Life insurance rates are determined by a combination of factors, including your age, gender, occupation, financial status, risky pastimes, lifestyle (particularly tobacco, alcohol and drug consumption), face amount of the policy and your health.
Armed with actuarial tables and company history, a life insurance underwriter will place you in a risk class based on the likelihood that you will expire before your life insurance policy matures, thus forcing the company to take a loss on your policy. Naturally, the higher the face value of your policy, the closer the underwriter will scrutinize your health.
Those deemed a good bet to go the policy distance may qualify for the preferred or preferred-plus rate class that offers the best rates. Riskier applicants may only qualify for standard or substandard rates, while some individuals may be deemed too risky to insure.
Which health conditions are most likely to affect your life insurance rate class?
We asked Stephen Bloom, first vice president and chief underwriter for New York Life and Jacki Goldstein, M.D., vice president and chief medical officer for MetLife's Life New Business and Underwriting to walk us through the top 10 for a 40-year-old man.