The less likely you are to make a claim on your insurance policy, the cheaper the premium you may be offered. In terms of life insurance this means that the younger and healthier you are, the less you might pay. While there’s nothing anyone can do to stop the march of time, there are still plenty of practical options for cutting the cost of your life insurance.
Give Up Smoking
The risks of smoking are now well known and insurance companies have been taking them into consideration for many years. For life insurance purposes, a smoker is someone who has used tobacco products within a certain period of time (currently this is typically a year). In other words, someone who has had one cigarette within that period is treated in the same way as someone who puffs through 40 a day. This may seem unfair but there are a number of good reasons for this, one of which being that a percentage of smokers simply lie on their application forms with the result that insurance companies have a practice of conducting random tests to check for honesty.
At present, these tests simply look for the presence of cotinine which is essentially a by-product of nicotine consumption. Those looking to ecigarettes should be aware that they will also trigger the production of cotinine. The insurance market is still adjusting to the impact of ecigarettes so those using them might do well to check directly with their preferred insurer to see how they view them. Secondly the cost of smoking goes up with age, for the simple reason that risks of smoking are compounded by the ageing process. Smokers can get a clearer idea of how their habit affects them financially by getting test quotes from various insurance companies.
Obesity-related disorders have gained increasing publicity in recent years. Life insurance companies are well aware of them and, like smokers; those who are overweight could expect to pay more for coverage. Those who need an incentive to help them along can take comfort from the fact that insurers generally calculate premiums in bands, rather than according to exact weight. Therefore just losing enough to move down into the next band can lower premiums even if you’re still well above the target weight for your height.
There are a couple of points worth noting here.
Firstly it’s best to start your weight-loss regime before you need to (re)apply for life insurance as prices tend to be fixed for the duration once you are accepted on the policy. Of course, if you do manage to lose weight while you are still on a policy, it never hurts to ask, although insurers may look for evidence that you can keep weight off before making any changes to the cost of your cover.
Secondly, people who are very muscular can be heavier than the formal target weight for their height without being in any way unhealthy and might benefit from speaking directly to an insurer. As a final point, giving up meat can not only help cut calories as well as food costs, but there is now an insurance provider offering special deals to vegetarians on the grounds that they are a lower health risk.
Spend Less Time On The Road
The last major factor over which we have some degree of control is our jobs. While changing your occupation to benefit from lower life insurance premiums may seen a step too far, particularly if you enjoy what you do, it is worth noting that driving is considered a risky activity. If you can come up with a feasible way to spend less time on the road, for example by working from home a couple of days a week, or by teleconferencing rather than necessarily going to visit clients, then you may be rewarded with lower life insurance premiums.