How Do Life Insurance Companies Evaluate Me?

Life insurance companies are very thorough when it comes to underwriting applicants.  They look at a number of different factors before determining your health class rating.  Before you apply for life insurance, it is important to understand how you will be evaluated.  Here are some of the factors that will be looked at.

Age – Your age is one of the most important factors in determining your rates.  Some insurance companies offer separate underwriting guidelines for older applicants that are more lenient.

Gender – Men pay more for life insurance than women.

Build – Your build is simply your height and weight.  Each company has its own build chart that shows the minimum and maximum weight allowed for each health class.  Some companies even offer unisex build charts which can be very generous for women applicants.

Personal Health History – Obviously, the insurance company will want to know your blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as any other important information relating your health.  If you have any moderate health issues, the life insurance company will request your medical records.

Tobacco Use – This is important as tobacco rates can be three times more than non- tobacco rates.  If you’re an occasional smoker, use chewing tobacco or smoke cigars, you could qualify for non-tobacco rates in some cases.  You just have to apply with the right company.

Avocations – If you have a dangerous hobby such as sky diving or piloting a private aircraft, you will most likely pay more for coverage in most instances.

Occupations – Certain occupations are considered high risk such as oil rig workers and mine workers.  If your occupation is considered high risk, you will most likely pay a flat-extra for coverage.  A flat-extra is an additional cost per thousand of coverage added to your policy.

Foreign Travel – Life insurance companies consider some areas of the world to be high risk.  If you plan on residing or living in any of these areas, you could actually be declined coverage.

Family History – Life insurance companies want to know if any parent or sibling has been diagnosed with or died from cardiovascular disease or cancer prior to age 60.  Some companies specify “no history of or death from heart disease or cancer” while others will simply specify “no death from heart disease or cancer”. This distinction is important since it can mean the difference between getting one company’s best rate and another company’s second best rate.

Driving Record – Recent moving violations, DUI’s and license suspension could have a big impact on your health ratings or even result in a decline of coverage.  Life insurance companies will check your motor vehicle records. If the life insurance company feels you are a reckless driver, your health class rating will suffer.

Criminal History – If you have a past with multiple arrests or any major felonies, your health class rating will be negatively impacted.  If you’ve had any recent felonies or arrests, you could even be declined by some companies who view you as high risk.

Substance Abuse – The length of time you have been in recovery will be the key.  In order to qualify for the best health rating, some companies will require no history of alcohol or drug abuse while other companies might consider no abuse in the past 10 years.

Paramedical Exam – The paramedical exam is the key piece to the underwriting puzzle.  In addition to having your height, weight and blood pressure measured, you will be required to give a blood and urine sample as well as an EKG for higher coverage amounts.  Underwriters will be able to determine quite a bit about your current health with a paramedical exam.

Third Party Sources – Life insurance companies will look at your Medical Information Bureau records to see if you’ve applied for life insurance in the recent past.  The goal is to alert the insurance company of errors, omissions or misrepresentations made in the application.  Life insurance companies will also look at your pharmacy database record to verify any medications that you might be taking.

We Simplify the Process of Buying Life Insurance

If you are looking for the best rates on life insurance, we can help.  We will take a look at your situation and help you determine your health rating.  Even if you have health issues, we can still give you an idea of where you stand.  Feel free to call us at 877-205-4172 or email us at info@termlifeanswers.com.

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