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Fitting Life Insurance Into Your Lifestyle

Posted January 02, 2013 in Advice Column, Perry

We all know that a healthy lifestyle lowers your risk for health concerns, but it may also lower your insurance premiums. The cost of an individual life insurance policy takes into consideration your age, height, weight, medical history and personal habits.

Here’s how these health factors could affect your life insurance rates:

•    Age and gender. Youth has its advantages, and one is lower life insurance rates. It is possible to purchase life insurance later in life, however, depending on your age and general health, the cost may be prohibitive. Women also typically get lower rates because of their longer life expectancies.

•    General health. Serious medical conditions, such as cancer, can be a strike against you when purchasing life insurance. However, some medical issues, like asthma or high blood pressure, may not affect your rates if being properly treated. Don’t wait until you have a serious illness to apply for life insurance.

•    Weight. Obesity is a contributing factor to many health conditions. Because of this connection, many insurers take your body weight into consideration when applying for life insurance.

•    Family medical history. Family history can be a predictor of future medical concerns, but won’t necessarily prohibit you from getting the best rate, especially if you are eligible for preferred rates based on age, gender, weight, and general health.

•    Smoking habits. Smokers pay higher premiums for life insurance than non-smokers for obvious reasons. The best way to lower your rates is to quit smoking altogether. Some companies require you to be smoke-free for several years before being eligible for non-smoker rates.

•    Hobbies. Thrill-seekers and extreme sports enthusiasts may pay higher premiums as a result of their high-risk pastimes. Some insurance companies consider activities such as mountain climbing, scuba diving or flying planes to be high risk. You may be able to lower your rates by cutting back on participation or adhering to certain safety guidelines.

Keep in mind that all criteria are considered when factoring insurance rates, so one area of concern, such as family history, may not be enough to raise your premiums. Contact your Farm Bureau agent for a no-obligation quote on life insurance options to fit your budget and your family’s needs.

Information provided by David Finneseth, agent, Farm Bureau Financial Services, 1009 Willis Ave., 515-465-2005, david.finneseth@fbfs.com.

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