It’s not uncommon to be curious about questions that you will be asked on your life insurance application. Questions related to your hobbies, health status, family history, traveling experience and lifestyle are found on almost every life policy application. Large life insurance companies want to gather a lot of information about YOU to assess their risk. Obviously, they don’t want to end up making a decision that would hurt them financially, right?
While many people find this intimidating, there are a lot of good reasons for questions life insurance companies ask on the application.
Fortunately, with the right knowledge in hand, life insurance application questions can usually be answered with ease. These questions are an important part of the underwriting process and you should do all that you can to answer them fully and correctly.
In this article, we will briefly discuss some of the most common life insurance application questions. We will also try to discuss why these questions are important and how you can honestly answer them to lower your monthly premiums. Though the questionnaire portion is just one component of the underwriting process, it is still something that all potential life insurance applicants ought to take seriously.
The underwriters ask questions about your health and lifestyle to determine your life expectancy. They want to make sure if you are financially justified for the amount of coverage you are asking or not.
Obviously, predicting the exact date of an individual’s death is something that is seemingly impossible. However, life insurance companies will usually try to account for all of the variables that are specific to your situation to make the most accurate predictions that they possibly can. To know about the variables that increase your likelihood of early death—as well as the variables that increase your likelihood of living longer than average—life insurance providers will typically want to ask an extensive series of questions before issuing a policy.
Though it may be quite tempting to be dishonest and make it sound as if you are much healthier than you actually are, it is very important to be honest. If the life insurance company later finds out that you lied in the application, they may deny your loved ones a portion of your death benefits or even refuse to pay them at all.
Here are some of the most common life insurance application questions that you may find on a standard application:
Your age is one of the most important variables that will be considered during the underwriting process. Naturally, this question will usually be one of the easiest for you to answer. No matter what type of life insurance policy you may currently be applying for, you will be much more likely to qualify (and secure the lowest rates) if you are young.
Your height to weight ratio, also known as your body mass index, can often help illustrate whether you are generally healthy. Individuals who have an obese BMI may be asked to pay higher premiums. If you lose weight in the future, your premiums may be adjusted downward.
Typically, individuals who have known medical conditions will have a shorter life expectancy than those who do not. There is usually a very wide range of conditions that life insurance providers will ask about, and each of these conditions may have a different impact on the cost of a policy. Some common conditions include cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, high blood pressure, hepatitis, asthma, various mental health conditions, and numerous others.
Life insurance companies will want to make sure that you are taking actions to maintain your personal well-being. Though they would obviously prefer it if you do not have any medical conditions at all, it is better to get treated if you have one rather than ignoring it all together.
If you smoked a cigar at your friend’s wedding ten years ago, this will likely not have any impact on the cost of a life insurance policy. However, if you are actively a smoker—and this usually includes e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and marijuana—then you should probably expect to pay significantly more for life insurance coverage.
As is the case with obesity, if you are able to change your status in the future, many life insurance providers may be willing to make an adjustment to your premiums.
Substance abuse is associated with shorter life expectancies, so this is something that life insurance providers will almost always ask about. Being honest during this portion of the questionnaire is particularly important because if any illicit substances are found in your system upon your death, your loved ones may be denied the benefits of your policy.
Many medical conditions run in people’s families. If your family members have been diagnosed with a serious medical condition, your odds of developing those illnesses gets higher. Though a negative family medical history may increase your monthly premiums to some degree, this will very rarely outright disqualify you from receiving the level of coverage you are applying for.
If you have recently been hospitalized, your life insurance provider will certainly want to know about this. Typically, life insurance providers will ask if you’ve been hospitalized in either the past three years or the past five years. The impact this will have on your policy will depend on the specific details regarding the hospitalization.
Some, though not all, life insurance providers will want to speak with your primary care physician before issuing a policy. They may ask you for their address, phone number, or email as well. Going to your annual check-ups is viewed as a good thing by life insurance providers and, if a doctor can attest that you are healthy, you will be able to lock in the lowest rates.
Any behavior that indicates a lower life expectancy will likely have an impact on the cost of a given life insurance policy. This includes criminal behaviors such as DUIs or other common types of felonies. Even if you have had an offense legally removed from your record, this is still something that your life insurance provider will likely need to know about.
Life insurance providers will also want to account for any non-criminal, yet dangerous, activities that you engage in on a regular basis. For example, due to the increased risk of death associated with non-commercial air travel, your life insurance provider will want to know how often you fly planes.
They may also want to account for risks derived from skiing, extreme sports, and even your occupation. If you are currently an active military member, you may want to consider applying for a specially designated type of life insurance policy.
If you are currently a citizen of the United States, then you are likely considering applying for life insurance policies that are targeting your specific market. However, if you plan on changing your residency in the near future, this is something that life insurance companies will usually want to know about.
On a global scale, life in the United States is relatively safe. Depending on which country you plan on moving to in the future, your rates may be moved upward. Once you return to the United States, your rates may be brought back down to their original levels.
Once the life insurance application is complete, the company will schedule a medical exam unless you opt for no exam life insurance. A medical professional will come at your place free of charge and do the physical exam and all the blood work. The life insurance company will also do a background medical investigation such as checking the MIB (Medical Information Bureau), doctor records, Rx databases, and your history from DMV history.
Then comes the longest part of the life insurance application process – The Underwriting. Once the underwriting is complete, the company will let you know about their decision.
>> Find out More: What does the life insurance medical exam test for?
Clearly, many different things will be considered by life insurance providers throughout the underwriting process. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to provide a “perfect” answer to every question that your life insurance provider may ask.
Life insurance companies will try to create a comprehensive understanding of your current state and take many different variables into account. By making an effort to answer these life insurance application questions honestly, you will be able to gain the long-term financial security that you have been hoping for.
Work with an independent life insurance agent today to help you find a policy that best fits your needs and budget. Call us at (800) 521-7873 for more information.