Health Trackers Can Lower Insurance Premiums


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By Katie Thompson

on Thursday 27 June 2019


Wrist with fitness tracking device

We all know that there’s an obvious link between health and life insurance in the UK. But one bit of life insurance advice that may come as a shock is the use of fitness trackers to reduce life insurance quotes.

What is a fitness tracker?

You’ve probably noticed the growing trend of wearable fitness devices. These can be anything from an Apple Watch and a Fitbit, to a heart monitor worn underneath your shirt.

The aim of this wearable technology is simple – to measure your heart rate and physical activity.

Some trackers can go even further than this, measuring distance for running or cycling, as well as tracking sleep and key biometrics (such as blood sugar or cholesterol). For this reason, these little gadgets have inadvertently become a key player in determining life insurance premiums.

The link between your fitness tracker and health insurance

You’ll typically find health insurance based on fitness, and with an activity tracker, insurance companies can get a general idea of how well you take care of yourself.

Studies show that just 150 minutes of activity per week can add, on average, 3.4 years to a person’s life expectancy.

In addition, regular exercise is linked with a reduced risk for 13 different types of cancer. One of the leading causes of cancer is obesity-related conditions, so maintaining a healthy weight with diet and exercise is just one way to keep your providers happy.

What will a life insurance provider want to know?

Predominantly, life insurance providers are interested in your average number of steps, heart rate and blood pressure. Anything that is an indicator of cardiovascular exercise will help to secure lower insurance premiums.

Of course, if your fitness tracker is more advanced, you may want to inform your provider of other biometrics such as your blood sugar, which could be an indicator of potential diseases such as diabetes.

Ultimately, however, what you tell your insurer is entirely up to you – but being open and honest may work in your favour (providing you’re healthy!).

The best fitness trackers for life insurance

Fitbit

With its sleep tracking features, together with steps, calories and distance travelled, a Fitbit provides a comprehensive view of your health – not just your activity.

Garmin

The Garmin watch is ideal for runners, tracking your position through GPS and keeping score of your heart rate as you run.

Apple Watch

In addition to tracking your fitness, the Apple Watch syncs with other Apple products to provide notifications, make calls and more. You can also sync it with the Health app to measure additional biometrics.

What is the average life insurance cost per month?

In the UK, the average monthly life insurance cost is £30.40. However, this is affected by many factors, and there are steps you can take to reduce these premiums.

How can I keep the cost of life insurance down?

As we know, your health affects life insurance premiums. This is about more than just exercise, though – you should stop smoking if you’re a smoker, reduce your alcohol consumption, and take out your policy at as young an age as possible.

Ultimately, the cost of life insurance depends on the term and the total cover you’re after (whether you opt for term life insurance or whole of life cover). However, other factors such as living an extreme lifestyle – for example, a devotion to extreme sports – can reflect negatively on your application.

Can you get life insurance if you have health problems?

If you have a pre-existing condition, your life insurance provider won’t necessarily turn you away straight away.

This may simply affect the terms of your agreement or push up the premiums. However, every case is different – for example, if you were to apply shortly after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis, you would likely be turned down.

The best life insurance providers will provide a range of options, in particular for those who are afflicted with health problems. For example, some applicants who have been refused traditional routes could instead opt for group life insurance through their employers. These kinds of insurance typically have smaller pay-outs, though.

What happens if I outlive my life insurance policy?  

If you outlive your life insurance policy, your provider will return your premiums. Rather than reapplying for a new policy, many people in this situation may simply elect their loved ones as beneficiaries of these financial rewards.  

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