one that best fits your lifestyle and situation.


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