Healthy Living

Live healthy, feel better – and pay less for insurance

There are a lot of theories out there about what it means to live healthy, from joining the gym to eating organic foods. Here’s a perspective you may not have considered – the logical perspective from actuaries at insurance companies who study longevity and life expectancy.

Measuring good health

Actuaries use statistics and actuarial science to determine which health and lifestyle factors help us live longer. To do this they start at the end, so to speak. Actuaries look first at the leading causes of death. Then they document the health conditions that contribute to those causes.
For example, cancer and heart disease account for more than half of the deaths in Canada. The main risk factors for those two diseases include smoking, high blood pressure, excess weight, poor diet, and high cholesterol. Insurance companies measure these risk factors to help assess individual life expectancy.

Lowering the risks

Some health risks can be controlled with medication and lifestyle changes. However, there are other factors insurance companies examine that can’t be controlled – age, sex, and family medical history. The key to lowering premiums – and feeling good – is taking the appropriate steps to lower the risk factors that you can control.