The New Year is just around the corner. Soon it is the time again for New Year resolutions and the most popular ones have to do with improving our health, such as stop smoking, go easy on the booze, exercise more, eat plenty of veggies and more.
If you have busted your last years’ resolutions, don’t worry, there is always next year to try again. If you have managed to stick to them – congratulations! But here is the thing: A healthier lifestyle not only makes you look better, it also significantly reduces the risk of miserable and costly diseases such as stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and even depression.
Is being less sick also better for your wallet?
If you are sick less often, your insurance company won’t need to pay out so much for your healthcare. The crucial question however is – will your insurer pass these cost savings on to you?
It would be nice if we could change our lifestyle, then call the insurance company and say “right, I quit smoking – now charge me less!” Unfortunately, with most insurers it doesn’t work like that; your health insurance renewal premiums are recalculated based on how much you’ve claimed in previous years (and your age) and sometimes the loss record of the pool of people that you are part of.
However, there is cause for hope, that lifestyle changes may eventually lead more directly to lower life and health insurance premiums; the insurance industry is becoming more proactive in encouraging people to exercise and live healthier, to the point where it may actually reward you financially for getting in shape.
Would you report activity data to an insurer?
Some life and health insurers are experimenting with incentives to promote leading healthier lifestyles. If you are willing to track and report your activity (such as distance walked or jogged, blood pressure, cholesterol level), depending on the insurance company, you may be able to get discount on your renewal premiums or a get a variety of benefits such as cinema tickets, drinks at Starbucks (which seem to cost about the same, these days) to significant discounts on flights. Also discounted gym membership, spa days, and other products designed to improve personal health and well-being are offered. The philosophy is that by reporting your habits and current wellbeing, you’ll become more self-aware, and make improvements.
How to save money on your insurance premium?
There are several ways in which you can affect how much you pay for insurance. Obviously, the healthier you are, the more favorable premium you receive from an insurer. Getting fit and living a healthier lifestyle are central to improved health. If you smoke, you need to stop which can reduce your premiums by as much as 50%. Conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure are key factors in determining your life and health insurance premium rate. Regular exercise and healthier eating are the best ways to lower both. Some insurers allow for a re-evaluation if your premium rating was affected by your blood pressure or cholesterol count. If your insurer does not allow for that, try applying to a new company. If you are in better health, you are likely to save money if you qualify for a preferred rate.
So the answer to the question is – yes, switching to a healthy lifestyle can save you money on your insurance premium – but in the long term. It’s a cumulative benefit over years, rather than an instant discount. Think of it as a long-term investment as your improved health leads to fewer claims as the years go by.
Try it out and look at an International Health Insurance Policy or another other personal insurance policy.