Tips to Avoid Blowing Your Life Insurance Medical Exam

Tips to Avoid Blowing Your Life Insurance Medical Exam

Many variables affect the price you will pay for life insurance. Your age plays a big role in determining your rate, as the older you are, the fewer years the insurer has to collect premiums from you before making a payout. Your career also has an impact, as employment in a potentially dangerous industry can increase your risk of death (and the insurer’s subsequent requirement to make a payout).

Your personal health is also a factor life insurers consider. Depending on the insurer you’ve chosen and the type of coverage you’re planning to purchase, you may have to undergo a medical exam. Most take about 20 minutes and include the gathering of data on your height, weight, blood pressure, blood, urine and medical history. The healthier the results indicate you are, the lower the premium an insurer will offer.

Unfortunately, there are many mistakes you can make before this exam that can skew the results against you (and your wallet). Consider the following tips to help you avoid blowing these vital tests.

  1. Guzzling Caffeine

You might have had an early morning and afternoon of meetings, but multiple cups of coffee or energy shots will elevate your blood pressure and heart rate. If they’re still elevated when you have your exam, you could wind up with a higher premium.

  1. Breaking Your Fast

Most blood tests require you to fast for a certain period before your blood is drawn. If you forget to do so, the results may show elevated triglyceride and glucose readings. Both can land you with a higher premium.

  1. Working Out

Exercise is good for you, right? Yes, it is—but not strenuous exercise less than 12 hours before your life insurance medical exam. If you work out to aggressively before your urine test, the results may show elevated protein levels. Because this can indicate kidney problems (in someone who didn’t just work out), you’ll find yourself saddled with a higher premium.

  1. Dehydration

Not only will dehydration make your blood draw more painful (your veins will be more difficult for the technician to find), it can also negatively skew test results. If you haven’t consumed enough liquids, the concentration of sugar and protein in your urine may be outside the normal range. Again, that means a higher premium.

  1. Consuming Alcohol

Numerous studies have shown that alcohol—in moderation—can have health benefits. However, experts recommend avoiding it for at least eight hours before your life insurance medical exam. If you indulge the night before, you may skew test results for liver function and have to pay a higher premium.

  1. Eating Salt

Salt before a medical exam can cause multiple problems including dehydration, water weight gain and skewed results for kidney function tests. Avoid salty foods for 24 hours to avoid these issues and the higher life insurance premiums that may otherwise result.

Whether you’d like to review your current life insurance policy or want to check out new options, we’re here to help. Call us today for assistance with all of your insurance needs.

Water Consumption: Separate Fact from Fiction

Water Consumption: Separate Fact from Fiction

Americans love their water. According to the International Bottled Water Association, U.S. consumers gulped down 10.9 billion gallons of the bottled beverage in 2014. Experts predict bottled water will be the number one selling packaged drink on the market by 2016. Our reasons for drinking water vary—from moving to a lower calorie diet to staying refreshed and hydrated—but most of us have one thing in common: we’re sometimes confused about when, how much and what type of water to drink.

Fiction: You should drink eight glasses of water every day.

Fact: Actually, to stay healthy, you need to consume about eight cups of fluid every day—water or otherwise. Coffee, iced tea and juices count. So do fruits and veggies with high water content such as lettuce, cucumbers, watermelon and grapes. Depending on your diet, you may get enough fluid without drinking a single glass of water.

Fiction: You only need to drink water when you are thirsty.

Fact: When the weather is mild, you might be able to judge your need for water based on thirst alone. But when the temperature rises—or if you’ve been particularly active—you may dehydrate faster than your body realizes. If it’s hot outside or you’re exercising, it’s always a good idea to drink extra fluid.

Fiction: Water helps you lose weight.

Fact: If you consistently replace sugared soft drinks and other caloric beverages with zero calorie water, you may lose weight. Additionally, filling up on water before a meal can help you eat less of whatever is on your plate. However, water does not speed up your metabolism or cause you to burn more calories.

Fiction: Water gives you more energy.

Fact: Water has zero calories, offering nothing for your body to burn as energy. However, dehydration can make you feel sluggish and tired. If you’ve hit a mid-morning or mid-afternoon slump, drinking water to rehydrate may refresh you as a result.

Fiction: Sports drinks are better than water when exercising.

Fact: In most cases, water is actually better for you than a sports drink as they often have unneeded calories, sugar and salt. If you’re working out at a moderate pace for a moderate amount of time, water is all you really need. However, an intense workout—or exercise that lasts more than an hour—may call for a sports drink to help keep your electrolytes balanced.

Fiction: Bottled water is always better than tap water.

Fact: Sure, bottled water can be convenient. Depending on where you live, it may also taste better than your local tap water. However, that does not mean it’s any healthier. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates U.S. tap water and tests it frequently, publically reporting the results. The Food and Drug Administration regulates bottled water, and does not require manufacturers to tell consumers where it came from or what contaminants it may contain.