How Does Your State of Health Impact Getting a Life Insurance Quote

The list of things to think about when taking out a life insurance policy can seem extensive. You should think about your incomings and outgoings, any debts you have, and how much you’d like covering for. But before you get to the point of signing the dotted line, most life insurance policy providers will want to know a little bit about your life – after all, you are expecting them to pay out a substantial sum of money at some point. 

That’s why life insurance fraud is a big deal. The one thing most providers are very interested in is your health. Keep reading to learn how your state of health might impact your ability to get a life insurance quote.

Your Past Medical History

From the get-go, insurers will delve into your past medical history to see if there’s anything that might increase your chances of, sadly, passing away – which increases their chance of having to pay out one day. It’s the same with car insurers, for example. They’re more likely to charge a higher premium for a Ford Mustang GT than they are a ford KA – the risk is undoubtedly lower with the KA.

The same applies to life insurance, sort of. But don’t worry. A past medical history of eczema or an ear infection, for example, isn’t going to bump your premium up. Insurers are interested in any long-term conditions you have or any past medical history that might come back to haunt you. For example, if you had an angina attack and had to have hospital treatment five years ago, insurers will still raise an eyebrow at whether something will happen again.

There are other indications that your past medical history might affect your eligibility for life insurance, such as your age. Someone that is over the age of 60 with a past medical history of strokes, for example, is far more likely to get rejected for many policies. If they’re accepted, they’re far more likely to pay a ridiculous premium.

Your Current State Of Health

Your past medical history isn’t the only examination that may take place. Some providers will ask that you complete a medical examination as part of the application process. The insurance medical exam entails a blood pressure check, urine test, and blood test. Here’s a list of things they’ll be looking for with said tests:

  • Unusual liver or kidney functions
  • Abnormal blood sugar levels
  • Substance abuse
  • Nicotine use
  • Medical conditions that might link to heart disease or cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Hepatitis
  • High body mass index 

Not every insurer will ask you to take part in a medical exam. However, some insurers advertise that they provide policies without a medical exam because they know it’ll appeal to a market that insurers requesting a medical exam are missing out on. Yes, there’s a risk that without the medical exam, there’s no way of knowing what someones true health status is, but some insurers are willing to risk it.

Yes, you can reject the medical examination request, but some companies make it mandatory if they provide a policy.

Lifestyle Choices

Your lifestyle choices can be an indication of your current health state, and therefore it’s one of the factors considered when insurers are dishing out policies. The one lifestyle choice they’re all interested in is whether you smoke. Smoking is linked to multiple morbidities, from cancer to COPD. Ultimately, smoking is one of the habits we know reduces lifespan and increases the chances of hospitalization.

Interestingly, some insurers even consider your career a lifestyle choice and an essential factor when handing out a policy. A police officer, for example, carries more of a risk-to-life danger than an office admin does. That’s not to say they won’t insure a police officer – they might offer a higher premium to mitigate the risk. If you’re retired and living a relaxed lifestyle, the premium is likely to be lower.

What Do Insurers Consider Healthy?

It’s unfair to assume that everyone is going to be healthy 24/7. Before handing out a policy, the application goes through a process known as underwriting. Underwriting calculates the risk of an insurance policy proposal and determines whether the risk is too high to insure. Here’s a list of the factors that insurers consider related to your health – it’s not just medical conditions or past medical history that matters:

  • Ages
  • Gender
  • Career
  • Smoking
  • Weight
  • Blood pressure
  • Lifestyle

Insurance providers ask questions relating to these to paint a complete picture of your overall health. You might be the healthiest person in the world and run a few marathons a year, but if your career is a health risk, they might decide to reject your life insurance policy application.

Don’t worry too much if you have a lengthy past medical history – you’re still likely to get insurance. The more risk, the more charged on the premiums. It takes a lot for insurers to decide to reject a policy. A top tip, always take the medical examination!