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STANDARD VS PREFERRED LIFE INSURANCE

10/18/23

If you’re asking whether you’ll qualify for preferred vs standard life insurance premiums, the answer is – we don’t know (and neither does any life insurance broker). There are however some things we can do in order to mildly increase your chances. Further, we recommend that you assume standard premiums (because this is what you’ll most likely receive), and there’s no downside to assuming this when you apply.

How it Works

The reason that we can’t definitively tell if you’ll receive preferred premiums is because the life insurance companies don’t disclose all of the requirements tor receive the preferred premiums. While some companies do publish some minimal guidelines, no company publishes all of their requirements. In addition, a large number of common conditions will preclude you from getting the preferred premiums and place you in the standard health class. For example, even if you qualify for the preferred premiums on your own, a large number of family health history conditions will qualify you at standard premiums instead. This means that most Canadians, even those that believe they should qualify at preferred premiums, will actually qualify at standard. 

Because we are unable to definitely determine if you receive preferred premiums or not – and because most people receive standard premiums, we recommend that you assume standard premiums when you apply. There’s no downside to doing this, because your application does NOT determine the rates you receive. If you apply at standard premiums and qualify at preferred premiums, you will receive preferred premiums despite having applied at standard. Conversely, if you apply at preferred premiums and qualify at standard, the company will issue your policy at standard premiums. Therefore there’s no downside to assuming standard, and the upside is that it’s the most likely health class that you’ll receive so there’s few surprises when the policy is issued.

Conversely, if you assume preferred premiums when you apply, there’s a strong possibility that you wont qualify. This can lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment. This is also why our website at The Term Guy quotes standard premiums in all of our quotes. We could quote preferred premiums, and ‘appear’ to have lower premiums but then we’d be quoting premiums that we believe are unlikely that you’d qualify for. As we noted above, if you compare policies based on standard health class, occasionally you receive a pleasant surprise when the policy is issued standard.

Further, preferred premiums are only available from most companies on higher coverage amounts – sometimes as high as $1,000,000. Life insurance policies with lower coverage amounts, on their own and without regard to your health and insurability, cannot qualify for preferred premiums under any circumstances. 

What Can You Do?

What can you do? Well, there’s two things you can do that can mildly increase your chances of getting preferred premiums.

First, when you do your medical history questionnaire, take your time and fully disclose everything you can think of or remember. Full details are important, and no detail is to insignificant to disclose. This level of disclosure often puts the underwriter in a frame of mind where if they’re able to qualify you at preferred premiums, they’re actually comfortable doing so. Secondly, if a blood and urine test is required, we recommend that you do these tests first thing in the morning, before any exercise and before you eat or drink anything. While blood and urine tests don’t technically require this in most cases, we believe that taking these tests in this fashion can help bump your numbers to be mildly more positive. 

If you’d like a quote for preferred premiums, we are happy to provide them over the phone – simply call our toll free number and speak to once of our experienced insurance advisors.