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What is Insurability?

Insurability is the ability of an individual (or entity) to be approved by an insurance provider for a specific type of insurance coverage. When it comes to life insurance, most insurance companies primarily measure insurability in terms of the individual’s projected longevity.

Insurability and life insurance

When you apply for a life insurance policy, you’re not necessarily guaranteed to get approved. Most life insurance policies come with an underwriting process. During underwriting, the insurance provider evaluates you and the risk they would take on in offering you an insurance policy.

Essentially, that means that the insurance company goes through multiple steps to evaluate your insurability. If they determine that you are uninsurable, they will deny you coverage.

Fortunately, people who have been denied coverage on grounds of uninsurability have other options, like guaranteed issue life insurance.

Measuring your insurability

To decide how insurable you are, the insurance company considers several metrics that indicate to them the financial soundness of providing you with a policy. At its most basic, insurability measures how likely you are to live for a reasonable number of years.

This is a valuable metric for the insurance provider because the longer you live, the longer they’ll be able to collect premiums from you. Every time you pay your premium, you offset the amount they will need to pay out to your beneficiaries when you pass away.

To determine your insurability, most insurance providers look at things like:

  • Your projected longevity. They’ll evaluate how long they expect you to live based on things like your personal health history, your family health history, and even your gender, since women are stastically more likely to live longer than men.

  • Your current health. Even if you’re a woman with a family history of long lives, you might be diagnosed with a condition — like cancer or obesity — that makes it more likely for you to pass away prematurely. The insurance provider will definitely factor this into your insurability.

  • Your lifestyle choices. Insurance companies want to know if you’re making choices that could lead to your untimely death, like smoking cigarettes, skydiving, using drugs, or racing cars.

Ultimately, insurability doesn’t just determine whether or not you can get a policy. The more insurable (i.e., the lower-risk) the insurance provider sees you, the less they’ll charge you for your life insurance premiums.

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