A lot of married couples (especially millennials) don’t know the importance of life insurance—yet life insurance is even more important for married couples than it is for people who are single.
That’s why we asked our friends at Big Lou Life Insurance to provide a guide for our readers about on the basics of life insurance.
Every Pound Matters
One Inch and one pound can make a difference. You may not know it, but if you tell your broker you weigh 150 pounds and you come in at 155lbs., your rate can change. With just a few pounds difference you may have been better off with another insurance company.
Your Health is Important
Blood Pressure, cholesterol, and other levels can have a big impact. A few points on your blood pressure, cholesterol, or other blood profile levels can make the difference between rate classes. Each insurance company has different targets for each rate class.
Your Family History Can Impact Your Life Insurance Premium
Family history of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases can make or break your premium. Some insurance companies don’t consider cancer history in your parents or siblings, while others do. Most life insurance insurance companies look at your parent’s history of heart disease, but they attach different premiums depending on many factors. If someone in your immediate family died before the age of 70, your broker or adviser needs to know and needs to be asking you follow up questions.
Diabetes and Chronic Diseases Complicate Things
If you have diabetes you will need to prove it’s under control and actively treated. Being in control of your blood sugar has a huge impact on premiums, and being honest about your sugar control will give your broker the best chance of getting you the best possible rate. If you tell your broker your A1C is around 7.0%, but the lab results show 8.0%, your “quote” is going to change and you may find out another insurance company would have been better to apply with. At a better A1C of 7.0% one insurance company has the best rate, but at 8.0% that company is no longer the best choice.
Does Your Husband or Wife Snore? That Could be a Problem
Snoring can really upset your life insurance pricing hopes. Do you remember telling your doctor that you snore and wake up a lot at night? Well, your doctor wrote it in your medical records along with a comment that maybe you have sleep apnea. Maybe? Insurance Companies evaluate risk and sleep apnea (where you stop breathing while sleeping) is a possible risk. Something this simple can cause an insurance company to ask for tests to be done to rule out a risk. You forgot about it, and didn’t tell your broker, but it pops up and can upset your premium expectations. Some insurance companies are more lenient on these types of issues than others.
Cancer, Heart Disease, and Other Illnesses
Your personal history of cancer, heart disease, and many other things are important and your broker needs to ask you the right questions. In most cases you will need to provide your broker with recent lab results and or other testing before being able to get a realistic quote. Without these, your broker or adviser can give a best case guess, but that is all it is. Just because your doctor told you are in great health doesn’t mean you are low risk when it comes to insurance. Heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, almost all cancer history, usually mean a higher than average premium compared to those who don’t have this history. Again a “quote” from a broker without a lot of detailed information is nothing more than a guess. Want to learn more about heart conditions that impact life insurance? Read more on Big Lou’s blog.
Fight Your Instincts, Be Honest
You are going to want to withhold information from your broker or adviser. In your day to day conversations with your friends you keep most health details private and your instinct will be the same with some broker on the phone. In the end, though, everything you keep to yourself will be found out by the life insurance company or underwriter which means either an uncomfortable conversation with your broker, or a higher premium, or both.
The more information your broker has up front the better off you will be. You also need to consider the man hours and cost that your broker goes through to apply for coverage. You can save a lot of time and effort for yourself and your broker by being honest. If you don’t feel comfortable opening up to your broker, you either haven’t spent enough time building trust with them, or you are working with the wrong broker.
Get on the Same Page with Your Spouse
Will you or your spouse have enough money to provide for yourself and your family if you died tomorrow? Will you be able to pay off the mortgage, pay for college tuition, etc? If not you should have a straightforward conversion with your husband or wife and get on the same page about life insurance.
About the Author
Big Lou Insurance has 30 years of experience as one of the leading life insurance providers in the United States. Big Lou specializing in helping married couples get hard to place life insurance.