We all know how a good life insurance policy can positively affect your family—providing stability, financial security, peace of mind, etc. But have you ever considered how this relationship works in reverse? It’s true, while life insurance does wonders for your family, your family might have some not-so-desirable effects on your life insurance rates.


So how can this be?

In short, it all has to do with your family’s medical history. During the underwriting process, insurance companies generally require your medical history as well as a physical exam to determine the risk factors related to your coverage—which also helps determine your life insurance rate. And this usually includes a brief summary of your family’s medical background. Even if you have the cleanest possible bill of health—even if you’re a non-smoking, non-drinking personal trainer whose biggest medical scare was that case of chicken pox back in the third grade—you could still be charged a slightly higher rate based on any potentially serious illnesses experienced by your parents or siblings.


What exactly are they looking for?

Most insurers are only concerned with major potentially hereditary illnesses when it comes to your family medical history. These typically include cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Other conditions they might worry about include obesity/diabetes and high blood pressure, but most insurance companies simply want to know whether or not your parents or siblings have suffered from or died from cancer or heart disease before the age of sixty-five.


The most common forms of cancer they look for include:

  • Breast
  • Colon
  • Lung
  • Melanoma
  • Pancreatic
  • Prostrate
  • Ovarian


And the most common cardiovascular conditions/procedures include:

  • Heart attack
  • Angioplasty
  • Bypass surgery
  • Valve surgery
  • Arrhythmia


However, if your family does have a history of any of the above conditions, it doesn’t mean you can’t find affordable insurance, it just means you have to know what to look for.


The importance of shopping around

Each insurance company has its own specific guidelines of what they look for in you and your family’s medical history. For instance, some insurers place more emphasis on cardiovascular health and are less concerned with cancer, and some only consider cardiovascular conditions and leave out cancer altogether. Furthermore, some will only look into your parents’ medical history, while others consider both your parents and your siblings.


That’s why consulting a life insurance broker with access to multiple quotes from a selection of top companies is a smart option if you. This can help you get a better idea of what you’ll be facing in terms of how you and your family’s medical histories will affect your life insurance rates and the type of coverage you can get. So before you acquire any life insurance policy, make sure you have a look at what else is out there. No two insurers are quite the same, so shopping around can make a world of difference. At Intramark, we offer dozens of life insurance quotes from top-rated insurance companies. Get started with a free life insurance quote today.