If you’ve received your insurance policy for your final review, you may notice that the carrier has your age listed as one year older on your official application paperwork, even though your birthday is accurate. No need to worry – it’s just because some insurance carriers look at your age a bit differently than most people.

Actual Age vs. Nearest Age

When a client applies for life insurance, carriers use one of two different numbers to keep track of their client’s age. The first way they see a person’s age is their “Actual Age,” which is how we look at our own age normally. When a carrier uses actual age, once you reach your 30th birthday, for example, they see you as 30 years old for the entire year until the day of your 31st birthday – then you’re 31.

The second way that carriers see the age of their clients is “Nearest Age,” and this is where things get a little tricky. Your nearest age is determined by the birthday that you’re closest to, even if it hasn’t happened yet. For example, if you’re 30 years old, but you’re only 4 months away from your 31st birthday, you’re actually closer to being 31 than 30. This means that carriers that use your nearest age will offer you prices for 31-year-olds.

Due to the underwriting and pricing requirements that carriers need in order to issue an approval, certain carriers use actual age for their applications, while others use nearest age – they never use both. In some situations, “actual age” carriers offer better prices than “nearest age” carriers, and vice versa. This is one of the reasons why some carriers show significant price differences over their competitors when you run a quote. If you’ve noticed that your carrier lists your age as one year older on your official paperwork, they are most likely using your nearest age to complete their paperwork.

Thankfully, it’s not your job to know which carriers use nearest age. When you run a quote on Quotacy, we always ask for your date of birth before we show you a list of prices. Since we know which carriers use which age measurement system, using your birthday lets us give you the correct price ranges for each carrier when you run your quote. Additionally, when you’re approved for a policy, we’ll always give you accurate prices that match the age the carrier sees.


Photo credit to: Kiran Foster


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