Experts suggest that you should speak to your insurance agent every three years to discuss your life insurance policy. When you do, you probably think about mentioning the birth of a new child, any additional debt you’ve incurred, and other significant changes in your living situation.
However, when was the last time you spoke to your agent about the cost of your premiums? If you answered never, like the majority of Americans, read on to learn how this simple conversation could see you paying a lot less for your life insurance policy.
Know Why Your Insurance Provider Might Discount Your Policy
Your insurance provider will never agree to a discount simply because you don’t want to pay high premiums. Therefore, it’s important that you know what might sway your life insurance company to cut your costs.
For example, you could pay less if your health has improved since you took out your policy. Perhaps you had lap-band surgery and dropped so much weight that you have a lower risk of health complaints. Weight loss through surgery or diet and exercise can also reverse some health conditions like sleep apnea and diabetes. Perhaps your blood pressure or cholesterol values have dropped to a healthy level, or your liver function tests have been steadily improving. You might have quit smoking or reduced your alcohol intake as well.
If you can show that you’ve sustained your health improvements for a substantial period, your life insurance provider may be willing to negotiate a lower policy rate, despite your advancing years. This period will depend on the improvements you’ve made and the amount of time you’ve been insured. Most policies can be re-evaluated a year after their establishment. Depending on the insurance company, ex-smokers must be nicotine-free for between two to five years to receive a policy rebate.
You may also like to re-evaluate your life insurance rate once you’ve paid off your mortgage. Many policyholders set a high payout amount to ensure their loved ones can purchase their house after you’ve gone. If you no longer need such a substantial payout, you could save on your premiums by reducing your benefit amount.
Speak To Your Insurance Agent
Once you’ve decided that you have a solid case for re-evaluating your life insurance premium, you should speak with your life insurance agent. You should bring any recent medical information with you to the meeting to support your case. Your doctor should be able to supply these documents if you don’t have the necessary paperwork.
Prepare For Another Medical Test
If you’re seeking a reduction on your policy on medical grounds, it’s likely that your insurance agent will request another full medical exam before approving a discounted life insurance premium. Preparing carefully for these tests can give you the best chance of receiving optimal results.
Stay away from alcohol and limit your caffeine intake 48 hours before the exam. Both can elevate your blood pressure. Alcohol consumption close to the exam can also spike the results of your liver function test. In addition, too much caffeine can raise your pulse rate.
Alcohol isn’t the only thing that can wreak havoc on your liver. Common pain medications and headache pills can also take a toll on this vital organ. Leading up to your test, it’s much better to push through the pain without pills to keep your liver function levels in check.
While you’re avoiding harmful substances, it’s smart to avoid fast foods, sugary snacks, and bad beverages. A two-day cleanse will lower the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood. If you’re feeling really ambitious, stay away from the stuff for at least two weeks. Your results will be enhanced if you replace the junk food with fiber-packed fruits, beans, lentils, and whole grains, and if you replace soda with water. Both will help flush any toxins from your system.
Exercise is a healthy habit, but you should skip the workout the day before your exam. Exercise can elevate your cholesterol levels, especially if it’s tough on the body’s cardiovascular system. Even if you’ve declared that you’re a smoker, you should still avoid taking a puff for at least a day before the exam, as smoking can also elevate blood pressure. If you really want to see a big benefit, stop smoking for two weeks (or even better, stop entirely) to remove all the nicotine from your system.
Start fasting 12 hours before your medical exam, whether your agent recommends it or not. Many foods and beverages can adversely affect blood and urine tests. For example, a poppy-seed bagel can indicate that you’ve taken opium. You can never be sure quite what your favorite treats will do, so you’re best steering clear. Some experts even recommend ditching seeded foods for at least a week before your medical exams.
You should take the medical exam at a time you know you’ll feel relaxed. This will help ensure your blood pressure reading is as low as it should be. Lying down during your EKG test can also promote relaxation and improve your results. Also, remember to take a list of any medication you’re on, so their effects can be taken into account.
The Final Verdict
Either your insurance provider will grant a discount or they won’t. Unless you’ve lied or otherwise misrepresented yourself when establishing your policy, any negative results unearthed in your latest bout of medical tests won’t increase your life insurance premiums. You’ll simply continue to pay the original amount set by your provider.
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to accept your insurance provider’s verdict if you don’t agree with it. Providers compete for one another for your business, which you can always take elsewhere if you feel your company’s no longer competitive. Sometimes even suggesting to your agent that you’ll start shopping around will be enough to change your provider’s mind. And if your provider refuses to budge, you can always make good on your promise and see whether a cheaper rate is just around the corner.
So isn’t it time that you re-evaluated your life insurance rate? A simple discussion with your insurance agent could end up saving you plenty. You can compare rates right on this page or call us at 888-552-6159 to discuss your life insurance needs.