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Survive This Economy: Cutting Your Life Insurance Premiums

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Marcus Wright is trying to lose 25 pounds to help reduce his cholesterol and blood pressure, and save money on his annual life insurance premium. (Credit: CBS)

Marcus Wright is trying to lose 25 pounds to help reduce his cholesterol and blood pressure, and save money on his annual life insurance premium. (Credit: CBS)

Dorothy Tucker Dorothy Tucker
Dorothy Tucker has served as a reporter for CBS 2 Chicago since 1984....
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CBS Chicago (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSChicago.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSChicago.com/Health

CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s summertime and everyone wants to be in shape. You already know losing weight is good for your health, but CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports getting fit can also save you money on life insurance.

Marcus Wright has been pounding the pavement, on a mission to lose weight and improve his health.

“I know that right now my cholesterol is a little elevated. I know that I’ve been battling high blood pressure,” he said. “I am considered overweight. My doctor just told me that.”

Shedding a few pounds will not only be good for Wright’s health, it will also be good for his wallet. He could save money on a life insurance policy.

“I’d like to buy one for as long as possible, I’d like it to be a 30-year policy, so I want to get the best rate I can get today,” he said.

For the best rate on a $500,000 policy, Marcus would have to lose 25 pounds. Right now, at the age of 43, 5’9″ tall, 210 pounds, a non-smoker, with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and a family history of heart problems, Marcus has to pay $814 a year. If he sheds 25 pounds, his premiums would drop to $549, a significant savings of $265 a year.

“Obesity is a huge problem in our country. It causes so many other health issues,” said MetLife Insurance representative Geoffrey Grossett. “If we can reduce our weight, maintain that weight, we will probably live longer, and we will reduce our long-term health costs; not just our life insurance policy, but the health costs.”

Other ways to reduce your premiums include improving your lifestyle.

If you smoke, stop. You’ll cut your premiums by 50%.

Exercise on a regular basis, and you’ll get a 20% break.

And Grossett said it’s never too late to cash in on positive changes.

“A year from now, you’ve gone and lost 30 pounds, you’ve worked out, you’ve quit smoking, your blood pressure’s come down — call your insurance agent, and get another underwriting, and you very, very likely will be able to reduce your premiums.”

The sooner you sign up for life insurance, the less you pay. Younger adults have less health issues, and typically pay 50 to 60 percent less.

If Wright does get his weight down by 25 pounds, his $265 savings on life insurance will bring the total money his family has saved through the “Survive This Economy” series to $2,932 since November.

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