Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Preparing for a Life Insurance Medical Exam (Part-1)

One of the biggest questions people face when buying life insurance is how much coverage they can afford. Everyone wants the maximum indeed, because the policy beneficiaries can live in security and comfort after the policyholder passes away. The issue, however, is not that simple – of seeing how much a family can afford to spend on insurance premiums month after month.


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How much you pay for life insurance is dependent on a number of factors. Besides your age, a major consideration is your health. The reason is simple: insurance is a business and the healthier you are, the longer you are likely to live and that means you will be able to pay more premiums. That is more income to the insurance company and so the amount of each premium can be reduced.

Insurance is a very competitive industry: every company wants to attract as many customers as it can, and low premiums are the best way to do it. However, the business cannot run at a loss: a company, therefore, looks at the total amount it can expect you to pay. The calculation is the healthier you are, the longer you live, and the more income for the company.

On your part, you have your life cover with low premiums; you are content with the thought of security of and benefits to your family. Thus, the company and the policy holder are both winners. An experienced insurance broker can give you more information about this issue.

The difference that health makes

There is nothing you can do to exercise control over advancing age. The older you are, the more you will pay for insurance. Heath, however, is another matter. Every insurance company has its own policy on how it evaluates a customer’s health. There is no definitive rule in place. Having said that, customer health is crucial; it is typically divided into 4 categories:

1. The healthiest 20% are rated as “Preferred Plus” and pay the lowest premiums.

2.The next 30% are rated as “Preferred”. They will, on an average, pay about 20% for the same coverage.

3.The next 30% are rated as “Select” and pay about 20% more.

4.The last 20% are given a “Standard” rating and pay about 20% more in premiums.

This is only a general guide and the rating nomenclature will vary from company to company.

Better health saves money

The higher your heath rating is, the less will be your insurance premium. Consequently, you can reduce the cost of insurance or go in for a higher coverage. It is obvious that a lifestyle without adequate exercise, rest and sleep, or one that suffers from bad nutrition, smoking, excessive drinking, substance abuse and so on will affect your health. It will thereby increase the cost of insurance.

If you are planning to buy life insurance, changing your lifestyle just for a few days before the medical exam will not make any measurable difference to your health. However, you can do a few things before the medical exam. These simple efforts can surely help to improve your health rating; that way you can reduce the amount you pay towards insurance premiums.

The next part of this blog post will walk you through these useful things to score better in your medical exam results.

Preparing for a Life Insurance Medical Exam (Part-2)

Preparing for a life insurance medical examination is not cheating – that is almost impossible to do and usually illegal. What you can do is to have your health information ready and use the few days before the exam to reduce the bad effects your lifestyle may have had on your health. Here’s how to prepare for the day:

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  • Paperwork: Have all your paperwork ready. That includes your medical history and a list of your current and former doctors with their contact information.
  • Habits and health status: Have your answers ready. You will be asked about your current health status, any therapies you are undergoing or medications you are taking, any food or vitamin supplements you are using and why, and so on. You will also be asked about habits like smoking, drinking, use of narcotics etc. There is no point in trying to hide facts, it is better to be honest about any negative factors that may affect your health.
  • Dangerous activities: You will also be asked about any activities that could be dangerous such as motor racing, deep sea diving etc.
  • Remaining well hydrated: Once the paper work and questions are done, the usual blood and urine lab tests and measurement of height, weight, blood pressure and the rest will follow. Drink as much water as you can for the week before your exam. This will enable your body to flush out toxins and this will impact the test results. Being well hydrated will make drawing your blood easier, which will also be noted.
  • Eating for health: Stop eating junk food. Replacing carbs and saturated fats with lean proteins, leafy vegetables and fruit, and using healthy fats like olive oil will make a difference to your health. Also, cut back on sugar and salt as much as possible. Salt can affect your BP, and sugar consumption will affect your blood sugar levels.
  • No alcohol: Cut back on alcohol. If you can cut it out completely for a few days, your blood test will not show alcohol in your system, which is a positive.
  • Moderate coffee: Drinking coffee is not bad for you but excessive amounts of caffeine from coffee or energy drinks will not help your test results. It will also affect how well you sleep and how rested you are for the exam.
  • No smoking: Stopping smoking for a few days before the exam will not make much of a difference to your health. However, a medical exam is a good reason to stop it for good, and that is a huge health positive.
  • Remaining rested and relaxed: Take it easy the day before your exam and try to get as much rest as possible.
  • No tension: Do not worry about the exam. No one really ever enjoys perfect health: the more you worry about what may happen and how healthy you are, the tenser you will get. That will show up as a negative in the exam results.
The best person to give you advice on what you can expect from your life insurance medical examination and what you can do to prepare for it is your insurance broker.