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Estimating your Health Class for a Life Insurance Policy

  • Nov-19-2013
  • Richard Reich
health classification for insurance

The price (premium) you pay for your life insurance policy is determined by several factors, including  your  age, build (height and weight), tobacco use, sex, your general health, family health history and lifestyle (e.g. dangerous hobbies or occupations can affect your rates).

Your Health (or Risk) Class

An insurance company will assign you a health class for which they have assigned rates, according to your age, sex and tobacco use.  These are the basic health class and requirements of each.

Preferred Plus (Exceptional)

  • No health impairments.  No personal history  of of cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
  • Build in a healthy range (see build chart).
  • No tobacco or nicotine products in the last 5 years (an occasional cigar may be allowed)..
  • No family history of cancer or coronary heart disease in either parent prior to age 60.
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol within healthy range, with or without medication.

Preferred (Excellent)

  • No health impairments.  No personal history  of of cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
  • Build  in healthy range.
  • No tobacco or nicotine products in the last 3 years (an occasional cigar may be allowed).
  • Family history – no death from cancer or coronary artery disease prior to age 60.
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol within healthy range, with or without medication.

Standard Plus/Standard (Above Average/Average)

  • Some health impairments allowed.
  • Build  in average range (see chart)
  • No tobacco or nicotine products in the last 12 months (an occasional cigar may be allowed).
  • Family history – not more than one death from cancer or coronary artery disease prior to age 60.
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol within higher range than Preferred Plus and Preferred, with or without medication.

As I mentioned earlier, lifestyle, occupation and driving record also have an effect on the health class, as does a record of alcohol or substance abuse.

Just Remember This – A Quote just a Quote

When shopping for a life insurance policy online, you’re probably going to look at a lot of quotes and will base your buying decision, at least partially, on the lowest price.  However, it’s very important to bear in mind that a quote is a best-guess estimate, based on information you provide to the quote engine, or your own estimate based on health class parameters provided on the web site.  The ultimate quote will come from the insurance company and will be based on your application, medical exam and medical records.

Don’t Overestimate your Health

Many people who apply for a policy on our website estimate their own health classes, as opposed to going through the few extra steps of the Health Analyzer, which gives you a more accurate estimate of your health class.  It probably only takes an extra minute or two for the quotes, so I recommend going through those extra steps to get that quote.

Let’s face it, if left to their own devices, many people (are you listening, men?) overestimate their health.  However, it serves no purpose to do so when getting life insurance quotes.  The quote you get may or may not be the ultimate price you are going to be paying for the policy (I can’t say that enough).  Therefore, it behooves you to be honest with yourself when estimating your quote (better yet, use the Health Analyzer – it won’t lie).

Let’s say you estimate your health class as Preferred Plus when, in reality, you’re really a Standard Plus.  When your policy comes back at Standard Plus, that company’s policy might not  be the lowest premium for you (even though their Preferred Plus quote was).  If you had quoted yourself accurately, you most might have selected a different company, whose rates were better at that class.  Now, if you want the lower priced policy, you would have to go through the whole underwriting process again.

No quote is guaranteed, but give yourself a better chance of getting the best rates by getting more accurate quotes.  We provide our Health Analyzer for just that purpose.  Use it and you’ll be happy you did.

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  • Intramark Insurance Services, Inc., Insurance Services, Glendale, CA

  • Intramark Insurance Services, Inc.