Health Class is a term that is specific
to life insurance and it may cause you
the most pause (outside of how much term
life and for how long). You'll see
that the drop down in our quoting engine
starts with Best Class and then right
below it (Before Standard Plus and
Standard) is Preferred. What
exactly warrants a Preferred health
class and how does it affect the
life rates that are offered? Let's
take a look at requirements for the
Preferred health class.
of all, each carrier may have subtle
tweaks and twists to how they name their
health classes. The Standard risk
is pretty ubiquitous on the market.
term life quoting engine uses "Best
Class" to designate exactly that...a
carrier's best class regardless of what
they call it. Preferred can be
thought of as the step down from Best
Class. Again, each carrier may
have subtle differences in what
constitutes Preferred or what they
actually call it but the important issue
for a person comparing term life rates
across multiple companies and plans is
that you can compare apples and apples.
Our Best, Preferred, Standard Plus, and
Standard does this. It's the great
more information about Preferred.
First, there should be no health
impairments. This is similar to
the Best health class. What is a
health impairment? This is
trickier. It's essentially a
disease, disorder, or injury that would
impact mortality rates. This would
mean no history of cardiovascular
disease or diabetes. Let's look at
contributing factors to cardiovascular
health that are under view of the
insurance companies. The first is
Blood Pressure, for which they want it
well managed with current and average
readings in the past two years not
greater than: 150/90. This is
slightly less stringent then the Best
class which wants 145/85 for two years.
As for Cholesterol, levels cannot exceed
250. For the Best class, it's 240.
The total cholesterol to HDL ratio
should be no greater than 6.5.
Tobacco use is also not allowed within
prior 12 months. This health class
will usually require that neither parent
passed away before age 60 of
next big category (according to CDC
mortality tables) is cancer. The
Preferred health class can only be
offered on certain types of cancers.
Cancer is tougher to predict because
there is a such a wide sea of cancers
and resulting severities. Some
simple skin cancers are fairly innocuous
while pancreatic cancer is very serious.
The carriers are pretty similar in
life insurance underwriting but we'll try to help
provide guidance on which way to look.
personal driving history, the Preferred
class is pretty similar to the Best
Class in that it requires that no more
than 3 or more moving violations in the
last 3 years except with flat extra or
any DUI in last 60 months. For
Alcohol or substance abuse, it requires
no abuse in last 10 years.
are the big sections that usually
determine changes in health class.
Again, each life insurance company will
have slightly different requirements for
each category. Some life insurance
carriers might view driving history
issues as more serious than others.
Our recommendation is that you move down
the Health Class to be conservative when
running your online quote. Unless
you have pretty much perfect health,
history, and habits, Preferred is
probably the right
health class for you
and the smart way to approach possible
term life rates.