Five Ways to Get a Lower Term Life Insurance Premium

The five ways to get a lower term life insurance premium are: 1) maintaining a healthy weight, 2) quitting smoking, 3) getting existing medical conditions under control, 4) steering clear of hazardous hobbies, and 5) don’t wait to get a policy. Get a lower life insurance premium by getting a policy while you’re still young. Start comparing quotes now with our calculator above.

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Tim is a licensed life insurance agent with 23 years of experience helping people protect their families and businesses with term life insurance. He writes and creates stuff for QuickQuote and other insurance and financial websites.

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Written by Tim Bain
Founder & Life Insurance Agent Tim Bain

Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

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Far too many people forgo the peace of mind term life insurance provides because they’re afraid of the cost. How much you pay depends on the rating a life insurance company gives you after assessing your health and other lifestyle factors.

Term life insurance policies typically use the following rating classes (basically risk categories) to determine premium costs. These are in order from lower risk to higher risk. Lower risk means lower premiums. Higher risk means higher premiums.

  • Preferred Plus
  • Preferred
  • Standard Plus
  • Standard

Rating classes aside, those without life insurance think it’s three times more expensive than it actually is. But even though it costs less than you may have thought, I get that any added expense can make a tight budget even tighter.

Here are five actions you can take today to lower your term life insurance premiums.

1.  Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight adds risk of developing certain medical conditions and is linked with higher mortality. If you’ve been maintaining a healthy weight (most insurance companies use the standard height/weight tables to determine “healthy”) consistently over time, it will bode well for you in seeking a lower premium.

Note that insurers will usually ask if you’ve had a weight change in the last twelve months. Your weight and life insurance costs are somewhat intertwined. Most people who have lost a dramatic amount of weight during a short period of time tend to gain some or all of it back. Life insurance companies take that into account as they consider how to rate your policy.

2.  Don’t smoke (or use any other nicotine-based products). Stating the obvious, smoking puts you at a higher risk for all sorts of health issues. Don’t pick up the habit, and if you are a smoker, quit as soon as possible. The longer it has been since you ceased smoking, the better the rating you’ll get. For example, here’s how an insurer might rate you according to your smoking status:

  • Preferred Plus if you haven’t smoked for 5 or more years.
  • Preferred if you haven’t smoked for at least 3 years.
  • Standard Plus if you haven’t smoked for at least 2 years.
  • Standard if you haven’t smoked for at least 1 year.

3.  Get existing medical conditions under control. If you have a health issue (like high cholesterol, asthma, or high blood pressure), it doesn’t mean you can’t get Preferred Plus rates (I can attest to that because I’m on blood pressure medicine and qualified). The key is to have regular follow-ups with your doctor, take your medication as directed, and follow your doctor’s advice to control your condition to buy life insurance with a medical condition.

4.  Steer clear of hazardous hobbies. Involvement in high-risk activities, like rock climbing, scuba diving, sky diving, and others can result in higher life insurance premiums. Prepare to pay a little more if you actively engage in a hobby that increases your likelihood of injury or worse.

5.  Don’t wait to apply for a policy. The older you are, the higher the probability that you’ll suffer from a health condition in the near future. Count on higher premiums if you wait to apply. Life insurance companies provide lower premiums to young, healthy applicants. Learn more about how age affects term life insurance rates here.

But what should you do if you haven’t gotten at least one of the above factors working in your favor? Even though you may get a higher rate initially, you can still benefit from applying now rather than later. As you take action to improve your situation over time, you can ask for reconsideration of your policy’s rating and potentially get your premium lowered.

If you’re one of the 4 in 10 people without life insurance to protect your family, wouldn’t you rest better at night knowing you’ve at least checked in to your options? You can easily determine your life insurance needs and get a no-obligation, confidential term life insurance quote online. Don’t let fear of the cost stop you from looking out for your loved ones’ future.

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