How to Lower Your Life Insurance RatesLife Events
Life insurance may be a good thing to consider, especially if you're getting married or starting a family soon. But let's be honest…there may be plenty of other stuff you'd rather spend your money on.
So how can you get quality life insurance to help protect your and your loved ones' financial futures and still save for the things you need now, like new clothes, a bigger data plan, or a down payment on a home?
Life insurance applications ask a basic set of questions about your overall health and lifestyle, and underwriters determine your risk — and your premium — based on your answers. Here are a few steps you can take to help keep your life insurance premiums as low as possible:
1. Get life insurance when you're young
You may be able save a few Benjamins on life insurance if you get it when you’re young and healthy. Life insurance premiums are based on how likely you are to pass away while you still have the policy, so rates tend to go up as you get older and face more health risks.
2. Don't smoke
Smoking is an expensive habit – $5.50 on average for a single pack! That's more than $2000 a year if you smoke a pack a day. But smoking can cost you even more when it comes to life insurance. Generally, a smoker’s rates are around double or triple the rates of a non-smoker. Life insurance companies care because, on average, smokers die 10 years earlier than non-smokers.1 So, if you are a smoker, it may be in your best interest to quit. Underwriters at Farmers Life® say you can offset some of the rate difference in as little as two years by staying nicotine-free, such as abstaining from smoke-less tobacco products as well.
3. Keep your driving record clean
Safe driving does a world of good for your auto insurance…and it may do the same for life insurance rates, too. That's because, according to the National Safety Council, Americans have a 1 in 113 chance of dying in a car accident (that's a huge risk!).2 And, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1/3 of all traffic-related deaths are due to alcohol impairment.3 So if you have a less-than-spotless driving record, this will increase your premium compared to a safe driver (all other underwriting considerations being equal).
4. Stay healthy
A long, healthy life is its own reward. But if you stay healthy, a lower life insurance premium is a good one, too! If the coverage you’re applying for requires a medical exam, health factors like your blood pressure, height and weight (BMI), cholesterol and health history are important to your underwriter. They’ll also consider things like drug and alcohol addiction, mental health, and your family’s history with both. Pre-existing conditions like cancer or diabetes may not prevent you from getting insurance, but you may have to pay higher rates because of the health risks. You can't always prevent diseases and disorders, so properly managing the conditions you have, eating right and getting plenty of exercise can lower your risks, and help keep life insurance premiums down, too.
5. Stay grounded
No, we don’t mean you should just be yourself and not sell out (although that’s solid advice too). Keeping your feet on the ground (literally) may help save money on your life insurance. Airborne hobbies like piloting a plane or hot air balloon, hang gliding, skydiving, and rock climbing are relatively high-risk. That means you may have to pay more for your life insurance if that’s what blows your hair back. Similarly, scuba diving and motor sports may increase your premiums, too.
6. Bundle policies
If you're thinking about life insurance, you may already have some other big investments. Maybe you have a car, a house, or a business…and all of those things need insurance. But if you bundle your insurance policies, and get them all with one company, you may be able to save with multi-line discounts.* Ask your agent if you qualify.
*Discounts apply to selected coverages, perils and policy types. Eligibility and actual percentage of discounts may vary.
1 Jha P, Ramasundarahettige C, Landsman V, et al. 21st Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine 2013;368341–50
Farmers New World Life Insurance Company, 3003 77th Ave. SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040