YOU ASK:

What is standard life insurance? Is this a special kind of life insurance product?

WE ANSWER:

No, it is not. Standard life insurance just refers to the fact that according to the mortality tables and other related insurance tables, you merit the standard premium - or premium costs assigned to those that pose the typical risk for life insurance.

This is in contrast with rated life insurance, where a person is charged higher premiums because of the risks he presents - his health condition, his habits or his occupation and hobbies.

There are a number of factors that will determine whether you are assigned a standard life insurance premium rating or not:

  • Health condition. If you have a chronic disease such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and the like, you may not be eligible for standard premium rates. You must show that you are reasonably healthy. You should have the ideal blood pressure and body mass index and not be considered overweight. Your health history should also be excellent, with no close relatives having health conditions such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes before the age of 60.
  • Age and gender. These factors are significant in pricing the policy. Males generally have higher premiums. Also, those who are older will have more expensive premiums
  • Smoking habits. If you are a smoker, you will automatically have rated premium rates. If you have been smoking but have already stopped, the life insurance company will usually wait until five years after you have stopped smoking before they will agree to give you standard ratings.
  • You are in stable financial condition.
  • You don't indulge in dangerous or high-risk activities, sports or hobbies, such as racing, rock climbing, skydiving or cliff jumping. You should not also be involved in high-risk occupations - such as high rise window cleaning, boxing or mining.
  • You have no record and have never been treated for substance abuse (including alcohol and drugs).

Life insurance companies have varying underwriting principles, so that you may receive a standard rating in one company while another company will give you a higher risk class.

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