Generally, insurance premiums are based on the type and amount of insurance you want, your age, and your health. Lifestyle factors, like smoking, drinking, your weight and your driving record can drive prices up significantly.
Whether youre looking to purchase your first policy or re-evaluate your current one, there are options out there to help you cut down the cost.
Here are 10 ways to keep the cost of life insurance down:
- Buy while youre young – Life insurance is generally less expensive when youre younger and in good health. Though it may not be the time in our lives when we start thinking ahead about buying life insurance, its the best time to save money. Dont wait until you develop a health issue and need to buy it — get it while the price is right!
- Find the right carrier and policy for you – There are a wide variety of factors that dictate the cost of insurance and carriers rate risk differently, so shop around to find the right carrier and policy for your lifestyle. This allows you to find a policy that gives you the coverage you want at the lowest price possible.
- Buy a policy with a renewal guarantee – When you buy a policy with a renewal guarantee, you are guaranteed the chance to renew your policy without a medical exam. Its true that your premium would be based on your current age (and not your age when you initially bought the policy), but you wont have to start the whole buying process over again. This is extremely valuable if your health has declined, because buying from scratch with poor health means that you either wont qualify or youll pay a much higher premium.
- Ask about payment options – Some carriers offer monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual payment options. Paying annually can often save you money in the long run because it eliminates processing fees for monthly billing.
- Dont buy more than you need – It can be tricky to calculate how much coverage you need, but as a general rule of thumb, you should insure yourself for 7 to 10 times your salary. Premiums may also include add-ons that you may not need and can choose to opt out of. Ask your agent about possible price breaks, milestone discounts, and riders.
- Dont smoke – Smokers generally pay double, or even triple, the price that their non-smoking counterparts pay. If you quit smoking, you can re-qualify for non-smoker rates after 12 months.
- Lose weight – Your Body Mass Index (BMI), a number calculated based on your height and weight, plays a large role in an insurance companys risk factor assessment. A BMI of 25 is considered overweight, and a BMI of over 30 is considered obese.
- Maintain a clean driving record – Life insurance companies, like automobile insurance companies, will punish you for poor driving. Serious offenses like speeding, careless driving or drunk driving will have a much greater impact on what you pay than just a few parking tickets. Depending on your record, your prices can be anywhere from 10% to 100% higher.
- Dont buy a guaranteed issue policy if youre healthy – If you can pass the medical exam, take the medical exam — it costs more if you opt out! Guaranteed issue policies require no medical exam, therefore increasing the risk for the insurer and, in turn, increasing the price for individuals.
- Ask for a re-evaluation – If your health improves or you go through a major life change, like having a baby or paying off your home, have your policy re-evaluated — you may qualify for a price reduction. Experts recommend that you re-evaluate annually, or at least once every three years.
Life insurance can be remarkably cheap if you know where to look and who to ask, so do some research before you pick a premium.
SelectQuote is here to help make the process of looking for the right policy a little bit easier. Our agents will help you find the right carrier and policy for you, your loved ones, and your budget.