With life insurance, many of us just accept the fact that the premiums are set at the outset, and that once they are locked in, you are stuck.
The good news is that this isn’t always the case.
It’s actually possible for you to contact your insurance company when your risk profile changes and negotiate a better monthly premium. This applies to term life insurance and permanent life insurance.
If you have been making positive changes in your life, consider asking for a reassessment to see if you are eligible for lower premiums.
When to Renegotiate Your Life Insurance
You don’t want to ask for a reassessment immediately after opening your policy. Instead, you want to wait for at least two years (or longer, depending on your policy). Find out what the “contestable period” is for your life insurance policy. Many life insurance policies have a contestable period of two years.
This contestable period represents the time during which the insurer can challenge information you disclose. You want to wait until after this period is past because if your reassessment efforts backfire and things look worse, you could see your premiums jacked up. After the contestable period, if things look worse, you can keep your current terms. So you won’t lose out by attempting to renegotiate.
Also, realize that most insurers won’t consider renegotiating your premiums unless you have maintained your positive lifestyle changes for at least a year.
So, if you want to ask for a lower insurance rate because you quit smoking, you need to be cigarette free for at least a year. The same is true if you lose weight (you have to keep it off), or change from a high-risk job (like construction or long-haul truck driving) to something that is considered safer.
So, after the contestable period is over, and if you have maintained a healthier lifestyle for at least a year, that is the time to ask for a reassessment.
How to Ask for Your Life Insurance Premium Reassessment
Your life insurance premium is based on actuarial tables that attempt to predict when you are likely to die. If there is a risk that you will die sooner, rather than later, due to health conditions, your job, and a host of other factors, then you will be charged a higher premium.
Some of the things that result in higher life insurance premiums are actions that you can change. When you quit smoking or drinking heavily, or when you lose weight, your risk profile changes.
The life insurance company feels better about reducing your premium because you are more likely to live longer — and pay enough that your premiums (and what the company earns from investing them) can offset your death benefit. With term insurance, your healthier lifestyle can mean that the chances of you outliving the policy increase.
You will need to prove that these changes have been made in order to successfully receive a reassessment.
You will need to undergo more medical tests, and they will need to show progress that has been maintained for at least a year. So this means that you should offer medical records, as well as possibly submit to another health test that includes blood and urine testing.
If you want to renegotiate on the basis of a newer, safer job, you will need proof of your job change, and that you have persisted in your new job for at least a year.
Contact your life insurance agent and ask about the process associated with reassessment.
Each company’s policies are a little different. You might need to fill out some paperwork, or sign a new policy.
Get an idea of the process, and ask how the new quote is handled, and how it becomes “official.” If you let your insurance agent know you want to renegotiate your premium based on your improved risk profile, he or she can probably help you work out the details.
When you approach your life insurance premium the right way, it’s possible to have it reduced if your risk profile has changed significantly. And, if you are careful to wait until the contestable period has passed, you have very little lose, even if the results aren’t what you had hoped for.