10 Factors That Impact Life Insurance Premium


Factors such as lifestyle, age, geographical location, gender, health conditions etc will affect the quotes you get from life insurance companies, suppose you are purchasing a life insurance plan for yourself or a family member.

For instance, the life insurance premium is lower for 20-year-old Lillian than the 70-year-old Sharon. Similarly, a healthy Joshua with no medical conditions will get a cheaper quote than Rose who has been battling with cardiovascular-related ailment for five years.

Your situation will determine the premium and having an understanding of the cost of a life insurance coverage would let you have a picture of what you’ll most likely get before applying for one.

This poster summarily describes the list of factors that affect the cost you will get for a life insurance coverage

Here are the factors that affect the cost of life insurance coverage:

Your lifestyle

Insurance companies will generally charge higher premiums for smokers and excessive alcohol drinkers because these kinds of lifestyles will generally impact your health.

Even tobacco manufacturing companies make it a habit to warn smokers that they are most likely to die young.

Smoking or taking drinks with a high percentage of alcohol are not the only lifestyle that could trigger health challenges for you, drug abuse or any form of drug misuse could trigger higher premium rates.

The length of coverage

If you subscribe to whole life insurance coverage, you will be charged more. If you want the most affordable one, then you should not rule out term life insurance coverage. So, the length of coverage is a big factor that will determine the cost of life insurance premiums.

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Similarly, the type of life insurance coverage you subscribe to can also affect the life insurance plan’s premium.


The younger you are the chances are that you’d live longer and vice versa. A younger applicant is believed to have a longer life expectancy.

Older people are medically believed to have lower life expectancy. The younger the policyholder, the lower the life insurance premium and the premium increases the older the policyholder grows.

Your age would determine the monthly life insurance quotes you get from the insurer. This isn’t discrimination, but a reality and life insurance companies generally work with data.


In most cases, life insurance premiums are lower for women than their male counterparts because several clinical and gender research has shown that women live longer than men.

According to the Population Reference Bureau (PFB), women’s higher longevity than men could be attributed to the presence of estrogen in women which helps them fight against, “conditions such as heart disease by helping reduce circulatory levels of harmful cholesterol,” and have stronger immune systems than men.

In another editorial cum research by Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, former clinical chief of the division of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), writes, “57% of all those ages 65 and older are female. By age 85, 67% are women,” concluding that women’s average lifespan “is about 5 years longer for women than men in the U.S., and about 7 years longer worldwide”.

Using life expectancy with gender as a factor, women pay less premium for life insurance coverage than men.

Criminal record

If your record shows that you’ve been involved in gun violence and convicted multiple times, or you’re awaiting trial or in jail, you’ll likely be rejected when you apply for life insurance coverage.

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Even when there is enough evidence that you’ve turned a new leaf, insurance companies will likely give you higher insurance quotes because you’d be considered a high-risk.

Health conditions

Before you get life insurance quotes, insurance companies will usually request your medical record or have a designated laboratory to collect blood and urine samples to examine your conditions.

If the test shows that you have certain health conditions, you’re considered riskier to insure because you or your family member might be filing a life insurance claim sooner.

Medical tests aren’t the only data they use, with your permission they might also access your drug prescription record to have an idea of the kind of ailment you’re battling.

So, common health conditions that might affect the cost of life insurance coverage include (but are not limited) to the following:

  • Hypertension
  • Cancer
  • Visual impairment
  • High cholesterol
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular-related issues etc

In countries such as the U.K., Canada, and the U.S. life insurance companies might also look at your body mass index (BMI) and family medical history.

If a disease runs in your lineage or family, the chances of suffering from such disease is higher, you would be charged a higher premium because you’d be considered a high-risk policyholder.

Poor credit rating record

Your financial record is a factor in the cost of life insurance coverage. If, for example, a reporting agency or credit bureau record shows that your credit rating is poor as a result of past default on loans and other credit facilities or you are bankrupt, your application for life insurance coverage may be declined.

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Geographical location

Life expectancy varies from country to country. For instance, 76.4 years is the life expectancy in the United States 2021, according to data from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But in developing economies, it is lower. For instance, the 2021 life expectancy for Nigerians was 55.12 years, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Why does it matter?

Life insurance companies operating in the U.S. and Nigeria may not use the same percentage to calculate the cost of life insurance coverage in these two locations.

Also, a Nigerian who relocated to the U.S. might see a slight change in the cost of life insurance coverage he gets because a U.S. citizen (at birth) has a better life expectancy than a Nigerian at birth.


If you’re a logging worker, flight engineer, derrick operator in an oil company, roofer, or you’re a garbage collector, you’re considered to be a high-risk worker. You would pay more for a life insurance premium.

Industrial Safety and Hygiene News (ISHN) reports that at least 111 out of 100,000 logging workers get fatal injury while 46 in 100,000 derrick operators are prone to fate injury.

Driving record

If you have a poor Driving Under Influence (DUIs) record and your record shows that you’ve been convicted in the past for reckless driving, or you had your driving licence revoked for driving violations, you will most likely be charged a higher rate.


While life insurance is a great option to plan for after-life events and secure the future of your loved ones, the aforementioned factors such as medical history, occupation, your age, and ailment history will impact whatever life insurance plan you choose.

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