Tips for getting the best rate on your life insurance policy

So you’ve decided that you need life insurance to protect your family; maybe the group life through your job wasn’t enough or you just decided that you wanted to be safe to have your own family protection plan vs. relying on someone else.

Most life insurance policies require some type of exam by a paramedical professional. This is a free physical and blood work that is paid for by the life insurance carrier at no cost the client.  They collect a small blood sample, urine sample and sometimes a short EKG.  They will check cholesterol levels, blood pressure, liver enzymes, among other things.

Here are a couple of tips to get the best rate for your policy. Depending on the policy you could be locking in this rate for 10 years, 20 years, 30 years or longer!

1. Fast
Don’t eat overnight or at least four hours before the exam. Your previous meal should be healthy and well-balanced.  Even if you’re a steak lover, consider a light meal and one high in fruits and veggies and low on saturated fats and fried foods. You may also be told not to drink anything up to four hours before the exam, but do drink plenty of water. It makes it easier for the examiner to find a good vein to get a sample.

2. Don’t Drink Alcohol

Avoid alcohol for at least 12 and preferably 48 hours before the exam, because it can elevate blood pressure and adversely affect elements of the blood work.  If you are in otherwise good health and have your exam scheduled the day after a “fun night out” you even run the risk of being turned down for coverage, if the liver enzyme levels are elevated.

3. Reduce Caffeine Intake

Limit caffeine consumption 48 hours before the exam, and definitely no caffeine the day of the exam. It increases blood pressure, pulse rate and can provoke an irregular heart rate. This means staying away from coffee, tea and some soft drinks, cold remedies and pain medications.

4. Limit Fat and Salt

Salt can raise blood pressure by allowing the body to retain fluids, so limit its use in the three to four days before an exam. Fried foods or ones high in fat can raise your cholesterol.

5. Don’t Exercise

At least don’t go to the gym the morning of the exam, and preferably 24 hours before. Cardiovascular workouts can cause inaccurate levels of cholesterol levels, which can be another factor that can push you into a higher rating classification.

6. Stay Calm

You’ve probably had this happen at the doctor’s office or at a hospital: You’re nervous about having your blood pressure taken, so your blood pressure reads high the first time you take it. Wait a few minutes and take it again, and it goes down.

Get a good night’s sleep, arrive early for the exam and take a few minutes to relax before your blood pressure is recorded.  If that doesn’t work, ask for it to be rechecked at the end of the exam.

Remember, life insurance underwriting also includes your medical history in addition to the lab work. Insurers are expecting average people to apply for coverage, not super-healthy people. Still, following these steps could help lower your rates a bit if any of your levels are borderline high or lows.

Also when you schedule your exam, try for a weekday and not a Monday. A weekend of indulging in fatty foods and alcohol can boost cholesterol or liver enzyme levels on a Monday. Also if your work is stressful on Mondays that is another good reason to choose another day.

To decide the amount of coverage and type of policy best for you, call 816-795-5977 or email jolson3@farmersagent.com to set an appointment.

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