If you want to purchase a life insurance policy, many options are available. The two main types of life insurance are whole life and term life. A whole life policy provides a death benefit for the insured’s entire life, whereas a term policy provides a death benefit for a set amount of years.
Regardless of which type you choose, the rate you pay for the policy is determined by many factors, such as gender, age, health, and tobacco use. Your age and health, in particular, significantly impact the price of your policy. There are specific policies designed for those older and those with health issues. Knowing all of your options will help you make the most well-informed decision possible.
Table of Contents
How Age Affects Your Life Insurance Rates
Your age may be one of the most significant impacts on your life policy premium. Age affects the policy in the following ways:
- Eligibility: Some life insurance companies will not insure people at all over a certain age, typically 80. However, there are specific policies made especially for those over the age of 50.
- Policy Duration: If you are purchasing a term policy, you may be restricted on the length of the term if you are over a certain age. For example, if you are 65 and want to purchase a 30-year term, that may not be an option.
- Types of Policies: Your age also affects what policies are available to you. Some companies may only allow you to purchase a whole life policy after a certain period, typically 70.
- Coverage Amount: Your age may also affect the amount of coverage available to you. Sometimes, a limited amount of coverage is available to adolescence and those over a certain age.
- Conversion Options: A conversion option is an option on a term policy to convert the policy to a permanent plan. That option may run out at a certain age.
- Premium Rates: Your age will affect the overall cost of the policy. Typically, the younger you are when you purchase the policy, the lower the premium will be.
There is a direct correlation between your age and the cost of your premium: as one rises, so does the other. As people age, their chance of mortality increases, and therefore, the policy premiums increase.
Insurance Options for Older Adults
While insurance options are limited as you get older, policies are still available. Some companies have policies explicitly tailored for older adults. One common type of policy for older adults is a final expense policy. These policies are generally for those over the age of 50 and have a relatively low death benefit, generally between $10,000 and $25,000.
Another type of policy for older individuals is a guaranteed issue policy. These policies are made for older adults or those not in good health. They are usually available in amounts between $5,000 and $25,000. The policies are guaranteed to issue, but the premiums may be much higher than a standard whole life policy.
How Health Affects Your Life Insurance Rates
Another significant contributor to your life insurance premium is your overall health, which affects your policy in the following ways:
- Eligibility: Your health affects not only your premiums but also your eligibility for the policy. If you are in too poor of health, the insurance provider may raise the premiums or decline you totally.
- Types of Policies Available: Not all policies may be available to people in poor health. For example, it may be that only a guaranteed issue policy is available with a lower death benefit than you initially wanted.
- Medical Exams and Health Questionnaires: Depending on the type of policy and amount of coverage, you may have to undergo a medical exam and answer health questions. If poor health conditions are uncovered during this process, you may see an increase in your life premium or a decline in coverage.
- Pre-Existing Conditions: Pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes or cancer, play a significant role in your life insurance premiums. Some pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, may not be insurable at all, or you may have to wait a set amount of years after the disease has been treated.
- Premium Rates: Your overall health will affect your premium rates considerably. This is one of the most important factors in determining your life insurance premium.
The better health that you are in, the lower your rate may be. Not only can your health raise your life insurance premiums, but it can also lower them. If you are in better than average health, you may get a preferred health rating from the life insurance company leading to lower premiums. Managing your health and living a healthy lifestyle can have huge benefits regarding your life insurance premiums.
The Benefits of Health Management
Keeping a healthy lifestyle and managing health conditions can equal lower rates. Those who exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and maintain a healthy weight may see reduced life insurance premiums.
It is also essential to keep up on your doctor visits for preventative care. Preventative care may help your medical team find health issues in their early stages where they can be better treated or managed. While managing your health is important, not all diseases can be prevented and may still lead to higher than normal premiums.
Life Insurance Options for People With Pre-Existing Conditions
Some individuals with pre-existing conditions may be eligible for a standard policy at a higher rate. However, if their overall health is not optimal or their pre-existing condition is too developed, they may have to look into getting a guaranteed issue policy.
These policies are made for those who would not qualify for a standard life insurance policy so the death benefit is low, usually between $10,000-$25,000, and the premiums are generally much higher. It may be the case that you can purchase a guaranteed issue policy until your health improves; at that time, you could look at purchasing a standard policy with a better premium.
How to Secure The Best Rates
Many factors go into a life insurance rate, but thankfully, there are ways to secure the best rates for your situation:
- Purchase a policy as young as you can. If you’re young, it may not seem like you need to think about life insurance yet. However, the younger you are, the better your rates will be.
- Quit smoking. Tobacco use will always lead to a higher premium because of the inherent health risks that come along with it.
- Avoid risky hobbies. Certain hobbies, such as rock climbing or skydiving, will likely cause a rise in premiums.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. You cannot avoid all health problems, but you can set yourself up for the best possible health and equally good life insurance rates.
- Shop around. Pull quotes from several companies and compare rates to find the policy best suited for your situation.
Why Your Health and Age Matter When It Comes to Life Insurance
When it comes to purchasing a life insurance policy, many factors can affect your rate. Your health and age, particularly, matter to life insurance companies when calculating your rate.
When it comes to your health, life insurance companies will look at items such as height, weight, pre-existing conditions, and overall health factors to help them determine your insurability. The worse your health is, the higher the premiums will be. Your age also plays a crucial role in your premiums; the older you are when you buy a life policy, the higher the premium will be. Purchasing a policy when you are young and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help secure the best life insurance rate.