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High Risk Life Insurance

Life insurance customers with a higher risk of dying will pay higher premiums. But you can still find affordable cover. Find out more here.

Last updated: 07 July 2020

High Risk Life Insurance
In order to work out the costs of your premiums, life insurance companies take into account a number of different factors which determine how much you will have to pay.  These cover a whole range of different things, from your age, lifestyle, job, medical history and much more.  This is done in order to determine your ‘risk’, which refers to how much money you are likely to cost the company through healthcare.  Different companies have different ideas of what they consider ‘high risk’, so it is important to shop around and compare life insurance quotes to find the best deal for you.

What is high risk life insurance?

To understand what high risk life insurance is, it is important to understand the ways that the insurance companies work.  In simple terms, their main aim is to reduce the amount that they pay out in relation to the amount they have coming in through premiums.  Because of this, the more at risk you are of death during the term of the life insurance package, the less they will want to cover you, meaning that you will have to pay more in premiums for the privilege.

When calculating your premiums and whether you are ‘high risk’, they will ask you a series of in-depth personal questions.

What factors make me high risk?

In the questionnaire that companies will provide when you sign up to a policy, they will try to find out as much about your life and health as possible, including:

  • Age: It may seem obvious, or even perhaps a bit crass, but the older you are, the closer you are to death.  Companies therefore charge more in premiums to older customers.  However, there are some companies that specialise in policies for the elderly, so be sure to use our site to shop around and check life insurance quotes from different companies.
  • Lifestyle: Companies will also ask you questions about the ways that you live your day-to-day life, as these can impact your health. Smoking or consuming a lot of alcohol increases your risk, so be prepared to pay for higher premiums on your life insurance. Your weight will also affect your premiums, so if you are overweight or obese, or have high blood pressure, you may be considered high risk.
  • Employment: What you do for work will also be considered when factoring how high your risk is, as some jobs are considered to be more dangerous to your life than others. For example, if you are a firefighter, you will be considered to be more at risk of death than a librarian.
  • Hobbies: Companies will want to know what you do for fun as well before determining your risk.  If you just play guitar then don’t worry, this will not affect your premium, but if you like to climb big mountains and cliff faces in your spare time, then you will likely have to pay more for your insurance.
  • Your home address: Now this might sound like a strange one, but life insurance companies have been known to factor in your postcode into their premium calculations.  Some postcodes have been deemed to be at greater risk than others because of higher rates of crime, or known worse lifestyles.

Providing Accurate Information

Although it may be tempting to either leave out certain bits of information or mislead the insurance companies in order to try and get cheaper life insurance quotes, you should definitely not do this.

Remember life insurance companies want to try and pay out as little as possible, so if someone is found to have provided false information, such as saying that they didn’t smoke when in fact they smoked heavily, it is possible that they will not pay out.  Not only would this mean that all of the money paid in premiums was wasted, but also could be financially devastating for your loved ones.

Cheap High Risk Insurance

Considering the ways in which life insurance companies measure risk, there are definitely steps you can take to make sure that your life insurance premiums are cheaper.  Quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol intake and exercising more can all lead to you getting cheaper life insurance deals.

It is worth bearing in mind though, when you compare life insurance quotes, that the cheapest deal may not be the best one for you.  Some deals may have lower premiums, but have a lower rate of paying out, so it is important to make sure that you do your research on the rates of successful payouts as well. 
Fergus Cole

Author: Fergus Cole

Fergus is a journalist specialising in the personal finance, energy and broadband sectors. He also has a passion for travel and adventure so tries to make the most of this in any spare time he gets.