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Sadly, this life will come to an end one day. This is just one of the inevitabilities of life, one none of us is looking forward to. Even after you’re gone, your loved ones still remain, and life must go on without you. Wouldn’t you want to leave them in a better financial state?
That is where life insurance comes into the picture. However, life insurance is a cost, and health plays a major role in determining what your premiums will be. While there are some aspects of your health you can control by making better lifestyle choices, others are well beyond your control.
All in all, it helps to know what factors can affect your life insurance rates before jumping in on a plan.
The older you get, the more you are nearing the dreaded end. It’s sad, but that is just how insurance companies will look at it. It is all about life expectancy. And out of all the things that can impact life expectancy, age is by far the biggest. So the older you are, the more you will pay for your life insurance.
To avoid paying hefty premiums, it is advisable to start with life insurance while you are young – when the risk is low. Any age below 35 is ideal, as it allows you to negotiate and lock in low premiums.
We might be living in a world where gender is becoming less relevant to many important issues. But when it comes to life expectancy, gender plays a major role. That is why insurance companies will also look at gender because the life expectancy between men and women is different.
On average, women live longer than men, which means women should expect to pay less on their insurance premiums than men. But this is not something that insurance companies have made up to make men pay more. In fact, women live 6-8 years longer than men, on average.
When you are overweight or obese, there are a number of health risks involved that increase your risk for insurance companies. These risks include heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions that can shorten your lifespan. Naturally, this means you will pay more if you are packing on some extra pounds.
While it definitely isn’t easy, unlike age and gender, your weight is something you can control. By making changes to your lifestyle, such as diet and exercise, you can significantly bring your weight down.
As a smoker, you might be healthier than overweight or obese person, but the habit can make your premiums bigger than theirs. It is well known that insurance companies charge smokers insurance rates that are 2-5 times higher than people who don’t smoke.
Smoking is a huge risk healthwise (it is also a risk for your wallet). On top of being the leading cause of lung cancer, smokers also increase their risk of heart disease. Luckily, this is another lifestyle habit that can be controlled by quitting.
Some prudent insurance companies will look into your driving record to see if you are a risk. If you are a reckless driver, then you can expect your insurance rates to reflect your on-road behavior. And you can’t hide this information from them since they can easily access your records from the DMV.
If you were a reckless driver while you were much younger, you might not need to worry about that. They usually look at the past 3-5 years of your driving record. So if you have made strides in improving your driving behavior in that period, your premiums shouldn’t be as high.
It is no secret that some jobs are more dangerous than others. The risk of dying sooner is much more real if you work at a construction site or if you are Tom Cruise’s stunt double than if you are a desk jockey. While a desk job might kill you, that will happen way much later than the other occupations, so expect to pay less.
Similar to your occupation, some hobbies are way more dangerous than others. Is your favorite hobby playing the guitar or do you like climbing mountains for fun? If it is the latter, then you can expect to pay more for your insurance than simply picking up the guitar.
Current Health Status
Your current health status is also a major concern for life insurance firms. So you need to disclose your medical history to them, detailing any major and minor issue you have. Whether you are prone to migraines or you have heart problems, your insurer needs to know this information.
But the more problematic your health history is, the higher you will pay for your premiums. At this point, you might think lying is a better option to get low rates, but that is unwise. You must always be honest on your application because if you have a pre-existing condition that causes your premature death and your insurance company finds out that you lied about it, your family’s claim will be denied.
You can’t choose the family you are born in – genes determine a lot about us, even our health. If you are born into a family with a great medical history then you are in luck. But if your family has a history of life-shortening conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, you might have a problem.
While not all insurance companies put a major emphasis on the health of your family members, others will raise your insurance premiums if your family history is full of problems. And the more these problems contributed to untimely demises, the higher the premiums.
You might also want to lie about your family’s medical past, but just like with your own medical history, honesty is the best policy.
Life insurance is a great way for you to leave this earth and still continue to take care of your loved ones. And knowing what aspects of your health can affect your insurance rates is important just in case you can do something about it. And if you can do something about it, you should. Not just for the low premiums, but to also stay on this earth with your loved ones a little longer.