Life insurance is one of the most important purchases that you make in your life. Think about it: when you have a mortgage and a family, you are going to want them to have the same standard of life when and if you shuffle off this mortal coil. You do not want your partner and children worrying about paying the bills after they lose you.
So you want to make sure that you insure yourself with enough money to keep them happy, healthy and whole. You need to make sure that they are going to be able to pay the mortgage, even if you are not around.
Even before we get into the policyholderâ€™s makeup and medical history, there is a major factor to consider: Exactly what type of policy you need.
Term Vs. Whole Vs. Cash Value
Term life insurance policies are unique. A term policy is only active as long as the policyholder is still paying for it. Every year, you can renew the terms of the policy and then you donâ€™t have to requalify.
A whole-life policy is a more permanent style policy. Here, the policy combines an investment fund with life coverage. It will most likely pay out a fixed amount upon your death. A piece of the premium goes into the investment as well.
Then comes cash value policies. These life insurance instruments can accumulate value while the the policyholder is still living. One benefit of these is that a policyholder can use the cash value as a source to borrow from or as an investment, protected from taxation.
And the good news is that the life insurance market is growing. As you will see, the following factors will have an effect on your premium, but it is very unlikely that you will be shut out of consideration for coverage.
According to Ty Stewart, the founder of SimpleLifeinsure.com, “Life insurance underwriting has seen significant advancements in the last 10 years. More people are able now able to get approved for higher coverage limits and pay lower premiums.”
When it comes to your premium, the younger you are, the lower your costs will be. Based on the actuarial tables, you have plenty of time to live. So the insurance companies are more willing to take a risk on you. Younger policyholders are less likely to have unknown medical conditions and are less likely to develop health problems.
Medical History/Family History
Medical history is one of the most important factors in figuring out a premium. Chronic diseases, pre-existing conditions and other issues will weigh heavily on the insurance companyâ€™s decision.
If your family has a history of hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease or other chronic problems, that is a problem for the actuary. A history of medical problems in your immediate line, such as father or mother, grandfather or grandmother, can be a warning sign for life insurance underwriters.
Obese or overweight individuals have a much higher risk of developing heart disease, diabetes or other lifestyle-related conditions that can cause early death. A higher number of the scale can certainly mean a higher number on your monthly premium.
If your occupation requires you to take extreme physical risks or puts you in regular danger, that is a premium booster. Race car drivers, firefighters, police officers and others in high-risk professions spend more than most on life insurance, if they can even get coverage.
Sorry, smokers. If you are still picking up a pack at the convenience store, you are going to shell out more for life insurance. The numbers are clear: Smokers are at a higher risk for all sorts of deadly diseases.
As for other factors, women generally live longer than men, so the odds are in their favor for getting a cheaper premium. And, of course, if you choose a higher death benefit, you are going to pay more each month. There is no getting around that.
When it comes to term versus whole, all of these factors are weighed slightly differently. And different insurance underwriters have different formulas and tables to calculate the rate. It pays to shop around.
Life insurance is a very personal decision. Only you and your family can know exactly what is needed to cover everyone in the event of the unthinkable. Just make sure you know all the issues that can affect your monthly premium. That will help you make the most sensible decision for your financial security.
Feeling Clever? Join our newsletter!
Subscribe to get the latest from "Clever Dude."