How Much Can You Save on Life Insurance If You Quit Smoking?

One of the first questions you’ll be asked when filling out a life insurance application is whether you smoke, and if so, how often. Smoking, chewing tobacco and using nicotine products raise red flags for insurance companies because they come with a variety of health risks. Whenever there’s a health risk, insurance companies raise their rates.
But just how much more do smokers pay for life insurance than non-smokers? Anywhere between 100% to 300% more for term life insurance. Pretty shocking.
So if health isn’t enough of a reason to quit smoking, perhaps a high insurance premium is! In all seriousness, if you are considering to quit smoking, it will undoubtedly affect your life insurance rates, and for the better.

Qualifying for Non-Smoker Status

Don’t expect to get better life insurance rates if you’ve quit smoking for two weeks. But if you quit for a long period of time, like 12 months or more, then you should definitely reach out to your insurance carrier and see what they can offer you. You will probably not qualify for non-smoker status right away — that usually takes about three to five years to happen. Bear in mind that each insurance carrier has its own time requirements for reclassification and its own process, which may include undergoing another medical exam. While reclassification may seem laborious, it can be a significant amount of savings every year!

What’s the Deal with e-cigarettes and cigars?

Every insurance carrier deals with e-cigarettes a little differently. Most of them DO classify them as a type of smoking, however there are multiple carriers that do not. For cigars it is very similar, and the occasional cigar smokers can also qualify for non-tobacco rates with certain carriers.

Don’t Put Off Getting Life Insurance Just Because You Smoke

One of the common mistakes people make is putting off getting life insurance because you smoke. You say to yourself, “I’ll wait until I quit smoking to get life insurance, that way, I can get a better rate.”

Don’t fall into this trap! Quitting smoking can take time, and there’s no reason to put off getting life insurance and taking the risk of leaving your family vulnerable during that time. Instead, find the best coverage you can get as a smoker and tell the insurance company when you apply that you’re planning on quitting. Some insurance carriers give you better rates based on your good intentions. Also ask how you can get reclassified as a nonsmoker once you quit, and that way, you can have peace of mind as you embark on your brave venture.
How can you find out which insurance carriers have the best rates for smokers and for people planning to quit? How can you find the policies that are best for you?

Protecting Your Family Can Be Easy: Life Insurance Awareness Month

If you think that life insurance is an unnecessary expense, think again. While it may be frustrating to add yet another bill to your list of monthly expenses, it would be even more frustrating — devastating, in fact — if something happened to you and your loved ones were left without a safety net.
Life insurance can protect your family’s long-term financial future, even if you are not there. September is Life Insurance Awareness Month and it is the perfect time to buy the life insurance policy that best fits you and your needs.

Life Insurance Awareness Month

Life Insurance Awareness Month was established by Life Happens, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Americans about life insurance — namely, how important it is and the different types available.

Life insurance has been around since the 1760s and it was originally intended to offer relief to widows and orphans whose husbands/fathers had died. While the purpose of life insurance has stayed the same, it is now easier than ever to buy a policy. You can now do the entire process online from any device.
In the spirit of Life Insurance Awareness Month, here are some facts to get you thinking:

The average funeral typically costs between $7,000-$9,000 ( Source: Lincoln Heritage Funeral Advantage).
The average cost for a public four-year in-state college is $25,290 per year. The average cost per year for a private college is — don’t faint — $50,900. (Source: CollegeData)
Approximately 20% of families in the U.S. are single-income households. (Source: Pew Research Center) This means that if something happens to either the primary breadwinner or the partner doing all the household chores, the expenses can be disastrous. If the primary breadwinner dies, no income will be coming into the household, and if the stay-at-home partner dies, all the household chores will need to be outsourced.
The average mortgage in the U.S. is over $350,000. Without life insurance, you will leave all the outstanding debt to your family. (Source: Mortgage Bankers Association)
These numbers aren’t meant to scare you, they’re simply to show the reality in the US today. The last thing you want to leave for your loved ones is unmanageable expenses.

Don’t Ignore the Need

If you’re convinced that life insurance is not an unnecessary expense but are now unsure which policy to buy, you’re not alone. Many Americans have trouble discerning which life insurance policy is best for them and then end up putting off buying a policy. This is especially true today when there are more carriers and policy types than ever before.

So how can you decide which policy is best for you?

Exercises to Help You Save on Life Insurance

When filling out a life insurance application, you’ll be asked to provide information about the state of your health. The general rule is that the healthier you are, the lower your premiums will be. Of course, there are many aspects of health, and while we can’t control preexisting medical conditions or our family medical history, we can control how much we exercise.
Exercise is indeed one of the factors that life insurance underwriters consider when calculating life insurance premiums. However, are there some exercises considered “healthier” than others? You bet.

Here are 5 exercises that can help you save on life insurance.

WalkingThe beauty of walking is that it is simple, effective and convenient! Even if you don’t have time to go to the gym you can still just walk briskly around the neighborhood. There are numerous health benefits of walking including improved memory, elevated mood, reduced risk of heart disease and increased cardiovascular fitness. Walking is also one of the easiest exercises to maintain as you enter your golden years.SwimmingHarvard Health Publishing has called swimming a “perfect workout” because it works out your entire body and cardiovascular system with the added benefit that water is also easier on your joints. Health benefits also include improved sleep and mood, increased muscle tone and reduced stress. Swimming can also reduce your chances of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.Strength TrainingStrength training isn’t only for bodybuilders — it’s for anyone that wants to keep their muscles strong and healthy. Simply put, when you build muscle, you also burn fat. Plus, strength training can increase muscle mass and bone density, reduce the risk of fractures and help you burn calories.CyclingCycling can be a fun and effective way to stay fit. There are numerous health benefits including increased cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and flexibility, stronger bones and more. Plus, it’s something that you can enjoy with your kids or partner so it can also be a great chance to have quality family time.YogaPracticing yoga regularly comes with numerous health benefit including improved cardiovascular fitness, increased circulatory health, weight loss, higher energy levels and reduced stress and anxiety. If you’re looking to take a break from the constant activity of daily life, yoga is a great way to relax while also taking care of your overall fitness.

Reduce Life Insurance Premiums, Increase Health

Whichever exercise you choose to do, you will enjoy both from reduced life insurance premiums and increased overall health. If you don’t exercise, it’s a good idea to start — this way, you can achieve the many benefits of regular exercise along with lower life insurance rates.

Should a Big Raise Also Lead to More Life Insurance?

Congratulations, you got a big raise! After you are done celebrating you should sit down and think about what you’ll do with all that extra income. In addition to going on a nice shopping spree, this is also the ideal time to increase your life insurance coverage.
Getting a raise means that your family will likely enjoy an upgrade in their current standard of living. Once their standards are higher, they’ll need more coverage to help them maintain the same lifestyle in case something happens to you.
While the hope is that you’ll go on to live a long, healthy life, it’s important to be prepared for the worst-case scenarios.

How Much Should You Increase Your Life Insurance Coverage?

The actual amount of your coverage increase depends on a few factors:

Your total income – You may have gotten a big raise but that doesn’t mean you’re a millionaire. How much of a raise did you get?
Where you live – Cost of living varies by location.
How much your family needs to live on – Pull out your calculator for this one. It may be tedious, but it’s extremely important to figure this out.
Once you have all your information at hand, you can arrive at a coverage amount that seems reasonable.

How to Increase Your Life Insurance Coverage

There are two general options and you can either increase your current policy or buy a new one. Now, not all policies can be increased. This is something that you’ll need to check with your insurance carrier. (And if you haven’t yet bought life insurance, it’s important to look for a policy that can be increased.)

Increasing your current policy is usually the best option, since your health conditions may have deteriorated since you originally purchased it — and that can mean higher monthly premiums. However, if you can’t increase your coverage, you can either cancel the current policy and buy a completely new one or continue with your current policy and buy a supplementary policy.
If all this sounds complicated, it is. While calculating your monthly expenses is one thing, it’s another thing entirely to determine what’s the more financially worthwhile route when it comes to policies.
At this point, it’s important to consult a professional about which option makes the most financial sense for your situation. We’re not talking pennies; we’re talking thousands of dollars over a policy’s lifetime.
Sproutt insurance advisors are available to help you determine what’s the best option for you. Sproutt is not affiliated with any specific insurance company, which means that you can be confident that the advice you will get is unbiased.