10 Factors That Impact Your Term Life Insurance Premiums
When you start gathering information about life insurance carriers, you’ll find you have essentially two options for life insurance coverage. The first is whole life insurance, which is a long-term strategy that includes an investment component. The other is term life insurance coverage, which pays out the face value of the insurance policy if you die during the designated term (coverage length) of the policy, which could be anywhere between one and 40 years, as long as you pay your monthly premiums. Those premiums are determined by a combination of factors. Here are 10 of the most important:
Essentially, insurance providers assess your risk of dying within the term of your policy, and your age is the biggest indicator of that risk. Generally, younger people have lower premiums.
Women tend to live longer than men, so they can sometimes get lower premiums. However, some states require equal rates for men and women.
People with a high weight-to-height ratio may pay higher rates because of health risks associated with obesity.
- Health History
Your medical history will be examined to determine your overall health. Obviously, healthier people can get better rates.
- Family History
You may pay higher rates if you have a family history of inherited illnesses.
- Smoking Status
Since smoking can lead to cancer, heart disease and other serious conditions, smokers are often given less favorable rates. If you quit smoking, you may qualify for lower premiums within a year.
- Drinking Habits
The occasional martini won’t raise your rates, but heavy drinking can.
People in high-risk occupations will often pay more for life insurance coverage.
Insurance companies may factor your leisure activities into their risk assessment, meaning that extreme sports like skydiving and rock climbing can affect your premiums. Some insurance companies will look more favorably on such activities than others, so it’s a good idea to shop around.
- Policy Benefits
This one is pretty straightforward. The best life insurance policies — ones with longer terms and greater death benefits — will generally have higher premiums.
Can you think of any other factors that affect term life insurance premiums? Add them, or respond to this list, in the comments.