There are certain aspects of your lifestyle, job or history that may contribute to an inflated life insurance premium, something you would obviously like to avoid if at all possible. These factors are widespread and varied, yet all have one thing in common: the likelihood of reducing your lifespan.
Here is part one of the breakdown of the most common ones:
1. Your Occupation
Certain jobs come with certain health risks. Your life insurance premium would be inflated should you work in a high-risk environment, whether you are providing an essential service, like being a policeman or a paramedic, or whether you are a factory floor supervisor at a chemical plant. It is advisable to do some research and find out whether your profession of choice is considered to be a high-risk profession, but realistically, this is not something you can do much about. It is much more effort to change from a profession that you are trained and qualified in to another, safer profession, than what it is to pay slightly higher monthly premiums as a result.
2. Your Family History
You are a forty year old male with no health problems whatsoever. Your heart is functioning as normal, your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are perfect, you visit the gym twice a week and you live a happy, fulfilling life. Obviously you’d be expecting a cheap life insurance premium, as you could be seen as a low-risk individual based on the abovementioned factors alone. But the truth is, you could be punished for the proverbial sins of the father. Should your grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, siblings or any other close family relations suffer from heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, neurological disorders, cancer, strokes or a myriad of other hereditary diseases, your life insurance provider might view your risk as having increased as a result. Yet again, this factor is unfortunately out of your control.
3. Your Gender
Though it might be seen by some as discriminatory, studies do show that men tend to die at a younger age than women. The exact reason for this is unknown, but it is probably a combination of genetic and environmental factors. As a man, you can expect to pay about one and a half times as much as a woman of the same age and in they same physical shape or condition of health.
Cigarettes have been proven innumerable times to be deadly in the long run, not only to the individual smoking them, but also to all of the non-smokers or ex-smokers that surround the smoker. Similarly, your life insurance premium could conceivably be raised as a non-smoker living with smokers due to second-hand smoke related diseases. A whole host of diseases could be caused by simply lighting up a couple of times a day, including the most dreaded of all, lung cancer. Quitting is hard. Nicotine, the addictive substance in cigarettes, has been proven to be one of the most addictive chemicals on the planet, and one of the hardest addictions to kick. But various support groups, institutions and even pharmacological solutions exist for the sole purpose of helping you quit. You will definitely get cheaper life insurance premiums as an ex-smoker than you would have as a smoker.
It is called the most widespread pandemic by some, and there is no doubt that it is a silent killer. Obesity has become a massive problem in our modern society. Nearly every block corner contains a fast-food restaurant that lure consumers back with meals that (irrespective of their taste) contain extreme levels of sugar, salt and fats, all substances that the human body becomes dependent on over time.
Being obese can be a direct cause of diabetes, heart failure, aneurisms, blood clots, high blood pressure and much more. Your level of obesity is measured by a unit called the BMI (or Body Mass Index). The higher your BMI, the more inflated your life insurance premium. Your BMI can be calculated by using your height and weight and, though not a totally precise indicator, is considered to be a mostly accurate indicator of obesity.
The idea of the brilliant, depressed writer, poet or artist has been greatly romanticized by the media, often using people such as Van Gogh or Beethoven as templates. But depression is hardly a matter to reduce to the level of cheap entertainment. An estimated 121 people around the world currently suffer from some form as depression, and quite frankly, that number is likely to be a massive understatement. Research has shown that, broadly speaking, one’s healthcare costs more than double after being diagnosed with depression, largely due to the sky high costs of psychology sessions, psychiatry appointments and anti-depressant medication. But those are not the only costs that rise.
Should you be officially diagnosed with depression, you are required to notify your life insurance provider. A diagnosis of depression will cause your health insurance premiums to rise, due to an increased risk of reckless behaviour, death as a result of severe personal neglect, or even suicide. If you suspect you are depressed, contact your doctor immediately. Statistics show that 60-80% of all depression cases can be effectively treated with brief, structured forms of psychotherapy and anti-depressant medications.
Another negative factor that can be caused by our diet is high cholesterol. Cholesterol comes in two types, HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) and LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein). It is essentially a type of fat that your body needs on a continuous basis, but due to bad diets, close to 30% of the world’s total population suffer from too much LDL (otherwise known as “bad” cholesterol). The higher your cholesterol, the more you can expect to pay on your life insurance premium.
8. High Blood Pressure
Too much salt and stress coupled with too little exercise are the most common causes of high blood pressure. High blood, or hypertension, can cause heart disease and premature death, thus leading to a higher life insurance premium.
That most dreaded of diseases, cancer, can do more than just give you an inflated life insurance premium: it can cause your life insurance provider of choice to decline your application for life insurance. There are many different types of cancer. Virtually every organ is susceptible to it. And there are just as many ways of treating it. Treatments vary from mild and non-invasive to surgical and to the point of rendering the patient incapacitated. Cancer also has a tendency to crop back up again, even after it has gone in total remission. You will not get a cheap life insurance premium if you have or had cancer, if you will get one at all.