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Life Insurance Rate Classes

February 16, 2012

The Truth About Life Insurance Rate Classes

If you have ever applied for life insurance, you were assigned one of the life insurance rate classes. Based on the ratings classification assigned to each individual, insurance companies will typically make an offer or even decline a person. So, just what do these ratings classifications mean?

Typically, life insurance rate classes are based on your medical examination and medical history, if any were taken. Although each insurance company is a little bit different in their classification system, they do have some basic things in common.

Preferred Plus Non-Tobacco for Life Insurance Rate Classes

Preferred Plus, or what is sometimes referred to as Preferred Best or Super Preferred, is normally life insurance rate classes with the lowest rates. Some of the requirements for achieving this rating class may include:

• A Negative family history for death from cancer and heart disease before age 60 or 65.
• Negative tobacco use for 3 to 5 years. (Depending on the insurance company)
• A Blood pressure reading of 130/80 or less.
• A cholesterol reading of 200 or less.
• Negative cancer or cardiovascular history.
• No convictions for driving a while under the influence (DWI).
• No more than two vehicular moving violations within three years.
• Falls within normal ranges for height and weight measurements.

Preferred Non-Tabacco

Requirements for this life insurance rate classes are slightly less rigid. They may include for life insurance rate classes:

• One death or less of a sibling or parent prior to the age of 60.
• Negative tobacco use for 3 to 5 years.(this may fluctuate depending on the life insurance company and some companies might allow mild cigar use or chewing tobacco)
• Total cholesterol is raised up to a level of 240.
• The height and weight ratio may also be a bit more liberal in this classification depending on the company.

Standard Plus Non-Tobacco

These guidelines include:

• No nicotine use for the last year
• Normal or controlled blood pressure (depending on age)
• Cholesterol levels cannot exceed 280 with or without treatments
• History of mental illness or depression is acceptable
• No cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular or coronary artery disease history
• No alcohol or drug abuse in the last 10 years
• Some hazardous hobbies may be accepted

Standard Non-Tabacco

These guidelines include:

• No nicotine use for the last year
• Normal or controlled blood pressure
• Cholesterol levels cannot exceed 280
• History of mental illness or depression is acceptable
• Cancer history may be acceptable
• No alcohol or drug abuse in the last seven years
• Some hazardous hobbies may be accepted

Preferred Smoker

Classifications guidelines include:

• Pipe and cigar usage accepted
• Cigarettes may or may not be accepted
• No blood pressure history
• Cholesterol levels not to exceed 230
• No family history of cardiovascular or cancer related death before age 60
• No history of DUI
• No history of mental illness
• Some hazardous activities may be acceptable

Standard Smoker

• Use of any tobacco product acceptable
• Otherwise meets the health and lifestyle guidelines set for standard non-smoker classification

Extra Rates or Table Ratings

In the event that you do not fall into the above categories, you may be offered something known as a “rated” life insurance policy. Life Insurance Companies understand that there are higher risks that should be dealt with individually. They have developed extra tables to assign a certain percentage of increase in the insurance rate depending on the issue at hand. Table ratings can range from one to 10. Whole life Insurance table ratings will differ from term life insurance.

As mentioned before, these requirements may differ from company to company it is important that you research the insurance companies and ask for your estimated life insurance rate classes before choosing a life insurance company.

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