How to Reduce Your Life Insurance Premium Prices
Getting your own Life Insurance policy is a goal that most people tend to look into as they reach an older age. Then again, most people may be too daunted to try out life insurance policies, especially when the prices for premiums are too high to fit their budget.
If you’re looking to find a good life insurance deal and want to close it with the least amount of premium possible, here are five tips that can help you make those prices as cheap as they can be.
Tip Number 0: Know the Basics
Before accepting your application, life insurance providers usually ask a number of questions to identify how much of a risk you pose – that is, how likely it is that they will have to pay out. Each insurer has its own set of underwriting criteria to determine whether to issue a policy or not. This also helps determine at what price the policy should be given. This is why premiums can vary from one provider to another. Although, they have a common ground when it comes to judging how much they price premiums.
Generally speaking, age matters a lot with premium prices. The older you are when you take out life insurance, the higher your premium is likely to be as you are seen as a higher risk to insurers. As the cost of premiums tends to increase with age, getting life insurance as soon as possible could be worth considering, especially if you have a young family or dependents.
Medical history also matters. Whether your medical history has an effect on your premium or not depends on the severity of any previous illnesses that you’ve had or any that you’re currently diagnosed with. Life-threatening conditions (like Type 1 diabetes) could increase the price of your coverage dramatically, and if you have previously suffered from cancer, most insurers won’t offer you protection until you’ve been in remission for at least five years.
The main concept is that insurance providers look to give cheaper deals if you’re not imposing too many risks. With that concept in mind, here are some of the most effective tips if you’re looking to reduce your premium prices.
Tip Number 1: Quit Smoking!
Refraining from taking in tobacco products is the simplest way to pay less for life insurance.
In addition to better health, quitting smoking also has an incentive to do it now rather than later. Life insurance is more expensive for tobacco users and often by a huge margin. A sample quote for a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy for a 30-year-old male has a monthly premium of $20.88 per month for a non-smoker, while $77 per month for a smoker. For a 50-year-old, the dollar amount difference is even higher: $81.35 for a nonsmoker and $337.75 for a smoker.
A person who obtains life insurance as a smoker and subsequently quits does not have to apply for a new policy to receive lower premiums. Almost all life insurance companies lower a former smoker’s premiums once he has been tobacco-free for a set amount of time.
Tip Number 2: Try to Reduce Your Weight
Aside from smoking, life insurance providers look to the general health of a customer, and the obviously unhealthy ones always get a more expensive premium. It is also important to take note that insurance providers almost always look at your weight first when it comes to judging your health.
Obesity is linked to a variety of diseases that can lead to an early death, and therefore, constitute risk factors for an insurance company. These diseases include diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cardiovascular ailments.
Insurance companies generally use body mass index, or BMI, to determine whether an applicant’s body weight is within the range that’s considered healthy. The BMI formula considers only two factors: height and weight. It ignores bone structure, body composition, or ratio of muscle to fat, and other variables that might increase a person’s weight without contributing to ill health.
The calculation does not even distinguish between males and females. Sadly, it could be considered as a flawed system of measurement of health. Nevertheless, a life insurance policyholder needs to be mindful of his or her BMI if they want to pay the lowest premium amount. For a male of average height – for example, 5 foot 10 inches in the United States as of 2016 – the healthy weight range is 132 pounds to 173 pounds as determined by the BMI calculation.
Tip Number 3: Do it As Early as Possible
As of 2016, life expectancy for people living in the United States is about 79 years. For life insurance providers, the age of an applicant in relation to the calculated life expectancy is of high importance.
The general rule of thumb is that the closer a person is to this age when he purchases life insurance, the higher their premiums. The underlying concept is simple when you think about it: when an older person buys a policy, the life insurance company expects to have fewer years to collect premiums before it has to pay a death benefit.
More often than not, young people take for granted their own mortality and tend to act as if they are going to live forever. For these reasons, many of them neglect to secure life insurance at an early age while premiums are still cheap. The things is, it’s always better to start early. The younger a person is when he buys life insurance, the less he pays in premiums for the duration of the policy.
Tip Number 4: Opt for Term Life Insurance Policies
Life insurance policies have two types: term life insurance and whole life insurance. It’s easy to tell what purpose each serves by what they’re called. Term life insurance covers a person for a fixed term, usually 10 or 20 years, though some companies offer term policies in one-year increments from three to 30 years. Whole life insurance, by contrast, provides coverage from the day a person takes out the policy until the day he dies.
Knowing these two types can give you a lot of room for you to find cheap life insurance options. Most term life insurance policies never pay a death benefit – as the policyholder is usually still alive when the term comes to an end. As a result, the insurance company can charge much less in premiums. A young person who maintains a healthy weight and does not smoke (or skydive) can often obtain $500,000 or more in term life coverage for a monthly premium of under $50.
Tip Number 5: Dutifully Obey the Law, Especially Traffic Rules
When it comes for automobile insurance rates, people with traffic violations and incidents always have more expensive insurance premiums. In many ways unknown to many, a poor driving record can significantly raise a person’s life insurance rates as well.
Just like smoking and having a seemingly unhealthy BMI, racking up speeding tickets and demonstrating a propensity to get in fender-benders represent risk factors to an insurance company. A policyholder who is careless behind the wheel is statistically more likely to suffer a serious car accident than someone who drives defensively and carefully. Since car accidents are fatal and can even occur a lot of times, life insurance companies take this into consideration when setting premiums.
It is better for you to dutifully obey the traffic laws such as posted speed limits. Keeping a clean moving vehicle record, or MVR, can save big money on life insurance premiums.