What health issues affect life insurance premiums?
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Health issues are the Great Unknown to your life insurance prospects and clients.
We’ve already talked about how to talk with clients with health issues about their life insurance options. (You can catch that discussion here.)
Now it’s time to get into the specifics of some health issues that, as a life insurance producer, you’ll commonly see in your clients. These are the circumstances that can have an effect on life insurance premiums.
Common health issues that affect life insurance premiums
This list isn’t exhaustive but it gives you an idea of what medical/health conditions that may influence how much your client has to pay for their life insurance coverage.
1. High cholesterol
This common condition affects 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. The list of problems high cholesterol can cause is extensive but includes stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers, diabetes, and many others.
Be sure to let your clients know that insurers look more favorably at a case with high cholesterol if it’s being managed and/or treated.
2. High blood pressure
Like high cholesterol, 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure. To put that statistic into perspective, that’s roughly 75 million people.
Needless to say, you’ll likely come across a fair number of life insurance clients who suffer from this ailment.
It can cause stroke, heart disease, and other critical illnesses.
As with high cholesterol, make your clients aware that they may be able to avoid a higher life insurance premium if their blood pressure is managed with medication and/or they’re under a doctor’s care.
3. Heart disease
Being so closely related to high blood pressure and high cholesterol, it should come as no surprise to see heart disease on this list.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, it’s the leading cause of death for both women and men. This disease causes 655,000 deaths every year.
Life carriers will assess an applicant not only for their heart disease history, but also ask questions about a family history of heart disease. Either one can and will add to a final underwriting offer, and in some cases, lead to a declination for coverage.
Your clients or prospective clients may assume that being overweight will definitely prohibit them from acquiring life insurance.
They need to know that, while it does increase the risk of numerous health issues, they can still be covered.
A BMI (Body Mass Index) that’s above normal may affect their rate, but you can assure them that they may still find a life insurance policy they can afford. (This is where you’ll need the back-up of your trusted General Agency to help you find the policy that’s just right.)
Cancer seems to impact many people, and it is something that life insurers will consider when underwriting a life insurance applicant.
Some cancers are more benign than others, but those who have had breast, prostate, colon, lung or other serious cancer histories will be scrutinized more.
Carriers generally rely on an applicant's medical records to determine the severity of a cancer history, but offers are often possible. Those offers can range from a Standard rate class to a decline, depending on the nature of the cancer
Your clients or prospects may be initially put-off by the realization that their mental health can affect life insurance premiums.
The reason is that, like the other “minor” issues on this list, if left untreated, it can lead to serious problems like depression or even substance abuse.
But, being under the care of a doctor and managing symptoms will go a long way in ensuring your client gets a reasonable life insurance premium despite their anxiety diagnosis.
Be the guide your life insurance clients need
While these (and other less common) health problems can have an impact on the life insurance premiums your clients will pay, it’s your job to help them navigate through the issues to find a policy they’re satisfied with.
The best way for you to do that is to have a clear understanding of the most common health issues that affect premiums so you can give clients the best advice.
It’s also imperative that YOU have the support you need – in the form of a Life Insurance General Agency that’s always there to help.