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Life insurance companies sell financial coverage, so people can leave behind monetary support for their loved ones. When someone seeks a premium rate for life insurance, companies consider some standard factors to decide on that rate.

Some of the main factors that decide a person’s premium quote include their age, gender, medical history, and lifestyle.

Some people pose a greater risk than others for an earlier death. For example, someone with pre-existing health problems might have to pay more for their coverage.

One of the biggest factors that can hike a person’s rates, is their lifestyle. People who seek out or perform dangerous actions on a daily basis often have higher rates because of it.

This includes someone having a dangerous job like a firefighter, or someone who is a thrill seeker in their own time.

Before a person requests life insurance rates, they should be aware of some of the habits that increase life insurance rates. These include:

  1. Smoking and/or Drinking


The health effects of cigarette smoking are numerous, and the bad habit causes more deaths each year than drug use, alcohol use, HIV, motor vehicle accidents, and firearm incidents combined.

Habits of Canadian smokers have lessened over the last few decades. However, in 2016, 16.9% of Canadians aged 12 and up still smoked daily or occasionally.

Insurers will want to know whether the person smokes, and how often they do it on a daily basis. This kind of information directly affects life insurance rates.

Similarly, people are required to disclose how many drinks they have on a daily basis, as this kind of habit can also deteriorate a person’s health.

Heavy drinking can affect brain, liver, heart, and pancreas functioning. Drinking can also increase the risk of developing certain cancers, including:

  • Throat
  • Mouth
  • Liver
  • Breast
  1. Hazardous Job Requirements

Insurance companies will request information about the person’s current employment, as it might pose risk to their daily safety.

Persons with jobs such as marines, pilots, firefighters and surfing instructors will likely have higher premiums. People with safer jobs such as teachers or administrative workers will experience lower rates.

It is important to disclose this information, regardless of whether it will raise premiums or not. By providing false information, it’s possible that lump sum payouts will be denied to beneficiaries.

  1. Dangerous Lifestyle

Dangerous Lifestyle

Lots of people like to enjoy high-risk activities on their own time, including skydiving, scuba diving, mountain climbing, motorcycle racing and more.

These kinds of activities increase the possibility of accidents and injuries, which increases premiums.

  1. Drug Use

Whether a person takes drugs for medical needs or for recreational use, this needs to be disclosed to life insurance companies. Drug use usually increases rates, but this information needs to be shared.

In most cases, the person applying will need to complete a medical examination before being approved. If for any reason the person tests positive for drugs they did not disclose, they may have the policy denied.

Going forward, the person will be required to disclose this information to other insurers and explain why they were denied.

  1. Poor Health Maintenance

Individuals who are in good health often have some of the best life insurance rates. For those who are in poor health, whether because of poor lifestyle or illness, usually have to pay more.

People who maintain an unhealthy lifestyle, such as eating poorly, and rarely exercising, will experience higher life insurance rates. 

How to Lower Insurance Rates


 It’s not always easy to find an affordable life insurance rate, especially for those with some of the habits mentioned above. Fortunately, there are ways to lower rates. Here are some tips for obtaining a better rate:

  • Quit Smoking and/or Drinking

Easier said than done, but these are two of the worst habits that increase rates. Some people decide to quit their habit before applying for a policy, while others might quit during the policy and have it updated.

  • Embrace a Healthier Lifestyle

Even if a person is ill or unhealthy, adopting a healthier lifestyle can have a positive effect on insurance quotes. Companies can appreciate that a person is trying to better themselves, in order to have a healthier future.

People can consider taking on a new diet or hiring a trainer, which they can use a proof that they are taking a new approach.

  • Get Coverage Early

For people who are considering life insurance for the first time, now is the best time. The younger and healthier a person is, the better their chances of getting affordable life insurance.

Even if the individual has a dangerous job or a bad habit, the younger they are, the more time they have to make changes.

  • Lower Weight

All of the physical components of an individual can have an effect on their life insurance. Things like weight, height, and gender can say a lot about how well a person is taking care of themselves.

One of the ways to lower life insurance rates is to improve these numbers to reflect the average weight of a male and/or female of a specific height. Canada is one of the most obese countries in the world, with more than 28% of people over 15 considered obese.

This component goes along with a healthier lifestyle, but even the main physical attributes of a person, without disclosing lifestyle habits, can help with rates.


Finding affordable life insurance is possible, especially for those who shop around and compare all of the possible options they have.

Regardless of the habits that increase life insurance rates, everyone is encouraged to be honest about who they are. By providing false information, all of the hard-earned money that is put towards an insurance policy could be for nothing.

Consider the tips for lowering life insurance, and be sure to speak with an agent about how you can obtain lower rates going forward.