Did you know that your lifestyle can affect life insurance premiums? Age is by far the biggest determinant, but there are a number of other factors that can affect how much you pay. Here are 3 common lifestyle factors that can boost the cost of your life insurance:
- A Smoking Habit
Not only is smoking bad for your health, it’s also bad for your wallet. Most insurance companies charge much more to insure smokers – nearly four times more than what non-smokers pay in some states.1 Fortunately, many insurance companies will lower rates after you quit smoking, so you might eventually qualify for non-smoker rates. Keep in mind that switching to a different source of nicotine, like patches or gums, usually won’t help since nicotine users typically still pay smoker rates. It’s also unwise to lie about a smoking habit. Not only is it going to turn up in a medical exam, but lying on an insurance application could be grounds to deny or challenge a claim.
- A Bad Driving Record
Tickets, DUIs, and DWIs (Driving Under the Influence and Driving While Intoxicated) can have a serious effect on your ability to qualify for life insurance and may deny you the best rates. Speeding and drunk driving are high-risk behaviors that can make insurance companies wary of doing business with you. If you have a problematic driving record, be prepared to shop around and answer questions about your history.
- A High-Risk Hobby or Profession
Do you enjoy skydiving or climbing high-altitude mountains? You could end up paying more for life insurance. Insurance companies worry that participants in high-risk activities might come to an early end and want to be compensated for the extra risk. If you work in a dangerous profession like logging, mining, fishing, or construction, you may also fall into a high-risk category.
If you’re concerned about how lifestyle risk factors may affect your ability to qualify for life insurance or get affordable premiums, it’s a good idea to work with a professional who can advocate for you and find a policy that works for your needs. If you have any questions about life insurance or risk factors, please give our office a call.