It makes sound financial sense to take out life insurance, especially if you have a family. You may be young and healthy, but nobody knows what’s around the corner, and you have a duty to provide your loved ones with financial protection should the worst happen. Some factors may affect the amount of cover in your policy or the premium you pay. Here are the main factors that can affect life insurance.
This is a factor you simply can’t control, but it could have a major impact on your life insurance premium. It may not seem fair, but if two people have identical medical history and risk factors, but one is 21 and the other is 51, the younger person will get cheaper life insurance than the older person.
Most insurance companies have an age cut off, where they won’t insure you after a certain birthday. It’s worth shopping around, as this age may vary. Also, some companies do policies especially for older people.
Your current state of health is one of the major factors in assessing your life insurance cover and premium. Some companies may require tests to rule out pre-existing conditions which could impact on your age expectancy, but often it’s just a question of answering questions regarding your medical history. However, you may have to pay a higher premium for a guaranteed acceptance policy, so it may be more financially viable to agree to tests such as blood tests, urine tests or cholesterol tests.
Don’t consider hiding anything, because it could compromise a future claim if you fail to disclose pertinent information, or notify the insurance company of any relevant changes in your health. Honesty is the best policy where life insurance is concerned.
Family medical history
The risk of inherited medical conditions may seriously affect your chance of getting affordable life cover, even if you are in perfect health. And a family history of life-threatening conditions such as heart disease will mean a hike in premiums. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about this – it’s just the way it is.
Bad habits equate to high insurance premiums, or even a refusal to provide cover at all. Smokers always pay higher premiums than non-smokers, due to the risk assessment for life expectancy. Excessive alcohol consumption and obesity may also drive up the premiums and/or lead to exclusions in the policy, so it makes financial sense as well as health sense to pursue a healthy lifestyle.
Some professions are classed as ‘high risk,’ and will result in a higher premium, and probably an exclusion clause should you die in the course of your occupation, or from related causes. High risk professions include pilots, divers and mountaineers. If a bank manager and a scuba diver are the same age, with similar health records, the bank manager will usually pay less in premiums and receive more cover.
Life insurance is an individual matter, depending on a lot of variables, so it’s impossible to give a ballpark figure for a particular person. While some factors that influence quotes are out of your control, adopting a healthy lifestyle by giving up smoking, moderating alcohol consumption and maintaining a healthy weight can make a big difference to your insurance premiums and the amount of cover your policy provides. Yet another reason, should you need one, to live a healthy life.