skip to main content

We may earn money when you click on our links. Learn More

Icon Close  Light

Call Today! 888-234-8376

Determine Your Life Insurance Health Class Rating

Researcher & Writer
April 06, 2020

Most people searching for how life insurance companies determine health ratings are doing so for a specific purpose: to determine if they can qualify for the best rate class. Now while there is no fool proof way to guarantee the top rate, you can up your chances by making sure you have options. 

What is a health class rating?

Health class ratings are different tiers used by an insurance company to determine what rate you will receive on your life insurance. Each company can evaluate you differently, depending on your unique situation.

What are the different life insurance health ratings?

While every life insurance company is free to make their own rate categories, most will break down their pricing as follows:

  • Preferred Plus or Preferred Best Non-smoker
  • Preferred Non-smoker
  • Standard Non-smoker
  • Preferred Smoker
  • Standard Smoker
  • Substandard or Table Rated
    • Table Rated 1-16 or Table Rated A-P

In this list of health ratings, substandard is the highest (i.e. worst) and least affordable type of health classification (but if you get this health rating you should be thankful you even qualify!). Prices go down with each category, ending in the cheapest, most affordable life insurance rate class: Preferred Plus.

Call today: 888-234-8376

How does a life insurance company determine my health rating class?

As you will notice, smoking is one of the biggest factors to determine your life insurance rate. Every category has a smoker and non-smoker rate, the smoker rate of course being higher. In addition to your smoking status, a life insurance company will use the information they have gathered about your life, lifestyle, habits, and medical state and history to determine which category to put you in.

In particular, you will likely qualify for a better rate if you:

  • are at a normal weight for your height
  • have never had drug or alcohol treatment
  • rarely or never engage in adventure sports such as skydiving, skiing or rock climbing
  • have normal cholesterol
  • have a good driving record
  • have normal blood pressure
  • display no serious illnesses, diseases, or ailments
  • have healthy immediate family members (a family history of heart disease is especially bad for your rates)

The tricky thing is, not all life insurance companies will come to the same conclusion. Some life insurance companies can have loosened guidelines on things like smoking or certain pre-existing conditions and you may be able to qualify for a lower rate with those companies.

Can I know for sure what my health rating will be before I apply?

The short answer: no. While you can do your best to take an educated guess, there are too many variables between one life insurance company and another. Ultimately, the decision is up to the life insurance company and you’ll only know once you apply. Once again, the company you apply with is an essential ingredient to qualifying for the best life insurance health categories. 

If you aren't sure which life insurance company is best for you, give us a call and we can guide you to the right company.

Some additional tips for qualifying at the best life insurance health rating

The best thing you can do when pursuing a policy is to be informed. You can check out our article on what life insurance companies test for. This article will give you a good idea of what insurance companies are looking for to determine what life insurance health rating to place you in.

Finally, because your rate will vary depending on your life insurance provider, it’s advisable to seek third-party assistance from a life insurance agent who can place you with one of best life insurance companies

Written by
We are a team of life insurance experts with the simple mission of helping you find the best coverage for your unique situation. We research, review, and rank life insurance companies to make that process easier.