Life insurance is one of those things that many people know they should have but often put aside.
But the thing is, most people will agree that life insurance is a necessary part of life. Now compare that to the low number of people that actually have life insurance.
Why the disparity?
Well there are a couple different reasons for this, other financial obligations to worry about, no children, confusion on how it works and probably the biggest reason, cost.
But what if there were a way to make life insurance even more affordable than what it really is? What if you could pay less for life insurance by living a healthy lifestyle?
That’s where your health IQ comes in.
Let’s take a look at what your health IQ is and what it can mean for your life insurance premiums.
What Is a Health IQ?
First, let’s define what a health IQ is. A regular IQ test is designed to measure human intelligence. Your health IQ is something along the same lines. But, more specifically, it measures your health literacy.
Health literacy goes beyond whether or not you live a healthy lifestyle. Rather, it’s understanding of health concepts, lifestyle choices (like diet and exercise) and how they work together.
For example, rather than asking you how many times per week you exercise, a health IQ quiz question will ask you how many times per week you should exercise.
Health-conscious individuals will be up on the current research and be able to answer this question appropriately.
People with a high health IQ are defined as health-conscious individuals. Being able to answer the questions correctly shows that they spend time thinking and learning not only about health topics but their own health as well.
How Can You Test Your Health IQ?
So how can you test out your health IQ? Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how you stack up? Most people would probably say that they’re fairly health-conscious. But is it true?
As with everything these days, there’s an app for that! To test out your health IQ download the CDC’s health IQ app. Take the fun, interactive quizzes to find out how you rank.
By the way, in case you’re wondering, the questions are timed to avoid the possibility of Googling answers. Got to keep everything on the up-and-up!
What Is Life Insurance?
Now that you know what a health IQ is, let’s discuss what life insurance is.
A life insurance policy makes sure that your dependents will be financially taken care of in the event of your death. It is a contract between both you and the life insurance company.
The contract works by paying out a predetermined death benefit to your beneficiaries should you pass away while the life insurance coverage is active. In return, you make predetermined premium payments for the life insurance.
There are several different types of life insurance. Some are good for a certain number of years, such as term life insurance, and some last until you, die which are know as universal life or whole life insurance. The type you choose will depend on your coverage needs, as well as your financial situation.
The death benefit from a life insurance policy can be used for a variety of things. It can provide a spouse with the replacement of lost income, funds to make mortgage payments, be used to payoff debt as well as pay for burial costs or final expenses. If you have young children it can also provide the funds to pay for higher education expenses such as college.
In short, life insurance exists to ensure that you don’t leave your family in a desperate financial situation if the unthinkable happens.
Health IQ and Life Insurance
Now that we have an understanding of both health IQ and life insurance, let’s look at how the two work together.
Finding out where you rank among health-conscious individuals might be fun but what does it have to do with life insurance?
As we’ve previously mentioned, cost is one of the largest factors in why people put off buying life insurance. Thus, insurance companies are looking for new innovative ways to further lower premiums by incorporating applicants health IQ scores with their health risk classifications.
Traditionally, life insurance companies classify people according to their health, i.e. risk factors. The structure varies from company to company, but there are generally four classifications:
- Preferred Plus – Best Premiums
- Preferred – Very Good Premiums
- Standard Plus – Above Average Premiums
- Standard – Average Premiums
When you apply for life insurance the underwriter will then look at a variety of factors. These are usually age, gender, and smoking status. They’ll also look at your health history as well as your family’s health history. If the policy requires a medical exam the results of the exam and lab results will be taken into consideration as well.
An individual who constantly makes healthier choices and lives a healthier lifestyle will have a much higher chance of living for a longer period of time. In return, a life insurance company is able to approve life insurance coverage at better health risk class resulting in a cheaper premium.
Now, combine an applicant who makes healthy choices, lives a healthy lifestyle and has a high health IQ, the life insurance company can offer an even greater discount on the overall life insurance rate.
How Life Insurance Companies Determine Health IQ
So, life insurance companies need a cost-effective way of finding out how health conscious a particular applicant is. They do this by using health IQ quizzes. There are various quizzes designed for different lifestyles.
For example, the kind of health questions a weightlifter would be able to answer vary from those of a bicyclist. Yet both may be considered equally as health-conscious. Thus, the quizzes have been tailored to different types of healthy lifestyles.
Applicants take the quiz and are assigned a score. This score determines their qualifications for different classifications of life insurance. Additionally, depending on the company, they may qualify for extra discounts.
Fitness Data Tracking
Some life insurance companies are now taking this one step further. Customers can qualify for a variety of extra discounts by completing certain tasks.
- Taking nutrition classes
- Getting annual check ups
- Meeting fitness goals
Let’s talk about that last one a little bit more. How does the life insurance company know that you’re meeting those fitness goals? Some companies are beginning to offer their customers a free Fitbit or Apple Watch to use to track their fitness data.
For now, customers have complete control over what particular data is shared with the insurance company. For example, they may choose to only share calorie counts or steps taken per day.
Other Uses for Health IQ
Hopefully by now, you have a good understanding of what health IQ means for your life insurance premiums. But having a high health IQ is more useful than simply saving a few dollars on your life insurance premiums.
Becoming a more health-conscious individual is simply a good life move overall. You’ll have a better quality of life, probably live longer, and feel better while you’re at it.
How to Improve Your Health IQ
What if your health IQ isn’t where you’d like it to be? Maybe you take the quiz and find that you don’t qualify as much as you might have hoped. There’s nothing that says it has to stay that way! There are plenty of things you can do to improve your health IQ.
Use the Health IQ App
The easiest, and perhaps most fun, is to use the app we mentioned earlier. Not only can you use it to find out your current health IQ, but also you can keep playing and learn more interesting tidbits about living a healthy life.
Not only is it a fun way to pass the time, but you’ll also be improving the quality of your life.
There are tons of great classes out there you can take to improve your health IQ. Do you want to learn more about correct nutrition? Surprisingly, nutrition isn’t necessarily one-size-fits-all. A nutrition class can give you tons of insight on what foods you should be eating for your body type.
Maybe you’d like to take up a new hobby. Why not take a gardening class and learn to grow your own healthy fruits and vegetables? Not only will spending time outside make you feel better, but also there’s nothing more satisfying than enjoying a salad from your own garden.
Pick a class about something that interests you. That way you’ll get the most benefit out of the class and be more likely to use what you learn to change your lifestyle.
Get Up and Move!
Exercise is another key element to being health conscious. But getting up to run at 5:30 in the morning maybe isn’t your thing. That’s okay! There are plenty of other fun ways that you can get exercise. Find something that you enjoy and you’ll be far more likely to stick to it.
Take a Zumba class, go for a swim, enjoy a leisurely bike ride on a sunny day, take up kickboxing, or try out a Crossfit class. Get creative and you’re sure to find something that will inspire you to get up and move!
Best Health IQ Friendly Life Insurance Company?
Currently there are just a handful of life insurance companies that utilize an applicant’s health IQ as a way of offering a further discount outside of traditional health risk classifications. However we do see this changing in years to come as we think it is highly beneficial not only to the client, but also the life insurance company.
For those who are very active, live a healthy lifestyle and would like to save a little extra on their life insurance premiums, we would like to recommend John Hancock’s Vitality program.
John Hancock is one of the first life insurance companies to design a life insurance coverage that rewards the policyholder with discounted rates of up to 15% off the annual premium for being active, living healthy and utilizing their health IQ knowledge.
In addition to a savings on annual premiums, John Hancock’s Vitality program offers a free Fitbit Alta or Apple Watch for as little as $25 to track your activity. Other rewards include free subscription, savings on purchasing healthy food, shopping and entertainment rewards as well as discounts on hotels.
For more information on John Hancock’s Vitality program, please be sure to reach out to us so we can provide you with everything you need to know about this life insurance coverage.
Ready For Health IQ Life Insurance?
Has all this talk of life insurance inspired you to look into applying for life insurance? Even if you already have life insurance, you may be paying too much for it. It may be a good idea to take your health IQ quiz and find out if you could qualify for lower life insurance payments.
Even if you don’t take the health IQ quiz, you should review your policy on occasion to ensure you’re getting the best rate, especially if your life situation changes.
It’s easy to find out what you can qualify for with our tool. Fill out your information one time and we’ll shop all the top life insurance companies to find your best rate. For more information or help finding life insurance don’t hesitate to contact us today.