There are often some great benefits to living a healthy lifestyle. It might be tough at times and take some self-discipline, but the rewards could make this hard work worthwhile.
If you still find it tough to diet or exercise, here’s some extra motivation: being healthy might even help you save on some insurance premiums! Here are three common insurance bills that could be lowered thanks to a fit and active lifestyle.
1. Health Insurance
You may have already noticed that health insurance companies like to promote healthy living. From a business standpoint, this makes a lot of sense: Healthier customers are likely to make fewer claims.
However, looking after your health could do more than just improve the company’s bottom line—it may also help you save on health insurance premiums.
In some countries, health insurers may factor in a person’s smoking status, weight, or body mass index when calculating their premiums. These characteristics often give a good indication of whether someone is at risk for major health issues for which they may need costly, ongoing care (such as heart disease or diabetes).
Therefore, non-smokers who maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise could enjoy lower health insurance premiums, because they may be less likely to make expensive claims.
Leading a healthy lifestyle could also help you save should you ever need to switch to another insurance policy. Some companies may charge higher premiums to those with pre-existing conditions that can be caused by lifestyle choices, like high cholesterol. In some cases, treatment for certain conditions may be excluded altogether, potentially leaving you out of pocket for expensive medications, treatments, or hospital stays.
2. Life Insurance
Like health insurance, life insurance policies often ask customers health-related questions to determine the premiums they will pay. Depending on the type of policy you choose, your overall health and lifestyle could help you save money when buying cover.
There are two basic types of life insurance policies: guaranteed acceptance and underwritten. Policies that guarantee acceptance (including funeral cover) are generally offered to anyone meeting any age restrictions, regardless of their medical history.
Guaranteed acceptance policies typically don’t ask detailed questions regarding your health or medical history when purchasing, though non-smokers may be eligible for lower premiums. This means that premiums for these policies could be relatively high for some customers, because the insurer can only assess an individual’s “risk” in a general sense.
For bigger potential savings, underwritten life insurance may be a better option. The application process takes more time and will include questions about your medical history, lifestyle and current health. Healthy individuals may be less likely to die prematurely because of conditions like heart disease, obesity or diabetes. As a result, life insurers are often able to extend lower premiums to healthier customers.
Improving your health could help you save money on your current life insurance policy. Your insurer may let you update information regarding smoker status, weight or body mass index and recalculate your premiums. If not, a healthier lifestyle may put you in a better position should you decide to switch policies or companies.
3. Car Insurance
Health and life insurance savings are more directly tied to certain lifestyle choices, but staying fit and active may help you slash your car insurance bill as well. It all comes down to when and how you drive your car.
Car insurance premiums in some countries are partly based on how many kilometres are driven in a year. Driving less usually means lower premiums, as infrequent drivers may be less likely to get into an accident. Walking or cycling to work, school or the shops could help keep your vehicle’s yearly mileage low. This could not only help you save money on car insurance, but could help keep you fit and healthy—possibly improving those health and life insurance savings as well!
If you’ve been driving your car significantly less than last year, it may be worth letting your insurer know. There are many factors used to calculate car insurance premiums, but they may be able to offer you a better deal if you are driving less. You might be able to boost your savings even more if your car is securely parked in a garage when it’s not in use.
Make the most of the savings
Lowering your insurance premiums could add hundreds of dollars (or more!) to your bank account each year. Improving or maintaining your current health may help make this a reality. However, there are things you may want to keep in mind before getting started.
Any major changes to your diet or exercise routine may need to be discussed with your doctor first. They can provide advice based on your medical history. Setting achievable goals based on realistic time frames may help any positive changes you decide to make stick long term.
It’s also important to tell the truth when taking out insurance or when asking an insurer to reassess your policy. Lying on an application may save money in the short term, but could backfire. Claims can be denied if it’s discovered that you intentionally (or unintentionally) mislead the insurer when purchasing. This could leave you or your family out of pocket for medical expenses or funeral costs, or leave loved ones financially vulnerable after your death.
Looking after your health is important, and could even help you save money each month. Consider getting a checkup from your doctor to see how your body measures up. You may be on your way to lower health, life or car insurance premiums!