The Higher Your Risk Factors for Heart Disease, The Higher Your Life Insurance Premiums

By Insurance.com Posted : 04/02/2007

If you’re applying for life insurance, but have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, you may be worried that your premiums are going to be outrageous. Life insurance companies will be looking at what risk factors you pose, but they will also be taking into account your height, weight, age and smoking status. The more risk factors for heart disease that you have, the higher your life insurance premiums will be.

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Just because you have high blood pressure, for example, doesn’t mean you can’t be approved for a “preferred” premium rate or higher. Typically when you show signs of two or more risk factors, that’s when your rates would jump up. But even in instances like that, if you show your life insurance company that you are taking care of your situation by going to the doctor, taking your medications as directed, and working on getting your health as good as it can be, they may cut you a break and knock down your rates even more.

Blood pressure and cholesterol levels
A healthy life-style is said to be one that keeps your total cholesterol level below 200, with your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol below 100. Blood pressure should be kept below 140 over 90, because anything higher is considered low-level hypertension. Your age and gender are also big factors when it comes to determining acceptable blood pressure and cholesterol—and your insurance company typically has a chart that they compare your age, gender, blood pressure and cholesterol level to, when deciding on how much to insure you at.

The red flag
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure or cholesterol, and your doctor prescribes medication, be sure to take it and keep up with it. If you follow orders and try to better your health, your insurer shouldn’t charge you higher rates. However, if you don’t follow doctor’s orders, you will be penalized and charged a higher premium for life insurance. Also, if your doctor warns you about the cardiovascular disease risk factors you pose, and you ignore them and proceed to take the life insurance exam, the results are not going to change, and you will be charged a higher premium as well.

If your high cholesterol or blood pressure isn’t serious enough for you to be prescribed medications because you have it under control, your life insurance company will not charge you higher premiums—this is just another way that keeping up with your health can save you money.

Telling the truth
If you are on medication to control high blood pressure or cholesterol, and you apply for life insurance, don’t be afraid to tell the truth that you are taking something. Most insurance companies care more about the level you are at, rather than what you’ve done to get it to that point. Also, since medications on the market these days have lower-negative side-effects, insurance agencies are more content knowing you are taking them. This is because if you aren’t suffering any bad side-effects, you will be more prone to remain on them, ultimately making your risks for heart disease go down.

Life insurance exam results
In most cases, to get life insurance you are required to take a medical exam. The results of the life insurance medical exam may or may not come as a shock to many, due to the irregularity of doctor’s visits. David Roush, CEO of Insurance.com says, “A lot of people don’t have a clue that there is something wrong with them. That’s why these exams are important, not only for obtaining the proper life insurance category, but also for opening their eyes to the potential risks for cardiovascular disease that they may pose.”

If your exam uncovers an unfavorable combination of risk factors, your insurance agent will more than likely still offer you a standard premium—but that might be higher than what they had originally quoted you at pre-exam. A letter, including your medical information, will be sent to you explaining why you were placed into the category that you were. If you’re unhappy with where you were placed, if you take those results to your doctor, and make an effort to get those risk factors under control, you will then be able to petition your life insurance agency to get a lower premium.

If you are interested in getting a life insurance quote, log on to Insurance.com. Here you will be able to evaluate multiple rates from best-in-class life insurance providers – helping you find the best life insurance coverage for you and your family.

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