How Does My Health Affect My Ability to Get a Life Insurance Policy?

When you apply for life insurance coverage, the insurance company is going to look at a dozen different factors to determine how much they are going to charge you every month for your life insurance. All of the different factors are going to play a huge role in your premium amounts.

Life insurance rates are determined not just by an individual's health but also by his or her age, occupation, sex, lifestyle factors and financial status. Insurance underwriters use these risk factors to place each applicant into a risk class. If an applicant dies before his or her policy matures, the company will take a loss on the policy, so those who are applying for policies with higher face values will be more likely to have their health scrutinized more closely.

One of the most common reasons that people don’t get life insurance is because they assume that a policy is going to be too expensive because of their health. In most cases, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Regardless of your health, there are several options for affordable coverage.

What Kind of Health Conditions Can Affect Insurance Rates?

Such health conditions as high blood pressure, poorly managed Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, coronary artery disease, poorly controlled asthma, high cholesterol, depression and morbid obesity or anorexia nervosa can all have a negative impact on an applicant's risk. However, the better controlled each of these health conditions is, the less of an impact they will have on the rates an individual will pay.

Just about any pre-existing condition is going to impact how much you pay every month, but obviously, some of them are going to have a larger impact on your premiums. Conditions like sleep apnea or high blood pressure is not going to raise your rates as much as something like a heart attack in the past. Regardless of how severe that the pre-existing condition is, there is a company out there that will give you affordable life insurance protection, and that’s why we are here to help. Don’t let your health conditions keep you from getting the life insurance protection that your family needs.

Getting the Best Insurance Rates

Those who are in good health and have a family history free of serious health problems are most likely to receive preferred or select rates for their insurance policies. These are the best possible rates, which are reserved for those individuals who are considered to be the lowest risk to the insurance company. While serious health conditions can affect health insurance rates, if an individual is treated for those health conditions and his or her health is under good control, the insurance company will take that under consideration at the time of application. Medical records, lab work and other information will be gathered to more accurately assess the current and potential future state of the applicant's health so that he or she can be placed in the proper risk category.

Avoiding the Higher Rates Associated with High-Risk Categories

Smokers, those with high-risk occupations and those who engage in certain sports or hobbies will occupy the highest risk tier, which means they will generally pay the highest rates. Immediately below them will be those who have heart disease or who are morbidly obese. These individuals are likely to pay as much as 50 percent more than the preferred rates. Other serious health conditions or advanced age may also lead to increased insurance rates or placement in a high-risk tier.

The most common high-risk applicant that applies for life insurance coverage is smokers. As we mentioned, smokers are going to pay more for life insurance. In fact, smokers are going to pay at least twice as much for their life insurance versus what a non-smoker is going to pay for the same sized plan. If you want to save thousands of dollars on your life insurance coverage, then quitting smoking is one of the best ways to do that.

What Should I Do if I’m Assigned to a High-Risk Category?

There are several ways that you can improve your chances of getting affordable life insurance coverage. Having life insurance is one of the best things that you can do for your loved ones. Making a few simple changes can have a huge impact on your life insurance premiums.

The first thing that you should do if you want to get lower premiums, is cut out any tobacco. As we already mentioned, smoking is going to cause your rates to go through the roof. Smoking drastically increases your chances of being diagnosed with severe health complications, like a heart attack or lung cancer. Smoking is not the only tobacco that can increase your premiums, if you use chewing tobacco or you smoke cigars, then you’ll also get tobacco user ratse for your insurance coverage.

Another way that you can save money is by improving your overall health. Before the insurance company accepts your life insurance application, they are going to require that you take a medical exam, and the results of that exam are going to play a major role in how much you pay for your insurance coverage. The best way that you can do this is by starting to get regular exercise and sticking to a healthy diet. Both of these will help you lose weight, lower your cholesterol, and reduce your chances of being diagnosed with any severe health complications.

Anyone placed in a high-risk category may need to comparison shop in order to find the best rates for nonstandard policies. A combination of factors may even lead to an applicant being declared uninsurable. Those who are declared uninsurable or who cannot afford or do not want to pay the higher rates associated with a higher risk status can opt for no-medical exam coverage, or guaranteed issue life insurance. Guaranteed issue coverage policies generally have a lower face value, but they provide coverage to all applicants without requiring a medical exam or medical history.