As a general rule, the younger you are the lower your premium. This is simply because older people are statistically more likely to die during the policy and therefore, pose a higher risk to the insurer.
The best way to secure the cheapest price is to take out a policy when you're still young. This enables you to lock in very low premiums for a long term.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated using your height and weight to determine whether you're a healthy proportion.
Being overweight brings with it an increased risk of a number of health implications such as heart attack, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Many of these hypokinetic conditions bring with them potentially fatal implications and as a result, present a higher risk to the insurer.
Equally, if the applicants BMI is too low (usually below 16), your premiums will also be loaded.
Find out your Body Mass Index by using the NHS’s online BMI calculator.
It’s no secret that smoking shortens your life expectancy, therefore, it's not surprising that smoking increases the cost of your life insurance.
This is due to the increased risk of contracting a serious disease such as lung or throat cancer. As a result, the insurer mitigates their risk by loading premiums for smokers.
It's not uncommon for the life insurance premiums of a smoker to be twice that of a non-smoker for the same level of cover.
Insurers classify you as a smoker if you have used any nicotine or nicotine replacement products, including gum, patches and e-cigarettes, within the past 12 months.
The presence of certain medical conditions, such as type 1 diabetes or high blood pressure, can significantly increase the cost of your premiums.
These conditions bring with them the increased risk of death, and therefore a higher risk to the insurer.
Equally, if you have previously suffered cancer, your monthly premiums will be increased.
It's also worth noting that the majority of insurers will not cover you unless you have been in remission for at least 5 years.
Mental health and suicide
As well as physical health, your mental wellbeing is also taken into account when applying for life insurance.
The presence of mental illness will not prevent you from being accepted for life insurance. But dependant on its impact on your life and the treatment you receive could influence the cost of premiums.
Previous suicide attempts and self-harm will again not prevent you from securing life insurance, but the application will be required to go through manual underwriting.
In this process, certain aspects such as the length of time since the occurrence and the treatment received will be taken into account.
It's also likely information will be collected from your GP.
Family medical history
The presence of certain hereditary illnesses, such as heart disease or certain cancers, is taken into account due to the increased risk of you contracting the disease.
As a result, your monthly life insurance premium is likely to be increased.
It's typically accepted that the medical history of your family only needs to be taken into consideration until they reach a certain age, usually 60 years.
This is due to the common understanding that certain diseases are statistically more common after this threshold.
In some instances, the hereditary disease is written into the policy as an exclusion.
This means that if you die from one of the diseases previously experienced by a family member, your policy will become invalid and a pay out will not be issued.
Alcohol consumption and the use of recreational drugs both bring with them significant health risks which can shorten your life expectancy.
Therefore, regular overconsumption of alcohol or frequent use of recreational drugs also leads to increased life insurance premiums.
Due to the associated risk of certain occupations, those in particular jobs will be charged a higher monthly premium.
These occupations include: