How to Determine Your Life Insurance Health Class


Determining your life insurance health class can be difficult, but it is vital to calculate how much you will pay for life insurance. Life insurance classifications refer to how an insurance company categorizes you for coverage. Life insurance companies place you in a specific rating class based on factors such as age, health, and general lifestyle

You can consider several factors to help determine how your insurance company classifies you. You can shop around with life insurance companies by estimating your rating classification to get the best rate possible.


What is a Life Insurance Health Class?  

When you apply for life insurance, the insurance company uses a series of criteria to assign you a health class. Your health classification is determined by your age, lifestyle, medical history, and family health history.

The insurance company uses these factors to determine how likely you are to pass away during the policy term. The higher the risk, the higher the premium. For example, smoking tobacco may cause you to have a 10-year shorter life expectancy than a non-smoker. This data will likely cause a life insurance company to set a higher premium for you than someone who doesn’t use tobacco. 

There are four health classes: preferred plus, preferred, standard plus, and standard. Preferred plus is the best health class and indicates you are in excellent health and therefore may likely receive low premium offers. The standard classification is on the bottom tier of the life insurance table ratings. 

Your insurance company will probably assign you to the standard or standard plus health class if you have health risks. If you have serious health issues, like unmanaged diabetes, heart disease, or a history of cancer, you may be unable to qualify for life insurance.

Your health class determines your life insurance premium, so choosing a policy that gives you the coverage you need at a price you can afford is essential.


Factors that Affect Your Life Insurance Health Class

When determining your health rating during the underwriting process, the insurance company looks at three main factors: your age, your lifestyle, and your health. 


  • Age

Your age influences your table rating when obtaining life insurance. Typically, the younger you are, the lower your rates will be. This is because young people are considered less of a health risk than older people. 

Additionally, your rates will likely increase more minimally (approximately 6%) when you are between 25 and 30 and more dramatically as you approach 60 to 65 (an average of 86%). You may pay as little as $31 a month as a 25-year-old non-smoker and over $500 per month when you are 65 or older.


  • Lifestyle

Your lifestyle choices can also affect your rates. For example, smokers typically pay more for life insurance than nonsmokers. This is because smoking is considered a significant health risk.

Lifestyle choices that can affect your rates include your alcohol consumption, diet, and whether or not you exercise regularly. If you are overweight or obese, it can reduce your life expectancy by as much as 14 years, so insurance companies consider your height and weight as part of your lifestyle evaluation.

If you participate in risky activities such as skydiving, high-impact sports like boxing, or work in a high-risk field such as construction or oil rigs, or abroad it may factor into your life insurance premiums. A poor driving record that indicates risky behavior may also affect your rating. 


  • Health

Another essential factor life insurance companies consider is your health. If you are in good health, you will likely pay lower premiums than someone who is not as healthy. You will likely be assigned to the preferred or preferred plus health class if you are in good health. For example, you maintain a healthy weight and don’t have serious health conditions. 

You may pay more for life insurance if you have a family history of severe health conditions. This history gives you a higher risk of developing those conditions. Your medical history will also be considered when determining your health class. 

You will also likely pay more for life insurance if you have any pre-existing medical conditions because they make you a higher risk to insure.


How to Improve Your Life Insurance Health Class

It is important to keep your health class rating as high as possible to get the most benefits from your whole life or term-life insurance policy.

There are a few simple steps that you can take to improve your health class and get better rates on your life insurance policy.


  • Quit smoking 

Tobacco use is one of the biggest factors that contribute to poor health class ratings, and giving up cigarettes can have a significant impact on your rates.


  • Maintain a healthy weight and cholesterol level

Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help to improve your overall health and may even lead to a lower insurance premium.


  • Make sure to keep up with your routine medical checkups

By staying on top of your health with regular medical exams, you can help to ensure that any potential health problems are caught early and treated accordingly.


What to Do if You Disagree With Your Health Class?

No one wants to pay more for life insurance than they have to, and it is important to understand the factors that affect your health class. If you are unhappy with the rating assigned to you, there are a few things that you can do.

You can ask the insurance company to review your case, shop around for better rates, or consult with an agent. By taking these steps, you can get the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget.

If you have any other questions, check out Finance is us. Finance is us is an online resource that assists consumers in making the best financial decisions. Whether evaluating an auto loan, opening a savings account, or searching for life insurance quotes, Finance is us has the information you need to make the most informed choices.


Disclaimer: All content on this site is information of a general nature and does not address the circumstances of any particular entity or individual, nor is the information a substitute for professional financial advice and services.

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