Insurance premiums are directly proportional to your risk status in the eyes of the insurance company. So, when calculating insurance premiums you must keep your risk factor in mind.
The risk is directly related to the insured person's health. The company is as interested in you not having cholesterol, diabetes or any other life-threatening diseases as say your spouse or mother is. The company would like to take all the precautions it can to ensure that you do not die prematurely, causing them to pay a lot more than what you contributed as premium.
Your health at the time of issuing a policy is what is assessed as risk. It is done by taking into account your age, sex and general health. You are required to declare all the diseases that you have or diseases that run in your family. Additionally, if required, the company conducts its own set of medical examinations. Once all the data is in place you are either a preferred or a standard customer and a premium is fixed for you.
Each company has its own criteria for slotting an individual in either of the two categories. But the thumb rule is simple: if you are young and healthy and have a lifestyle which suggests many years of premium paying, the company will fix a low premium for you. In the eyes of the company you are a low risk individual. It sees less chance of you dying before time and causing them to pay out.
On the other hand if they see you as middle-aged, with either poor general health or a history of ailments or anything else that casts a shadow on your ability to live well beyond the policy period, then you are a high risk individual. The company understands that you may die at any point so it makes sure that you pay either hefty premiums or buy small policies.
Besides this, women typically pay lower premiums because they tend to live longer and men get annuity at lower rates because they have shorter life spans. Some insurance companies are flexible enough to re-evaluate your health and premium amounts a few years after you buy your policy. If they find that your lifestyle and health have improved markedly or that you have been cured completely of a terminal disease, they lessen the amount of premium you pay.
So if you are planning on getting an insurance policy, make sure you get healthy first. You will save yourself a considerable amount of premium.