Health Literacy

Are You Making Severe Mistakes with Your Life Insurance?

Health Insurance

People often overestimate how hard it is for a life insurance company to find out what you’re doing in your everyday life. Why am I opening with this line? Because there are an alarming amount of people who think that getting life insurance is the end of worrying about life insurance. If you’ve already got the premium for your life insurance, then surely you can do what you want now, right?

But just because you’ve got your life insurance sorted out, it doesn’t mean you can no longer do any wrong. If it comes to light that you’re doing something dangerous or breaking the law, your life insurance will be affected. If something terrible happens to you and it’s found out that you had potentially put yourself in that position? This will also affect your life insurance. At any point, the cover amount upon which you’ve agreed with your insurance company can be decreased. You can also be compelled to start paying higher rates. In the worst case, your life insurance may be invalidated completely.

So what are the most common dangers people place upon their life insurance policies?

A smoking habit

I’m going to assume that I don’t need to list out the dangers of smoking to you. You already know smoking affects pretty much everything: flexibility, breathing, even thinking. But let’s say you weren’t a smoker back when you got the life insurance policy. You only took it up after you got the policy. In this case, it can actually be pretty difficult for you life insurance company to find out that you’re a smoker.

But if something happens to you as a result of that smoking habit, then your life insurance company will find out. A medical professional will be able to assess that you were smoking, and will be compelled to inform your insurance company. Let’s say you get the most obvious of the smoking risks: cancer. With that cancer being linked to your smoking, your coverage will be severely affected. And here’s where you must remember the amount of things that can kill you that can be linked directly to smoking. Heart disease, respiratory failures – many common causes of death. And let’s say the insurance company find themselves unable to tell for 100% sure that you weren’t smoking when you signed up for the policy. Then you could find your coverage being affected by a suspicion of fraud.

How you drive

The statistics make it clear. Vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death and injury in urban locations. Is it any wonder that your life insurance company are going to want to know about your driving habits and mistakes for as long as you’re behind a wheel?

Here’s something that a lot of drivers forget. When you break the law or injure yourself on the road, the courts can make the issue known to your insurance company. And that’s not limited merely to issues that either caused death or nearly caused death. Getting points on your license indicates that you’re, in some shape or form, becoming a more dangerous driver. And when you’re a dangerous driver, you’re going to affect your life insurance. Never underestimate the correlations between changes in your life insurance and your driving record.

Weight gain

Since the 1970s, obesity in America has more than doubled. Claims about obesity being the biggest cause of death in the world are definitely exaggerated. But there’s no doubt that it’s a leading cause of deaths that could have been avoided.

If you start gaining weight to a dangerous degree, then there’s pretty much not a single type of insurance that won’t be affected as a result. Driving, home and life insurance can all be affected by obesity. Obesity can be linked to common causes of death even more easily than smoking. This, of course, makes you a bigger risk when it comes to insurance companies having to pay out. It’s also the hardest thing to hide on this entire list, so you’re almost guaranteed to run into problems with your life insurance policy.

Extreme hobbies or occupation

People are willing to pay a lot of prices for the ultimate adrenalin rush. But having a hobby that puts your life at risk could affect your life insurance policy. The problem for insurance companies is that it can be quite hard for them to find out you enjoy hang gliding or off-road racing as a pastime! The chances are that they’d only find out if you were to suffer a serious injury whilst engaging in the hobby.

Of course, if your day job becomes something dangerous, then that will be harder to hide. If you start a job as, say, a construction worker or a police officer, then your insurance company will discover this eventually.

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Beth Jones is a valued contributor to various blogs.

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