When shopping for life insurance, just like when you obtain any other important item, you want to ensure that you get the best premium rate possible. So, if you are in good health, it may be worth your while to check into whether you will qualify for preferred plus life insurance rates for the policy that you’re considering.
This is because there can be a substantial difference in the amount of premium that you are required to pay by the insurance carrier – and, if you plan to keep your life insurance policy for a long period of time, the savings can add up significantly.
How Can Your Life Insurance Policy Rating Affect the Amount You Pay?
Although many people may not realize it, the rating that you are given on your life insurance policy can have a big effect on the amount that you pay for your coverage. This rating is determined after you apply for a policy.
If your application for coverage is approved, the life insurance carrier will place you into a risk category that is based in large part upon your health and your lifestyle. In addition to your age and gender, as well as whether or not you smoke, these factors will all be combined in order to determine what you will ultimately pay for your plan.
Those who are the healthiest are considered by the insurance company to also be the least risky – and because of that, they are also typically placed into the policy categories that qualify them for the lower premium rates.
What the Life Insurance Policy Rating Categories Mean
While not all insurers will have the exact same policy rating categories, most will have some form of the following:
- Preferred Plus
Those who are in the Standard rating category are generally considered to be of average health and, based on that, also have a normal life expectancy for a person of their age. Given that, someone who is placed into the Standard policy rating will pay “average” rates for their life insurance policy.
Some individuals, however, may not be able to qualify for Standard rates. This may be due to having slight health issues. Although the conditions are not severe enough to deny them coverage altogether, they do deem the individual as more of a risk to the insurer. Therefore, they are placed into a Substandard policy rating category – and thus, they will also pay a higher amount of premium for their life insurance coverage
It is important to note that there may be several different levels of Substandard policy ratings. And, in some cases, an insurer may use a system that is referred to as “table ratings.” Here, a policyholder would be charged the standard rate for a policy, plus a certain additional percentage or amount for their coverage.
In other cases, an individual may be in excellent health. For example, consider someone who is a marathon runner or a weight lifter and who wouldn’t even think of going a day without exercising.
Because these particular policy holders present a lesser amount of risk to the insurance company, they are charged a lower amount of premium for their coverage. These policyholders may be placed into a Preferred rating category. Or, if they are ultra healthy, it is possible to be placed into the Preferred Plus policy rating.
Will You Qualify for Preferred Plus Life Insurance?
Certainly, most everyone would like to qualify for preferred plus life insurance rates. However, there are certain factors that must be met in order to do so. While the criteria are not identical at all life insurance carriers, typically they will require the following:
- Health History – The life insurance underwriters will inquire about your history with various health issues, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, and they will ensure that you have had no serious or chronic ailments or illnesses. They will also obtain details on your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and on any medications that you may be taking.
- Height & Weight – In addition, the underwriters will review your height and weight, as well as your overall state of health. In most cases, a life insurance company will typically consider an applicant for the Preferred Plus category if they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of approximately 25 or less. Your Body Mass Index is a measure of body fat based on your weight in relation to your height.
- Family Health History – In addition to your health history, the insurance carrier will also consider your family health history as well. This means that they will review whether any member of your immediate family has had cancer, cardiovascular issues, and / or coronary artery disease – and if any family member has died prior to age 60 as a result of these conditions. This is because these issues could be hereditary, and could therefore be a risk to your health – and in turn, to the life insurer – as well.
- Smoking Status – One of the most important criteria to life insurance underwriters is your smoking status. In order to qualify for a Preferred Plus life insurance rating, most insurers will require that you have not ever smoked or even used any type of tobacco products within the past five years.
- Alcohol / Substance Abuse History – In addition, the insurance company will want to know if you have had any issues with alcohol and / or substance abuse, especially within the past seven years.
- Driving Record – While it may not seem relevant, the insurance company will also check into your driving record. This is because a history of moving violations and / or accidents can be considered a risk factor to the life insurance company.
- Activities / Hobbies – The life insurance company will also check to make sure that you do not participate in any activities or hobbies that are considered to be dangerous or risky. These can include rock climbing, hang gliding, motorized racing, scuba diving, sky diving, etc.
- Financial Standing – In addition to health issues, the insurance company will also want to know about your finances. Here, they will check to be sure that you have an excellent financial standing and that you have not filed for bankruptcy within the past few years. Best burial insurance plans can be offered as well.
In addition to the information that is gathered, the insurance company will also typically require you to undergo a medical examination. Here, a blood and urine sample are usually taken in order to check for additional risk factors.
While not everyone will qualify for preferred plus life insurance rates, doing so can be well worth it. This is because these rates can be considerably less than Standard – or even Preferred – policy rates. If you plan to keep your life insurance coverage for a number of years, the savings can truly add up.
What If You Don’t Qualify for Preferred Plus Life Insurance Rates?
Even if you don’t qualify for the Preferred Plus life insurance rates, there are still plenty of other lower risk categories that you may be able to qualify for if you are in good health. This, of course, will depend on the individual insurance carrier.
There are many life insurance companies that have a long list of different rating categories – and even several within the Preferred category itself. So, it can be a good idea to check into several different carriers and compare what type of rate you may qualify for.
Also, just because you do not qualify for a Preferred Plus premium rate at this time, it may be possible to re-apply for a policy in the future. If, for instance, you are able to re-apply for coverage in the future having better blood pressure, BMI, and / or other health factors, it may be possible that it could change the outcome of the policy rating.
How to Help Yourself Get a Lower Life Insurance Premium Rate
Even if you don’t currently qualify for Preferred Plus life insurance rates, there are ways that you may be able to lower a life insurance premium rate in the future. Some of the factors that premium rates are based upon cannot be controlled, such as your age, gender, and family health history. However, there are some other criteria that can be.
For example, if you are overweight, losing weight can help you to qualify for better life insurance rates down the road. In addition to just simply showing a lower number on the scale, doing so can also improve your overall health, such as lowering your blood pressure, improving your cholesterol, and having a positive effect on your heart.
If you are a smoker, kicking the habit can also be a great way to help in lowering your future life insurance premium rates. Here, too, you will not only be improving the price that you pay for your coverage, but also more important factors such as your health and your life expectancy overall.
Shopping around is also an essential component in ensuring that you get the very best premium rate possible. This is because, while all life insurance companies have some way of evaluating their applicants for coverage, they are not all exactly the same.
Therefore, if you apply for coverage at one carrier, you may only be approved as a regular Preferred policy holder. But, if you apply at another insurance carrier, you may be approved as a Preferred Plus – even with all of the other factors being equal. With that in mind, it pays to shop around and compare prior to making your policy purchase.
How Much Will Your Life Insurance Coverage Cost?
When obtaining life insurance quotes, there are several criteria that will factor into the cost of your policy in addition to your age, gender, and health. These include the type and the amount of the policy you are considering.
For those who are seeking the lowest premium rates, term life insurance can offer you very affordable protection that is designed to protect those you care about in case of the unexpected.
Unlike permanent life insurance that can add on a myriad of additional “bells and whistles,” term life insurance coverage offers pure death benefit protection – which can keep the premium low.
If, however, you do opt to convert your term life coverage over to a permanent plan in the future, there are many term insurance policies that will allow you to do this – many without the need to prove insurability.
While many people may believe that all term life insurance policies are identical, this isn’t the case. So, it is important to understand just exactly what it is that you are purchasing – as well as to shop and compare the difference in premium prices between one life insurance policy and another.
Having the right term life insurance policy can mean the difference between those you love suffering financial hardship in the future or moving forward with their lives in case of the unexpected. With that in mind, it is essential to know exactly what it is that you are purchasing. We can help you with that decision.
How to Find the Best Preferred Plus Life Insurance Quotes
When seeking preferred plus life insurance quotes, it is typically best to work with an independent life insurance brokerage that has access to multiple insurance carriers. That way, you will easily be able to compare the rates from several different insurers, all in one convenient place. Doing so can save you a great deal of time, and it can make the entire application process go much more quickly.
If you need a term life insurance premium quote quickly, we can help. Simply fill in the information on the instant quote box. We work with many of the best term life insurance companies in the industry, and we can provide you with the details that you need within a minute – so that you can make a coverage decision today, or use the information to compare with your overall financial plan. Start now by completing our FREE instant life insurance quotes form and you will have immediate access to the best life insurance rates available.