While it’s not the happiest topic to think about, if something were to happen to you, would your, and your family’s, financial future be taken care of?
In the case of an unexpected illness or death, you can insure the financial future of your family by taking out a life insurance policy. And while we all know safeguarding our future is important, life insurance policies often fall at the bottom of the list. However, despite its reputation for being a “later in life” product, it’s really never too early to open up a policy, and you may even be pleasantly surprised to learn how affordable life insurance can be.
So how are life insurance policies determined, and how can you be sure you’re landing the best possible rate? Read on as we explain and help you understand your options.
How Life Insurance Rates are Determined
The average policyholder pays $27 per month for life insurance. And, while things like your credit score, marital status, and even the number of beneficiaries you have on your policy don’t impact your rate, your overall life expectancy, which takes your age and overall health into account, is a major factor.
Keep in mind that each individual insurer has their own evaluation process, but, along with overall life expectancy, there are a few more key factors that determine every rate, including:
- Age: In general. The younger you are, the cheaper your life insurance, which makes sense considering you’re less of a policy pay-out risk to your insurer.
- Gender: Women have longer life expectancies, which means they’ll almost always pay less than men for life insurance.
- Health: This includes your height and weight, along with factoring in your family medical history (including cancer and diabetes), any pre-existing conditions, your blood pressure and cholesterol, and whether or not you smoke. The unhealthier you are, the higher your rate, since you pose more of a risk to insurers.
- Driving Records: Believe it or not, DUIs and major traffic violations can pose you as a high-risk to insurers.
- Job/Lifestyle: If you have a high-risk job (ie: police officer or a race car driver), your life insurance rates will be higher than someone with a more sedentary lifestyle and job.
How to Ensure You Land the Best Rate
If key factors like poor health and a risky lifestyle are at stake, you’ll have a very hard time finding a lower rate. However, if the odds aren’t stacked against you, you can land a lower policy rate starting by being realistic about what you really need.
A general rule of thumb is to have a policy with a death benefit equal to 10 times your annual salary. Once you have an idea of how much you’ll need to cover, you can begin to collect quotes. Remember – there’s no shame in shopping around. Getting a quote is free, and doesn’t impact your credit score, so don’t settle for the first quote you get.
Rates can vary from different companies, so either contact several insurers on your own, or consider partnering with an independent insurance broker who can help you identify the best insurer and rate based on your health, age, and lifestyle.
And if You Already Have a Policy in Place…
If you have an existing life insurance policy in place, it is possible to get a better rate. If your health has significantly improved (ie: you’ve lost weight, quit smoking, or lowered your cholesterol) since you took out an existing life insurance policy, the good news is you can renegotiate your rate.
Many insurers allow for what is called a reconsideration or re-rating. It will be up to you to initiate the process with your insurance company, and you will need to be prepared to undergo a medical exam, provide updated medical history and records, provide an updated driving record, and complete an application questionnaire again.
But, while the process can seem a bit tedious, it could seriously pay off. Depending on how much your health has improved, and your policy, you could see up to a 57% reduction in your premium, while saving over 50% on your monthly rate.
The opinions expressed in this post are for informational purposes only. To determine the best financing for your personal circumstances and goals, we advise you to consult with a licensed advisor.
The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by FinanceOpinion.net and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the post for any purpose.