Lowering risk profile before buying life insurance

Jul 20, 2011

Smoking is one risk factor that could affect life insurance rates

Consumers sometimes worry that they might be considered too risky to insure when applying for a life insurance policy.

A report in Vancouver's Comox Valley Record said knowing their potential risk factors could allow consumers the chance to improve their chances of qualifying for an affordable term life insurance policy. Some of those factors are out of their control - such as age and hereditary conditions. However, even those obstacles can be overcome if consumers apply for a life insurance policy earlier in life and exhibit enough healthy life habits to offset risk for a hereditary condition.

Smoking, risky hobbies or jobs, alcohol and drug use and even a person's driving record are all considered in life insurance underwriting. The same is true for travel habits and financial information. However, most of this is under a person's control, and while it might not be reasonable to cut down on one's traveling, for instance, to qualify for lower life insurance rates, it's helpful to know what's taken into account.

Unhealthy habits, such as smoking and drug use, are considered particularly risky for life insurers, but quitting these behaviors before applying for a term life insurance policy may put a consumer in better shape to obtain lower rates.

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