Disaster-proofing your life is the foundation of financial success, according to Preet Banerjee (and me). That means protecting your biggest asset: your future income. You need insurance for disability and death. Getting coverage takes more than money.
You buy insurance for the four financial risks with your good health. If you're in poor condition or have harmful habits like smoking, you pay higher premiums. No law forces an insurer to cover you. In extreme cases, you can't get coverage at all. That’s when you most need protection.
How do you get the health insurance or life insurance which you and your family need? Here are three strategies that work alone and together.
- Buy young
- Buy more now
- Stay healthy
Buy YoungYou tend to be healthier when you're younger. That means it's easier to qualify for insurance. You also pay lower premiums since you’re less likely to make a claim. The price always go up because you're getting older, even if you get healthier.
Younger people tend to ignore the savings available to them. Perhaps they have less money, a smaller perceived need for insurance and other priorities.
Buy More NowYou can always reduce your coverage but can't always add more later. You face new underwriting each time. The testing is becoming more sophisticated too. Future prices are always higher because you're older.
If you buy more coverage now, you have better protection and reduce the need to add more insurance later. Even if you have lots of money, you're limited in how much protection you can buy. To be prudent, insurers limit the amount of coverage for which you qualify.
Exception: you might be able to add a “guaranteed issue” option to buy more insurance later with no questions asked about your health. This flexibility is especially helpful with disability insurance since you’ll likely want more coverage as your income increases. (You can also add options to offset the effects of inflation.)
Stay HealthySince we can't predict the future accurately, we can't anticipate all our changing future insurance needs. If you're healthy, you can apply for more coverage later. You also enjoy a better life.
Maybe you're in the midst of improving your health (e.g., by stopping smoking). Don't wait to buy insurance. You can apply for lower premiums later. In the meantime, you're protected.
Health is wealth. Health is the price you pay to qualify for insurance.
- Disaster-proof your life: the first rule for financial success
- What happens during a paramedical exam for insurance?
- How to afford the insurance you need
- What do you learn from getting sick?
- The four financial risks
- image courtesy of Elnur