Most people are familiar with traditional insurance brokers, but specialist companies exist to cover risks as varied as martial arts and hang-gliding

Specialist insurance brokers exist to provide cover for more unusual risks

Insurance is a necessary purchase for many people, with cover for a property, vehicle or individual’s life an everyday occurrence – but not all risks are common, and that’s where specialist insurance brokers come in.

These exist to help clients with very specific requirements obtain cover – for risks as diverse as structural failure during a property conversion to a flash flood or wildfire destroying a field of cannabis crops.

We take a look at five companies applying their niche expertise to cover specialist risks worldwide.


Specialist insurance brokers for building work

specialist insurance brokers

Construction jobs can pose a variety of risks to tradesmen, property owners and even the general public – especially if the work is carried out on a high-risk structure.

Self-Build Zone is an insurance broker that offers policies for the more risky building endeavours, like converting a barn or restoring a derelict church.

It claims that traditional property insurers won’t pay out for losses taking place while a building is under development, so having an insurance policy specific to the building work being carried out is essential.

Founded in 2003, the firm gives access to a list of insurance policies covering new builds, extensions, conversions and renovations against losses such as fire, theft, flood, vandalism and damage from storms or accidents.


Specialist insurance brokers martial arts

specialist insurance brokers

Considering they spend their leisure time using a range of different ways to physically overpower and subdue an opponent – sometimes causing significant harm in the process – insurance for martial artists may seem like an oxymoron.

But specialist broker Clegg Gifford provides cover to address a range of risks specific to this form of combat.

Tailored specifically for associations, federations, organisations, academies and schools, the company offers policies for public liability that cover between £1m ($1.25m) and £10m ($12.5m) in costs.

Policies can also be bought on an individual basis and cover a range of martial arts, including more risky ones like MMA and cage fighting.


Specialist insurance brokers for high-risk occupations

specialist insurance brokers

Reading the words “high-risk occupation” may prompt images of soldiers, the police force or firefighters, and these are some of the more common professions for which specialist brokers find cover.

But they don’t even make it into the list of the top ten most dangerous occupations, according to specialist broker GoodLifeProtection.

Among their most high-risk clients are fisherman, lumberjacks and pilots, all of which can expect to pay a higher premium for life insurance.

The Illinois-based firm insures the lives of Americans in these higher-risk jobs in all 50 US states, intermediating between the insurer and client to secure a life insurance policy.

Doing so may mean customers pay higher premiums or be subject to death exclusions – a situation where insurers won’t pay out if death is caused by an agreed upon excluded occurrence, like a tree falling on a lumberjack.


Specialist insurance brokers for cannabis growers

specialist insurance brokers

Cannabis is a controversial drug, with its proven medical benefits across a range of neurodegenerative disorders clashing in public opinion with the risks associated with recreational use.

But what many don’t consider are the dangers growers and suppliers face in their day-to-day lives working with the cannabis plant – and this is where cannabis insurance brokers come in.

Active across several US states, Heffernan Insurance Brokers is a specialist that covers the risks associated with cannabis and hemp, from growth right up until sale.

Along with cover for unprecedented events like wildfires and theft of stock while in transit, the policies can involve cannabis surety bonds, which form a contract between those in the industry and the government to ensure regulations are observed.

The surety bond acts like an insurance policy for the regulator, in that companies within the cannabis industry pay an annual fee to a third party known as a surety.

In the event a regulation is broken and a claim is filed and accepted, a fee of up to $5,000 is paid out to the regulator, rather than extracted from the cannabis firm, which is liable to pay back the claimed amount to the surety in instalments afterwards.


Specialist insurance brokers for extreme sports

specialist insurance brokers

Most of the world’s population would balk at the idea of taking up extreme sports, but specialist insurance brokers are still there to cover those who do decide to pursue high-octane activities.

One such company is World Nomads, an extreme lifestyle-focused travel insurance firm based in Sydney, Australia.

Among the risks it insures against are bungee jumping, hang gliding and caving – each of which carries a heavy injury risk.

In the event that a customer’s extreme lifestyle results in injury, World Nomad’s cover includes medical treatment abroad, prescribed medicines and transport home when ongoing treatment is necessary.

The firm has several exclusions from its travel insurance policies, refusing to pay out if policyholders are on drugs or have been drinking alcohol, are doing an activity the policy doesn’t cover or have ridden a motorbike without a helmet or the correct licence.

The policies also include the more vague limitation that World Nomads won’t pay out “If you’ve been acting like a fool and taking needless risks”.