After you complete your application through Quotacy we send it along to the life insurance company you chose.  Each life insurance company has a team of underwriters that review the applications, medical exam results and, if necessary, past medical history records, credit reports and driving records.  Through this underwriting process they assign each applicant to a risk class and determine whether to approve, deny, or post-pone a life insurance application.  These risk classes help determine how much you pay in premiums.  Essentially, the closest to “Preferred Plus” you are, the cheaper your premiums will be.

The typical risk classifications are:

  • Preferred Plus
  • Preferred
  • Standard Plus
  • Standard
  • Preferred Tobacco
  • Standard Tobacco

Life insurance companies underwrite the individual, not just the impairment.  They review every aspect of your application to determine the best possible risk classification.  The life insurance industry is extremely competitive, so a company is not going to rate you poorly just to make more money from your premiums.  They know at any time you can choose a different company offering better rates, so they work hard to be fair and stay competitive within the industry.

It’s important to mention that each life insurance company follows a different set of underwriting guidelines, so while Insurance Company A will offer a Preferred rating to an applicant who was in an alcohol treatment facility 10 years ago, Insurance Company B may want to wait until it’s been 15 years since treatment and only offer Standard.  This is one example of why choosing to apply through Quotacy is to your benefit.  We work with multiple A-rated (or better) life insurance carriers and can shop your application to help you get the rates you deserve.

Again, keeping in mind that all impairments are rated differently between companies, here’s an idea of which class you may be assigned to based on a some common factors.  The chart below by no means includes all factors an underwriter will review.  Impairments are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with consideration to your age, gender, family history, and whether or not you have more than one issue to assess.

Insurance Company A
Non-Tobacco Classes
Preferred Plus Preferred Standard Plus Standard

 Blood Pressure

Currently well controlled with or without treatment, with the average readings in the past two years not greater than 136/86. Currently well controlled with or without treatment, with the average readings in the past two years not greater than 146/90. Currently well controlled with or without treatment, with the average readings in the past two years not greater than 152 / 92. Currently well controlled with or without treatment, with the average readings in the past two years not greater than 156 / 94.

 Cancer History

Only available on certain types of skin cancer. Only available on certain types of skin cancer. Available depending on type and date of onset of cancer. Available depending on type and date of onset of cancer.

 Driving History

No more than 2 moving violations in last 3 years. No DWI, DUI, reckless driving, license revocation or suspension in last 5 years. No more than 2 moving violations in last 3 years. No DWI, DUI, reckless driving, license revocation or suspension in last 5 years. No more than 3 moving violations in last 3 years. No DWI, DUI, reckless driving, license revocation or suspension in the last 3 years. No more than 4 moving violations in last 3 years. No DWI, DUI, reckless driving, license revocation or suspension in the last 2 years.

 Citizenship

Must be permanent U.S. resident for past 3 years and either U.S. citizen or have permanent Visa or Green Card. Must be permanent U.S. resident for past 3 years and either U.S. citizen or have permanent Visa or Green Card. Must be permanent U.S. resident for past 2 years and either U.S. citizen or have permanent Visa or Green Card. Must be permanent U.S. resident for past 2 years and either U.S. citizen or have permanent Visa or Green Card.

 Substance/
Alcohol Abuse

No abuse. No abuse in past 10 years. No abuse in the past 7 years. No abuse in the past 7 years.

 Tobacco Use

No use of tobacco or nicotine-based products in last 36 months. One cigar allowed per month with HO specimen negative for cotinine. No use of tobacco or nicotine-based products in last 24 months. One cigar allowed per month with HO specimen negative for cotinine. (For Preferred non-tobacco.) No use of tobacco or nicotine-based products in last 12 months. One cigar allowed per month with HO specimen negative for cotinine. No use of tobacco or nicotine-based products in last 12 months. One cigar allowed per month with HO specimen negative for cotinine (for Standard non-tobacco.)

The above chart does not include Tobacco use ratings.  Essentially, if you are offered “Preferred Tobacco” this means that after reviewing your health, family history, and lifestyle habits, the underwriters would have rated you “Preferred or Preferred Plus” if it wasn’t for that smoking habit.  Same goes for “Standard Tobacco” and “Standard or Standard Plus.”

If you see something you can relate to on the chart, please note that these are just possible ratings that a certain condition may fall into.  All applications are reviewed very carefully and many factors go into the underwriters’ decision-making.

Your Quotacy team will work hard to help you find great coverage, keep you updated along the way, and offer any suggestions that may better your chances of getting your policy approved efficiently.   Get a term life insurance quote today and see what your life insurance premiums may cost.  It’s easy, anonymous, and the first step in financial protection for your loved ones.

 

Photo credit to: GotCredit

 

Related Posts:

What is a “Risk Class” and How Does it Affect Me?

Life Insurance for Tobacco, Nicotine, and Marijuana Users

Reasons Companies May Raise Your Life Insurance Costs

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