Your health and lifestyle play prominent roles in the life insurance underwriting process and ultimately, the rating class you are approved for. Therefore, we’ve added a new topic to our blog, appropriately titled ‘Lifestyle.’ Here you will find information on many health and lifestyle topics. Hopefully, you will find the information useful to your overall health and possibly even use it to your benefit when applying for life insurance!
You may be wondering what a list of cholesterol lowering tips has to do with life insurance. Well, a lot. Cholesterol is a major factor considered by life insurance companies in determining the rating class and premium you will pay on your policy. Below is one example of the impact overall cholesterol can have.
(Sample information is from a typical life insurance company and is fairly representative of the industry. 45-yr old male, $500,000 coverage, 20-yr term)
This table shows that a difference in total cholesterol of 80 points can cost a person 94% or more in premium; $600.00 in this example!
The following tips can help you get your cholesterol under control and hopefully into the Preferred rating class range or better.
1. Don’t Smoke
A no brainer. Smoking decreases levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) in
2. Avoid Saturated Fat
Think vegetable oil, butter, lard, shortening, red meat, etc. Replace these with foods like canola oil, olive oil, lean meat, and fish.
3. Eat More Fiber
Soluble fiber acts like a sponge to absorb cholesterol. Good sources of soluble fiber include dried beans and oats (oatmeal,). Also add fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet.
4. Exercise Regularly
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. But what may be surprising is the amount of exercise you need. Some studies have shown as little as 30 minutes of walking a day may increase HDL cholesterol by 10%.
5. Consider Medication
Medication should not be viewed as a last resort. In cases of very high cholesterol levels, medication combined with lifestyle changes are usually recommended.
As always, consult a physician for advice on lowering your cholesterol. Our tips are meant to get you thinking about simple changes you can make but are by no means a substitute for sound medical advice.