Chances are, if you have come to this website, you are either high risk and looking for life insurance, or you think you may be high risk. If you’ve stumbled upon us by accident, and are unsure about your risk, check out our article on High Risk: The Basics.
High risk individuals face a lot of uncertainty when it comes to shopping for life insurance. The good news is that, armed with a smart agent and the right information, you can find affordable protection for you and your loved ones.
Today we will take a look at life insurance table ratings and what these mean for your premiums and your coverage options.
What Are Table Ratings?
When you apply for life insurance, underwriters take a look and your application and place you into a category. Typical life insurance categories are:
- Preferred Plus
- Standard Plus
These categories determine your risk and, therefore, your premium prices. Of course, the type and amount of coverage you are looking to purchase will also impact your premium prices.
Occasionally, underwriters will place you outside the standard categories. This is where table ratings come into play. Table ratings refer to a system used by life insurance carriers in order to evaluate your risk accurately. These ratings are associated with anyone considered “high risk,” or with anyone experiencing health issues.
Table ratings are additional charges added to a Standard life insurance rating. Typically, around 25% of the standard premium charge. Insurers will review your application – including your medical exam results and your health records. They will then assign you a health class. If you fall below a certain health classification, you will be given a table rating.
Let’s take a look at an example.
If your insurance company charges, say, $100/month in premiums. Your table ratings could look like this:
- Table 1 (or Table A): $125 per month
- Table 2: $150 per month
- Table 3: $175 per month
- Table 4: $200 per month
- Table 5: $225 per month
As the tables increase, the additional amount you pay in premiums will also increase. Additionally, you can be rated in up to 8 tables! This means if your health or risk is particularly severe, you could be paying up to 200% more for life insurance coverage.
You Are Not Locked Into A Table Rating
If you’re high risk and the above information worries you, we have good news. Once assigned a table rating, you are not necessarily locked into that rating for the duration of your policy.
You already know that each carrier views your risk differently and that the lower your risk, the better your rating will be – and the lower your premiums will be. This is good news for you! If you were directed to a table rating because of health issues, you actually have more control than you think.
Diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, taking your medicine and regular doctor’s visits can markedly improve your health. As your health improves, you can re-apply for life insurance coverage and earn a better rating.
Additionally, just because one company gives you a table rating does not mean that all companies will rate you similarly.
You should always consult an agent and shop around for life insurance before settling on a policy. Exploring your options with an industry expert could save you hundreds of dollars.
Exploring Coverage Alternatives
We live by the idea that, no matter your situation, you can find affordable coverage.
If you have received a table rating, you could pay those premiums and wait to be re-rated. Or you can consider alternative coverage options. Accidental death riders and, occasionally guaranteed issue life insurance may offer more affordable coverage.
Additionally, some companies – such as AIG and Gerber Life – offer whole life insurance options that do not require medical exams. This means you can get permanent coverage despite your risk. The downside? You will have to undergo a mandatory waiting period before your policy is activated.
A table rating should never deter you from purchasing life insurance. We work with multiple life insurance companies and can help you find custom insurance to fit your unique situation.
An independent agent is always your best bet to finding high risk life insurance. We work for you, not for insurers. This means our experienced agents will do everything to get you the best coverage in your budget.
If you are high risk and have been issued a table rating, you have several coverage options available. Give us a call today to see how we can help you find high risk life insurance.