A funny thing also happened while I was losing that extra weight…and getting my cholesterol under control…and changing my diet and exercise routine to get my A1c back down to normal so I could get a better price on life insurance. What happened? NOTHING! Nada! People put off applying for life insurance all the time citing just one thing that they need to get past or get done or get over and as soon as they’re off the phone with the agent, having delayed the day of reckoning, they forget about it.
Over the years we have found that men are far worse than women at almost anything to do with health, except for this little niche of putting things off with the excuse of trying to qualify for a better life insurance rate. At this men and women seem to have both been born on Mars. It goes something like this. “So I qualify for a preferred rate on my life insurance because I weigh 220 pounds? Call me back in a month and I’ll be down to 210 and ready to apply.” We call back. We always do because we’ve been asked to and we’re really pretty nice about that stuff and, “Darn. I went on vacation and now I weigh 225. Can you set a tickler and call me in 6 weeks? With spring coming I’ll be able to get out and exercise and 210 will be there. No problem”.
Just like the chronic eating that is keeping their weight high, they have a chronic denial problem. Or maybe they really don’t want to buy life insurance. We’ve actually had people tell us they believe it is bad luck to buy life insurance. It increases your chances of dying unexpectedly immeasurably by some obscure algorithm. But if that was the case then why do people die all the time without life insurance in force. Why have we had potential customers who have died while putting it off or have had health changes that have changed them from insurable to uninsurable? Does it ever occur to people that needing all of your ducks in a row to pull the trigger on something as simple and easy as life insurance really isn’t necessary. Your ducks are what they are and the life insurance application process will expose your ducks and is flexible enough to accommodate the flock.
For instance, suppose you take the route of getting an MD exam prior to applying for life insurance just so you know what your lab values are and how they might affect the life insurance rate. You find that your cholesterol risk is high, let’s say 300 and you have enough good cholesterol, HDL, that your cholesterol ratio is 6.5. So we talk and you decide to hit the diet and exercise train really hard for a few months to see if you can get that down. Currently we would be looking at standard plus life insurance rates, but even if you get your cholesterol down to 290 and your HDL goes up and your ratio is 5 or less you can get preferred best rates. We caution you about the downsides of waiting as opposed to getting approved now and putting it in force and replacing the life insurance when the lab picture is prettier.
Let’s put some numbers to this so the outcome is quantifiable. You’re a 51 year old male born 3/14/63. No health issues except this cholesterol thing. If we put $500,000 of 20 year term in force right now you would be paying $1705 annually, about $149 a month. Or you could decide you are really committed to this course of action so you take a 10 year term at $98 a month so you have something in force while working on matters. But ultimately you see those options as a waste of money and you embark on your mission to balance your lipid profile and one of several things happens, 1. That cholesterol was a warning shot across your bow and you have a heart attack before applying for life insurance. I won’t push buttons and say you died and left your widow penniless, but let’s say you survive and now best case you will need to wait another 6 months until you have had a post MI cardiac workup to make sure your stent or bypass is worth what you paid for it. Then, best case that $500k, 20 year term life insurance policy will be more like $430 a month, depending on the severity of the cardiac issues. Could be more. 2. You don’t gain any ground but you pass your birthday and decide to take the policy because you now know how weak you are in the face of your own cholesterol and because you’re older, instead of $149 a month it’s now $163 a month. 3. You slam dunk the whole lipid game and get lower rates, say $120 a month for that same life insurance policy. 4. I said I wouldn’t go here, but we’ve had clients die trying to fix the numbers. Numbers 1, 2 and 4 really make it kind of borderline dumb to try to fix small problems before applying.
If you have any questions or would like to look at all the options and how to keep your cost down while you work on health impairments that impact your life insurance rate, call or email us. We can help.
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