Influences Of Health On Life Insurance Rates

The world today has become more comfortable to live in, as compared before. Food has become more convenient to have, places are now more accessible, and even medicines and medical equipment have evolved. Along with these developments, life expectancy also changed according to one’s lifestyle.

The need for life insurance has increased over the years as more and more people realize its value. Because of these drastic changes, insurance companies now have different steps to make when providing rates.

To help you understand the influences of health on life insurance, read on as we will discuss the factors an insurer considers, how to determine if you are healthy, as well as the impacts of pre-existing conditions.


Factors an Insurer Consider

“There are several factors that an insurer considers when determining a person’s overall health status to get an accurate premium rate. The number one on the list is the age”, says Linda Chavez, the founder of Seniors Life Insurance Finder.

She also says that since younger people are expected to live longer and can make more premium payments, they will have lower rates. When it comes to gender, women enjoy lower premiums as they have longer life than men.

Profession and lifestyles are among the factors. Those who have high-risk jobs like police officers and soldiers pay more. The insurer will also determine the person’s lifestyle, whether he or she smokes or not, has driving violations or criminal records, alcohol dependent, and has severe family and self-medical histories.


Different Health Classes

Life insurance has four health classifications. Some companies have their fifth, which is substandard, and that is where they put the person did not qualify to any of these four:

  • Preferred Plus
  • Preferred
  • Standard Plus
  • Standard

A healthy-living person, having the ideal body height and weight, with no self or family medical histories, qualifies to the first class, Preferred Plus, and will most likely pay the lowest premium rates. They are the insurer’s gems.

On the other hand, those who do not have a family medical history, are still physically fit and within the recommended BMI but with minor health conditions like hypertension and high cholesterol will fall under the second classification, Preferred.

Standard Plus is a classification for those who have above-average health condition with minor health problems but a little over or under the recommended height and weight. To be considered to this classification, the person must have no family medical histories.

The last classification is the Standard, and this is where most people qualify. They are still in pretty good shape, yet they are over or underweight, and are taking prescribed maintenance medicines. Those who are in this category also have records of family medical histories of life-threatening diseases such as cancer, diabetes, tuberculosis, and such.


Who is Considered Healthy?

As mentioned, a person’s lifestyle has a significant impact on his or her overall health. To know how healthy you are, the insurer will likely ask you questions about yourself and possibly have some medical laboratory tests done. Some of the possible questions include, but not limited to:

  • BMI – Your Body Mass Index will identify if your weight is within the recommended range based on your height.
  • Cholesterol level – Bad cholesterol is the cause of many diseases like a heart attack. To be considered healthy, your total cholesterol must not go over 200, while your LDL or low-density lipoprotein should stay below 100.
  • Blood Pressure – Insurer will base your blood pressure on your age. If you are aiming for the Preferred Plus class, your blood pressure should not go over 140/90, with no medications.
  • Smoking, Heavy Drinking, and Substance Abuse – Insurer will only consider you healthy if you do not have any records of these.

Most insurance companies will also include lifestyle checks and occupations. The insurance agent will ask if you are into outdoor, risky sports, and other recreational activities. Your work environment also affects your overall health status and expect that it will be a determinant.


Impact of Pre-existing Conditions

Life insurance is available for everyone, in spite of age and health. Even a person over 90 years with pre-existing conditions can still get life insurance. But of course, it has a high impact on classification determining the rates. Some of the pre-existing conditions are high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, sleep apnea, heart problems, and even obesity.

While some insurers do not accept a person with a history of cancer, others gladly accept them, especially if they have proven records of stabilized condition.

Having any of these conditions will not disqualify you from getting life insurance, but expect to get higher premium rates. It is important to disclose these health-related concerns to the insurance agent. Hiding your pre-existing conditions will void your life insurance policy.

Instead, inform them if you have prescribed medications and if you are taking them regularly or if you are seeing your physician regularly as this can help you get a chance to be on a higher classification with lower rates.


Medical Exam vs. No Exam Policy

The reason why most insurers require a medical exam is to gauge which health classification you will fall on to determine the most reasonable policy rates. However, if a person is not willing to undergo medical examinations, for whatever reason, he or she can opt for no exam life insurance.

There are three types of no exam policies. The Simplified Issue, Guaranteed Issue, and Group Life Insurance. The fastest way to get life insurance with no exam is through the Simplified Issue. The insurer will ask a series of questions, and since there’s no medical examination involved, the risk is on the insurer’s side.

Expect that the price will be twice as much as the regular one, and the coverage may just be limited to $500,000 or below.

The guaranteed policy is for the elderly with pre-existing conditions. The rates are also higher than those who have gone medical exams. Although medical records are not needed, it has an age requirement, and that is the only determining factor whether you will get coverage or not.

Lastly, Group Life Insurance typically is a free benefit that comes from the employer, who acts as the policyholder. The group shares the same policy coverage.



Knowing all these can help prepare yourself with the process, give you options, and will properly set your expectations. Life insurance is, indeed, an investment, specifically for your loved ones.

Make sure that you will only invest in an insurance company that could offer you maximum benefits for a considerable price.




HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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Written by HealthStatus
Medical Writer & Editor

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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