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The right to privacy is a bedrock of American values. However, for purposes of life insurance, privacy does not extend far. Your insurance company receives information from your healthcare providers and other sources and shares it with other insurers. Lifestyle changes and health conditions can affect your policy and rates.
How Can Health Information Affect Your Life Insurance Policy?
Insurance companies use underwriting standards to determine whether to issue a health, disability, or life insurance policy to you and how much your premiums will be. Standards are less stringent for group life insurance than for individual policies, but there is still an underwriting process. Factors considered when insurers are underwriting a policy include your:
- Height and weight
- Personal medical history
- Family medical history
- Use or non-use of tobacco products
- Diet, exercise, and lifestyle
Healthy Lifestyle Changes Can Have A Positive Impact On Life Insurance Rates
The cost of life insurance is based on the amount of coverage you want, the length of the policy, and your age, state of health, and lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, and whether or not you smoke. If you are overweight or use tobacco, your premiums will be higher because of shortened life expectancies associated with obesity and smoking. With most insurers, you are eligible for lower rates at 12 months after you quit smoking or using a nicotine-replacement product. Some insurers provide policyholders with free fitness trackers and offer lower premiums and other benefits for meeting exercise goals.
How Do Life Insurance Providers Learn About Your Health Changes?
When you apply for life insurance, your personal health information is fair game. Life insurance companies buy data from various sources, and are relying increasingly on big data to accelerate the application process and reduce their costs. Types of data regarding your health available to insurers include:
- Prescription drug history: Certain companies gather prescription insurance claims data from benefit managers, compile reports, and sell them to insurers. They can deliver a report almost immediately, including drug name, fill date, dosage, pharmacy, and physician information.
- Lab test results: With clinical laboratory databases, these companies can also provide insurance companies with results of lab tests ordered by doctors.
- Previous health and life insurance applications: MIB Group, a leading risk assessment company, draws from the largest database of health and life insurance applicants in North America to provide its members with risk assessment data. Conditions such as hypertension are assigned a specific code, which is visible to insurers when you re-apply for coverage.
Get Professional Assistance In Obtaining A Life Insurance Policy
Life insurance companies are increasingly using big data to streamline the application process. Insurers are using risk assessment data from companies such as MIB Group to identify anti-selection, pinpoint errors and omissions, and detect fraud. There is very little privacy regarding your health and lifestyle when it comes to life insurance. Speak with one of our experienced agents for assistance in obtaining the life insurance you need to protect your family at the best available rates.