Why are men’s life insurance premiums higher than women’s when all other factors, such as coverage amount and term length, are equal? Because men’s mortality rates differ from those of women.
However, “Dad” can do something to reduce their mortality rate and life insurance premiums.
“If a man has a heart attack or bypass surgery, he would generally be rated up two to four tables,” said Brian Ashe, President of Brian Ashe and Associates, Ltd., in Lisle, Ill., and spokesperson for the LIFE Foundation. “For each table rating, the premium mortality rate increases about 25 percent. If people have no health problems in those areas and no significant histories, they would not be affected and would qualify for preferred or standard underwriting.”
Preferred rates are the lowest life insurance rates offered by insurance companies. Standard life rates are the next most affordable option. If a person is discovered to smoke or to have a number of pre-existing health conditions, a poor driving record, substance abuse issues, or long-term bouts with depression, they may be denied the best insurance rates on a life insurance policy.
If the medical condition is severe enough or a chronic medical condition is not well maintained, they may be denied life insurance coverage or asked to reapply once their health status improves.
This is especially important for men, who frequently overlook general health maintenance such as regular doctor checkups or avoid going to the doctor when they have symptoms. According to New York Life, single fathers require adequate coverage as well.
According to data compiled from a variety of sources, including the Mayo Clinic, WebMD.com, and the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS), men should be on the lookout for the following health risks, which can impact their mortality and raise their life insurance rates:
Men are three times more likely than women to be involved in a traffic accident. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, men accounted for 70% of all car crash fatalities in the United States in 2009.
Men were more likely than women to engage in risky driving behavior such as not wearing a seatbelt, speeding, and driving under the influence, in addition to spending more time on the road. According to IIHS data, car crash fatalities decreased for both men (27%) and women (15%) between 1975 and 2009.
Cardiac Arrests and Heart Attacks
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men aged 35 to 44. It is the number one choice for men aged 45 to 54.
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
This can be a sneaky killer because many men have it for years and are unaware of it. Over time, high blood pressure quietly damages arteries, and the risk increases with age. Furthermore, if you are an African-American male, you are more likely to develop high blood pressure at a much younger age. Obesity or a family history of high blood pressure are also risk factors.
Beer, please! While no one can fault dad for enjoying a cold brew after a long day at work, alcohol should be consumed in moderation. Excessive alcohol consumption can also contribute to high blood pressure and a variety of serious health problems.
It is not a secret. Guys enjoy eating. However, with a big appetite comes a higher risk of high cholesterol, which can start in a man’s early 20s and continue to rise after that.
Strokes are the fifth most common cause of death in men. Most men are unable to identify even one stroke symptom.
Strokes are classified as either Ischemic (when a blood clot blocks an artery) or Hemorrhagic (when a blood vessel in the brain bursts). The most common are ischemic. Men should exercise for at least half an hour most days of the week to reduce their risk of stroke, eat a diet low in saturated fat and high in fruits and vegetables, maintain a healthy weight, and not smoke.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, affecting 90 to 95 percent of the 12 million diabetic men in the United States. Men with Type 2 diabetes produce insulin, but it is either insufficient or their bodies are unable to recognize and use it properly. Sugar (glucose) cannot enter the cells of the body to be used as fuel when insulin levels are low. When glucose accumulates in the blood rather than the cells, the body is unable to function properly.
Cancer of the Lungs
Cigarette smoking causes more than 90% of lung cancers in men. Nine out of ten cases are completely avoidable. The length and intensity of a man’s smoking history can influence his risk of developing lung cancer.
This phrase encompasses both colon and rectal cancer. Over 905 cases are reported in men over the age of 50. Family history, previous colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, smoking, diabetes, and a high-fat diet are all risk factors.
Because every man has a prostate, he is at risk for prostate problems. Enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), occurs when the prostate gland grows to an abnormally large size. The risk of developing BPD in a man increases with age. Only about one in every two men experiences BPH symptoms that necessitate treatment. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, after skin cancer. In his lifetime, one out of every six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Testicular cancer is the most serious type of testicular disease and the most common cancer in men between the ages of 18 and 35. This year, approximately 7,900 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer, accounting for 1% of all cancers in men.
Depression is number eleven.
This is a significant health risk for men. Depression affects men of all races, ages, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Every year, at least 7% of American men suffer from depression. Because men have different symptoms of depression than women, the severity may be increased because it takes them longer to seek clinical help.
A healthy diet combined with regular exercise can reduce the majority of these potential risks.
“Exercise is very important as you get older,” says Bruce Franks, a Chicago-based tennis professional and trainer. “Players who are in good condition move around the court better and their recovery time is better after they play. And when things happen like injuries, if they’re in good physical condition, they’re better able to handle them.”
“Always remember that it’s your health that buys life insurance. The premium just pays for it,” said Ashe.