10 Tips to Cut Oregon Life Insurance Premiums

1. Read the fine print.

Many times, insurance companies will feature 'convenient monthly payments' that are automatically deducted from your checking account. However, many insurance companies charge policyholders service fees up to 15% to 20% of your annual premium for the privilege of these auto deductions. Often, these charges are built into the the payments, so you may not even notice you're getting ripped off.

2. Always Negotiate

If you are healthy and have no history of medical problems, it pays to negotiate. For example, it is not uncommon for those who lift weights to be heavier than the average person, even though they are in better shape. In this case, it would pay off to write a letter to your insurance company and demand better premiums based on your healthy lifestyle.

Or, if you only smoke cigars once or twice a year on special occasions, you may be paying as much as someone who smokes 2 packs a day if you stated on your health exam you 'smoked occasionally.' Again, this would be a good reason to negotiate a better premium.

3. Health Problems? Find a speciality insurance company.

If you do have health issues such as diabetes or heart disease, it may save you a lot to find a life insurance company that specializes in particular diseases or lifestyles. These companies employ special underwriters trained to analyze the extent of some diseases.

For example, instead of lumping all heart disease patients in one group, policyholders are rated between those who regularly take their medication and exercise and those who don't. Someone with their disease under control can save as much as 50% on their premium over someone who does not control their disease.

4. The 250K rule

Interestingly enough, as you approach multiples of $250,000, more insurance sometimes costs less. If you are considering purchasing $240,000 in life insurance, check what the rates are for $250K. You may be surprised that it costs less. For example, $240,000 will cost $274.80 per year. If you buy $250,000, it will cost $260.

5. Buy on Your Own, Not Through Your Job

If you get life insurance as a freebie, that's great, but since there is no federal law stating your old employer must allow you to keep the coverage if you become disabled and can no longer work, even if you pay the bill. Also, you can usually find a better deal on your own than through your employer.

6. Lose Weight

If you are overweight, your insurance premium can be as much as higher as 50% higher than someone who is the appropriate weight for their height. Some companies will also allow a Body Mass Index (BMI) reading which measures fat percentage on the body as a reliable measure of health.

7. Riders Aren't Worth It

Be sure to look at the extras padding your life insurance bill. Many are not worth the paper they are printed on. 'Double Indemnity' riders, for a small fee, promises to pay your survivors double the face of a policy if you die in an accident. However, most people have a better chance of winning a lottery than by dying by accidental death. Also, you can skip buying the 'waiver of premium' rider which pays your coverage if you're disabled. Instead buy disability insurance to cover this. Usually, you'll pay less.

8. Low-Load Companies

Some life insurance companies sell insurance for little or no commission which translates to big savings for you. In fact, some even sell whole life policies this way. Call your insurance broker to find them.

9. Find the Down Side

Some companies will call life insurance by a host of other names such as

  • mortgage-protection policies;
  • retirement plans; and,
  • tax-free savings plans.

However, don't be taken by the talk of tax-free accumulation of cash value in a whole life insurance policy. Many times, this will mean

  • high commissions;
  • many payments before any sizeable cash value is accumulated; and,
  • huge penalties if you get out early.

Always understand the down side of what you are buying.

10. Quit Smoking Cigarettes or Chewing Tobacco!

Get off the nicotine habit! Those who use tobacco are twice as likely to die young as non-tobacco users and insurance companies know it. Smoker's insurance premiums are usually set 20-50% higher for tobacco users than those who don't use smoke or chew. However, if you do smoke, don't lie about it. If you die and your heirs file a claim, the insurance company may refuse to pay it if they find out you were, in fact, a smoker.