6 Factors that Can Increase Your Life Insurance Premium

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There are a number of factors that come into play when calculating your life insurance premium. It would therefore be worthwhile to know exactly what goes into the calculation process and whether you can do anything to reduce your life insurance rate from your end. Insurance companies all have certain criteria that underwriter’s look out for when determining a person’s policy premium. When a company receives your application for evaluation, they are basically looking out for clues and reasons to indicate that your mortality rate is high. This in turn means a higher risk for them and increases the odds of the company having to pay out the death benefits.

The greater the risks, the higher the premium – it’s as simple as that. This includes age and sex of the policyholder among other things. Since these are factors that one can scarcely do anything about, let’s turn our attention to those that one can control. The factors that can increase your life insurance rates are:

  • Weight and obesity – Medical statistics suggest that the heavier you are, the higher the chances of chronic medical conditions and ill health. Being overweight leads to high cholesterol, blood pressure, and a propensity for heart attacks, diabetes and stroke. If you really want to lower your premiums, start exercising and losing those pounds. Obese people can end up paying more than 50 percent in terms of life insurance rates, so a diet regime will help create a healthier body as well as lighten the load on your wallet.
  • Smoking – Smoking is another big no-no where life insurance is concerned. Non-smokers pay lower premiums than smokers do and even if you only smoke two cigarettes a day, smoke a pipe occasionally or even chew tobacco, you will be lumped into the category of smokers according to most insurance companies. Stop smoking immediately and in as little as a year of being tobacco free, you could be eligible for lower non-smoker premium rates.
  • Alcohol abuse – If you are a heavy drinker or have been for years (even if you were an alcoholic once), insurance companies take all these details into consideration and hike up the rate of your policy. Alcohol abuse (like drug abuse) is considered highly detrimental to your health and most companies view this as a negative habit.
  • Medical conditions and family health – Any chronic health conditions or a medical history of any ailments and your insurance rates could shoot up. If you suffer from diabetes or cancer for instance, the odds of survival are lower and the costs of treatment and medication will also increase. On your application, you will be asked to list out your family’s medical history. And even if you don’t suffer from stroke, blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and the like, the risk factor is still considered the same if any member of your family suffers from it. While there is nothing much you can do about such a situation, you need to be truthful on your application irrespective. Also there are many insurance companies nowadays that specialize in such high-risk cases, so there is no need to give up on the idea of life insurance policy entirely.
  • Lifestyle choices– Take a closer look at your occupation and hobbies. Are they dangerous or life threatening in any way? From careers that involve high-risk situations such as war journalism, racing, sports, and hobbies like skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, rock climbing and others, all contribute towards increasing your risk level in the eyes of an insurance company. Different companies tend to view various occupations and hobbies differently and it’s important to shop around before deciding on your policy in such cases.
  • Coverage amount – Another factor that determines the premium amount on your policy is the amount of coverage you require and if there are any add-ons or options included in your policy. This is where online insurance service providers come in extremely handy as they can list out hundreds of insurance companies with multiple quotes so that you can compare prices and products and come to an informed decision.

Click here to get a free life insurance quote.

At this point, it is important to reiterate the fact that on no account should you lie on your insurance application in the hope of getting a lower rate. Factors such as smoking, drinking or drug usage will definitely increase the costs but this is still far better than finding out later that your policy is deemed invalid due to lying about these conditions.

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~ Tips on Purchasing a Disability Insurance Policy – Forgo it at your own Peril
~ Bank on it: Higher Fees are Here to Stay
~ Is GEICO Really Cheaper for Auto Insurance
~ 5 Personal Finance Tips For Smart Retirement Planning

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joe @ TermLifeIsurance.com June 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm

How heavily is family history weighted? Only about 10 years ago we believed that your chances of cancer, heart disease and other diseases was 50% heredity and 50% life style choice.. now scientists are realizing that lifestyle choice is a much bigger factor than family history. I’ve read some studies that have stated that in most diseases are closer to 90% life style and only 10% heredity… Has the life insurance industry just not caught up to the science? Or is this factor only weighted in some types of diseases?

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