Life insurance is an important, helpful and useful resource that people around the world invest in. It safeguards your loved one’s future, allowing them to maintain the same lifestyle they enjoy even after your loss; by helping them shoulder the financial burden of your loss while they cope with the emotion and the pain. It can, depending on the policy, also be used as an investment and savings vehicle which can help setup a little nest egg for retirement or for your children’s education fund.
However, insurance in general, and life and health insurance in particular are not very well understood globally and here in the US, leading to a slew of misconceptions regarding the processes involved and the different permutations of availing an insurance policy. There have been instances where people chose to abstain from acquiring life insurance coverage because they have illnesses that they think will result in premiums that are beyond their realms of affordability. This is not always the case, especially on a few of the more common ailments Americans suffer from.
How these five common ailments affect insurance premiums
- Blood pressure. While a common ailment, high blood pressure isn’t a benign one. It can lead to complications including heart attacks, artery diseases, and even damage to the kidneys. The good news is that high blood pressure can be controlled either through medication, lifestyle choices or a combination of both. If you can prove through your medical history that you have your high blood pressure issue under control, then life insurance providers are likely to not charge you exorbitant premiums, and may even give you preferred status.
- Heart disease. Another common, and potentially dangerous ailment to have, heart disease is the leading cause of deaths in the US according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the same piece, 610,000 people succumb to heart disease annually in the US, which accounts for one in every four deaths here. You would think that this would automatically result in impossible premium rates for a life insurance policy right? This isn’t the case across the board. Insurers will take factors such as extent of damage caused by heart disease, and family’s medical history into consideration and make an assessment from there. And unless you’ve suffer from a severe case of coronary artery disease or need to use a pacemaker, or all your family have a history with heart disease, your premiums won’t typically be sky high.
- Asthma. While asthma is probably the most benign of all the illnesses and ailments mentioned in this piece, it is still one that can be fatal in extreme cases. After all it does cause restriction of the windpipes. It is however very controllable as long as you have a plan in place. This is probably the reason why a lot of insurers will give you preferred rates as long as you haven’t been hospitalized regularly due to asthma and your medical history can prove that you’re taking measures to keep it under control.
- Obesity. Another disease that can lead to severe complications, obesity is another illness that is particularly endemic in the US. In fact, according to the Food Research & Action Center, it is the most common epidemic in the US, with two-thirds of America’s adults suffering from it. Coverage for the obese will definitely be higher than normal, but if you can, over time, lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle these premiums will be reduced too.
- High cholesterol. Another common ailment, and another one that causes a snowball effect in terms of the damage it can cause to the human body. This includes the onset of heart conditions in particular. As such, cholesterol can also result in high premiums, but only in extreme cases. This because cholesterol too can be managed through dietary restrictions and medication, and doing so means you’re likely to get preferred rates on your insurance policy.
These are the more common diseases we see in the US, and not ones that are usually high-risk. However, you may be surprised to know that even a disease like breast cancer does not necessarily curtail you from getting an insurance policy. At least not according to web-based insurance aggregators, who say in their blog that it is possible for someone who has had breast cancer to get competitive premium rates based on a few conditions. So don’t ever let inherent illnesses stand in the way of you protecting your family’s future, invest in a life insurance policy today!