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When it comes to your life insurance premium several factors affect your life insurance premium and can play into the rates that you will pay. While there are obvious factors such as age, overall health, and bad habits such as smoking, other factors can also affect your premiums. You will need to be aware of these risk factors so you can take their effects into account.

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Blood Pressure:

High blood pressure puts your cardiovascular system in peril due to an increased risk of heart attack and strokes. While high blood pressure is fairly common, it still negatively affects the rates you will pay for your premiums. This is especially true if you have a family history of heart disease or strokes and a history of heart troubles. What premium can you expect after having high blood pressure, read here.

You can expect to pay noticeably more for your premiums, especially if you reach your senior years. The sooner you can get your blood pressure under control, the better in terms of how much money you will save.

Height and Weight:

The ratio of your height to your weight is how life insurance companies now determine obesity levels or being underweight which also carries its own risks. Obesity contributes to some health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and others. By keeping your weight in proportion to what is appropriate for your overall height, you can keep your premium levels to a minimum. Currently, obesity is a global problem and causing all sorts of health issues for people of all ages. So, you can anticipate weight factor will become one of the major concerns shortly.


A high count of “bad” cholesterol contributes to heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Keeping your cholesterol count down includes eating a healthy diet that increases your “good” cholesterol count and exercising. Cholesterol is an indicator that is still being debated, but having a very high count will certainly add considerably to your premiums.

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Prescription Medication:

There are prescription medications for practically everything, so the mere presence of this does not mean that your premiums will automatically go up. However, you will probably see your premiums rise for prescription medication that carries a considerable risk to your health. You can often review the insurance company policies on the general types of prescription medication that will cause a rise in your premiums.

Overall Medical History:

This is another broad topic that may have little to no effect or a tremendous effect on the premiums you will have to pay for your life insurance policy. Medical history in terms of injuries, even disabling ones, will mostly tend not to have a large effect as long as it does not present a risk to your current health status.

While there is no concrete guideline, it is true that the further back in your past a serious medical or health incident took place, the lesser its effect will be today. For example, if you had suffered from heart trouble as a teenager and had no issues thirty years later, then the effect on your premium might be minimal.

However, the closer the event was to the present, the greater its effect will be on your premium payments. This is especially true when combined with other factors that lead up to greater risk. Having heart issues three years ago, high blood pressure and smoking will definitely affect your premiums.

Alcohol & Tobacco Use:

The use of tobacco products is a known cancer-causing agent, and there are extensive rules in terms of smoking that will be checked. There is generally more than one level of tobacco usage depending on the number of cigarettes or cigars smoked. Depending on your smoking level and the nicotine found in your system during a blood, hair, or urine test, that will be the basis of the additional charges to your premium payments.

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Nicotine test is very common these days. How can you pass such an exam, read here.

Unlike nicotine, alcohol does not stay in the system nearly as long. Still, it does have debilitating effects on the body, which include damaging the liver and putting you at greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Those who drink alcohol regularly and excessively will see their premiums increase significantly.

There are some interesting exceptions, such as those who smoke a cigar once or twice a year and have no nicotine in their systems may qualify as if they did not use tobacco products. The same is true for those who only occasionally drink alcohol in amounts that are not excessive.

Driving Record:

Your driving record may be used to determine if your premium warrants additional payments because of how you drive. Moving violations such as speeding tickets, reckless driving, and frequent accidents may put your life insurance policy at risk of being canceled. While anyone who drives is putting themselves at slightly greater risk, those who break the speed limit, drive in a reckless manner, and have frequent accidents are far more likely to pass away in a car accident.

However, the driving record may be forgiven due to the passage of time. For example, if you engaged in bad driving habits and had accidents several years ago but not recently, it may not be against your premium. Plus, a fender bender here and there and an occasional ticket generally do not affect your life insurance policy unless a pattern develops.

Lifestyle Risks:

This is a general category of risky behavior in life insurance companies that tend to raise premiums. If you skydive, deep sea dive, or have a job where your life may be in danger, that will add to your premiums. Insurance companies base their premiums on statistics that reveal how certain lifestyle choices result in a higher mortality rate. So, being a member of the police or fire department will mean higher rates because you are exposed to mortal dangers, even if only infrequently.

Several smaller risk factors affect life insurance premium rates, which you must be aware of before obtaining a policy. If you can make changes well in advance, your premiums might return to normal rates.


Meet Aaron H., a senior life insurance agent from California with 15+ years of experience. With a major in finance, excellent analytical and communication skills, and a passion for helping clients find personalized solutions, Aaron is a trusted advisor in the industry. He stays up-to-date on the latest trends and developments by attending webinars and workshops, reading industry blogs, and writing informative blog posts on this website. Aaron also has a keen understanding of SEO and online marketing, which he uses to help his clients reach a wider audience and get the coverage they need. He cherishes spending quality time with his wife, two children, and elder parents.