Why It is Important to Determine Your Life Insurance Health Class/Risk Classification
Your life insurance health class is determined by your age, current health, and past medical history. All of these factors are evaluated as part of your application for life insurance. As you apply for life insurance, a professional insurance representative will consult with you to help you settle on your particular health class. Health classifications are based on your current health, medical history, your risk class and additional underwriting information.
A Medical Exam is usually required as part of the life insurance application process. The results of your medical exam are critical in the underwriting decision as they relate directly to guidelines for insurance rates. The primary reason your risk class is important is the higher the class rating, the lower the cost of your insurance premium. The various categories typically include:
- Best Class/Preferred Plus: This is considered the best category one can obtain for a life insurance health rating. Most people in this category do not have a poor health history; they are not taking any medications, and they are within the guidelines for height and weight. You are healthy and have no family history of diseases. Only about 5% of people qualify for this class.
- Preferred: This is considered the second best category to reach in life insurance health classes. You are deemed to be in excellent health with a few minor health issues that may be treated with medication, such as controlled cholesterol. You are within the guidelines for height and weight. You may have a family history of cancer or other diseases. You also participate in dangerous occupations such as risk sports or risky work occupations.
- Standard Plus: You are considered to be in better than average health, but you may have minor health issues. You may be slightly over the height and weight guide, but you also have no family history of diseases.
- Standard: Although this may be in the bottom of the four general life insurance health classes, it is considered to be the most common category. You are of average health and take multiple medications. Your height and weight guidelines do not meet the requirements, and you have a family history of cancer or other diseases.
The Life Insurance Health Impairment table below is a general guide to some of the most common health impairments and how each relates to your underwriting class. Choose the Life Insurance Health Impairment table below that best applies to you. Be aware that smoking can have a direct impact in determining your health rating and your resulting life insurance rates.
Insurance rates can fall into the below two categories
- NON-Tobacco and NON-Nicotine Users
Refer to this table if you have not used cigarettes, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff, nicotine patches or nicotine gum in the last 12 months.
- Tobacco and Nicotine Users
Refer to this table if you have used cigarettes, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff, nicotine patches or nicotine gum in the last 12 months.