Good Health For Good Rates
Few people want to talk about life insurance, but the financial product is a smart way to safeguard loved ones against the unknowns of life. Many insurers require potential policyholders to undergo a physical exam. Having below-average health metrics could translate to higher premiums. In a worst-case scenario, failing the physical could lead to denial of life insurance coverage.
Stop using tobacco
Tobacco use is a health risk that life insurance providers view shrewdly. A non-smoker is seen as a less risky client than an individual who smokes or vapes. Smokers considering applying for life insurance should prioritize quitting smoking. However, the type of tobacco used also plays a role in the review process. Cigarettes and vaping are viewed less favorably than cigars. Also, note that even individuals who quit smoking using cessation products might be denied coverage because nicotine still appears in the screening tests. Consider waiting a year after quitting tobacco before applying for a life insurance policy.
Weight and premiums
While few insurers will deny a person coverage for being overweight or obese, don’t be surprised that premiums may be higher. Being overweight or obese is directly linked to a myriad of health issues as well as poorer overall outcomes. Adults are considered overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 30. Any individual with a BMI higher than 30 is considered obese. Meanwhile, a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered within the healthy range. To avoid paying a markup on an insurance policy, consider working with a physician to create a plan to reach a healthy BMI.
Cut back on drinking
An individual who doesn’t drink or only drinks occasionally is considered a safe investment by an insurance provider. Conversely, any person who consumes enough alcohol to classify as an alcoholic when applying for a policy will be denied. Alcoholism can be very detrimental to overall health and has been linked with everything from liver and heart disease to nerve damage, mental health issues, anemia, and even a heightened risk of certain types of cancer. Before securing an insurance policy, consider finding a program that can help stop excessive drinking to ensure better health in the future.
Controllable lifestyle and behavioral factors contributing to health outcomes can influence securing a life insurance policy and premiums. However, pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, depression, and diabetes, are unavoidable scenarios that also impact the determination process. While people can make adjustments for issues such as smoking or drinking, individuals with pre-existing conditions may not be able to avoid higher premiums.
Focus on health
Saving a few pennies on a life insurance premium shouldn’t be the only reason a person begins to focus on improving health. Poor health can manifest as frequent and costly trips to the doctor or hospital, developing long-term conditions, and even poor quality of life due to reduced bodily function. Individuals with habits that can contribute to poor health should prioritize working with a physician to stop those behaviors before considering applying for a life insurance policy.