There’s been a lot of talk recently about how insurance companies calculate risk and use factors like BMI to determine your premium. Insurance is all about managing risk and taking precautions to ensure you live longer for the benefit of all involved. So what can you do about yourself that would ensure you get a better premium?
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Life insurance companies are concerned about pretty much the same things as doctors and people with heathy lifestyles: the typical and almost cliche-like definitions such as cholesterol, being overweight, tobacco use, diabetes and other serious medical conditions related to poor health or premature death. They usually ask you about your medical history and have you undergo a medical exam. Some of them might even ask for more extensive examinations, link an X-ray or EKG. Your blood and urine samples will be tested for any sign of disease, including HIV, cholesterol level, and any indications of disorders such as diabetes, kidney problems, hepatitis and other problems. The samples could be also screened by labs for the presence of nicotine and certain medications as well as for illegal drugs.
Having that said, let’s move on and figure out where can we improve things. There are some factors that you can’t put under your control, for example age and gender. However there are other variables you CAN control and this will not only improve your health, but give you better options for optimizing your financial health and securing your families future if something happens to you.
Quit smoking. The sheer fact of smoking is responsible for a very significant raise in your premium. If you quit for one year before signing the deal and stick to it, it can lower your costs drastically. Not to mention that it could possibly save your life. Do it NOW!
Exercise regularly and lose weight. If you live healthier, the risks for the insurance company are lower. Even if you already have a policy, if you can provide your insurer with information that you’re regularly improving you health. They might decrease your premium.
However, there is a problem here with the Body Mass Index. Most insurers use as one of the factors to determine the amount of premium. As many of you have noticed, there have been talks about how these tests are unfair recently on many webblogs. If you have a lot of muscle on you, your BMI will be higher even if you’re cholesterol levels are low, you have no fat on you’re living very healthy in general. We will be publishing a special article about this issue in the near future.
Take your blood pressure medication on time. If you have problems with your blood pressure, ensure at least that you’re keeping it under control. Every small step you take makes you healthier and reduce the risk, therefore the premiums.
Tell your independent broker about your special conditions, if you have any. A good broker will know which insurance companies offer the most favourable rates for your medical condition. It is very important that you don’t lie about your health status. If the life insurance company would find this out, they might rescind your policy or deny to pay death benefit at the time of claim.