There might be a lot of factors that go into finding the right life insurance policy for you and your family.
Things like what’s covered, how long the policy will last, and affordability may all play a part in your decision to choose one policy over another.
However, there may be one aspect you’re overlooking: your health.
Insurance companies often use information about a person’s health to help decide who they can cover, how much someone should pay for a policy or if a claim will be paid.
Life insurance customers might want to keep this in mind while weighing their options.
Here are five health-related questions you may want to think about when buying a life insurance policy:
How old are you?
One of the first questions you’ll likely be asked when applying for life insurance is your age. A person’s age is generally tied to their health. The younger you are, the more likely you are to be in good health and have no pre-existing medical conditions that could affect your cover.
Younger people generally pay lower premiums as a result.However, this doesn’t mean that older people are completely out of luck.
They may want to compare more companies and policies before making a final decision. Older customers might need to weigh the cost of a policy against any relevant health exclusions that may be included.
Do you smoke?
Smoking may put people at more risk for some series health issues. This, in turn, can affect what you may pay for life insurance. Generally speaking, non-smokers will payless in premiums than smokers.
Luckily, some insurers will review a policy once the person who is insured has been smoke-free for at least a year, and they may be eligible for lower premiums or a higher amount of cover at that time.
Customers should also carefully review an insurance company’s smoking definition. Along with cigarettes and cigars, things like illicit drugs, e-cigarettes or nicotine patches may also be considered as smoking.
Also, some insurance companies might treat casual smokers the same as those who smoke regularly—a couple of cigarettes every few months or going through several packs a week may be viewed as the same thing by some insurers.
Since all insurance companies are different, their definitions of smoking may vary.
Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions?
If you have private health insurance, you’re likely familiar with the concept of pre-existing medical conditions (PEMCs). In regards to life insurance, these may affect you in one of two ways, depending on the type of policy you buy.
A common way that life insurers use PEMCs is to place exclusions on a policy. These determine when a claim will or won’t be paid.
Some insurers may only pay the benefit if death is directly caused by a PEMC after a set number of years, or they may not pay the benefit at all in some cases.
Other times, PEMCs may help the insurer decide how much someone will pay for a policy. Rather than place an exclusion on the policy, the insurance company might decide to charge a higher premium to accommodate the risk of insuring someone with a certain PEMC.
When buying life insurance, customers should carefully read the terms of the cover, to see what is and isn’t covered and when a claim will be paid.
Is there a history of cancer or heart attack in your family?
Depending on the type of life insurance policy someone applies for, they may be asked detailed questions about their medical history or be required to undergo a physical.
This information is sometimes used to determine how much they’ll pay for a policy or if additional exclusions will be added.It’s important, to be honest about your family medical history when applying for life insurance.
This type of information, if required (it may not be needed, depending on the type of policy you get), could be important at claim time.
Not disclosing a family history of some conditions could affect whether the benefit amount is paid or denied outright. Always check the terms of your policy to understand what is and isn’t covered.
Is your job or hobby considered especially risky?
Some activities are more dangerous than others.
Holding a dangerous job (such as being in the military or working offshore) or participating in a daredevil hobby (like skydiving or bungee jumping) could affect when a life insurance claim is paid.
With any insurance exclusion, customers should carefully read the terms of their life insurance policy to see if their occupation or pastime is covered.
The benefit may not be paid if their death is caused by an activity that’s been excluded from the policy. This type of exclusion might even cover volunteer work, such as unpaid fire-fighting, even if it isn’t considered your regular paid job.
Your health and wellness may play an important role when choosing a life insurance provider.
Finding a policy might be impacted by how well you look after yourself and your overall health history.
Understanding how insurance companies may use this information could help you find a policy that fits your needs and budget, so you can help look after your family’s financial future.