Whether you’re completing marathons or pounding the pavement after work, running can improve your overall physical condition. But beyond the obvious physical perks of running, your daily exercise may also save you some money on a life insurance plan.
This guide covers two crucial questions that runners might ask themselves about life insurance. Namely, how physical health impacts life insurance rates and how getting life insurance for runners may be easier than non-runners.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about life insurance for runners!
Do Runners Really Get Cheaper Life Insurance Rates?
Whether you’re applying for a term life or whole life insurance policy, your rates are determined by a few things. This includes your age, health, family information, lifestyle, and the results of your insurer-required medical exam.
All these factors are compared against other people in your age group to determine your risk class, which refers to how financially risky it would be to insure you. Given this, does running impact the amount of money you’ll have to spend on your policy?
Simply put, the answer is yes.
In general, regular exercise results in an overall improvement of physical health and a lower incidence of life-threatening health conditions. That means applicants who run are less likely to pass away earlier in life.
Because of this, there’s a lower chance that insurers will have to provide the death benefit before the policy has been completely paid off. Following this line of reasoning, it makes sense that your insurer would give you lower premiums because of this decreased financial risk.
How Running Helps Save On Life Insurance Premiums
This next section explores the various health benefits of running and how they affect the costs of life insurance:
Runners Have Better Cholesterol Levels
When discussing blood cholesterol levels, lower is always better. However, that’s not the only thing that determines your life insurance rates. Blood cholesterol level is important, but the balance between “bad” LDL cholesterol and “good” cholesterol/HDL levels is just as essential.
Runners or people with good exercise habits are 4.3% less likely to have high cholesterol levels overall. Lower cholesterol levels mean that a person has a lower risk of coronary heart disease and will generally have fewer health complications. As a result, life insurance companies are more likely to give runners better rates on their premiums.
Better Blood Pressure Readings
High blood pressure is considered a “red flag” by many life insurance companies. Luckily, runners have a distinct advantage over non-runners because of their healthy lifestyle.
A runner who takes a life insurance policy medical exam will usually produce results that reflect their lower blood pressure levels. This tells their life insurance company that they’re less likely to experience severe health conditions in the near future, thus qualifying for lower rates.
Better Weight Control
One of the primary benefits of running is a lower body mass index and better weight control. This matters because life insurance companies take users’ height/weight ratio into consideration when determining the appropriate rate for their life policies.
Even if the applicant is relatively healthy compared to other people in their age group, higher body weight may result in a less-than-ideal rate on their life insurance policies.
That’s because exercise, in general, lowers the risk of increased blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, elevated resting heart rate, and other physical issues. This results in a lower incidence of serious health complications like diabetes, breast cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease.
Similar to other running-related health benefits, this results in more favorable rates for the physically fit runner. This applies even if something in your family history may traditionally be a “red flag” for your life insurance agent.
According to the American Heart Association, any form of aerobic exercise has a positive effect on the heart, and that includes running. Your overall heart health plays a large part in your life insurance because it determines the likelihood of having a heart attack and general heart disease.
Insurers take a history of heart disease and heart attacks very seriously when determining the premiums for your desired coverage amount. In fact, applicants that report heart-related health issues are often considered “high risk”. Therefore, runners have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating for better rates.
Well-Managed Stress Levels
One of the lesser-mentioned health benefits of running is how it improves your well-being beyond the physical. People that regularly go running may experience “runner’s high”, which results in them feeling less stressed out, calmer, and quicker when it comes to general cognitive processing.
But does this affect your life insurance policy rates in the same way something like an ideal BMI does? The answer is yes and also no. While stress levels aren’t directly measured by insurance companies, it does impact your overall physical health.
Chronic and unmanaged stress results in an elevation of your body’s cortisol levels. High cortisol levels have been linked to cancer, lung disease, fatal accidents, and cirrhosis of the liver. In short, well-managed stress levels impact the prevalence of health issues, which in turn determines your life insurance rates.
Because regular runners enjoy a lowered risk of cardiovascular diseases, elevated blood pressure, and various other health complications, they may qualify for lower rates on their life insurance plans. However, health and exercise is not the only deciding factor when it comes to life insurance.
That’s why if you want to get the best possible rates, regardless of your habits, we recommend connecting with a financial advisor. Contact Wesley Insurance, LLC to find out how we can help you!