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HomeLife Insurance ResourcesFactors that Affect Life Insurance Premiums

When an individual is going to buy life insurance, they know that there may be some reasons for concern. Such as what may hold them back from being eligible or what may increase the cost of their premiums. Insurance companies are all about risk factors. No matter what type of insurance they are providing. When it comes to life insurance, below is a list of risks that the insurance company will focus on.

  • Other life insurance
  • Other Benefits
  • Activities and Occupation
  • Travel
  • Driving History
  • Criminal Offences
  • Bankruptcy
  • Professions
  • Purpose of the Insurance
  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Weight
  • Current Health
  • Previous Health History
  • Family History
  • Gender

Other Life Insurance

Some individuals already have one type of life insurance. Others may have had a policy canceled. Or they got denied. The Insurance Companies will want to know about this. This creates a concern for them as they are going to want to know what the circumstances were.

Other Benefits

There are some individuals that are on some type of pension for disability. This will be important to the insurance companies. It will be because there are some factors that are affecting the applicant’s health. Which in turn could put the insurance company at risk.

Activities and Occupation

They want to know if the applicant participates in any activity or sport considered high risk. The common ones that they look at are flying activities or skydiving. Also, mountaineering to name a few. An applicant involved in any activity that could create a risk should reveal this to the Insurance Company. Even if they are not asking about that specific one. The simple reason is it could cause problems for the beneficiaries when it comes time for a payout.


Individuals who travel are increasing the risk for the life insurance companies. How much of a risk is going to depend on what countries the individual is traveling to and the mode of travel.

Driving History

This type of insurance is life insurance. But the company is interested in the history of driving for the applicant. They are going to want to know if there have been any violations applicable to their driver’s license. Particularly those that may have caused a suspension. Or having their driver’s license lifted. They are going to pay close attention to offenses. Such as impaired driving or drug-related defenses.

Criminal Offences

On many insurance applications, there will be specific questions. About whether the applicant has had a charge concerning any criminal offenses. Within a period. The reason they get concerned about this is that people that are in jail are at higher risk. There are concerns that the individual may commit a crime again. One that will lead them to incarceration. Which will increase the risk for the insurer.


Insurance companies are all about making sure that they get their money. Some forms of life insurance can be quite expensive. The insurance company wants to be sure that its applicants are going to be able to pay the premiums. Bankruptcy may be an indicator that they have had or are in financial difficulty.


There will be a question as to whether the applicant has had their driver’s license suspended. Or, if they have been charged with misconduct. Also, if they have gone through some sort of disciplinary action.

Purpose of the Insurance

There are different reasons why individuals buy life insurance. The insurance company wants to know what the reason may be. This alone can help to determine what their risk factors are. The more insurance that one buys the higher the risk is for the insurance company. Based on the amount of money that they may have to payout.


Many people don’t realize how important their smoking habits are. About how it is going to affect their insurance. Almost every insurance application will have a section about smoking on it. They are going to want to know specifics. Such as the type of tobacco use one is involved in including the use of marijuana or hash. They’ll even want to know if the applicant is using any type of tobacco substitute. Or whether they were using any type of treatment for smoking cessation. For each of these, they will want to know how much gets used and when it was last used.

Many individuals have quit smoking. They feel that once they have done this it will not be an issue with their life insurance. However, insurance companies get concerned about past smoking habits. If an individual has quit for a year or more, then it is much more favorable to the insurance company. They may even take into account that it’s been six months since the individual quit smoking. Even for those that are not smoking and haven’t done so for many years, there will still be questions. Asking if they have ever used any of the different types of tobacco.


Most are aware that age is going to play a factor in life insurance approval. Older individuals are not going to be able to take out the amount of insurance that they may wish to. Most insurance companies do have some type of policies in place for older people.


The concern here is whether an applicant may be dealing with a weight issue. As obesity as this could have a direct effect on their health. Anything that is going to affect the health is going to increase the risk for the insurance company.

Current Health

Of course, the individual’s health plays a big role in getting approved for life insurance. Any health problems that one may have a need to be brought to the attention of the insurance company. They will make a decision as to what the risk factor is for this.

Previous Health History

There are a lot of individuals that have had health problems but have recovered from them. Even so, the insurance company wants to know what these may have been. They want to determine if there’s any possibility that they could resurface. If it is going to cause problems for the company itself in regards to risks.

Family History

Insurance companies have a keen interest in genetics as these can get used as a marker. To determine if the insurance applicant could end up with a health condition. One that could affect their lifespan.


Insurance companies will even look at genders. To determine from statistics which gender can create a greater risk.

These are the major risk that insurance companies will take into account. Each insurance company is different. How much emphasis they put on each one gets determined by that specific company.

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