Underwriters determine risk by predicting how likely your policy would be to pay out. The more likely your policy is to pay out, the less likely you are to be accepted for life insurance, or the more expensive it could be. The following details about you are all factored in in your underwriter's assessment:
Age: Age is a significant factor in life insurance risk assessment. Generally, the older a person is, the higher the risk they pose to the insurer, as the likelihood of experiencing health issues or passing away increases with age.
Health and Medical History: The insured individual's current health status and medical history play a crucial role. Insurers typically evaluate factors such as pre-existing medical conditions, family medical history, height and weight (body mass index), blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and any tobacco or alcohol use. Adverse health conditions can increase the risk associated with a life insurance policy.
Lifestyle and Habits: Certain lifestyle choices and habits can impact life insurance risk. These may include smoking, alcohol consumption, participation in hazardous activities (e.g., skydiving, rock climbing), and occupation. Riskier lifestyles or occupations may result in higher premiums or even policy exclusions.
Gender: Statistically, there are differences in life expectancy between genders. For instance, women tend to have longer life expectancies compared to men. Insurance companies take these differences into account when assessing risk.
Policy Amount and Term: The face amount (the death benefit) and term length of the policy also influence the risk assessment. Higher benefit amounts or longer terms may involve higher risks for the insurer, as the likelihood of a claim payout increases.
Underwriting Process: The thoroughness and complexity of the underwriting process employed by the insurance company also impact the risk assessment. Some companies may conduct more detailed medical examinations and require more extensive documentation, leading to a more accurate assessment of risk.
Financial Underwriting: In addition to health-related factors, insurers may evaluate the insured individual's financial status, including their income, debts, and financial dependents. These factors help determine the insurable interest and the need for coverage.
Policy Type: The type of life insurance policy chosen also affects the risk assessment. For example, term life insurance typically has lower premiums but expires after a specific term, while permanent life insurance policies provide coverage for the insured's entire lifetime and often include a cash value component.
If you have a question about a delayed life insurance claim or a denied life insurance claim, call us today.