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When you'e looking to take out life insurance coverage, the way that life insurance companies work out your rates depends on which life insurance rate class you fit into and this is where your life and medical history come into the picture.

Your general overall health plays a big part in how the insurance rate classes are assigned and obviously your weight, height and lifestyle will all have an impact on the rate class you will fit into. Someone who is vastly overweight and who is also a heavy smoker will be in a completely different rate class to someone who enjoys keeping fit and who has never smoked.

These insurance rate classes also look at other medical factors like blood pressure and cholesterol problems and also take into account whether there has been any family history of heart problems. If you have a poor driving record and have moving violations, a DUI or reckless driving noted on it, this will also have an impact on which insurance rate class you come under.

Most insurance companies have several different rate classes such as Preferred Plus, Preferred, Standard Plus, Standard and Sub Standard and usually work by making some general assumptions about you and your lifestyle in general and then by asking some standardized questions.

From this information they are then able to give you a rough idea of which rate class you are likely to fit into. Although every company has its own way of assessing which life insurance rate class its clients are likely to fit into, these are some of the guidelines they use:

Medical HistoryRate Class
 Preferred PlusPreferredStandard
Height & WeightMaximum height/weight
Maximum height/weight
Maximum height/weight
Tobacco UseNo tobacco use in the past 5 yearsNo tobacco use in the past 3 years (only for preferred non-smoker)No tobacco use in the last year (only for non-smoker)
Blood Pressure
(Upper Limits)
140/90 without medication140/90 with medication or 150/90 without medication150/90 with medication or 155/95 if age 41-60 or 160/95 if age 61 or higher
Cholesterol
(Upper Limits)
230 without medication and HDL ratio under 5.0250 with or without medication and HDL ratio under 7.0300 with or without medication and HDL ratio under 8.0
Family HistoryNo parents or siblings diagnosed with heart disease/cancer before age 60No parents or siblings died of heart disease/cancer before age 60Not applicable
Alcohol/Substance AbuseNo historyNo history in the past 10 yearsNo history in the past 7 years
Driving RecordNo more than 2 moving violations in the past 3 years and
No DUI/reckless driving in past 5 years
No more than 2 moving violations in the past 2 years and
No DUI/reckless driving in past 5 years
No more than 2 moving violations in the past 1 year and
No DUI/reckless driving in past 2 years
Foreign TravelVaries by companyVaries by companyVaries by company
CitizenshipU.S. resident for past 3 years (or permanent visa/green card)U.S. resident for past 3 years (or permanent visa/green card)U.S. resident for past 3 years (or permanent visa/green card)

When you're looking for life insurance, if you have any health issues at all it is always best to speak with an expert in this field. Here at Rootfin, we take a different approach to life insurance coverage and the way in which we assess which life insurance rate class a client fits into.

As an independent and totally impartial company, Rootfin, offers life insurance coverage in over 50 states and we also represent over 60 life insurance providers. We take pride in our approach to customer care and always strive to provide the best service we can, every relationship we try to build with each of our prospective clients is built on trust and an understanding of their individual needs.

We have a team of experienced life insurance advisors always on hand and they will know exactly what questions to ask to find out which life insurance rate class you come under and also advise you on the best way to prepare yourself for a life insurance medical examination.

Obviously, also, the most important point is that once they have asked all of the questions and have all of the information, they can then give you the most favorable quotes from the best life insurance companies.

It is very important that the answers you give to their questions are honest and truthful as to be sure of getting the best possible level of cover at the best price, the agent will need the true facts. If you lie or try to conceal any important facts, the quote that they provide will be inaccurate and unsuitable to your needs.

In order for our experienced agents to build a true picture of your lifestyle and insurance needs, it is very important to give as much detail about your health history as you can.  So even if you have mild asthma or mild sleep apnea, please disclose it.

It is only by having all of the information about your health history that we are able to truly assess the correct rate class to ensure that you have the correct level of cover required.

By not giving all of the details and facts, or indeed trying to hide them in any way, the quote that is provided may not be in the correct rate bracket and will not provide an adequate level of coverage.   

If you already have sensibly taken out life insurance coverage, our experienced agents can review your policy to ensure that the life insurance rate class you have for your policy is correct and also that the premium rate you are paying is not too high.

At Rootfin, we can say with complete confidence that all of our clients will have the best possible life insurance coverage deal available, one which will be ideally tailored and suited to their individual circumstances.

About Jeff Root

is the owner of rootfin.com. He's an independent life insurance agent who has helped 1,000's of consumers purchase life insurance online and over the phone.

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