A healthy lifestyle may help reduce your premium
Being in good health is not just great news for your quality of life; it can also benefit your wallet. That’s because maintaining a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the cost of your life insurance.
Taking sensible steps to improve your health such as giving up smoking at least 12 months before you apply, being the right weight for your height and taking regular exercise lowers your premium considerably.
Great news for the healthy, but what if you suffer from a chronic health condition such as asthma or diabetes? Are you destined to a life of eye-wateringly high premiums just to give your family the cover they need? Perhaps you worry you may not be able to get life cover at all.
Whatever your worries, it’s important that you’re never tempted to lie about your health when you apply. Fail to disclose any health condition to your insurers could invalidate your claim.
If you know that a health condition places you in a higher risk group, it’s worth doing your research on insurers before you apply. That’s because should your application be turned down, you will have to declare this to any further insurers which increases the likelihood they’ll turn you down too.
Should you discover you have a problem with your health after getting your policy, the good news is that your policy will still stand (as long as you’ve been completely honest when applying). Just be careful if your life insurance policy is with your employer because, should you leave your job, the policy will end and you may find it difficult or expensive to secure a new one – especially because you’ll be older and your condition may have progressed.
Here we look at various conditions to discover how your health affects your premium.
People with diabetes will certainly be able to
find policies, but they may have to pay more for it than someone without the condition. That’s because having diabetes puts you at greater risk of other serious health complications in the future, so insurers fear they may have to pay out sooner rather than later.
People with diabetes will normally have to prove that their condition is under control, so expect that you’ll have to undergo a medical or provide details of your treatment from your GP.
According to Asthma UK, there are 5.4 million people with asthma living in Great Britain. If you’re one of them, your eligibility and chances of having to pay more for your insurance depends very much on the severity of your condition, and will also vary from insurer to insurer.
If you have a history of asthma but have not needed any treatment for it for two years, you will normally be accepted at standard rates for life insurance.
Those with mild asthma (categorised as short, infrequent attacks with no time needed off work) may receive a small increase to their premium.
Moderate to severe asthma is categorized as needing treatment and will likely receive a greater increase.
High blood pressure and high cholesterol
Having high blood pressure or high cholesterol will likely be considered a risk factor by your insurer, and it could help you to be seen as taking steps to address the problem. Being on medication or receiving treatment by your doctor to get things under control may be looked on favourably, as will making lifestyle changes such as losing weight and taking exercise.
Health conditions and the young
While being young normally puts you at an advantage when it comes to life insurance, having a health condition such as obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes when you’re younger can mean that you’re likely to be placed in a higher risk group.