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How to lower life insurance premiums
Secure the best rate by staying healthy and keeping tabs on beneficiary needs.
Cheap life insurance rates are achieved by one part good health and two part financial choices. But lowering your overall coverage could pose a risk if your situation changes down the road.
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How can I lower my life insurance premiums?
Life insurance policies are sensitive to both time and your health. If you’re determined to reduce your monthly premium, consider doing the following:
- Achieve — and maintain — a healthy weight. Underwriters consider BMI when crafting life insurance quotes because being overweight or obese has been linked to serious health conditions. If your BMI is high, your risk factor goes up — and so does your monthly premium.
- Stop using nicotine-based products. Smoking is seen as a red flag by life insurance providers. So is the use of e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco and other nicotine-based products. Since part of the application process is a test to check for nicotine, companies will know your habits even if you lie upfront. The longer it’s been since you quit, the better your rates will be.
- Listen to your doctor. Even if you have an existing medical condition like high blood pressure, getting it under control can help you get a better policy. Keep up with regular visits to your doctor and take prescribed medications as necessary.
- Keep tabs on your financial needs. As your life evolves and changes, so will your financial needs and the needs of your beneficiaries. For example, your coverage will likely be higher when you have dependents or young kids. But later in life, as your children make their own lives, you may be able to lower coverage.
- Compare new policies. It never hurts to see what else is out there since different lenders may have different evaluation criteria or specialties. Evaluate policies on an apples-to-apples basis and check for exclusions or hidden fees that may impact the overall price you’ll pay beyond the policy premium.
- Apply sooner rather than later. The younger and healthier you are, the lower your premium will be. Policies tend to get more expensive as you age since health conditions tend to snowball as birthdays accumulate. Locking down a rate now can help protect against future unknowns.
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What should I watch out for after amending my life insurance policy?
If you lower your coverage amount to help make monthly premiums more affordable, be mindful of scenarios that could have a negative impact, including:
- Changes in health. You may have left yourself exposed to new conditions that surface after your original medical underwriting.
- Unforeseen beneficiary needs. If a loved one is permanently injured in an accident or suddenly becomes dependent upon you again, you’ll need to reconsider how much money is necessary to leave behind.
- Altered financial security. Your financial stability can always change. If your savings accounts can’t support your spouse or cover other expenses after you’re gone, you might need to increase coverage once again.
How much can I change by simply improving my health?
Health is one of the most important elements in keeping life insurance premiums affordable. Eating right and exercising regularly can get your BMI to an acceptable level, help control existing medical conditions and lower the overall risk to providers.
Life insurance premiums for smokers tend to be at least twice as expensive as premiums for nonsmokers. After quitting smoking for at least a year, you may get moved into the “nonsmoker” bucket. And your overall health could improve as well, which lowers rates even further.
Being vigilant about your health and thoughtful about your actual needs can help keep monthly life insurance premiums down. But remember that your best advocate is you, so take the time to shop around and compare quotes before committing to a policy.
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