Many variables affect the price you will pay for life insurance. Your age plays a big role in determining your rate, as the older you are, the fewer years the insurer has to collect premiums from you before making a payout. Your career also has an impact, as employment in a potentially dangerous industry can increase your risk of death (and the insurer’s subsequent requirement to make a payout).
Your personal health is also a factor life insurers consider. Depending on the insurer you’ve chosen and the type of coverage you’re planning to purchase, you may have to undergo a medical exam. Most take about 20 minutes and include the gathering of data on your height, weight, blood pressure, blood, urine and medical history. The healthier the results indicate you are, the lower the premium an insurer will offer.
Unfortunately, there are many mistakes you can make before this exam that can skew the results against you (and your wallet). Consider the following tips to help you avoid blowing these vital tests.
- Guzzling Caffeine
You might have had an early morning and afternoon of meetings, but multiple cups of coffee or energy shots will elevate your blood pressure and heart rate. If they’re still elevated when you have your exam, you could wind up with a higher premium.
- Breaking Your Fast
Most blood tests require you to fast for a certain period before your blood is drawn. If you forget to do so, the results may show elevated triglyceride and glucose readings. Both can land you with a higher premium.
- Working Out
Exercise is good for you, right? Yes, it is—but not strenuous exercise less than 12 hours before your life insurance medical exam. If you work out to aggressively before your urine test, the results may show elevated protein levels. Because this can indicate kidney problems (in someone who didn’t just work out), you’ll find yourself saddled with a higher premium.
Not only will dehydration make your blood draw more painful (your veins will be more difficult for the technician to find), it can also negatively skew test results. If you haven’t consumed enough liquids, the concentration of sugar and protein in your urine may be outside the normal range. Again, that means a higher premium.
- Consuming Alcohol
Numerous studies have shown that alcohol—in moderation—can have health benefits. However, experts recommend avoiding it for at least eight hours before your life insurance medical exam. If you indulge the night before, you may skew test results for liver function and have to pay a higher premium.
- Eating Salt
Salt before a medical exam can cause multiple problems including dehydration, water weight gain and skewed results for kidney function tests. Avoid salty foods for 24 hours to avoid these issues and the higher life insurance premiums that may otherwise result.
Whether you’d like to review your current life insurance policy or want to check out new options, we’re here to help. Call us today for assistance with all of your insurance needs.