No matter where in the United States you live, be it in California, North Dakota, South Carolina, or West Virginia, you can expect life insurance companies to use the same set of factors to calculate your life insurance premiums.

And while you would definitely want to purchase life cover right away, it’s important you enter the market knowledgeable of how this type of insurance works. This guide outlines the biggest determiners of rates and premiums.

Contents

Age

How old you are greatly influences your life insurance premiums, since statistically, the younger you are, the longer you have to enjoy life. On the other hand, the older you get, the nearer you are to closing in on life expectancy. Also keep in mind that younger people have lower risks of developing serious health conditions, and in most cases, occupational hazards usually become noticeable at a later age.

To give you some idea on how premiums can greatly vary from one age group to another, check out the table below:

Age & Gender Smokers  Non-Smokers
 30 Yr Old Male  $55.65 – $91.53 $19.17 – $45.45
45 Yr Old Male $167.65 – $230.87 $39.36 – $125.94
 30 Yr Old Female $40.42 – $72.88 $16.35 – $35.34
 45 Yr Old Female $117.34 – $176.49 $30.89 – $82.53

 

These quotes show just how drastic the difference in premiums are between men aged 30 and 45 years old. The same goes true for women. The key takeaway here is that, the longer you wait to purchase coverage, the higher amount of money you’d spend towards it.

It pays to get covered as soon as possible so that you can enjoy better premiums. Besides, you want to minimize the risks of going without insurance, especially since you cannot predict what may happen to you in the future.

Smoking

When you smoke or use any kind of tobacco product, you can expect insurance companies to charge you with higher premiums. And there are many reasons behind this. First, people with this habit have shown to have higher risks of developing one or more of several types of cancers as well as cardiovascular diseases. It also claims the lives of about 480,000 every year in the country, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports. Experts also found that even just chewing tobacco can hurt one’s health. If you are looking for life insurance for smokers, expect that premiums will be more, by 15 up to 20 per cent, or even higher.

Gender

Statistics have long since shown that women have longer life spans than men, so insurers charge them lower premiums for coverage for the same age and face value. In the United States, the average life expectancy is 77.97. However, there is a considerable gap between the life span of females and males; 80.51 and 75.35 respectively.

In addition, women also take less risks when it comes to their overall health and well-being, so they are less likely to get into accidents or sustain major injuries.

Medical history and current health status

Any kind of health condition that reduces life span will impact premiums. Insurers take a very close look at the answers an applicant writes down on the medical questionnaire, so you should give honest and accurate details. In most cases, insurance providers require their potential clients to undergo a physical exam. They also typically obtain Medical Information Bureau-issued reports.

Weight

As you obtain quotes from different insurance companies, you’ll notice that one of the details they ask for is your weight. Basically, they want to determine if your weight is proportionate to your height, as this helps them determine if you’re overweight or obese. Being overweight and obesity are associated with health problems, and again, anything that may shorten a person’s life span influences premiums.

There are several other factors contributing to life insurance rates and premiums, such as your occupation and family’s medical history, but insurers prioritize the five discussed above.

References:

Investopedia: http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/102914/7-factors-affect-your-life-insurance-quote.asp

Money Crashers: http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/102914/7-factors-affect-your-life-insurance-quote.asp

National Association of Insurance Commissioners: http://www.naic.org/documents/consumer_guide_life.pdf

The Centers of Disease Control & Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/tobacco_related_mortality/