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A quick look at term life insurance health classes

What affects your designated health class

An important concept that's typically new to a novice term life insurance purchaser is that of the health class.  It's an important item since it directly impacts the rate you will pay.  Let's look a little closer at what affects health class.

First, there will be slight differences from carrier to carrier but the rough sketches are the same so let's look section by section at the main criteria that life insurance carriers use to evaluate health class.  Below, you will find the grid regarding these categories and the main health classes that are pretty consistent among the various carriers on the market.  We'll then delve deeper into the major and most important areas.

Health & Medical History and Physical/Mental Impairments.   This, or course, is the big one.  It's essentially your personal health history and current health status which also includes information from the paramedical.  It tends to focus on health issues that directly impact mortality risk which tends to center on cardiovascular disease and/or diabetes.  Cancer is such a critical factor that is specifically broken out from this general category.

Paramedical exam results.  We'll group blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar together along with other issues  that can be revealed as a result of the paramedical exam results.  These are all indicators of existing or potential risk touch upon in the last group (Health and Medical History) in that they tend to be pre-cursors for cardiovascular disease and/or disease. 

Cancer and Smoking each have their own categories for good reasons.  They are directly tied to mortality risk and consequently, will affect your available health class when applying for term life insurance.

Histories, both medical and personal.  Life insurance is different from most other types of insurance in that your family history and personal history come into play.  This can be family history of disease such as cancer or personal history such as driving record, alchohol use, aviation, and/or hazardous activities.  This is a general read of a person's risk as a result of lifestyle choices and family health history.

We would be happy to help you estimate what health class to quote although the term life insurance underwriter makes the final decision.

Underwriting Criteria Best Class Preferred Standard Plus / Standard
Health & Medical History and Physical/Mental Impairments No health impairments allowed. No personal history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes. No health impairments allowed. No personal history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Some health impairments allowed. Can have personal history of certain cardiovascular diseases or diabetes.
Blood Pressure No current or past history of blood pressure treatment. Current and average readings in the past two years not greater than 140/85. Currently well controlled with current and average readings in the past two years not greater than: 150/90 Currently well controlled with current and average readings in the past two years not greater than: 150/90 - age 45 and younger, 154/93 - ages 45-60, 158/95 - ages 61 and over.
Family Medical History No cardiovascular disease or cancer in either parent or siblings before age 60. No cardiovascular death of either parent before age 60. No cardiovascular death of not more than one parent before age 60.
Personal Driving History Not available if 3 or more moving violations in last 3 years, or if any DUI in last 60 months. Not available if 3 or more moving violations in the last 3 years except with flat extra, or if any DUI in last 60 months. No more than 2 moving violations in the past 3 years. No record of DUI or reckless driving in the past 2 years.
Use of Tobacco or Tobacco Products No tobacco use in the past 36 months. No tobacco use in the last 12 months. No tobacco use in the last 12 months.
History of Cancer Depending on company, only available on certain types of skin cancer. Only available on certain types of skin cancer. Available depending on type and duration of cancer.
Cholesterol Readings Levels may not exceed 240. Levels may not exceed 250. Levels may not exceed 280.
CHOL/HDL Ratio May not exceed 5.0. (Transamerica 4.0) May not exceed 6.5. May not exceed 7.5.
Substance or Alcohol Abuse No history of substance or alcohol abuse. No abuse in past 10 years. No abuse in past 7 years.
Aviation Commercial airline pilots accepted. Private pilots - may qualify with aviation exclusion. Commercial airline pilots accepted. Private pilots- flat extra may apply depending on experience. Commercial airline pilots accepted. Private pilots- flat extra may apply depending on experience.
Hazardous Activities (i.e. Skydiving, Hang gliding, Rock climbing, Scuba diving etc) Available only if no flat extra premium would be required. Available; however, may have flat extra. Available; however, may have flat extra.
Residency-Citizenship Must be a US resident for past 3 years and either a US citizen or have permanent Visa or Green card. Must be a US resident for past 3 years and either a US citizen or have permanent Visa or Green card. Must be a US resident for past 2 years and either a US citizen or have permanent Visa or Green card.

 

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DISCLAIMER   -   Information provided on this page is intended as a general overview.  Your situation regarding life insurance may be different and we strongly          
 recommend speaking with a license life insurance agent.  This information is solely the opinion of etermlifeinsurancequote.com and may not be suitable for you.