insurance

Lies, life changes and your life insurance application

"We might have clients with high blood pressure that was not really well controlled and they have a standard rating. But over a period of time -- and different carriers have different time periods such as six months or a year -- if they can show that their blood pressure is better controlled, they can actually come in and be reconsidered for a better rate," she says.

Kick the habit

Smokers in particular stand to save on their life insurance premium if they kick the habit.

"If someone is a smoker, he's going to get smoker rates," Goldstein says. "If he subsequently stops smoking and meets the qualifications of his carrier in terms of how many years qualify him to be a nonsmoker, that smoker status can be reconsidered and removed."

The same may be true if your life insurance policy was underwritten in your wild years. If you've long ago given up hang gliding, scuba diving and spelunking, it's time to give your agent a call.

"If your policy is five years old, it needs to be reviewed and very likely updated," says Pokorski. "The products in the insurance industry keep getting better and better. Sometimes, the rates have actually gone down, believe it or not, because life expectancy keeps improving. A lot of times there are features that did not exist at the time they bought their policy."

When you lie on a life insurance application, all bets are off. But if you've been honest and forthcoming, you can rest assured that your policy will be honored upon your passing.

"If you forgot something on the application that is relatively inconsequential in the past, in general, companies would not hold that against you," Pokorski says.

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