Most often, life insurance cost is based upon an individual’s gender, age and health status. There are many different factors that are considered by insurers when determining your individual policy cost – these are covered in our “How is the cost of life insurance worked out?” post.
One factor that has a large impact on your premium is your age. Most people know that the older you are, the closer you are to your life expectancy. It is also more likely that you will develop a terminal illness as you age. To allow for this increased risk, insurance companies must adjust premiums accordingly.
The simple answer to the question “How does age affect life insurance premiums?” is that as you get older, your premiums will increase.
It is important to understand that although age is a generic factor, it is also combined with other specific personal characteristics, making everyones’ policy unique to them. You cannot compare your premium cost to someone of the same age, as there are many other components that determine premium levels.
Insurance companies use data gathered about your age group so, even if you personally are aging well, it is the combined national data related to illness and deaths of people in your age group that is used to determine this portion of your premium. Remember, though, that other more personal factors may help to lower your premium – for example: a 60 year old non-smoker with a healthy BMI will likely have a lower premium than a 60 year old smoker with a higher BMI.
Restructuring your policy as you age.
Another point to consider is that although your growing age will lead to increased premium costs, your need for cover also usually increases (to a point) as you age. In your 20s you may not own a home or have children, however by the time you reach your 30s you may have these financial responsibilities and wish to protect your loved ones should the worst happen to you. It is likely that your policy requirements will reach a peak somewhere in your middle age and then possibly reduce as you get older and your situation changes – e.g. by your mid 60s your children may have grown up and you may have paid off your mortgage. This is the time that you can consider restructuring your policy and perhaps reducing the amount you are insured for. This can then help to offset the increases in premiums due to your age.
What can I do to decrease my premium cost?
As mentioned, we cannot make ourselves any younger and reduce our policies that way, however there are some lifestyle changes that can be made, which may lower premiums as well as improving overall wellbeing.
- Quitting smoking can reduce your premium costs by up to half.
- Reducing alcohol consumption will help to lessen premium costs.
- Work on improving your BMI score, as insurance companies use this to help calculate premiums.
You can also review your level of cover, reducing your level of cover will also lower your premiums.
Any age is a good age to consider life insurance. By reviewing the factors outlined above and having an idea of how you can keep your premium costs down, you can create a policy – and the peace of mind that comes with it – in no time at all. If you’d like to discuss options for life insurance to suit the needs of you and your family, or review your current policy please contact us for individually tailored lifestyle solutions.