How To Get A Better Rate On An Existing Life Insurance Policy If Your Health Has Improved

Were you in poor health at the time you applied for and purchased life insurance? Maybe you needed to lose weight, your blood pressure was too high, or you needed to quit smoking. However, you didn’t want to put off having insurance in the hopes of bettering your health.

If this is the case, your insurer most certainly did not provide you with the best available rate. This is because the cost of insurance is heavily influenced by your health.

The good news is that if your health has improved since you purchased the coverage, you may be able to negotiate a cheaper rate. Many insurance companies allow for re-rating or reconsideration.

If your rate is reduced, the reconsideration process may be worthwhile. Here’s how you may improve your chances of succeeding.

How Insurance Companies Calculate Your Rate

When determining how much to charge for coverage, insurers examine several things. Your age and health are two important factors. The lower your rate will be, the younger and healthier you are when you apply.
When you sought coverage, you probably recall filling out a lengthy application that asked about your age, gender, personal medical history and mental health, family medical history, and if you used tobacco. People may have also asked about your job, salary, driving record, and whether or not you did anything dangerous for fun.

During the underwriting process, the insurance company validated the information you provided and obtained additional information about you. The procedure can vary, but it usually involves gathering the following data:

  • Your medical information
  • Your medication prescription history
  • Your vehicle history report
  • Public records provide information.

You might have also been asked to take a life insurance medical check to see whether you had any problems that would shorten your life expectancy. All of this information was then utilized to calculate your underwriting, or risk, class.

Tobacco use, being overweight, having high blood pressure, or having chronic health disorders like diabetes are all considered risk factors by life insurance carriers. You probably didn’t qualify for the top underwriting class with the lowest premium if you had risk factors when you applied.

Reasons You Might Be Eligible for a Discount

If your health has improved since you bought your life insurance policy, you may be eligible for a better underwriting class. According to Paya Schloss-Epstein, a customer success manager at Haven Life, a MassMutual-backed life insurance agency, reducing weight, raising your cholesterol level, or lowering your blood pressure can all help you achieve a reduced cost.

According to Schloss-Epstein, insurers are usually willing to retest for issues that were addressed during an initial life insurance medical exam. They’ll also take into account lifestyle modifications like quitting smoking.
However, you’ll need to show that your progress has been sustained before you can get your rate reconsidered.

For example, the insurer may require you to maintain a specified weight loss goal or quit smoking for a set amount of time. You may need to show that you have sustained your weight loss for at least a year before your rate may be reassessed.

If you have a more complicated medical condition, such as cancer that has been successfully treated, you will most likely have to wait longer for an insurer to reassess your premium. Depending on your condition, the insurance company may not even think about changing your premium even if your health has changed.

How to Persuade Your Insurance Company to Lower Your Rate?

You must request that your insurance provider review your rate. When you phone the firm, you’ll probably be asked what has changed about your health or lifestyle to assess whether the reconsideration process is worth your time, according to Schlass-Epstein.

Yes, you will be required to undergo a medical examination. It will involve taking blood and urine samples as well as assessing your weight, pulse, and blood pressure. Check with your insurance company to determine if the exam is covered. Haven Life, for example, will pay for it. Not all insurance companies will
If you’re looking for a lower rate because you quit smoking, Schlass-Epstein says you’ll probably only need to produce a urine sample.

You’ll also have to complete a new questionnaire. Your prescription history, medical data, and driving record will almost certainly be checked by the insurance company.

How to Get Ready for a Medical Examination?

You’ll want to make sure you obtain the best results possible if you’re going to the trouble of getting a medical exam. Prepare by following the steps below.

Limit salt and high-cholesterol foods for 24 hours before the exam. Antihistamines and nasal decongestants, for example, should be avoided. Avoid smoking.

12 hours before the examination: Avoid drinking and intense activity, both of which can elevate blood pressure. Avoid caffeine-laden beverages.

Also, consider whether you should fast. During the 12 hours leading up to your exam, the paramedical business that conducts it may advise you to avoid eating and drinking anything other than water. More advice on how to prepare for a life insurance medical exam may be found here.

How Much Can You Save?

The difference in your rate can be large depending on how much your health has improved or how many lifestyle modifications you’ve made. A 31-year-old female in good health who quit smoking, for example, saw her premium for a 10-year, $250,000 term life policy from Haven Life drop by 57 percent. Her monthly payment decreased from $34.33 to $14.75.

For her 20-year, $750,000 Haven Life term policy, a 37-year-old woman was paying $61.96 per month. She changed her lifestyle, which improved her general health and helped her lower her cholesterol. Her monthly charge dropped to $38.41 once she passed another medical exam.

What Should You Do If Your Health Takes a Turn for the Worse?

Even if one component of your health has improved, there’s always the possibility that your medical exam for a rate reconsideration will find that you’ve developed a new condition. Fortunately, you won’t be forced into a lower rate class as a result of this. According to Schlass-Epstein, a reassessment usually results in the same or lower rate.

If you omitted to report a condition you knew you had when you first applied for coverage and the subsequent exam found it, you might have an issue. You could lose coverage if the insurance company thinks that your application has a major lie in it, or if you just lied.

Reconsideration vs. Reapplication: Which Is Better?

The advantage of requesting your current insurer to review your rate rather than shopping for a new policy is that the new rate will not take your age into account. Schlass-Epstein says that the rate will depend on your current health and the age you were when you bought the policy, not on how old you are now.

If you were to apply for a new policy, your present age would be taken into account. If it’s been several years since you first had coverage, you may have to pay a higher rate even if your health has improved. If your insurer doesn’t drop your premium following a review and you want to look for a new policy, keep this in mind.

If you decide to apply for a new insurance policy, don’t cancel your old one until you’ve received your new one. This will ensure that you have coverage.

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