Need term life insurance, need to get in shape
December 28, 2006 7:18 AM   Subscribe

I need to buy term life insurance ASAP, but I'm out of shape. What's the smart thing to do?

I just became sole breadwinner for my wife & child. I need term life insurance right away, but I’m now realizing that I’m not making the cut for the “preferred” category.

My question is: are there hidden consequences with my plan to purchase a 10 year term policy for the short term, then re-shop for a 30 year policy once I’ve had time to get in physical shape in the next 6-12 months? I’m 33, 6’-0”, 215 lbs, have above normal blood pressure (currently on meds for this), and have a low risk occupation. I know there is no way to hide the high blood pressure meds, but what about being overweight with higher cholesterol?

My concern is that once you are “on record” in an insurance database, you are forever marked. Would a “no exam” policy be the way to go temporarily?
posted by tfmm to Work & Money (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you applied already? My husband came up a shade below preferred for about the same reasons you did. But term policies are so cheap that I think we probably only pay an extra $24 a year for his policy after the blood work than the original online quote.

I'd go with the 30 year policy right away. God forbid something worse happens while you're shopping around, you may find it hard to get another policy, and then you'll be out of luck in ten years when you either lose the 10 yr or have to pay a larger premium to renew.
posted by saffry at 7:44 AM on December 28, 2006

My partner, at almost 200 pounds and 5' 8", being treated for high cholesterol and asthma, was able to get 20-year term life insurance for about $78 per year per $100,000 of coverage. We thought 20-year term was sufficient because in 20 years our kids will be young adults; our mortgage will be paid off and we'll have even more substantial savings than we do now; we'll most likely have received an inheritance from my parents.

At 41 years old, 5' 4" and 250 pounds but in excellent health--active, normal cholesteral, good blood sugar, etc-- after an exam and bloodwork, I am paying $310/year for $250,000 worth of coverage, for 10-year term (I'm a homemaker and my kids will be teenagers by then, so 10 years seemed like enough for us).

I think you're worrying excessively. Even "expensive" term life insurance is cheap.

Also, I used MasterQuote both times I bought insurance. The website is

For my partner, I was able to simply apply on-line. Because of my weight, I had to call the 800 number. The woman I spoke with for my insurance was able to give me really good information about what "schedule" I would fall under and what the premiums would be before I applied. She also had a sense of which companies were most comfortable insuring fat people.

You don't sound to me like you'll be difficult to insure at all. Go for the 30-year term (if you're sure you need 30 years of coverage) and don't worry.
posted by not that girl at 7:57 AM on December 28, 2006 [1 favorite]

SelectQuote recently did a very nice job of finding an insurer who best fit my minor health issues into a low-risk category. They can also offer advice on your specific question about insuring for a short term, then replacing it when your health is judged lower-risk.

I tried cramming for the insurance cholesterol test with 2 or 3 weeks of blueberries, blueberry extract, and niacin supplement (inositol hexanicotinate). It worked! SelectQuote did not suggest that, but they did offer some more conventional recommendations on improving your exam results.
posted by Snerd at 8:20 AM on December 28, 2006

Your best bet is to get a good agent who sells policies through a number of companies. You have no idea how you will stack up among different companies and you will probably be fairly surprised.
Also can you get a group policy through your work?
posted by FergieBelle at 9:31 AM on December 28, 2006

When I did this a year or two ago, I was kind of out of shape and my dad just had a stroke which I was dumb enough to mention, but the difference between preferred and middle of the road was only about $150 a year for my 20-year, million dollar policy.
posted by mathowie at 10:17 AM on December 28, 2006

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