Family Health History and Your Life Insurance Rates

By October 28, 2023 Advisor, Blog, Consumer, News
3 generations of healthy men

When you apply for life insurance, you’ll often find that insurance companies ask for details about the health history of your immediate family. This inquiry is a key component of the underwriting process, which insurers typically use to evaluate the potential risks they might take on by insuring you.

The reason they’re interested in your family’s health history is to assess the likelihood of you developing diseases or medical conditions that have a hereditary link. Let’s say, for instance, that heart disease or cancer runs in your family. You might then be at a heightened risk of facing these conditions yourself due to genetic factors. As a result, this could mean higher insurance premiums for you because of the perceived risk. If your family’s health history has no significant health issues, you might benefit from more favourable rates.


Compare our rates with similar plans and benefits.

The Impact of Family Health History on Life Insurance Rates

Insurance companies delve deep into various elements of your health profile to determine your premium rates. Medical conditions that appear in your family’s past can offer clues about potential health risks in your future. Genetics plays a role in numerous health conditions, and certain ailments have strong genetic components, such as heart conditions, diabetes, and specific types of cancers.

If these conditions are prevalent in your family, it may raise red flags. It’s not a matter of discrimination but rather a data-driven approach to assess potential liabilities. While not everyone with a family history of a particular ailment will develop it, statistical patterns show they might be at a higher risk. On the other hand, a family history of longevity and minimal serious diseases suggests a lower risk profile. These risk assessments usually directly impact the premium rates you’re offered. In essence, a deep dive into your family’s health is part of the insurance company’s methodology to evaluate how likely you are to file a claim in the future. The more they perceive you might cost them, the higher your premiums.

Family History Factors to Consider

Diseases and Medical Conditions

Life insurance companies pay close attention to diseases and medical conditions in your family’s health history. Specific conditions, like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and genetic disorders, are of particular interest. These ailments can suggest a hereditary risk that might increase the likelihood of the applicant encountering similar health challenges.

Age and Cause of Death

The age at which family members have faced health conditions or passed away can be revealing. If individuals within your family were diagnosed with severe illnesses at a young age or experienced premature deaths, it could signify a genetic predisposition to certain health issues. For insurance companies, this might suggest that you, as the applicant, could also be at a heightened risk of developing these conditions earlier than the general population. This, in turn, can influence the rates and terms of the coverage they offer.

Weight and Lifestyle Factors

Beyond genetic and hereditary concerns, insurance companies also evaluate lifestyle patterns evident in your family history. If there’s a recurring theme of obesity, smoking, substance abuse, or other unhealthy habits among your relatives, it will be factored into how the rates are determined. Such behaviours can influence overall health outcomes and life expectancy.

Even if these habits are not present in you directly, a family history rich in these factors might suggest a potential predisposition or environment conducive to adopting such habits, leading to a reassessment of the associated risks.

How to Reduce the Impact of Your Family’s Health History on Your Life Insurance Rates

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Prioritizing a healthy lifestyle can significantly impact insurance companies’ perception of your risk level. Engaging in regular physical activity, adhering to a balanced and nutritious diet, ensuring your weight is within a healthy range, and refraining from harmful habits like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption can all contribute to a favourable profile.

When insurers see evidence of your commitment to your health, it showcases your proactive approach to reducing potential health risks. So, while genetic predispositions play a role, insurers also recognize and often reward proactive health management. As a result, they might deem you a lower risk, which could lead to better insurance rates.

Considerations for High-risk Individuals

Understanding your family’s health history is crucial, especially if there are recurring instances of specific diseases or conditions. Each insurer follows distinct criteria to ascertain risk and comprehending these nuances aids in making informed choices. Canada Protection Plan offers a Simplified Issue and No Medical1 Life Insurance Plan, which can provide coverage to those who might be considered a higher risk. It does not require the applicant to undergo a medical examination to secure coverage. If you’re searching for an inclusive, empathetic, and understanding approach to life insurance, Canada Protection Plan could be your ideal partner.

Regularly Review and Update Family Health Information

Over time, the health landscape of your family can change, or new medical conditions can be diagnosed. It’s crucial to keep an eye on this evolving data and ensure it’s updated, particularly when applying for life insurance. When you provide the most recent and accurate information, underwriters can get a clear and holistic view of your family’s health dynamics. Not only does this allow for a precise risk evaluation, but it can also mean that the rates offered truly reflect your situation, ensuring fairness and transparency in the process.

Insurance providers aim for a holistic understanding of an applicant and capture a comprehensive snapshot of their risk. While family history is significant, it’s but one piece of the puzzle. Other factors, such as personal medical history, lifestyle, occupation, and even hobbies, also weigh into the final determination of insurability and rates.

Canada Protection Plan recognizes that a person’s family health history can hinder securing life insurance. Whether your background involves specific medical conditions or you’re seeking a customized policy, we are committed to offering you a life insurance plan suited to your needs. Contact one of our agents to schedule a consultation.

Canada Protection Plan is one of Canada’s leading providers of No Medical and Simplified Issue Life Insurance. Our mission is to provide reliable protection and compassionate service from coast to coast with easy-to-purchase life insurance, critical illness insurance and related products. Our expanding product choices will help you get the coverage and peace of mind you need for a better financial future. Canada Protection Plan products are available through over 25,000 independent insurance advisors across Canada.

422619 CAN (10/23)

  1. Insurability depends on answers to medical and other application questions and underwriting searches and review.
To learn more about Canada Protection Plan and our line of comprehensive No Medical and Simplified Issue life insurance solutions, call Broker Services at 1-877-796-9090 and we will be happy to assist you or put you in contact with Sales support in your region.

 Advisors, want to be in the know? Join our LinkedIn Group today!
Pour en savoir plus sur Plan de protection du Canada et sur sa gamme complète de solutions d’assurance vie sans exigence médicale et à émission simplifiée, communiquez avec les personnes-ressources des Services de courtage au 1 877 796-9090, qui seront heureuses de vous aider ou de vous mettre en contact avec l’un de nos soutiens aux ventes dans votre région.

 En tant que conseillers, vous voulez être au courant? Rejoignez notre groupe LinkedIn aujourd’hui !