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How Your Family Health History Can Impact Your Life Insurance Rates

Your life insurance rate isn’t determined from a straightforward point of view; the data that goes into determining it is lengthy and can change quickly. Certainly, the current health of the applicant is a key factor, as is the type of policy being purchased and the amount of the death benefit being sought.

Yet, even though the life insurance underwriters will ask you questions about your own medical and health history, they will also ask you about your parents and siblings health histories as well. For example, some of the questions that you will be asked may include inquiries regarding the age that a parent (or parents) and / or siblings may have had a particular medical condition. If a family member had a particular condition – and, depending upon their age when they were diagnosed – will have an impact on the rate that you will pay for coverage.family health history tree

While all life insurance companies have underwriting guidelines that they must follow, they may all differ somewhat. For instance, what may constitute a Substandard policy classification at one insurer may come out as a Standard with the other carrier. This is why we recommend shopping around for quotes. There are companies who offer other types of coverage such as Veterans Life Insurance if this is something you are in search of.

Why Does Your Family’s Health History Matter?

While your own health condition is extremely important to the life insurance underwriters, your family’s health history has a great deal of significance. This is because it is used for determining the possibility of you possibly contracting a particular illness or medical condition.

As an example, diabetes or high blood pressure could run in a person’s family – and, while the individual may not necessarily develop either of these health issues, he or she could be at a higher risk of contracting them than someone else.

The individual may also be able to avoid these health issues by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a good diet, and exercising regularly. In this case, the individual may not necessarily be charged a higher rate of premium at that time, as they would not be considered to be a particularly high risk to the life insurance company. In this case, the life insurer would likely consider the current health status of the individual, as well as their healthy lifestyle.

As an incentive to continue maintaining a healthy lifestyle, many life insurance companies may even offer Preferred premium rates to those applicants who are in excellent health and who have no serious health issues with regard to their family history as well.

Which Health Conditions Will Have the Biggest Effect on Your Life Insurance Rates?

While all health conditions will typically have some type of effect on life insurance rates, there are some that can have a bigger impact than others. As an example, having a family history of cardiovascular issues will usually have more of a negative effect on your life insurance premiums than having a family history of cancer.

It is also important to keep in mind that life insurance companies will also distinguish between a family member who actually passes away due to a particular health issue versus a family member who was simply diagnosed with a certain condition.

Does the Age of Your Family Member Make a Difference When Diagnosed?

It is also important to distinguish the age of your family member when they were diagnosed with a particular health issue. Overall, most life insurance companies will hold your family’s health history of certain conditions against you – and your life insurance premiums – if your family members’ health issues came about prior to them turning age 60.

If, however, your families’ health issues began at or after their age 60, most life insurance companies will not hold the health conditions against the life insurance premium rates that you will pay.

It is also important to note that if you are age 60 when you are applying for life insurance coverage, your family’s health history will not have as much of an impact on your premium rate as it would if you were younger.

Other Factors that Will Impact Your Life Insurance Rates

In addition to family health history, there are other factors that will impact your life insurance policy’s premium rates. This will oftentimes start with the information that is provided by you on the application for life insurance coverage, such as your:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Height and Weight (i.e., your weight as it relates to your height)
  • Smoking status / tobacco usage
  • Alcohol usage
  • Marital status
  • Whether or not you have children
  • Occupation and income
  • Whether you have any other life insurance in force, and if so, how much
  • Foreign travel
  • Whether you participate in dangerous or risky hobbies such as scuba diving, rock climbing, and / or sky diving

Additionally, apart of purchasing a life insurance plan requires you to undergo a medical exam so that the life insurance carrier can get an idea of your risk profile. During the medical exam you will undergo a few tests, and have to provide samples of urine and blood that shows any markers to the underwriter of potential health issues down the line.

If you have been diagnosed with any particular type of health condition, then the insurance underwriters will also typically request additional medical information from your primary doctor. This will help them to get a clearer picture of your health – as well as how you are managing any adverse health issues.

How Much Will Your Life Insurance Policy Cost?

After an underwriter has analyzed the information, a decision can be made regarding your policy, as well as about an appropriate premium price. In most cases, insurance companies will have three primary underwriting classes. These include the following:

  • Standard – Those who are rated as a Standard are considered to be of average health. These policy holders will therefore be charged an average rate of premium for their life insurance coverage.
  • Substandard – Those who are rated as a Substandard may have some type of health issues that makes their overall health below average – yet their health is not poor enough to have their application for coverage denied altogether. Since their rating is below the standard, the premium charged will be more than standard.
  • Preferred – Those who are in the Preferred rating class are in excellent health condition. They also have a family health history that is also excellent. Because those who are in the Preferred class pose less risk of claim than the Standard and the Substandard policy holders, they are typically charged less in premium for their life insurance coverage.

In some cases, an individual’s health will be poor enough that they may be denied for coverage by the life insurance company. In this case, however, the applicant still may qualify if they look towards certain policies like a Guaranteed Issue plan.

How and Where to Find the Very Best Life Insurance Premium Rates

When you’re searching for the very best life insurance premium rates, it is always a good idea to work with a company that has access to numerous insurance carriers. This way, you will be able to compare many different policies, benefits, insurers, and premium rates and then determine the one that works the best for you and your protection needs.

Although all insurance companies will typically underwrite life insurance applications, not all carriers use identical underwriting standards. With this in mind, your family health history could deem you as a Substandard by one insurance company, but as a Standard – or possibly even a Preferred – at another. But the only way to know for sure is to run the information.

When you’re ready to start shopping for the best policy and rates for you, we can help. Over time we have reached out and received contracts with most of the highest rated life insurance carriers in the country, and our agents can provide multiple quotes very fast. Our goal as an agency is to inform fully, provide efficiently, and help find the perfect policy for your family. We hope you start your journey with us, and you can began by using our form on the left.

If you should have any questions at all regarding how your family health history can impact your life insurance rates, how to obtain life insurance premium rates, or even just about life insurance in general, please feel free to contact us. You can reach us directly by calling, toll-free, 888-229-7522.

We understand that shopping for life insurance can be somewhat overwhelming. Therefore, regardless of your current health condition, your family’s health history, or any other factor that may seem to be a hindrance, please contact us directly – we’re here to help.



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