Factors That Influence Your Eligibility for Life Insurance

If you have loved ones who depend on you, it’s a wise decision to purchase life insurance. However, to prepare yourself for how much your premiums will be, it’s best to know what factors life insurance companies look at to determine your eligibility. Here are the main factors life insurers look at when evaluating an application:

  • Age: The younger you are when you apply for life insurance, the better, because in general, young people aren’t expected to pass away. That means you’re less of a liability, so your premiums will be lower.
  • Gender: Statistics show that women live approximately five years longer — on average — than men. Since this translates to a longer period of time over which they pay premiums, their annual rates are generally lower than men’s.
  • Health: Your health is one of the most important factors insurers consider. You’ll likely have to undergo a medical exam as a part of your application, so be aware that if you have any conditions like diabetes or heart disease, it will impact your premiums.
  • Smoking: Smoking can cause cancer, heart disease, lung emphysema and a host of other health problems. For this reason, rates for smokers are significantly higher than for non-smokers.  
  • Family health history: Insurance companies usually ask whether or not your parents or siblings suffer from cancer, heart disease or some other serious ailment. If so, it may indicate that you could have a genetic predisposition to them.
  • Driving record: According to USA Today, life insurance companies use your driving record to assess how much of a risk you are. A high number of violations correlates with a higher chance of premature death due to a traffic accident. 
  • Occupation: If you have a high-risk job such as police officer, firefighter or construction worker, you’ll likely be charged a so-called “flat extra” to cover the costs of the increased liability.
  • LifestyleInvestopedia reports that having hobbies that put you in danger — for example rock climbing or skydiving — will increase your premiums.

Once a life insurance company has a good overview of your health and lifestyle, it will calculate your premiums. The more risk factors you have, the higher your premiums will be. In rare cases, life insurers reject applications — but they have to believe you’re a very high risk before they do that. The good news is that there are some lifestyle changes you can make to reduce how much of a risk you are. For example, if you smoke, you can stop. If you have a health condition, work with your doctor to get it under control. And if your driving record isn’t good, take a refresher course and pay more attention when you’re behind the wheel. 

To learn more about qualifying for life insurance and to get a free quote, please contact our offices today.