The cost of life insurance premiums is directly affected by how much risk an insurer is taking to insure you. The process used to determine the level of risk is called ‘underwriting’. Insurers can use underwriting to figure out how much you should pay in monthly premiums in exchange for financial protection.
It’s easy to insure a car, a home or anything with a price tag but insuring a life can be challenging to say the least. If you’re applying for our Smart Guaranteed policy, you don’t have to answer any health questions because your health does not affect premiums.
If you’re applying for our Family Life policy, we will ask you some health and lifestyle questions as part of the underwriting process. The key factors that can affect the cost of your monthly premiums are age, health and lifestyle. We will then use the information you have provided to calculate the level of risk involved in providing cover for you and your family. We offer customers the opportunity to apply to make changes to their policy if they experience any significant health or lifestyle changes down the line.
Now, let’s look at some of the factors that can affect premiums and some of the ways you could, in some circumstances, help reduce the cost of your policy with lifestyle changes.
How old are you?
Your age is the first thing that will determine the size of the benefit amount that’s available to you. As with many life insurance policies, the older you are, the more you will pay in premiums. That’s why it could be better to take out a policy sooner, rather than later. With our Family Life Insurance, you can choose your benefit amount from £60,000 up to £750,000 - depending on your age.
While you can’t change your age, you can look for a suitable policy for someone in the older age bracket. If you are aged 50+, it might be a good idea to look into our Guaranteed Life Insurance since it is tailored to people in an older age bracket or those who are in poor health. With our Guaranteed policy, you can choose your benefit amount from £2,000 up to £20,000 - depending on your age.
Do you smoke or vape?
Smokers often face a higher rate of premiums than non-smokers because of an increased risk of developing smoking-related illnesses. You must disclose if you smoke, vape or use any nicotine products. If you quit smoking, you can request to make a change to the cost of your premiums. You must be free from using any tobacco products or vape products for 12 months if you want to apply to make a change to your policy.
Providing false information on your application could result in your policy being deemed invalid, so, it’s best to be honest about your smoker status.
Is your BMI normal?
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in metres. It helps us to understand if we have a healthy height to weight ratio.
Being overweight is something that can affect the cost of your premiums. There are several illnesses that are heavily linked to being overweight including heart disease, diabetes and stroke. If you’re serious about living a healthier life to help reduce your premiums, lifestyle and diet changes could potentially help you reach a normal BMI.
What’s your general health like?
Do you have a pre-existing condition like diabetes or heart problems? Are there hereditary conditions present in your family? You won’t be denied cover for having a medical or health problem but you may have to pay a higher rate of premiums depending on the policy.
It’s vital that if you’re asked about your medical history that you are transparent. If you’re found to have provided false information on your application, it could affect the validity of your policy or it could result in the policy being cancelled.
How much do you drink?
Other factors like your alcohol consumption could also affect your premiums. Moderate consumption up to 14 units a week (equivalent to 6 pints of beer) falls within the recommended guidelines from the NHS. Heavier use could increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.
You could be eligible for a lower rate of premiums if you’re a light or moderate drinker or if you don't drink at all, than if you’re a regular or heavy drinker, so it could be worthwhile cutting down or switching to non-alcoholic or low-alcohol options. If you’re a moderate or heavy drinker now but you quit or significantly cut down at a later stage, you can always apply to make a change to your policy.
Again, honesty is key when applying for life insurance. If you are found to have provided false information, your policy could be cancelled with no refund on premiums paid or your loved ones might find that they cannot claim the death benefit when the time comes. You should also be aware that Accidental Death Cover could be invalidated if death is the result of an accident while under the influence of alcohol.
Are there suitable alternatives for people with poor health or smokers?
If you are finding the quotes you’ve been offered are unaffordable or you have been refused insurance because of your health, you could look into a guaranteed policy. Guaranteed policies could be a good option if you smoke or you have a serious medical condition. Acceptance is guaranteed so your health will not affect your ability to get cover with Smart Insurance.
Will I have to get a physical examination?
You will not have to undergo a physical examination to assess the state of your health for either our Family Life or Guaranteed policies. However, we will ask some health and lifestyle questions if you’re applying for our Family Life Insurance.
What happens if I provide false or inaccurate information about my health?
Providing false or inaccurate information on your application could have serious consequences for you and your family. Your policy could become invalid or your family may not be allowed to claim the death benefit when the time comes. If you want to guarantee your policy pays out when your loved ones need it most, be transparent and truthful about your health, your weight, how much you drink and your smoker status.
What happens if my health or smoker status changes down the line?
Your health could always change for better or for worse, and your smoker status could change over time if you quit. If this is the case, you can get in touch with us to see if your premiums are affected. You may be able to request a change depending on your circumstances.
Securing protection for your loved ones
Now that you know what to expect in terms of health and lifestyle questions you can get started with securing life insurance for your loved ones. We offer flexible policies that cater to life’s twists and turns, so if your health improves or you make positive lifestyle changes down the line, you can always apply to make a change to your policy.