Risk Factors for Life Insurance Policies

Life Insurance

Life Insurance is a multifaceted tool meant to protect your family in the event the unexpected happens. There are many factors at play, more so than with your auto and home even. When thinking about applying for a life insurance policy, its important to know the factors of what drives the premium. In this blog post we’ll be going over some of the qualifiers, and what you can do to help get the lowest rates possible.  

Risk Factors 

In insurance, there are risks involved for the carrier. Such as covering a bad driver or insuring a home on a fault line in the Bay Area. The odds of them having to pay out are higher, so premiums are higher to match the associated risk. The same goes for life insurance. Nobody is perfect, but some people carry less risk than others. Below we will go over the factors that play into the premium.  


Age will be one of the biggest factors in determining your premium. As you age, the likelihood of health issues rise. At first glance, age determines a lot of what you are going to be paying and younger people typically fare better with lower premiums.  Because of this, we always recommend you purchase a quality life insurance policy while you are young.


No matter the age, your health plays the most pivotal part of your assessment.  

Good health generally results in lower premiums, while pre-existing health conditions can lead to higher costs. Insurers may require applicants to undergo a medical examination or review medical records to assess their health and associated risks. 

Family Medical History 

Not only your personal health, but the history of your families health can play a role as well. There are some kinds of conditions that are more likely to be passed down than not. Some of those include heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. It doesn’t play such a significant role as personal health but it is still taken into account.  

When filling out your life insurance application, you will be asked to answer questions about your family medical history.

Premium Raising Factors 

Here is the part where you can make a difference in your lifestyle to be a healthier person, and hopefully live longer! These are factors that are personal choices.  


Whether you smoke or not is going to be a question you’ll be asked in an evaluation, this question will be asked every time. Smoking can cause many kinds of conditions, including respiratory problems, heart disease, and cancer. Smokers can expect to pay higher premiums, but with the chance of lowering premiums in the future with cessation. Along with that, a question being asked more frequently is for marijuana usage. With it being legalized in 24 states and it being medically legal in 15 more, it is more common than it used to be. There is some nuance, but there will be increased rates involved as well.  

Risky Hobbies 

To pass the time and enjoy life we all have our hobbies. For some, those hobbies could be knitting or reading. Others may include base jumping, rock climbing, or whitewater kayaking. Doing these things puts yourself in danger if you mess up or gear fails. Maybe even perishing as a result. Insurance carriers take the probability of death into the premium rate. I myself am an avid skier and snowboarder so personally I will deal with higher rate to keep doing what I love. But just be aware that if these hobbies are not disclosed, your claim may be rejected.  

Unhealthy Lifestyle 

Lifestyle can affect your health in more ways than one. A sedentary lifestyle, eating junk food, and not exercising can and will lead to health issues. Obesity and diabetes are just a couple examples. These are factors that can impact your premium just as much as smoking does. That is why its important to keep a healthy life style full of exercise and good nutrition. Not only so your premiums are lower, but so you are happier and around longer for those who are important in your life. 

Life insurance can be complex to navigate at times. With all the factors that go into it, its best to stay on top of your health and consider what is important to you. I recommend speaking to a licensed professional to help guide you to find the policy that will work right for you and your family.

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