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April 19, 2022

5 Key Factors Affecting Life Insurance Premiums

As we shared in last month’s blog, The Process of Protecting Your Family with Life Insurance, having life insurance is a great way to be able to continue to provide for your family should something unexpected happen to you. Although the process of securing life insurance has become simpler over the years, many families are still turned off to the idea of getting coverage because they believe it is out of reach financially.

Did you know that life insurance is one of the most affordable parts of a strong financial plan? To help you better understand the cost of life insurance, we are sharing the five key factors that are sure to affect your premium.


The top factor affecting your life insurance premium is the age at which you apply. The older you get, the more likely an insurer will have to payout on your policy – which leads to increased premiums. Securing life insurance at a younger age will get you the best bang for your buck.

Medical History

Unsurprisingly, your medical history has a large impact on the price you will pay for life insurance. When determining your life insurance premium, insurance providers will take a look at your personal health records including your height, weight, vitals, and more that may indicate future health issues. They will also take into consideration any history of serious medical conditions in your family, such as heart disease or cancer, and adjust your premium based on their findings.


If you’re a woman looking to secure an affordable life insurance policy, you’re in luck. Women typically pay less than men for life insurance because they have a longer life expectancy on average. It is worth noting that there have been conversations around moving towards unisex legislation, preventing companies from basing insurance rates on gender – as well as other factors the policyholders cannot control.

Smoking and Tobacco Use

Did you know that smoking can double the cost of your life insurance? Whether you smoke cigarettes, chew tobacco, or vape, using these products puts yourself at risk of limiting your eligibility for coverage and raising the premiums you’ll pay. This is due to the health conditions these items can cause, going back to what we stated earlier. If you are looking for another reason to stop smoking, think about the fact that your rates are very likely to improve once you quit as you will be putting yourself in better health as well.

Policy Type and Amount

The type of policy you choose – term or permanent/whole – also has a factor on the price you will pay for life insurance. Term policies are typically less expensive than permanent policies as it costs less for the insurer to cover you for a set number of years rather than providing lifelong coverage. It should also go without saying that the amount of coverage you apply for will also affect how expensive your premium will be.

Talk with an Insurance Agent to ensure you are applying for the right life insurance policy coverage for your needs.

Bonus Factor – Background Check

It is worth noting that most insurance companies will run a background check when underwriting your life insurance application. This background check will run a soft inquiry on your credit and search for any bankruptcies or criminal history you might have had in the past. It is unlikely that any information they find will greatly impact the price you pay for coverage, but it is definitely something to think about.

Understanding what impacts the cost of your life insurance premium and knowing changes you can make to get to a lower price point plays a huge part in finding the right coverage for you. Don’t wait around to make lifestyle changes before securing a policy with the hopes of a lower premium. It is better to have a higher priced plan in place than nothing at all. If you make lifestyle changes after securing a policy, you have the option to go back to the carrier and request they lower your cost based on positive health changes that have been made.
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About the Author
Professional Picture of Joe Yates
Joe Yates

Wealth Management by CommunityAmerica

Joe Yates is a Financial Advisor focused on helping members establish peace of mind by developing a comprehensive financial plan anchored by their goals.

Life Insurance products are offered by Copper Financial Network, LLC (“Copper Financial”), in its capacity as an insurance agency. Other insurance products may be sold through CommunityAmerica Insurance Agency, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of CommunityAmerica CUSO One, LLC and a licensed insurance agency in Missouri and Kansas. Copper Financial Insurance Advisors are only authorized to offer non-securities insurance products. Copper Financial is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CommunityAmerica Credit Union.

Investment and insurance products, including annuities:

Are Not Deposits

Are Not NCUA or otherwise Federally Insured

Are Not Credit Union Guaranteed

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