If you have ever applied for life insurance, you’re probably aware that your overall health will factor into how much you pay for your policy. Life insurance companies have established Health Classes, which can also be called Risk Classes, which help the underwriters determine how much to charge you for the policy. The lower the risk your health profile is to the insurance company, the higher the Health Class (and lower the life insurance rates).
The underwriter will factor in your build (height/weight ratio), your tobacco use, cholesterol (overall and ratio), blood pressure, family history of heart disease and cancer, and blood sugar, to name a few. The application process includes a medical exam which includes blood and urine samples and, in most cases, an Attending Physician’s Statement (APS) from your personal physician. Your collected health information will then be reviewed to help the underwriter determine your health class.
So, now that you know how your life insurance rates are determined, what can you do to improve your health class and lower your premiums? I just found a website that can help you improve your health and, in so doing, potentially lower the rates you pay for your life insurance. Not surprisingly, the website is sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. In the Life’s Simple 7 section, they recommend seven steps you can take to improve your heart health and your overall health. A lot of this is information you probably already know, but it never hurts to review the information. I’m going to briefly list the 7 Steps below, but I recommend you visit the website, mylifecheck.heart.org, as it has a lot of good data:
Life’s Simple 7
- Get Active
- Eat Better
- Lose Weight
- Stop Smoking
- Control Cholesterol
- Manage Blood Pressure
- Reduce Blood Sugar
Each one of these steps is discussed in detail on MyLifeCheck, so I’m not going to go into detail on each one. Obviously, we all have different challenges in this list and some steps are already being done by some of you. However, I would venture to guess that most of you would benefit greatly by applying some of the principles on this website. You can get a free assessment and your own action plan on their site, so do it now and improve your health, which might also lower your life insurance premiums.