It is a common understanding that your age is the primary factor affecting the rates when it comes to insurance premiums. In the case of life insurance plans, mortality risk (risk of death) increases with increasing age. As such, the premiums are higher at older ages. In the case of health insurance plans, on the other hand, age determines your health risk. As health deteriorates with increasing age, the premium tends to increase. So, the bottom line is simple – Higher age = higher premium. However, in some instances, you might find a higher premium even when you are young. Have you wondered why?
Premium calculation in insurance plans
Though age is the primary factor affecting insurance premiums, other factors also impact the premium. Such factors can cause a difference in the premium between two individuals of the same age. So, even when you are young, your premium can be higher because of the said factors.
Reasons for increased premium for young people
The factors that might contribute to an increased premium even at a younger age are as follows –
Smoking is a major health hazard that leads to inflated premiums. Insurance companies have different premium rates for smokers and non-smokers. So, if you smoke, your premium would be high even when you are young.
Just like smoking, alcohol consumption can cause health concerns. If your lifestyle includes increased quantities of alcohol consumption, your liver would be affected and you might contract several lifestyle diseases. It might also prove fatal in the case of addiction. So, if you have alcohol consumption as a part of your lifestyle, your premiums might be enhanced for your lifestyle disorders.
BMI stands for Basal Metabolic Index. It shows whether you are overweight, underweight or normal. A high or low BMI is a cause of concern as it indicates possible health-related complications. So, the premium would be high if you have a very high or very low BMI.
Existing medical complications
This one is a no-brainer. If you suffer from existing medical ailments, your mortality risk increases. This increases the chances of claims and also the premium of your life insurance policy. In the case of health insurance, an existing disease increases the probability of claims.
As such, insurance companies load the premium if the insured individual has a history of medical complications, irrespective of their age.
Some occupations are risky as they affect the chances of claims in the insurance policy. In life insurance plans, occupations like aviation, defence, politics, etc. are considered risky. If you are engaged in such professions, your premium would be higher.
In the case of health insurance plans, occupations like mining, working with hazardous chemicals, etc. can cause health risks. The premiums are, thus, higher for individuals engaged in such professions.
Family history of illnesses
Lastly, hereditary illnesses also affect your health as well as mortality risks. So, if your family has a history of lifestyle diseases or if there is a genetic defect, the premium would be higher even for young people.
So, which is the cause of an increased premium in your case?
How to avoid increased insurance premiums?
Now that you know what might be causing a premium hike, the next step is to know how to lower the premium. Here are some tips –
- If your lifestyle habits, viz. smoking and/or drinking are causing the hike, change them. Quit smoking and limit your alcohol intake.
- Keep yourself physically fit so that you have a normal BMI
- Look for premium discounts to lower the premium cost
- Practice a healthy lifestyle to enjoy wellness benefits and also to get lower premiums.
In the case of an existing medical complication, family history of illness or occupational hazard, you might not control the premium hike. In such cases, you can look for discounts and/or pay the premiums in installments to make them affordable.
Whatever you do, do not hide material information from the insurer when buying the policy fearing a premium hike. Disclose all your details truthfully so that when there is a claim, the insurer would not be able to reject it on the grounds of non-disclosure or misrepresentation. Insurance plans are contracts of good faith. They require full and complete disclosure of every information on your part. Hiding or lying about any fact to keep the premium low is not recommended.
Most people consider saving up and creating their own health corpus. However, this amount can be utilised only once. For example, if you have Rs 5 lakhs as your health corpus, you can utilise it only once, unless you add more funds to it. On the other hand, if you opt for a Rs 5 lakh health insurance plan, you can use it to claim every single year, which definitely is lighter on your pockets, especially if you have any pre-existing ailment.
Invest in insurance plans when you are young to enjoy wider coverage. Even if the premiums are high, the coverage offered far outweighs the premium. So, buy a suitable insurance plan and protect yourself financially.