No one wants to pay more than they have to for life insurance, and no one should ever need to. Finding and buying cheap life insurance is easy when you understand what factors affect life insurance rates and quotes.
Your first goal is to determine how much life insurance you need, and what type is best suited for your family and financial situation. More than likely, you will choose to buy term life insurance. Once you’ve picked the best policy for your needs, follow these simple steps to find cheap life insurance quotes online.
How To Get Cheap Term Life Insurance (Much Quicker!)
Let’s face it – you aren’t perfect and neither am I.
Each of us carries some kind of risk for an insurance company. That is why insurers ask so many in-depth questions, require you to undergo a medical exam, and take a blood and urine test when you apply for coverage. These methods are the most reliable way for them to ascertain just how risky it is to insure you. And, naturally, the riskier it is to insure you, the higher your life insurance premiums will be.
But what does this mean for consumers?
Whether you are looking for your first life insurance policy or seeking out a better or cheaper one, there are 3 main tasks that are most important in your quest for the lowest rates. First, you must choose to buy cheap term life insurance versus whole life because in 99% of cases, term life is a better policy for your needs. Then you must understand which criteria carriers consider when they determine rates, and how to best present your case to find cheap life insurance.
Top Factors That Affect Life Insurance Rates
Age and Gender. These two factors affect your life insurance premiums the most. Younger applicants typically receive lower rates, but so do women. This latter fact is based on the longer life expectancies that women enjoy. Living longer means that insurance companies usually have more time to collect premiums before they have to pay out benefits.
Tip: Obviously, there isn’t anything you can do about your gender, but you can apply for life insurance when you’re young. When searching for cheap term life insurance, experts recommend buying a 20-year or 30-year term policy while you are still in your late 20s, 30s and early 40s. After analyzing average life insurance rates by age, most insurance companies still offer the lowest, preferred rates to customers in these age groups.
Of course there is a balance to seek out. Don’t rush to buy life insurance while you’re 25 years old and single just because it’s cheap! Wait until you need it, but not too long. Remember, you only need life insurance if you have financial dependents, such as a spouse, child, or elderly parent.
Smoking. There’s no way around it: smokers pay more for life insurance – typically three times more. If you are looking for cheap life insurance quotes, don’t be a regular, habitual cigarette or cigar smoker.
Tip: There’s no better way to save on premiums than the obvious: stop smoking. Once you have been smoke-free for a year or more, you will generally have a much better chance of receiving an affordable quote. However, the best insurance companies reserve their cheapest rates for those who have been smoke-free for 3 to 5 years or more. If you are having trouble quitting smoking but still need to buy a policy, research life insurance for smokers.
Overall Health. The better your overall health, the lower your premiums will be. Most carriers make their assessments by levying strikes against applicants (as well as plusses in their favor). Heart disease and cancer are major killers in the United States, so it should be no surprise that the presence of either is a serious strike against you.
Additionally, high cholesterol and related issues that contribute to these kinds of health problems are also strikes against you. Other medical conditions can generally be managed more effectively; asthma, digestive disorders, hypertension, and even diabetes are less serious strikes if you can show that you are managing them well through proper care. Insurance companies won’t label you “uninsurable” except in cases of serious health issues, so don’t give up on finding affordable life insurance without research and comparisons.
Tip: Don’t wait until it is time to apply for insurance to get a physical and assess your health. If you do have a treatable health condition such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, you will need time to begin a medication regime, adjust your diet, or otherwise get the problem under control before applying. Most insurers will want to see at least 12 months of stable health before deeming your medical condition a mild risk.
Tip: If you can show a positive history of managing your health problems as well as good family medical history, you can receive a standard rate or one only slightly higher. For example, applicants who manage their high cholesterol with medication (i.e. Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor), diet and exercise are often able to get insured at affordable rates. The same applies to life insurance for diabetics and any other treatable condition.
Tip: The best thing you can do is to apply for life insurance before you have a serious medical problem. However, obviously this isn’t always an option. If you do have medical issues and need to shop for life insurance, comprehensively research and compare policies, companies, and quotes.
Different companies have different niches and types of preferred customers, which means that rates can vary drastically. Independent insurance agents can often assist you as they tend to have inside information about carriers but are not beholden to any one company. Just make sure to compare life insurance quotes online so you have an idea of what price range your premiums should be. This can avoid a situation where an agent or broker baits and switches you into a more expensive policy.
Weight Matters. Being overweight or obese invariably impacts life insurance rates because obesity is linked to many serious health problems. The mortality rate of a person who is considered to be morbidly obese based on their BMI is twice as high as that of a person in the normal weight range. Weight ranges which qualify for the best premiums do vary between insurers, so again, make sure you shop around to review the weight requirements of multiple insurers to find the most favorable company for you.
Tip: If you have the time and ability to lose weight before you apply, lose the excess weight. It’s better for you and your premiums.
Tip: If you are an overweight woman, look for carriers who use unisex weight tables. These tables combine height-weight ranges for both men and women, so the higher averages favor women.
Family Medical History. Every life insurance application will ask about any history of disease or illness in your family, specifically heart disease and cancer.
Tip: Similar to the weight issue, use our free and instant quote system to compare prices. This will allow you to research the standards each insurer uses when assessing family health history. This matters because the age at which a relative experienced the onset of cancer or died of heart disease impacts your premiums.
Many insurance companies consider health problems in family members before age 70 to be significant, while others are more lenient and only ask for onset or fatalities before age 60. A younger age may allow you to exclude a death in the family that would otherwise increase your rate.
Dangerous Job. Unfortunately, if you have a more dangerous job, companies will see you as a much riskier policyholder and maybe even require you to buy high risk life insurance. If you are a miner, iron worker, fisherman, soldier, firefighter or policeman, you might find yourself in a high premium category. You may even have difficulty getting life insurance altogether.
Tip: Some insurers are friendlier to the dangerous job “niche” than others. Consult an independent agent or broker who is knowledgeable about the underwriting guidelines of numerous carriers to find one that insures applicants with risky jobs. High risk life insurance can still be affordable with the right company.
Dangerous Hobbies. Are you an amateur pilot, cave diver, sky diver, scuba diver, mountain climber, or boxer? Good for you, but bad for your life insurance premiums. People who enjoy dangerous hobbies or sports typically pay higher rates than those who don’t.
Tip: Just like those who work at dangerous jobs, if you pursue dangerous hobbies, you will be labeled “high risk”. You will likely be surprised by the differences in rates between companies. Some are far more accommodating to the dangerous hobby “niche” than others so compare quotes from multiple insurers before choosing a policy.
Unusual Travel. For insurance companies, travel to less common locales can be risky, and if your destination is known to be dangerous, your carrier will classify your travel there as high-risk behavior. You can also easily be caught if you omit or lie about your travel plans because the required shots for overseas travel will be listed on your medical records. If you misrepresent yourself during the applicant process, your family’s claim will be denied and no death benefit will be paid out.
Tip: Some carriers, such as Genworth, only find more extended trips (those longer than four weeks) to be high-risk behavior, so whether your travel is classified as “high risk” depends on the insurer you pick.
Poor Credit History. It may seem unfair, but poor credit history, including a bankruptcy within five years of your life insurance application, can inflate your premium. Nonetheless, a good or excellent credit score can re-affirm your affordable coverage.
Tip: It may sound repetitive, but it’s absolutely the best way to get cheap life insurance: compare insurance quotes online to find the best policies, companies, and premiums. Some insurers don’t check your credit history.
Tip: If you are planning to buy life insurance in the intermediate future, work towards improving your credit score. This means paying down outstanding credit card debt, living within your means, avoiding late payments, and reviewing your credit history to ensure there are no mistakes counting against you.
Safe Driving Record. It may seem unrelated, but how you drive does demonstrate a level of responsibility. Statistically, drivers who regularly violate traffic laws are more likely to be involved in car accidents, including fatal accidents. Being a bad driver means that you are a greater risk. If you’ve had a moving violation in the past 3 years or a DUI in the last 5 to 10 years, companies will see you as a greater risk. Fortunately, simple accidents or parking tickets don’t count against you.
Tip: One lone speeding ticket won’t sink your life insurance application, but multiple tickets will result in higher premiums. Make a conscious effort to break your speeding habit; it’s not worth decades of higher rates. Hopefully it goes without saying that driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a bad idea all around.
Tip: If you are able to wait a year or two for the violations to not count against you, be patient and re-apply for coverage in the future.
Life Insurance Medical Exam Tips
At this point, you’ve done your research, found the best, cheap life insurance for your family’s needs, and made the necessary changes to your lifestyle and health. As you approach the date of your scheduled medical exam, remember these final tips to get the best results:
- Fast for 24 hours leading up to your exam. This may help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure a little.
- Do not do any serious workouts or exercise sessions the day before your exam. You don’t want to elevate your protein level for your exam; this can make you appear ill. Wait until after your exam to work out again.
- Get adequate sleep before your exam. You need to be relaxed, especially if you have issues with anxiety.
- Skip alcohol, caffeine, and foods that are heavy in sodium and fat before your exam. You don’t want to elevate your heart rate or add anything extra to your weigh-in.
- Don’t skip or forget your prescribed medications. Keep your health problems under control.
Cheap Life Insurance Quotes
Even if your life insurance rates are higher than you like, don’t give up. If your circumstances have changed since the time of your application, you might be able to get a cheaper rate.
For example, if you have lost weight, changed jobs, quit smoking, or improved your cholesterol level, complete a new life insurance quote comparison to see if you qualify for a lower premium. Cheap life insurance isn’t a myth – it does exist. You just have to find it!