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6 steps to ace your life insurance exam

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Get a clean bill of health -- and save
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Get a clean bill of health -- and save © Jamie Roach/Shutterstock.com

Get a clean bill of health -- and save

Ready to buy life insurance? Not so fast -- you might first have to undergo a medical exam to help the insurer estimate your life expectancy and determine your rate. The longer you're likely to be around to pay premiums, the less they're likely to charge you for coverage.

"Generally speaking, the healthiest 20 percent get rated 'preferred plus,' the next 30 percent get 'preferred,' the borderline 30 percent rate 'select,' and the remaining 20 percent get 'standard,'" explains Geoffrey Gordon, president of the Andrew G. Gordon Insurance Agency in Norwell, Massachusetts.

"Depending on your age, each step up from standard will save you, on average, 20 percent on your premium as a rule of thumb," he adds.

Better health stats make a big difference

If you are obese or use tobacco, alcohol or drugs, you can kiss "preferred plus" goodbye. At the same time, something as subtle as a slight elevation in blood pressure can increase your quote by 20 percent, Gordon says.

You may not have time to slim down or stop smoking before the examiner arrives, but adhering to these tips may improve your rating and save you thousands over the course of your life insurance.

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