Eating well, not smoking and exercising regularly isn’t just good for your health-it’s also good for your wallet. That’s because healthier people generally pay much lower rates for life insurance.
On the other hand, if you smoke, are overweight, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a heart condition, you’ll pay the price when it comes to life insurance. As a matter of fact, it may be hard to find a company to insure you in the first place.
Why do unhealthy people pay more? Because life insurance companies don’t want to take on large amounts of risk. The poorer your health, the higher risk you are to an insurer. Therefore, if you have a medical condition or chronic illnesses, insurance companies expect you to pay more for coverage.
Get in shape for better rates
If you already have a life insurance policy and are paying sky-high rates due to your health issues, there is hope. It is possible to lower your rates by getting fit. Some insurance companies will decrease your rates if you can verify that your overall health has improved.
Say you purchased your life insurance policy when your health was less than stellar. However, since then you’ve taken measures to improve your health and lifestyle. Maybe you’ve lost weight, quit smoking or lowered your cholesterol through diet. If so, you can request a reduction in premiums from your carrier.
How to request a lower rate
If you’ve recently improved your health, just call your life insurance company and ask them what’s required for them to reconsider your rating class. Most likely, they will want to review your recent medical records.
Some insurance companies will ask your primary physician to confirm that you’ve maintained good health for a certain length of time. If you previously suffered from a severe condition, such as cancer or heart problems, you will probably have to maintain good health for an extended period of time before your insurance carrier will lower your rates. Then again, if you suffer from a condition that is irreparable, they will probably never lower your rate.
Many life insurance companies require that you go through their own medical tests. If this is the case, you’ll have to be re-tested by a representative of the life insurance company each time you request a lower rate. However, if you are being tested for a specific condition, such as high cholesterol, and your life insurance company finds something else in the process, they cannot increase your rate.
One advantage is that there’s no limit to the number of times you can request a lower rate from your insurance company. If your health continues to improve, you can keep asking the insurance carrier to review your medical records or re-test you.
So lose a few pounds, gain a few bucks. Quit smoking, quit paying lofty insurance premiums. Lower your cholesterol, lower your rate. This is just one more incentive to get healthy and stay that way.