Life Insurance Rate Classes: Here’s What You Need To Know

Mark Burback | Life Insurance | 23 Dec, 2015 | No Comments

Each insurer uses a unique set of criteria to determine qualifying rate classes.


For example, with one insurer you may qualify in a standard rate class but with another insurer, you may qualify under a preferred rate class due to the weight of factors taken into consideration.


Below you will some of the most common factors that will give you a better idea of what rate class you may qualify under.


Preferred Plus

Qualifying for preferred plus means that you’ll have access to the cheapest rates possible. As the most stringent rate class to qualify for, you will be in an ideal position when it comes to finding affordable coverage.


How difficult will it be to qualify for this rate class? While no single factor alone will determine your status, you will need to exhibit the following:



Excellent health history

No serious chronic illnesses/ailments

Ideal weight/height ratio (recommended BMI of 25 or less)

No more than 1-2 driving violations within the past 3 years

Never treated for drug or alcohol abuse

No DUIs or reckless driving convictions within the last 5 years

Excellent financial history with no recent bankruptcy

No participation in high-risk activities such as skydiving, rock climbing, bungee jumping, etc

Blood pressure levels that average 140/85 or less

No tobacco use or have been nicotine free for over 5 years

No family history of cardiovascular disease or cancer before the age of 60

LDL cholesterol level less than 220 and good LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio of 5.0 or less



Qualifying for a preferred rate class may not get you the absolute cheapest rates possible, but it will ensure that you’re able to find affordable coverage with little to no trouble.


To fall under a preferred rate class, you will need to demonstrate excellence health and pose minimal health risks. About 48% of people qualify for this rate class.


Curious what specific conditions or factors you should be on the lookout for? Here are some of the most important to keep in mind:


Ideal weight/height ratio (should not be underweight or overweight)

Elevated blood pressure of 145/90 or less

LDL cholesterol around 260 with an LDL/HDL ratio of 5.5 or less


Standard Plus

Applicants that fall under a standard plus rate class are typically in optimum health but possess some health risk such as high blood pressure or weight issues.


Often these applicants do not have major health concerns but do have some health issues that prevent them from qualifying under preferred rate classes.


What factors will determine whether or not you will qualify under this rate class? Here are some of the most influential factors to keep in mind:


Elevated blood pressure of 150/92 or less

LDL cholesterol level of around 270 or less and LDL/HDL ratio of 6.5 or less



This rate class is associated with average health along with a normal life expectancy.


While no major health conditions are typically present under this rate class, other health issues may be present such as being underweight or overweight. In addition, the death of a parent due to disease before the age of 60 could also lead to qualifying under this rate class.


Some of the most common factors that will be taken into consideration for this rate class include:


Elevated blood pressure of 150/95 or less

LDL cholesterol level of around 300 or less and LDL/HDL ratio of 7.9 or less


With only about 3% of applicants being denied coverage, it’s important to shop around to find the best coverage for the best price.


After all, just because you fall under a certain rate class with one insurer doesn’t mean that will be true for every insurer. Be sure to explore policies and providers to maximize your options.



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