The following is a guest post by Albert Davis.
Life insurance rates in Canada are trending upward, and are likely to continue increasing for quite some time. Yet there is a shift in the insurance industry that is moving away from providing a flat rate for all customers, to delivering rates based on lifestyle and health choices. In this post we look at two examples of how health insurance could be lowered by following a healthy lifestyle, which in turn will save you a lot of money.
Special correspondent Preet Banerhee, in his article for The Globe and Mail, provided a sample breakdown of the premiums that a healthy, non-smoking 25-year-old must pay for a 10-year term with a face value of $500,000. In Banerhee’s example the individual automatically renews the insurance after every 10 years, which will mean that his monthly premiums are as follows:
- 25–34: $27.90
- 35–44: $58.95
- 45–54: $122.85
- 55–64: $304.65
The total figure the male would have paid at the age 65 would be $61,722,00.
Yet there could be an alternative available for those who are healthier. In the example, the premiums increase because of the assumption that as people age, they become less healthy. Banerhee notes that if one can re-qualify as healthy at the end of every term, then the increase in premiums would not be as drastic, with a lower total figure of $27,589,20. Banerhee’s advice is to get in contact with your insurance company to see if you qualify for better rates based on medical assessment.
The key, therefore, to lowering your life insurance policy is to stay as healthy as possible. This means you need to eat right, exercise regularly, get adequate sleep, and avoid stress, in order to increase the chance of a good, and therefore money saving, medical examination.
This follows a new trend in the industry where life insurance companies are beginning to look at other indicators to determine premiums, basing rates on individual lifestyle choices. This gradual shift in policy means health-conscious people are now getting rewarded, as opposed to being penalized arbitrarily by the old setup where everyone gets the same rate.
RTT News suggests that a startup founded by Munjal Shah may have already had a head start to this more evenhanded philosophy of giving favorable rates people who are serious about and committed to their health. Health IQ, according to RTT News, has raised over $80 million to fund its ambitious campaign of offering health conscious people life insurance rates that are 4–33% lower compared to the premiums offered by others.
The Shah-founded startup makes case-to-case assessments using indicators that other companies do not consider. These include successfully managing chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure (doing so is a sign of dedication to one’s health), being a vegan (a plant-based diet has plenty of health benefits and has been shown to reduce cancer), and having a low resting heart rate (a sign of excellent health and fitness). As evaluations are based on information meticulously gleaned from applicants themselves, chances are high that most, if not all, of these same applicants get the coverage they truly need for a price they can realistically afford.
It certainly helps, too, that Health IQ has compiled quite a vast data bank of information. The company obtained this data from its early years through an extensive health quiz where the aim was to identify people who were committed to being healthy. CNBC claims that the quiz went viral, with well over 1 million people taking the test in less than 4 years. Eventually Shah and his team used this very data to determine a new set of real-world indicators for life insurance underwriting.
Yes, life insurance can be quite costly. But with the industry now starting to reward the health conscious, you too should begin taking steps toward living a healthy lifestyle and saving a lot of money.