When you apply for life insurance, a number of factors are considered by insurers before determining your life insurance rate. One such factor is hypertension or condition of high blood pressure.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a general condition found in almost 40% of adults in US. Hypertension is the condition when an individual has above 140/90 mmHg blood pressure each time it is checked.
Why hypertension increases the rates of insurance?
Although hypertension does not have any particular symptom or immediate health problems, it has degenerative effect on heart thereby posing a future risk of heart failure or other cardio-vascular diseases. Besides this the people suffering with hypertension might develop other terminal diseases due to the increased flow of blood in various organs. Thus, the insurers charge above normal rates from people who have hypertension owing to greater possibility of health risks and death.
Common health complications known to be associated with high-blood pressure are:
- Hemorrhage of brain or nerves.
- Narrowing of blood arteries.
- Rupture or dangerous expansion of arteries.
- Eye hemorrhage or damage.
- Failure of kidneys.
- Heart attack.
- Hardening of arteries, thereby increasing the risk of rupture.
- Paralysis due to brain hemorrhage, associated with high blood pressure.
The risk of hypertension can be aggravated by various personal/ hereditary factors and lifestyle variables, thereby exposing the person with high blood pressure to more serious health risks. These factors are as follows:
- Hereditary/ Genetic factors.
- Family history of hypertension.
- Consumption of alcohol in higher quantities.
- Excessive smoking.
- High Body mass index.
- Kidney disease of diabetic condition.
- Consumption of steroids.
- Higher intake of salt.
- No or minimal exercise.
In the presence of the above factors the inherent risk of life is aggravated by manifold in a person who already suffers with hypertension. Thus, the chances of getting the best rates of life insurance for you are very minimal, if you have these additional lifestyle factors along with an increased high blood pressure.
However, one particular high reading of the blood pressure is not an indicator of hypertension. Various factors such as stress or anxiety might temporarily increase the blood pressure readings of an individual. Hypertension is said to occur when a person constantly demonstrates higher blood pressure readings. Sometimes a person might suffer from “white coat tension” i.e., their blood pressure might shoot up only under medical settings and not in other settings, and thus it is important to inform the insurer about this syndrome, if you suffer from it before labeling your blood pressure under the hypertension category.
What will be my insurance rates if I have hypertension?
As stated above, hypertension exposes an individual to greater risks of contracting some grave diseases, thereby posing a risk to his life; the insurance rates are higher than the ones which are fixed for a normal healthy individual.
However, the rates of your life insurance will not surge automatically; the degree of hypertension is taken into account while calculating the rates of insurance premium. These rates might vary from one insurer to other. Generally, following table is used to determine the rates of life insurance premium for people with different blood pressure readings:
- Preferred plus rate: To be able to qualify for this insurance premium rate, you must have a blood pressure count of 140/90mmHg or below, without any intake of medicine.
- Preferred Rate: People who have minor hypertension are given a preferred insurance rate. To qualify for preferred rate, you must have a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg with help of medications and 150/90 mmHg without any medicinal aid.
- Regular Rate: The regular rate will be applicable to you in case you have a blood pressure reading of 150/90 mmHg with medication (in case you are below 40), or 155/95 mmHg with medication (if you fall under 41-60 age group) or 160/95 mmHg (if you are 61+).
How can I improve my life insurance rate despite my blood pressure readings?
The insurers before charging you higher rates of insurance due to hypertension look for various other factors to adjudge the amount of risk that your increased high blood pressure might bring to you. They might check your complete medical history, the reasons of increase in your blood pressure, the medicines you are taking to control your blood pressure and their effectiveness, the length of your hypertension i.e., number of months or years with an increased blood pressure, steps taken by you to control or stabilize your blood pressure. Although, the condition of hypertension is seen in negative light by most of the insurers, it is possible to get better life insurance rates if your hypertension does not expose you to greater risks of various health complication, heart attack or death. In case you are a senior and suffer from hypertension, the chances of obtaining lesser rates for your life insurance are minimal; however, you might get better rates if you are following healthy lifestyle along with applying greater emphasis on controlling and stabilizing the blood pressure reading through regular exercising, medicines and regular medical checkups.
In order to obtain the minimal rates for hypertension it is necessary to do a research on various insurers and get quotes for your health condition and age. In some cases if your medication is effective and it does lower the rate of blood pressure, you might be entitled for the best rates. Thus it is important to know how various insurers will charge you for hypertension for your age and health conditions.
In case you are non-smoker and do not consume higher amounts of alcohol you might find a best rated life insurance cover. However, there are huge inconsistencies from company to company in affixing certain rates for hypertension due to increasingly high number of people diagnosed with this disease, thus it is advisable to go for an extensive research and contact greater number of insurers before buying a particular life insurance policy.