scorecardresearchHealth and Lifestyle: How can these two factors impact your life insurance

Health and Lifestyle: How can these two factors impact your life insurance premium?

Updated: 03 Sep 2023, 11:45 AM IST

Life insurance premiums are not standardized and are determined by a range of factors, including health and lifestyle, which significantly influence the cost of coverage to match the individual's risk profile.

Health and lifestyle play a crucial role in shaping the cost of life insurance premiums

Health and lifestyle play a crucial role in shaping the cost of life insurance premiums

When it comes to obtaining life insurance, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to determining premiums. Insurance companies consider a multitude of factors to assess an individual's risk profile, ensuring that the coverage offered aligns with the potential risks involved. Among these factors, health and lifestyle play a crucial role in shaping the cost of life insurance premiums. Let's delve into how these factors can impact your life insurance premiums.

Health factor

Your medical history is a key determinant in the calculation of life insurance premiums. Pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer can lead to higher premiums due to the increased risk they pose. Insurance providers meticulously assess these conditions to gauge the potential impact on your lifespan and overall health.

Another health-related metric considered is Body Mass Index (BMI). A higher BMI often indicates health risks, which can result in elevated premiums. This is because obesity is associated with various health issues, including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Tobacco and alcohol use are significant contributors to health risks. If you're a regular tobacco user or engage in excessive alcohol consumption, you're likely to face higher premiums due to the heightened likelihood of associated health complications.

Moreover, your family medical history is assessed to determine any genetic predispositions to certain illnesses. If your family has a history of conditions like heart disease or cancer, insurers might adjust premiums to reflect the increased likelihood of these conditions affecting you.

Undergoing medical tests is common during the application process. The results provide insurers with an objective assessment of your health status, which in turn influences premium calculations. Positive test outcomes may lead to more favourable premiums, while concerning results might result in higher costs.

Lifestyle factor

Your lifestyle also significantly impacts life insurance premiums. Certain occupations entail higher risks due to exposure to hazardous environments or physical demands. Jobs in industries like mining, construction, aviation, and offshore drilling are often deemed higher risk, potentially leading to elevated premiums.

Engaging in high-risk hobbies and activities like extreme sports or adventure pursuits can increase premiums. These activities raise the likelihood of accidents or injuries, which insurance companies take into account when calculating risk.

Frequent travel to regions with health risks, political instability, or high crime rates might influence premiums. Travelling to areas with prevalent diseases can also impact the cost of insurance due to the associated health risks.

Your driving behaviour matters too. A history of accidents, traffic violations, or reckless driving can lead to higher premiums, as it indicates a higher likelihood of premature death or injury.

Financial stability is also considered. Insurers often view a stable financial position as an indicator of responsibility, potentially resulting in more favourable premium rates.

Substance abuse, including tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drugs, can significantly raise premiums due to the health risks associated with these habits.

While not directly factored into premium calculations, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can contribute to better overall health. This healthier profile might result in more competitive premiums.

Stress levels can indirectly impact health. High-stress professions or lifestyles might lead to various health issues. Managing stress through relaxation techniques can positively affect premiums.

Consistent lack of sleep or sleep disorders might lead to health complications, potentially influencing premium calculations.

A history of mental health disorders might influence premiums, especially if they impact life expectancy or overall health.

Safety precautions in daily life, such as wearing seat belts and helmets, can demonstrate responsible behaviour, potentially impacting premiums positively.

Some insurers offer incentives for regular health screenings or wellness programs, which can lead to discounts on premiums. Maintaining a healthy weight through exercise and proper diet can contribute to better health and potentially lower premiums.

It's crucial to provide accurate information during the application process, as the impact of health and lifestyle factors on premiums can vary between insurance companies. Working with an experienced insurance advisor can guide you through the process and help you find the most suitable coverage at an affordable cost.

Remember, the goal of life insurance is to provide financial security for your loved ones, and understanding how these factors influence premiums can help you make informed decisions about your coverage.

Rahul M Mishra, Co-Founder, and Director, Policy Ensure

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First Published: 03 Sep 2023, 11:45 AM IST