So you’re on a diet? Or maybe we should go with the words, lifestyle change, since “diet” is kind of a downer. You’re eating healthier than ever, and you’re hitting the punching bag or running on the treadmill.
And you’re planning on seeing if your insurer will lower your premium.
And you’ve already got the 60-inch TV set in mind that you’re going to buy when your premiums are lower.
Maybe not so awesome.
I don’t want to be discouraging in the least. What you’re trying to do is great, and it may work. If you want to gain your life insurance policy’s preferred rates and lose some of the extra dollars that you’re paying for your life insurance policy, it can absolutely be done.
But there are a few little tripwires that you should be aware of, if you really want this to work, and in the end, you may end up thinner and no better off than you were, from a life insurance standpoint.
You’ll see what I mean after we walk through this. Figuratively, but if you want to read on a tablet or smartphone while walking, all the better.
Once you lose, you may want to wait before renewing. If I were you, I wouldn’t try and change my policy the moment I hit my ideal weight. I’d consider waiting a few weeks or months or even a year.
I’m suggesting this because insurers aren’t dimwits. They know — heck, we all know — that crash diets often aren’t very successful, and that if you lose, say, 30 pounds in a rush, and then you race to your insurer to get your rates down, odds are, you’ll be five pounds heavier before the ink is dry on your contract.
And, in fact, some insurance companies will even check with your doctor, and if you were at a physician in the last year, they may use the average of the weight you were then — and the weight you are now — to calculate your new rate. That may work out okay for you, but it may not, especially if you, say, lost 50 pounds in the last year, all in a hurry.
So my suggestion is — by all means, of course, lose the excess weight regardless — you’ll be so much healthier — but you may want to wait on your weight before you try and renew those rates. If you reach your goal and remain there for awhile, that will improve your odds of actually getting those preferred rates.
Now, I am talking about renewing rates. If you don’t have life insurance, and you’re trying to lose weight in order to qualify for smaller premiums, my vote is that you get the insurance now — especially if you still have a lot more than you want to lose — and try to get better rates later.
And, no, that’s not because I sell insurance. Look, the whole idea behind life insurance is that you have it in case something bad happens to you, and that your family is financially protected from going deep into debt or having to sell the house and move over Grandma’s garage because there’s nowhere else to go.
And, what, you think that between now and the next 30 pounds, you have a magic talisman protecting you from harm?
(Because I really wish life was like a movie, I’d like to think one reader out there is visiting my blog and snickering and saying, “As a matter of fact, I do have one.” And that he isn’t insane. But for the rest of us who aren’t protected from harm by magic, really, get life insurance and protect your family right now. Pay the higher rates and keep exercising and eating right, and renew down the road.)
On the other hand, maybe you should wait. Life insurance rates are dictated by age, and the younger you are, the better your rates, and the older you are, the higher they go. So if you’ve got a significant milestone birthday coming up — maybe you’re going to be 50 in a few months — it might not be a bad idea to check, sooner rather than later, into whether your weight loss will help your rates any. The worst you can hear is — no, or the next best thing — not as much as you thought, but, yes, the rates will come down.
And if you are approaching a milestone birthday, just so you’re aware, your insurer may have already aged you (in which case my suggestion to wait and let your weight stay down still stands). Some insurers will go with your nearest birthday instead of the actual age you are now. So if you’re planning on signing up for life insurance on the last day you’re 29, hoping to stick it to The Man, it may not work. To the insurer, you’re already 30. See, I told you — they aren’t dimwits.
Bottom-line, though — if you’re a young, overweight family man losing weight, who already has life insurance, it may pay off to hold off on renewing your rates for at least a few months, just to show the insurer that this really is the new you, and you deserve the best premium you can get. If you’re in your 40’s or 50’s, and shedding the pounds, you might as well consult your insurer sooner rather than later.
Your rates may not go up, even though your weight went down. Let’s say you first got life insurance in when you were 27 years old and overweight, and then as the years piled on, while all of your friends became heavier, you went the other way and began losing weight. So now you’re 41, and you’ve lost an amazing 50 or 75 pounds, and you’ve never been healthier.
That’s wonderful — and congratulations — but while you’re thinner, you’re also older. In fact, you’re now 14 years older. You may find that the age negates all the good you did with your weight, when it comes to your life insurance rates.
But there’s so much that goes into calculating a new rate — not just age and what your weight is now, but how much you originally weighed when you first got your policy and what your overall health is currently like — that it’s really impossible to give solid advice to a hypothetical person losing weight and looking to get better rates on their life insurance. You may find, in fact, if you’re on a long quest to lose weight, in which you’re losing pounds slowly and steadily over a year or two, that you should check each year with your agent to see if you can get your rates lowered.
Call us today to compare the top life insurance companies at 1-888-552-6159. If you have any questions about getting the cheapest life insurance policy possible or how your weight is going to impact your life insurance, please contact one of our agents today. We would love to answer those for you and give you the coverage your family needs.