New Year’s resolutions commonly include vows to lose weight, stop smoking and make other healthy lifestyle changes. However, those who are shopping for life insurance should know that there really is no time like the present to start making those healthy changes and get on the track to a healthier new lifestyle.
Good Health Equals Low Premiums
Life insurance companies consider many factors when determining an applicant’s risk. Chronic or serious health conditions will almost certainly affect life insurance premiums, but lifestyle habits can as well. Applicants who smoke, drink excessively, are overweight, who have poor driving habits, risky hobbies or even a questionable credit history may find that they face higher premiums. Not all risks can be reduced immediately or even at all, but taking steps to reduce controllable risk factors will help in the long term.
Lifestyle Habits Can Hurt Your Wallet and Your Waistline
Eating too many unhealthy foods, getting too little exercise and smoking are a recipe for poor cardiovascular health. Increased blood pressure, stroke risk, cholesterol levels and diabetes risk are all associated with overweight and obesity. Smoking has been linked to cardiovascular disease and other serious health problems. Taking control of your weight and risky habits can help you enjoy improved health and even a longer life. They can also help reduce insurance premiums, in some cases by as much as 20 to 50 percent.
Changes You Can Make Now
Many insurance companies require smokers to be smoke-free for at least six months in order to receive reduced rates, so quitting smoking or joining a smoking cessation program are good first steps towards reducing life insurance premiums. Weight loss is another way to reduce those premiums and increase the odds of living a longer, healthier life. Better credit management, safer driving and improved personal habits can also help reduce premiums and may even result in more manageable stress levels.
Risk in Real Life
When an insurance company considers the big picture, it assesses how much of a risk each applicant is. An applicant with poor lifestyle habits is a greater risk because he or she may be at an increased risk of dying prematurely as opposed to an applicant with healthy, low-risk habits. The lower-risk applicant will be rewarded with lower premiums while the higher-risk applicant will have higher premiums commensurate with the risk he or she poses.