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Factors That Affect Your Life Insurance

There’s no doubt that a life insurance policy can provide valuable protection for your family and give you reassurance that the people you love most, are looked after if you die. However, there are several factors that can affect the price and level of cover you will be offered. Some of these factors are outside of your control, while you can influence others by making small, lifestyle choices to improve your health and lower your premiums. We’ve put together a guide to some of the most important factors that will affect your life insurance:

Your age

It’s no surprise this tops the list. As we get older, this inevitably poses an increased risk of our health deteriorating. In an insurers eye if you’re a young, fit policyholder, the chances are you will be paying into your policy for many years before any payout from them to your loved ones is likely.

Therefore, you can expect the premium (amount you pay each month) to be lower. Age increases the likelihood of ill health and so increases the risk of insuring you in the insurer’s opinion. Taking out a longer-term policy earlier in your life, could mean you pay a lower premium for longer rather than waiting until the cost of insurance becomes significantly higher.

Your health

Another prominent factor that will affect your insurance policy is your current health. A person in good health presents a lower risk of dying to insurers, than someone with a pre-existing medical condition or who is out of shape. Some insurers will also ask about your family medical history, and this will be taken into consideration when quoting you. Insurers are particularly interested in the health conditions that any siblings or parents have suffered from – especially if they led to an early death.

In addition, some insurers will request a medical exam be carried out as a condition of cover. This exam will take into account your height, weight, current BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol and other key considerations. If you have a condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, making sure this is well managed before taking out a new policy could help you find a more competitive rate for your life insurance.


Source – @organicdesignco


The algorithms insurers use statistically profile how long someone is likely to be around. On average, women live a few years longer than men. This means that in many cases, women could pay their premiums for a few years longer than men and therefore may be offered a slightly lower premium.


Smoking has a negative impact on your overall health and will increase your insurance premium as a result. If you are a smoker, you have an increased risk of suffering from certain health conditions, and that’s a red flag for insurers. However, if you give up smoking and have been smoke-free for twelve months or longer, insurers will usually consider you a non-smoker, and you will likely see a reduction in your insurance premium due to the positive health benefits of kicking the smoking habit.

No smoking sign

Source – @kristapsbx

Your occupation

Some jobs are obviously more dangerous than others and therefore pose an increased life insurance payout risk. If your job is considered high-risk, you might have to pay more for your cover. In addition, you might find that your occupation excludes you from critical illness cover with some insurers. High-risk jobs won’t always equal higher premiums, but it is still a factor used in the insurer’s algorithms for assessing risk.

Your lifestyle

Some insurers may want to know if you have any hobbies which add additional risk. So if abseiling down cliffs or participating in motorbike racing are how you like to spend your weekends, you may have to pay a fair amount more for your life insurance in line with the risk of death or severe injury that activity carries.

Policy type

There is understandably a price difference between different levels of insurance cover, for example, decreasing life cover premiums are lower than level or whole life insurance policies because the payout decreases over time as your insured debts reduce.

Whole life cover tends to be more expensive than term life insurance because the amount your beneficiary will receive isn’t time-limited to a policy term… in other words, “whole of life policies” run until you die, not for a fixed number of years.

In addition, taking out a joint policy with your spouse could be cheaper than having 2 separate policies; however it is unlikely to offer the same value as two separate life insurance policies and will only pay out once, on the first persons death.

The amount of cover

The higher the value of your life insurance, the higher your premiums will be. This is because insurers will be paying out a larger lump sum in the event of your death. So a higher value policy will most likely add a little to your monthly payments, but will mean your loved ones receive more.


These are some of the main factors insurers take into consideration when working out your insurance premium. While there is absolutely nothing you can do about your age, gender and family medical history, you can make wise lifestyle choices, including improving your health and giving up smoking to enjoy the health benefits and even lower life insurance premiums in the future.



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