It is well established that people who go to the gym regularly can reap substantial health benefits.
Those taking up gym regimens could also reap some financial benefits in the form of lower insurance premiums.
Insurance underwriters consider many factors when determining your qualification and cost for coverage. These factors are your current health, height/weight ratio and health history.
If you smoke, are overweight or suffer from a chronic medical condition, you are not a candidate for lower insurance premiums.
However, the insurance industry is becoming more proactive in encouraging people to exercise and live healthier lifestyles. In fact, they may reward you for getting in shape.
Health insurers are experimenting with incentive-based wellness programs.
These programs lower insurance premiums due to the collective improvements of a group of participants.
A few health insurers pioneering these programs for the purpose of encouraging healthier lifestyles that can lead to lower insurance costs.
The insurers assess the overall wellness of the group. And then adjust the members’ premiums downward when they see improvement.
The programs use tracking devices such as a Fitbit to measure each participant’s body statistics. Statistics such as mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol levels at different intervals.
With millions enrolled in these programs, the data suggests their overall health and wellness is improving.
An increasing number of companies are offering wellness programs that encourage their employees to exercise regularly.
Many companies also offer financial incentives to reward employees for using the company gym or attending a local exercise facility.
The savings in health care costs to the company can be substantial when you consider lower insurance premiums, fewer sick days and improved morale. Companies with active wellness incentive programs pass their cost savings on to their employees in the form of lower insurance premiums or reimbursement for gym memberships.
Life insurance companies are not known to offer discounts over and above their established premium rates.
But, if you agree to be monitored 24/7, you can get your premiums lower if you show improvement in your health habits. As of December 2015, John Hancock Life Insurance Company is offering up to a 15% discount for achieving higher levels of fitness.
Participants usually have to wear a monitor that tracks their physical activity. The more running, sit-ups and push-ups they do, the more points they can earn. As participants rise through the ranks of the silver, gold and platinum levels, they receive a steeper discount. However, if they slack off, or the monitor does not register any activity for a period of time, the participant could lose his discount.
If you smoke, you need to stop.
Stopping smoking can reduce your premiums by as much as 50%. There are also a few ways you can affect how much you pay for insurance on your own. Obviously, the healthier you are, the more favorable premium rating you receive from an insurer.
Work on getting fit and living a healthy lifestyle. Conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure are key factors in determining your life 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 with a new company. If you are in better health, you are likely to save money if you qualify for a preferred rate.