Life insurance rates can be so misunderstood at times. Just how do the various life insurers determine what my rates are?
There are many different factors that go into determining each individual's life insurance premiums. These factors include, your age, gender, current health condition, whether you smoke or not, and any hazardous occupations or hobbies you are involved in. In addition, the life insurance company also adds in a profit margin. Let's take a quick look at some of these different categories.
Your Health Condition
Most every insurance company has 3-4 main health categories they use: Preferred Best, Preferred, Standard and Tobacco.
Obviously, the preferred best category is the at the top, and used for individuals in excellent health. The proposed insured will not have any adverse medical conditions or a past history of medical problems, and they are not on any kind of medication.
In addition to that, your family history will usually need to have no incidents of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or a host of other long term, life threatening diseases that may be considered hereditary.
Why? It's more likely for these people to live a long healthy life, so the life insurance company will charge them the lowest possible premium.
Next is the preferred category which is somewhat like the preferred best, but it allows for the proposed insured person to be in slightly less than perfect health.
The category that most everyone falls in to is the standard group. If you have minor health issues, or are currently on medication, or perhaps have a family history of diseases, etc., then you'll most likely be assigned to this category. Keep in mind, if you happen to be extremely overweight, or have a number of health issues, the company will generally charge more in premiums.
The last category is for smokers. People in this category are considered high risk and will pay much higher premiums for life insurance than those who do not smoke.
Your Age and Gender
All life insurance companies use life mortality tables to calculate their premiums. These life mortality tables use statistics that show the life expectancy for every age. So, for example, a female aged 28 can be expect to live much longer than a female aged 67. By using mortality tables, the insurance companies can produce rate tables that show the various premium contributions for every age.
Statistically speaking, women can generally expect to live 3-6 years longer than men, so many insurance companies use the male rate less 4 years when calculating the life insurance premium for a female prospect.
Finally, an insurance company will look at your current occupation, as well as any hobbies you pursue in determining whether or not to rate up your life policy, or even offer you coverage at all. For example, if you spend your weekends parachuting out of airplanes you can expect to have a hard time even getting life insurance, or you'll pay substantially higher rates for it.
Remember, always be up front and honest when applying for any type of life insurance coverage. If you are given a policy and later it is discovered that you were not truthful, the life insurance company has no legal obligation to pay the death benefit to your beneficiary in the event you were to die. That's the last thing you want happening, as the reason for taking out a life insurance policy is to provide a benefit to the ones you love.