Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions to Lower Your Life Insurance Rates
By IleanaBravo on December 30, 2011
Another year is coming to a close—- a time when many of us strive to make changes and New Year’s resolutions to improve key things in our lives. Our motivation is usually pure self-improvement but wouldn’t it be a great incentive to save some money in the process?
Call it a health and lifestyle “makeover,” here are the top 5 things you can do to live a longer life and save a lot of money on your life insurance rates.
1. Kick the Habit
Did you know that smokers pay at least one-third more for life insurance premiums than do non-smokers? That’s a significant difference and a powerful motivator to snuff out those cigarettes. “Life insurance underwriters charge higher premiums for smokers by placing them in a higher risk category of dying prematurely,” says E.C. Gordon, CEO of LifeQuote.
Even if your health is otherwise good, insurance carriers increase your rates just for smoking. Some are more lenient than others and a LifeQuote licensed agent can help you choose the smoker policy that offers the lowest premiums. They all have different guidelines but companies generally require that you be tobacco-free for at least a year before you can qualify for a non-smoker insurance classification. Most policies require a pre-qualifying medical exam, which includes a blood test. Any nicotine use will be revealed in the lab work. Whether you currently have a policy as a smoker or plan to apply for insurance, quit now, and re-apply a year later as a non-smoker and bid for those lower rates.
2. Lose Weight and Pay Less
It is an alarming fact that the majority of adults in this country are either overweight or obese– a whopping two-thirds or 68%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Being overweight is determined by your height to weight ratio to figure out your Body Mass Index (BMI). Calculate your BMI and see how you rate. If you are over a normal, healthy weight, losing those pounds could qualify you for lower life insurance rates. If you have an existing policy and successfully lose weight with a healthy program of diet and exercise, some insurance companies will reconsider you for a lower risk class. Losing weight is a classic New Year’s resolution; now you have a money-saving reason to drop those pounds.
3. Drive Safely
Your driving record is often used by life insurance companies as a determination of how you live your life— in other words, if you have high risk factors. A safe driver is more likely to get a “Preferred” risk category than someone with a poor driving record. Having moving violations, such as reckless or careless driving infractions, can increase your rates. A DUI could result in a denial of insurance, depending on how long ago the incident occurred.
4. Improve Your Credit Rating
Like your driving record, your credit history is viewed as an indication of character and insurance companies review your credit information and income status to determine your insurability and thus, your insurance premiums. A good credit record can be another factor in qualifying for a preferred status. A poor credit record can be another reason for insurance carriers to place you in a higher risk category. It is best to know your credit report score up front and be prepared to explain any past financial problems to underwriters in order to overcome a rate hike. The Federal Trade Commission sanctions annualcreditreport.com as an annual source for free credit reports.
5. Reduce Your Risk Factors
Whether you do it with a new health and exercise program to bring down your cholesterol levels or blood pressure readings… or by reducing your risk behind the wheel of a car… 2012 is a good year to protect yourself from dying prematurely. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says we are 23 times more likely to crash if we are texting while driving. They put up a great website called distraction.gov to help us stay alive by kicking the “distracted driving” habit.
Another way to live a longer life and pay less for your life insurance is to “know your health numbers.” The American Heart Association recommends we know our current cholesterol numbers, our blood sugar or glucose numbers, and our blood pressure readings. The lower they are, the lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Life insurance companies reward the healthiest people who are expected to live a long life with the lowest premiums. Get a free life insurance quote now and see how you rate.
Let’s start the new year off on the right foot. Improve your health, kick those bad habits and drive safely… it might not only keep you alive longer, it could save you a lot of money. Happy New Year!
LifeQuote Holdings, Inc., is a pioneer in online life insurance brokerage. The firm was one of the first to offer consumers free life insurance quotes via telephone in the 1980’s, prior to developing the Internet business model. The executive team is made up of life insurance and retirement plan veterans, as well as media/marketing specialists, and experts in web design, development and search engine optimization. The company CEO is a respected leader in his field and coveted public speaker at national industry meetings. To find out more, please visit www.lifequote.com.
The author of this LifeQuote Blog post is not a licensed life insurance agent or broker.
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