You eat well, exercise daily, and in general, lead a health lifestyle. Qualifying for life insurance should be pretty easy! There is that little issue of a chronic lead foot in your re-created General Lee and multiple speeding tickets but hey…you’re Vegan! Driving record definitely affects your ability to qualify for life insurance and the resulting rate that life insurance company will offer you. Let’s find out if your driving impacts might impact life insurance options.
Life insurance companies will consider anything that impacts life insurance actuarial tables and likely dismiss anything that has no affect. Actuarial data just refers to what attributes that a person can exhibit which has an impact on the chances of them passing away early (or earlier than average). Some items are obvious. Take smoking for example. There’s a direct correlation between smoking and mortality (passing away early) via many diseases such as heart disease, lung disease, various cancers, and stroke. That makes sense that the life insurance company will consider smoking and consequently increase the rate charged for an individual who uses tobacco products. What about a person’s driving habits?
Definitely and for the same reason as smoking. How you drive has a direct impact on the chances of getting in a car accident which is a killer. Accidents are typically in the top four list for causes of death in the U.S. and car accidents rank 3rd as the cause of death for men. Based on 2005 statistics, death in motor vehicle accidents ranked 1st amount various types of accidents. This is definitely something the life insurance company will want to reduce the risk for and a person’s driving record has a direct impact. Let’s break out how the life company views different reflections of a person’s driving record.
All other life insurance health class requirements being equal, you can usually qualify for the best tier if you have had no more three moving violations in the last three years. You should also not have had a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in the last five years. Usually the next tier down charges a fixed amount (if the carrier offers this option) if you have more than 3 moving violations and/or a DUI in the last 5 years. For the standard health class, you cannot have more than 2 moving violations in the last 3 years and no record of DUI or reckless driving in the past 2 years. Keep in mind that this is only for your driving history and does not consider other health issues that you may have.
One take away from all this is that time can help in terms of qualifying for life insurance with a more “active” driving history. Sometimes we just need time away from our own driving history in order to obtain life coverage. Please contact us if you feel your driving record will impact eligibility and/or rates. We may look at more lenient life policies that offer some immediately benefit with the option to expand later on. We don’t want to wait a few years and then apply since we’re going without coverage during that time and Murphy’s Law is one you don’t want to break with life insurance. For questionable driving records, the better approach is to lock in the best coverage possible that stays within your budget and the re-evaluate later on to see if we can get a better rate by replacing the existing life coverage or lock in a hybrid life insurance from the beginning which usually has an easier underwriting for the initial step. As life insurance brokers, our value is that we can take your situation and quickly figure out which approach is better on the tail end of a more challenging driving record.