In a perfect life insurance world, everyone who applied for coverage would qualify for the best available rating class and get the lowest premium. However, reality tells us some applicants simply won’t qualify. For them, it may be time to face the difficult truth. We’ve compiled the top five reasons some applicants do not qualify for the highly sought-after best rating class on their life insurance policy. A random sampling of 100 applicants shows the following five most common culprits:
- Cholesterol – 25 percent
- Build (height/weight) – 11 percent
- Blood Pressure – 10 percent
- Family History – 10 percent
- Abnormal Liver Enzymes – 6 percent
Here are some tips for preventing the dreaded top five from impacting your life insurance policy:
Cholesterol (total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides)
If you haven’t been to your doctor for routine blood work in a few years, have it checked a few months before you plan to apply for life insurance. If you have higher than expected results, you can consider lifestyle changes and medication options with your doctor. If your total cholesterol number is over 200, call one of our licensed life insurance agents for help finding the best company to apply with, as certain companies are more lenient than others with cholesterol guidelines. Also, it is recommended you fast for at least eight hours before your exam to get the most accurate results on your blood tests
Your home scale may be 5-10 pounds different from the paramed examiner’s scale. Since you will be measured fully clothed, wear light clothing on the day of your exam and try to schedule an early morning appointment. Be sure the examiner measures your height correctly, as one inch can make a big difference if your weight measurement is borderline. If you have a short examiner, offer her a chair to stand on when measuring!
Avoid running up and down your stairs or working out right before your exam, and be sure you are in a calm, relaxed state before the measurements are taken.
This is not something you can control, but if you have a family history of cancer, cardiovascular disease or diabetes in your parents or siblings, it is best to call one of our licensed life insurance agents to help choose the best company to apply with. Life insurance companies differ slightly on family history guidelines, so choosing the right company may mean the difference between a Preferred Best rating and a Standard rating!
Abnormal Liver Enzymes
These could be caused by certain medications, extreme physical exertion, an infection, illness or something more serious like hepatitis, heavy alcohol use or liver disease. If your test results come back showing abnormal elevations in GGT, ALT or AST, see your doctor immediately. To help get the best possible readings on your exam, put off your marathon training until the next day. And if you are sick, simply re-schedule your exam for a later date when you are better. You can also check with your doctor to be sure your medications are not causing abnormal readings.