As a general rule, it's best to purchase life insurance when you're younger and healthy. It makes sense that as we get older, life insurance companies view older potential policyholders as greater risks, and those risks are met with a higher premium. The younger you are when you secure the policy, the more affordable it will be. But no matter your age, if you need life insurance -- and it will help financially secure the future for your spouse and dependents -- you will find it to be worth the investment.
While age is one of the primary factors in determining life insurance rates, there are others to keep in mind, too. Below is a list of items that typically affect life insurance premium calculations. Which of these apply to you, and which of these can you change?
- How healthy are you? When you apply for coverage, your current health condition is factored into your life insurance premium. Results from recent medical questionnaires or medical exams usually are factored in, as may be the health of your family.
- Do you live a healthy lifestyle? Do you smoke or use recreational drugs? If you do, expect your life insurance premium to be higher.
- What do you do for a living? If you are in a high-risk occupation, such as a firefighting or law enforcement, it may affect your life insurance rate.
- The type of policy also plays a role. Are you part of the group requesting life insurance, are you seeking an individual policy? Are you looking for term or cash-value insurance? The type of insurance policy you seek can have a bearing on its rate.