Your medical history plays a strong role in setting the premiums for your life insurance policy. What happened to your parents, grandparents and siblings may offer telltale indications of what might happen to you, so insurance companies seize on that information that provides some insight into your future.
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Here are a few tips that will help you better understand how your medical history impacts the rates you may pay and what you can do about it.
While you can always apply for life insurance that does not consider your family history, the truth is their cost is often not worth the policy. This is because many medical issues that are a part of your family history are mostly not considered serious by insurance companies unless they occurred when the parents, grandparents, or siblings were young.
For example, if your parent dies of a heart attack at the age of 70, that has considerably less impact on your insurance than if they were 45. If lifestyle choices and not genetics played a significant role in their passing away at such a young age, then those factors are taken into consideration. The same goes for family members dying of lung cancer, and they were smokers while you are a non-smoker.
It may be tempting to keep information from the life insurance company to save on your rates, but they will usually find out about major medical issues that affected your family. However, it’s more important to understand that the overall effects may not be as severe as you might think.
For example, if one of your parents died from a heart attack, that does not mean you will. The insurance company knows this and while your rates may go up as a result, they probably will not skyrocket. At worst, your medical history may jack up your rates 20% assuming that you qualified for the best rating which most people do not.
Consider that your family history may not have as big an impact on your premiums compared to your current state of health. In other words, while your parents may not have been all that healthy if you are and lead a lifestyle that is devoid of smoking, your family history may have no effect.
Conversely, if you are not all that healthy, but your parents were, it still may not have an effect.
This means that even if your close relatives all lived long, happy lives, you might not see that much of an impact on your premiums because there are different health ratings, the difference that your family history makes may not be enough to change their status.
There are certain circumstances when if you are in pristine health that a poor family medical history might knock you down a rating, but such cases are rare.
Remember that your health plays a larger role, especially if the causes of the premature deaths in your family were primarily from lifestyle choices and not genetic conditions.
So, be sure to take into account the health of your parents, grandparents, and siblings, tell the truth to the insurance company, but work more on your own health to lower the rates you pay.