life insurance

5 Lifestyle Choices that Mean Higher Life Insurance Premiums


28 February,2012

Life insurance is one of those insurance policies that you should have. Life insurance protects your family against financial difficulties should you pass on. If you want your family to be cared for after you are gone, a life insurance policy is a must.

However, like all insurance policies, there are costs involved. You have to pay premiums whenever you sign up for any insurance policy. Your premium is always based on the perceived risk you represent. In the case of life insurance policies, this perceived risk has to do with a formula that companies use to calculate the likelihood that you will die before you become profitable. The greater risk you pose, the higher your premium. Here are 5 lifestyle choices that can mean a higher life insurance premium:

1. Smoking

One of the biggest risk factors is smoking. If you smoke, many insurance companies assume that you could die an untimely death of cancer, or some other disease, and mean a big payout for your family. If you are a smoker, there is a good chance that you will pay a higher insurance premium.

2. Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Another red flag for many life insurance companies is excessive alcohol consumption. Some studies have suggested that moderation in alcohol can be good for your health. However, excessive drinking can lead to liver problems, heart problems and even cancer. If you are an excessive drinker, you might end up with a higher life insurance quote.

3. Poor Eating Habits

Your diet can also raise your insurance premium. No, your insurer probably won’t ask you for a meal plan; the company doesn’t need the specifics of your diet. If you eat foods high in fat, sugar, and sodium, it shows up in the blood work done before you can be approved for your insurance policy. High cholesterol, indications that you might be diabetic or pre-diabetic, and other clues about your unhealthy eating habits, can mean higher insurance premiums, since you are at risk of an early death from a number of possible diseases.

4. Lack of Exercise

Once again, your lack of exercise can often be seen during the tests performed before you are given a life insurance quote. Some of the information collected about you for life insurance decisions can be tied to your exercise habits. Your weight and blood pressure are impacted by your lifestyle. Additionally, your cholesterol is impacted by your exercise — or lack thereof. Without a healthy amount of physical exercise, you could be seen as a risk.

5. Dangerous Job

Even if you are in good health, you can still wind up with a high life insurance premium because of the job you do. There are some jobs, like construction, trucking, farming, and fishing, that are considered high risk. You are more likely to die due to a traffic accident if you are a trucker driving long distances. Fishing and farming are also considered dangerous and accident-prone jobs. If your career field is something that can be construed as risky, you might find yourself paying more for life insurance.