Most common reasons why companies may raise your life insurance costs

August 24, 2016

Ever wondered if you could make some personal changes to lower your insurance costs? Here is a list of the most common things that may increase your cost when buying life insurance. Remember, every situation is circumstantial and these are just general guidelines.

Your Height and Weight 

Your body mass index, BMI, a calculation of your height and weight, can be a good indicator to measure how healthy you are now. Tracking BMI can also help determine your likelihood to stay healthy in the future. Keeping a healthy weight for your height will help lower the costs of your insurance payments.

Tobacco 

As we all know, smoking cigarettes is a direct cause of lung cancer and can lead to many health complications that may result in death. Because of this, smoking can cause your life insurance costs to rise. Even if you are a casual or “social smoker” and not a chain-smoker, you’re still not in the same class as the person who has never touched a cigarette and will still see some rises in insurance costs.

Family History

This factor may come as a surprise to many people, but your immediate family history (parents and siblings) can be an indicator of any risks for developing health conditions as you age. Health lifestyle choices such as eating well, exercising, and avoid cigarettes, drugs and excessive drinking of course can counter act genetic family history in certain ways, but you may still pose risks in your genes. Life insurance companies consider both of those factors and more when determining your life insurance cost based on how likely you are to die.

Extreme Sports

Any hobbies that increase your chances of death, for example flying planes, motorcycle racing, scuba diving, and skydiving, will increase the cost of life insurance. Don’t be surprised when your original quote price increases after you check activities such as skydiving or hang gliding on your life insurance application.

Your Job

Another large factor that can increase your life insurance costs is your occupation. If you have a job that puts you in risky or dangerous situations, you are more likely to die in an unexpected accident which will cause your insurance prices to go up. Some examples of high risk jobs include military contractors, dead sea welders, and fisherman.

Diabetes

Diabetes can affect your cost of insurance depending on which type you have and how well under control it is managed. Type 1 diabetes is naturally going to cost more to insure because it has shown to contribute to shorter life expectancy. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, poses less of a risk and should cause a smaller increase in insurance prices than type 1 diabetes would. Of course, every case is circumstantial. If your overall health is generally good and your diabetes is under control, you may not be considered much of a risk to insurance companies and there will be a smaller impact on your life insurance costs.

Substance Abuse

Your history of substance abuse can affected the cost of your life insurance significantly. To what degree your life insurance costs are affected depends on the type of substance abuse, how long since your last use, and how regularly the substance was used or consumed. Whether the substance in question is alcohol, marijuana, or controlled substances like cocaine or methamphetamines, your price may go up or even make you un-insurable if you are considered a very high death risk.

Asthma

Asthma, like many of the other factors of this list, is circumstantial and looked at on an individual basis. Depending on how well your asthma is controlled, you may see either a very small impact or a rather larger one on your life insurance cost. If your asthma is well controlled, you may not see much of an impact, but if you are on steroid treatments (which are known to increase the chances of death) you may be considered a higher risk and will see that reflected on your life insurance costs.

Depression

Many insurance companies consider you to have a higher risk of dying if you take depression medications or other mental health drugs on a regular basis and not just for temporarily relief from a traumatic event. The reason for a higher cost is that insurance companies regard depression medication users to have an elevated risk of suicide. In addition to this many people have the misconception that suicide is not covered on life insurance policy- it is, but after the 2 year waiting period.

Source: Quotacy
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Contributor: Smruthi