Life insurance: Paying a premium - MoneySense

Life insurance: Paying a premium

A high-risk condition can send your insurance costs soaring.


Just how much can a high risk lifestyle or a serious health condition increase your life insurance premiums? We ran some scenarios by Brian Cox, director of operations for Ingle International and Imagine Financial in Toronto.

We asked Cox how much a typical applicant would pay for a 20-year term life policy with $500,000 coverage. Turns out the standard rate for a 30-year old non-smoker is about $460 annually for men, and $350 for women. For a 45- year-old non-smoker, the baseline is approximately $1,200 for men and $800 for women. We then asked Cox to give us an idea of how much different risk factors could budge the premiums.

45-year-old male who works as a logger, fisherman or similar high-risk job: $4,700

Otherwise healthy 30- year-old female who has Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes: $1,400

45-year-old woman who is a carrier of the gene that causes Huntington’s disease, but who has never shown any signs of the disease itself: likely to be declined (may qualify for $300,000 coverage at $3,000 to $4,200 annually

30-year-old male whose hobby is skydiving (10 jumps per year): $3,000

As you can see, a single risk factor can send your premiums soaring to three or more times standard levels. Be aware, though, that these figures are just rough guidelines. “All of these are general ideas only, as underwriters would always want to know more complete details to assess the risk,” Cox stresses.