Last Updated on September 17, 2020 by Andrew Lee
Of all the different factors companies use to determine life insurance premiums, the most heavyweight remains age. They abide by the logic that the younger a person is, the longer she/he has to live. And because insurers need to make profits to make the necessary payouts, they prefer younger policyholders. The lower premiums of this particular group back this up.
All in all, the primary takeaway here is that everything contributing to a reduction in one’s life expectancy will make premiums go up. Thus, making life decisions focused on improving your health can actually pave the way for you to possibly get better rates. Besides, doing these will make the overall quality of your life better, and the lower costs of life coverage is just actually a bonus.
In the United States, men and women who smoke have a mortality of up to three times greater than those who don’t, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. The organization further pointed out that the primary reasons for this higher rate include cancer, as well as vascular and respiratory diseases. And this doesn’t even include those who suffer from health problems due to second-hand smoke.
Because smoking is the leading cause of preventable diseases and premature fatalities, insurers consider this as one of the biggest risk increasers among their potential and existing clients. You can expect your premiums to be double, or even more than those of your non-smoking peers, regardless of age or gender.
This is why experts strongly advise you to quit. When you’ve stopped smoking tobacco cigarettes for several years now, your insurer may adjust your rates and lower your premiums. Keep in mind though that insurance companies have varying time frames for the policyholders they classify as “non-smokers.” But what’s important is for you to get rid of this habit, not just to trim your insurance expenditures, but for your overall health and well-being, too.
Eliminating nicotine use
Cigarettes are not just the products that insurance companies frown upon. There are plenty of other things that contain tobacco which will affect your premiums. These include the following:
- Nicotine Patches
- Nicotine Gums
When you use any of the above-mentioned, you can expect insurers to charge you with higher rates, regardless of your age and gender. You should also avoid the use of electronic cigarettes and the habit of tobacco chewing, as these also fall under life-expectancy-reducing activities.
Maintain your ideal weight
When you obtain quotes, whether from insurance companies or independent, third-party comparison websites, you’ll notice that one of the common questions they ask for is the weight. And if you are overweight or obese, which they calculate based on the ratio of your height to weight, you can expect higher premiums than those who have normal weight.
As mentioned above, anything that reduces a person’s life contributes to higher insurance rates. And because being overweight and obese increases the risks of developing health problems, insurers charge their potential and current policyholders with higher rates.
This said you may qualify for a re-rating of your premiums if you managed to lose a considerable amount of weight and maintained an ideal weight for a significant period of time. Make sure you inform your provider about this change to see if the weight you lost already justifies new, better premiums.
The Bottom Line
Wherever in the country you live, be it Alabama, Connecticut, South Dakota, or any other state, you’ll find insurers welcoming re-ratings of premiums based on these improvements. And keep in mind that all these changes don’t just give you the chance to lower your life insurance expenditures without sacrificing coverage. They also help you have huge improvements in your health and the overall quality of your life, which is the more important of the two.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners: http://www.insureuonline.org/consumer_guide_life.pdf
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/tobacco_related_mortality/