Top 10 Factors Affecting Insurance Rates

If you’re looking for insurance, then it is very important to understand the factors affecting insurance rates so you can understand the quotes you receive.

That can help you adjust so you may be able to get lower quotes.

10 Factors Affecting Life Insurance Rates

To this end, we compiled the top 10 factors affecting life insurance rates. Some of them are things you cannot change. However, you may be able to improve on some others.


A major factor affecting life insurance rates is age. Basically, the insurance company looks at your age and current life expectancy. So if you are younger, that means you are less likely to die. Hence, your quote will be lower.

Furthermore, some companies may even impose age limits on particular policies.


Gender is another factor affecting life insurance rates. Generally, women have a longer life expectancy than men. So women mostly pay less than men for life insurance.

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Health is also another huge factor affecting life insurance rates. That is because an insurance company may consider some applicants with certain health conditions to be riskier to insure as they are more likely to have a life insurance payout sooner.

The company receives information about your health through a life insurance medical exam, accessing your medical records (with your permission) and prescription drug databases to see the medicine you have taken.

Any health issue can affect life insurance rates. Common health factors include:

  • High blood pressure and hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Any disease
  • Anxiety or depression

Insurance companies will look at health factors, such as:

  • Your medical history.
  • Height and weight.
  • Risky behaviors.
  • Family medical history.

Markedly, this doesn’t refer to just smoking tobacco but all forms of nicotine use. They include smokeless tobacco, pipes, chewing tobacco, nicotine patches and gum, e-cigarettes and vaping.

Furthermore, marijuana users can get non-smoking rates if the use is only occasional. However, rates can be higher for those who use it frequently.

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Family Medical History

Typically, insurance companies demand information about your family’s health. Particularly, the medical history of your immediate family (parents and siblings) can affect your life insurance rates, especially a history of:

  • Cancer (breast, colon, prostate, pancreatic and others)
  • Melanoma
  • Cardiovascular disease (especially if you’re a smoker)
  • Congenital heart disease
Occupation and Hobbies

A typical life insurance application will ask some questions about your lifestyle, such as:

  • Dangerous occupations. If your job includes hazardous duties, you could pay higher rates.
  • Dangerous occupations. Basically, insurance companies see activities like scuba diving, skydiving and piloting a plane as risky to insure.

So if you fall into any of these categories, work with an experienced life insurance agent who can find the insurers most likely to give you a good rate.

Driving Record

Insurers see drivers with a history of traffic violations as higher risk and hence, their rates are often higher.

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Recent Financial Issues

Another factor affecting insurance rates is your financial stability. So if you have filed bankruptcy recently, many life insurance companies will decline to cover you.

Additionally, credit is a part of some risk scores that life insurers use to set rates.

Coverage Length and Amount

Generally speaking, term life insurance is the least expensive, universal life costs more than term life, and whole life insurance is the most expensive.

Purchasing life insurance riders is also possible to help fill coverage gaps.