As you look for insurance quotes, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and frustrated with how complicated things seem. If you know what factors will affect your quote you will understand what you’re seeing and how to get the best quote possible.
How insurance companies make decisions
One of the complicating factors in getting Medicare quotes is understanding that different companies will weigh factors differently. What stays the same is the basic process: all your information goes into a calculator to create a unique risk profile for you.
While every company uses a slightly different set of standards and calculations, there are some risk factors that you can be sure every company will take seriously. Some factors aren’t under your control; others you can work on to bring your costs down.
Body mass index
If you have a high body mass index, you will, on average, end up with higher insurance premiums than those with a BMI considered “normal.” This is because a high BMI is associated with a lot of medical issues that can be costly, like diabetes, heart problems, and high-risk pregnancies.
If you use tobacco in any form, you will almost certainly see a higher quote. If you smoke now, or if you have only recently quit smoking, your risk of developing serious health issues is higher than it would otherwise be, and that will be reflected in the quotes you get.
People in certain jobs are at higher risk of injury or illness than others. For instance, if you work around radiation or chemicals, you may see higher premium quotes. If you have a very sedentary job you may also see higher quotes unless you offset this with an active lifestyle.
No one knows why this is, but married people live longer and are usually healthier than their single peers. The health benefits of marriage are more profound for men, so unmarried men see the biggest bump in premiums here.
Lack of previous insurance
If you have never had insurance, or if you let your coverage lapse for a while, most companies will be concerned. They will worry that you were refused insurance previously because of high risk or that you have been waiting until you fell ill to get insurance.
It is just a matter, of course, that younger people are, all other things being equal, less likely to become ill or to have an undiagnosed condition. As we age and put our bodies through more wear and tear, we are more susceptible to illness. Of course, if a person is under a certain age they may have slightly higher quotes because they are more likely to be involved in accidents.
Where you live
Believe it or not, your quote may change depending on where you live. People tend to be like their community, so if you live in a community where people tend to exercise and eat well, insurers know you likely have the same habits. If your neighbors are all sedentary and love fast food, you may be more inclined to do the same.
If your family has a strong history of a certain condition, such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease, even if you are perfectly healthy when you apply, you have a greater risk of also developing these problems.
Recent changes in regulations mean that under most conditions you can’t be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions or because of them. However, you may still see higher premium quotes if you have a condition that could require expensive treatment or cause problems.
Most insurance applications will be interested in your exercise habits. If you belong to a gym or can otherwise demonstrate that you regularly take care of your health in this way, you may see lower insurance premium quotes.