Insurers will look at many different factors when considering how much of a risk you are to them, including:
Put simply, the older you are, the closer you are to the end of your life. Therefore, older customers will, all other things being equal, pay more than younger customers for their cover.
Of course, if you’re younger and have your policy open for longer before you pass away, you may end up paying more overall for your policy, but potentially less each month than you would if you took out a policy at a later stage in life.
Another highly important factor that will affect the cost of your cover will be your overall state of health. This includes any health issues you currently have, including serious illnesses like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Your life insurance premiums will largely be dependent on the number of health conditions you have and the severity of them; a diabetic with a family history of heart disease may be charged more than someone whose only known condition is mild asthma.
Unhealthy lifestyle choices
Various aspects of your lifestyle will also affect your health in a way that the insurance companies will see as relevant.
Smoking is a big example of this. You’ll have to let your insurer know if you’re a smoker as this will increase the cost of your policy. Generally, in order to be able to say you aren’t a smoker, you’ll need to be nicotine free for at least 12 months, but you should check with your provider
Also, people who smoke vapes or e-cigarettes will also count as smokers to insurers, partly because the long-term effects of vaping are still relatively unknown.
Insurers will sometimes require you to be tested for nicotine, so if you do only smoke e-cigarettes, you’ll still show up as positive on such a test.
When you apply for life insurance, you’ll also be asked how much alcohol you drink when building up your health profile. Naturally, the more you drink, the more your policy may cost.
On the other hand, you may be able to decrease the cost of your premiums by showing that you lead a particularly healthy lifestyle by, for example, exercising regularly or having a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Dangerous hobbies and pastimes
If you regularly partake in dangerous pastimes such as sky diving or mountaineering, your insurer will want to know as this could increase the risk of you making a claim. Some insurers will even exclude certain people from cover if they take part in any particularly dangerous activities with high associated mortality rates.
What hobbies are considered high risk?
If you are into high risk activities in your free time, you might need to declare these to your insurance provider. Some hobbies are typically considered high risk and could increase your insurance premiums but this will differ between insurers. These include:
- Hang gliding
Naturally you can partake in these different types of hobbies, but you might need to declare them to your life insurance company. If you don't, you might not be covered if the worst happens whilst you are engaging in one of these activities.
Certain jobs are also considered dangerous, particularly ones which have high mortality rates, such as working on an oil rig or in a mine.
If you are employed in a particularly dangerous line of work, you might find your life insurance more expensive and some insurers will flat out to refuse people based on their job. Soldiers, for example, may have a hard time taking out a life insurance policy.
What jobs are considered high risk?
There are quite a few occupations that might be considered high-risk by an insurance company and may result in more expensive monthly premiums. These occupations often include:
- Armed Services
- Construction workers, roofers & scaffolders
- Underground workers