5 ways to stay healthy and lower your life insurance premiums

June 23, 2023

Learn 5 ways that you can work on living a healthier lifestyle to lower your life insurance premiums.

Couple walking to stay healthy and reduce life insurance premiums 
Age and health are the two biggest determining factors of your life insurance costs. The younger and healthier you are, the lower premiums you’ll be able to take advantage of for life insurance. And while you cannot change your age, there are things you can do to live a healthier lifestyle that may allow you to lower your life insurance premiums.

Let’s dive into what it takes to lower your life insurance premiums and ways you can improve your health to ensure the best possible rates from your life insurance company.

How to lower life insurance premiums for new policies

There are many different ways that you can lower life insurance premiums. Insurers take a number of different factors into consideration when determining your premium payments, including age, gender, personal medical history, family medical history, and history of tobacco usage. This makes staying healthy one of the best ways to lower your premiums on both new and existing life insurance policies.

However, if you are shopping for a new policy, there are some things you should take into consideration when purchasing a policy. Here are a few ways to get the lowest rates possible on a new life insurance policy:
  • Buy life insurance early. Many people wait to purchase life insurance because they may prioritize other types of insurance, or because they don't believe there is a need when you're young. However, life insurance rates increase as you age, so buying life insurance as soon as you know you need it will help you get the best rates.
  • Consider term life insurance. Term life insurance often costs less than permanent life insurance. This type of policy requires you to pay premiums for a set term, and if you pass away during that period of time, then your beneficiaries get the set death benefit. (Whereas permanent life insurance policies are a bit more complex and expensive.) To better understand if a term life insurance policy is right for you, consult your insurance agent.
  • Adjust the face value or term length. If you find that you have higher premiums than you would like, you can always adjust the death benefit or term length for a lower rate. Again, this is something you should consult your life insurance agent about.
Now that we’ve talked about some ways you can get lower life insurance quotes for a new policy, let’s dive into ways that you can improve your health to lower your life insurance rates on a new or existing policy.

5 Ways to stay healthy for lower rates on life insurance

During the underwriting process, insurers determine your insurance premium rates after looking at your medical records, prescription drug history, motor vehicle report, and other important documents. They may also require you to take a life insurance medical exam to see if you have any health conditions that would impact your life expectancy.

Some things that life insurance companies consider to be risk factors are high blood pressure, being overweight, using tobacco, or other chronic health conditions like diabetes or high cholesterol. If you had these risk factors when you initially applied for life insurance, then there’s a good chance you did not fall in the best underwriting class with the lowest premium rates.

However, if there is a change in your health after you’ve signed up for life insurance coverage, then there is the possibility that you may now qualify for a better underwriting class with a lower rate. All you have to do is ask your insurance company to reconsider your life insurance premiums now that you are healthier than you were before.

Here are a few ways you can improve your health to potentially qualify for a lower cost of your life insurance plan:

1. Exercise

Regular exercise has many health benefits for your heart, body, and mind. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), regular physical activity can help improve muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness, improve bone and functional health, and help maintain body weight. It can also reduce the risk of chronic health issues like hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and various types of cancer like breast and colon cancers.

Though the recommended amount and type of exercise will depend on the person and their physical capabilities, the WHO recommends that adults ages 18-64 should generally do at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week. Not only will this help you prevent serious health issues, it will also help you make sure you’re feeling your best all week long.

Here are some simple ways to increase physical activity throughout the week:
  • Make walking a part of your routine. Go for a walk in your neighborhood after dinner for 30 minutes each day or stop by a park on your way home from work for a 30-minute decompression walk.
  • Do more physical activities you enjoy. Whether it’s taking an exercise class, kayaking, playing a sport, or dancing—find a physical activity you like to do and make time to do it every week.
  • Walk or bike instead of drive. If you live in an area that’s safe to travel by foot or bike, consider walking or biking to your destination instead of getting into your car.
  • Take the stairs or park at the back of the parking lot. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking at the back of the lot so you have to walk further to get into the building are just two simple ways you can increase physical activity that adds up over time.
  • Make it a family affair. You may be more likely to exercise if you make it a family activity or something you can do with others. Try to plan a fun physical activity at least once per week with your loved ones like walking, biking, dancing, or playing a sport.

2. Eat healthy.

Eating healthy has many positive impacts for your health. By giving your body the nutrients it needs to function properly, you will feel full and satisfied, have more energy, and generally be in a better mood. Eating healthy can also help you lose and maintain weight in the long-term.

Here is how the Harvard School of Public Health describes a healthy and well-balanced diet:
  • Vegetables and fruits make up half of each meal. Aim for color and variety when choosing your fruits and vegetables. (Note: They don’t count potatoes as a vegetable here because of their negative impact on blood sugar.)
  • One-fourth of your plate should be whole grains. This includes whole wheat, barley, oats, quinoa, and brown rice or foods made with these ingredients.
  • One-fourth of your plate should be protein. This can include fish, poultry, beans, and nuts. Limit your red meat and avoid processed meats like sausage.
  • Eat healthy plant oils in moderation. This includes oils like olive, canola, soy, corn, sunflower, peanut, and others. Avoid partially hydrogenated oils, which contain unhealthy trans fats.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water, coffee or tea. Limit milk and dairy products to 2 servings per day. And cut out sugary drinks like soda.
While this is a good place to start with healthy eating, it’s important that you speak to your doctor if you have any questions about what you should be eating. If you have allergies or sensitivities, a physician or nutritionist can help you navigate those while still eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.

3. Reduce stress.

According to the American Psychological Association, stress impacts all systems of the body including the respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and even reproductive and musculoskeletal systems. Reducing and managing stress is the key to staying healthy and avoiding chronic health conditions like obesity, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and more.

One major way to reduce stress is to engage in regular physical exercise. This can be anything from lifting weights or jogging to taking a dance break or a walk to decompress. Moving your body can work wonders for your physical, mental, and emotional health.

Another important way to reduce stress is to get enough high-quality sleep. Avoid screens at least 30 minutes before you want to be asleep. And work to create a comfortable sleep environment that is dark, quiet, and cool, giving your body and mind exactly what it needs to comfortably fall asleep.

Connecting with others to create a sense of belonging can also help you reduce stress and develop resiliency. Reach out to your family members and friends about your feelings and concerns when you need support. You can also try joining local organizations or volunteering for local causes to meet others who value the same things you do.

If you are experiencing chronic stress despite your attempts to reduce it, you may want to consult a physician or licensed psychologist. They can help you identify what is triggering your stress and find healthy ways to cope with it.

4. Quit smoking.

Tobacco usage impacts your life expectancy and can lead to serious health issues like lung cancer. Since tobacco usage is one of the things that insurers look for when determining your cost of life insurance, quitting smoking is one way that a policyholder can improve both their health and their monthly premiums.

Quitting smoking is easier said than done. However, organizations like the Centers for Disease Control offer programs and resources to help you quit smoking. This can include counseling, medications, or a mix of both.

While being a non-smoker can help you get a lower monthly rate on life insurance, if you have smoked in the past, your insurance provider will want to see that you are committed to this change before lowering your rate. Talk to your life insurance agent to see how long you have to sustain this health improvement before the provider will consider lowering your rate.

5. Lose weight.

If you are currently overweight, then losing weight could help you reduce your monthly premium for life insurance. Not to mention, sustaining a healthy weight can help you reduce your risk for chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight before, then you may already recognize how difficult it can be. While you should consult a physician on the best ways to lose weight for your specific circumstances, there are some general best practices that people find beneficial when trying to get down to a healthier weight.

Here are some scientifically-backed strategies for losing and maintaining a healthy weight:
  • Eat mindfully. Instead of eating while on the go, try practicing eating mindfully by sitting down at a table and paying attention to the food you are eating. Avoid distractions like television and take time to chew and savor the food.
  • Choose foods with nourishing ingredients. While it may be more convenient to eat fast food, making meals with nourishing and healthy ingredients is not only going to help you maintain a healthy weight, but you will feel better physically as a result.
  • Cut back on sugar and refined carbohydrates. Sugar and refined carbohydrates like white rice, bread, and pasta are quick to digest and convert to glucose quickly. When extra glucose enters the blood, it provokes the insulin hormone, which promotes fat storage.
  • Eat more fiber. Fiber can lead to a feeling of fullness that may lead to weight loss. Include more fibrous foods in your diet, like whole-grain breakfast cereals, oats, fruits, vegetables, peas, beans, and nuts.
  • Get adequate sleep. According to multiple studies, those who get less than 5-6 hours of sleep per night are at a higher risk for obesity. Poor-quality sleep slows down your metabolism and can increase the production of insulin and cortisol, promoting fat storage.
If you have an existing life insurance policy, you can use the tips above as a starting point for improving your health to lower your life insurance premium costs. If you do not yet have a life insurance policy, it’s important to remember that when it comes to your life insurance needs, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

The only way to know if you have the right type of life insurance and the right amount of coverage is to speak to a life insurance provider and determine which type of policy makes the most sense for you.

This is not intended to substitute direction from your medical provider. Always consult your doctor before making major lifestyle changes. 

Workout equipment for staying healthy and reducing life insurance costs

Whether you're looking for term or whole life insurance, a policy from Germania Life offers peace of mind you can trust. Request a free quote online for more information or contact Germania Life at 1-800-392-2202 ext. 2060, glife@germaniainsurance.com.

by Geoff Ullrich

About the Author

Geoff Ullrich is a writer and Content Marketing Strategist at Germania Insurance.

What do you want to read more about? For suggestions, questions, or content-related inquiries, contact us at content@germaniainsurance.com!

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