Veganism has been steadily growing in popularity over the last decade, and plant-based options are now nearly as common as the traditional meat options. But does a vegan diet affect your ability to get life insurance? Will you pay more or less for life insurance as a vegan? Bankrate’s insurance editorial team breaks down the answers to help you find the best life insurance options for vegans.
What makes a healthy vegan diet?
If you want to find the best life insurance as a vegan, maintaining a healthy overall diet is an important step. A vegan diet does not necessarily equate to a healthy diet. After all, you could technically remain vegan and eat nothing but vegan cookies, which certainly would not provide you with adequate nutrition. Even if you follow a well-balanced vegan diet, you may need to modify it with supplemental nutrients like B12 to avoid deficiencies.
However, vegan diets do come with a host of benefits, especially the focus on a variety of fresh produce. Following a vegan diet can deliver health benefits, including more balanced blood sugar levels, reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers, and a healthier weight. The health benefits primarily occur when your nutrition centers around health-boosting food options like:
- Fruits and vegetables: Because fruits and veggies are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and a whole bunch of other nutrients, health experts recommend eating lots of them. The CDC says that only one in 10 American adults gets enough fruits and veggies. However, when you eat vegan, produce makes up the backbone of your diet, helping you get more vegetables and fruit.
- Nuts: In the hunt for plant-based protein, many vegans eat more nuts. And because nuts are great for your brain and heart and can lower your risk for diabetes and high cholesterol, they come with added health benefits.
- Vegan substitutes: With animal products off the table, many vegans make swaps in the kitchen. That can mean eschewing things that are not overly healthy, like cheese, with something that could be better for you, like a cheese substitute made with cashews and nutritional yeast.
Does following a vegan diet impact life insurance rates?
While life insurance applications generally don’t ask specific questions about diet, your overall health does affect your rates. Because vegans may be less likely to suffer from chronic health conditions, life insurance companies could be more likely to view vegans as being healthier than the average person, which could help lower your life insurance cost.
When life insurance providers give you a quote for a policy, they look at a multitude of factors that are specific to you. This includes your age, personal and family health history and your lifestyle.
Ultimately, the healthier you are, the less you will likely pay for life insurance coverage. The general thought is that if you have a longer life expectancy, an insurer is less likely to have to make a death benefit payout for you sooner rather than later.
And because being vegan can impact some key health indicators, vegans might be able to find more affordable life insurance policies.
The table below features some of the major health concerns that life insurance companies consider when writing policies.
|Heart disease||Heart disease, which includes coronary artery disease (CAD) and other heart conditions, is the leading cause of death in the U.S. It accounts for as many as one in five deaths.|
|Weight||Many life insurance applications use your body mass index (BMI), which factors in your height and weight to get a rough estimate of your body fat percentage. If your BMI is 25 or above, you’re considered overweight, which puts you at a greater risk for a range of health conditions.|
|Diabetes||When your body cannot keep its blood sugar levels properly balanced, you may be diagnosed with diabetes. This puts you at a greater risk for a number of complications, from vision loss to slow-healing ulcers.|
To understand how life insurance for vegans might work, it might help to understand how a vegan diet impacts each of these health concerns.
The American Heart Association says that a plant-based diet reduces your risk of heart disease. Because cutting out meat can help keep your heart healthy, life insurance companies may be motivated to offer you a lower rate.
While a life insurance company may not directly ask if you are vegan, it will consider your health metrics. Vegan diets have been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, which could contribute to lower life insurance rates.
Why life insurance may be a good investment for vegans
Regardless of diet, life insurance can be an impactful purchase. There can be many reasons to buy life insurance, but the overall goal of a policy is to provide financial support for your loved ones after you pass away. Whether you want to help a surviving spouse pay the bills, pay off debts or send your children to college, life insurance can be a helpful tool.
Vegans should consider their unique circumstances when deciding to purchase life insurance. If you only need coverage to help a spouse pay off a mortgage, for example, a term policy could be a good choice. If you want coverage that lasts for your entire life, you could consider permanent life insurance, which has many different types, including whole life and universal life. If you aren’t sure what kind of life insurance suits your needs, you may want to work with an agent.