Being a firefighter certainly brings you more danger than your average desk jockey, but it doesn’t have to mean you pay the price when it comes to getting insurance.
We often hear from firefighters who believe they either can’t get affordable cover or won’t find an insurer at all. Thankfully this isn’t the case and we’re happy to help you get the best deal.
One thing many people don’t understand about insurance is that factors such as your job are assessed by results, not by perceived cause and effect. Insurers don’t start with a blank page, look at a job, consider what it involves, then figure out the risk “logically”, for example assuming that a school dinner lady is going to be safe while a trapeze artist must be in more danger
Instead the insurers look at statistics: they try to find out whether journalists really are involved in more road accidents that school dinner ladies. To put it another way, premiums are based on the what, not the how or why.
Does this mean some unfair pricing because people are stereotyped? Unfortunately yes, but it’s not necessarily as dramatic a difference as you might assume. In an ideal world insurers would look at every possible aspect of your life and produce a unique quote based solely on your personal risk. In practice, measures such as using a job title are a short cut that’s part of a delicate balance: making a quote as individual and accurately reflective of risk as possible without making the process so unwieldy that it drives up admin costs and in turn increases premiums.
The good news is that different insurers use different factors and statistics to come up with a premium, so while being a firefighter could mean some insurers charge you extra or decline cover, with others it either makes little difference or simply isn’t a factor.
There’s no point pretending that nobody has ever been turned down for insurance or paid higher premiums because of doing a dangerous job such as firefighting, particularly when it comes to life insurance. However, your job isn’t the type of factor where being turned down in one place affects your chances of getting an affordable quote elsewhere.
If you’ve ever completed an insurance application, you’ll be familiar with the question about whether you have ever been declined insurance. This doesn’t mean every type of unwanted decision from one insurer automatically affects your dealings with other insurers. Most of the time, such questions are trying to find out relevant facts that aren’t covered by the rest of the application form, such as if you’ve made a fraudulent claim or hidden something important.
If and how your previous experience looking for insurance as a firefighter affects your application to another insurer varies tremendously from case to case. This just adds one more factor to make it time-consuming to check every provider individually.
I’m Insured can help resolve this problem in two ways. The first is through our price comparison service. Your occupation is among the questions that we ask when you provide your details to search for insurance types such as life, critical illness, motor or medical cover.
We use your occupation — and the other details you provide — as part of our automated enquiry to dozens of providers. You’ll then see a full list of available quotes and be able to spot straight away which insurers either don’t consider it an issue, or provide an affordable premium regardless. In most cases we’ll also show a list of insurer who aren’t willing to offer cover and their stated reasons, which will often include your occupation if that’s an issue.
(If you’re really curious you can run the price comparison again using a different occupation to see what difference it makes. However, you must remember that this is purely for information and interest only. You must state your occupation truthfully and accuracy for your insurance to be valid: never go ahead and buy a policy using the results of a search based on incorrect details.)
The other option is to ask us to carry out a custom search on your behalf. To do this, just click the “Talk To Us” button on any page. We can then use our experience and expertise to put together suitable quotes from insurers who don’t penalise you for being a firefighter and instead base premiums only on other factors such as your age and medical history.
We hope we’ve assured you that being a firefighter doesn’t have to hurt you in the wallet. Rest assured, if you’re thinking over life or critical illness cover, your job doesn’t have to be a factor. Getting such policies can bring real peace of mind and bring security to your loved ones, so don’t let misguided fears about your job prevent you from making the right decision.