Presented by Dialdirect

7 Factors that affect your life cover premiums

A life cover policy will ensure your loved ones are financially protected in the event of your death or disability.

Dialdirect, one of South Africa’s leading long-term and short-term insurers, recommends taking out life insurance if you have a family, spouse or long-term partner.

This will ensure they are provided with financial security in your absence.

However, it must be noted that your life cover premiums can be affected by certain factors. Find out more from Dialdirect’s expert team.

How much life cover do you need?

There is no hard-and-fast rule about how much life cover you need but Dialdirect suggests that you weigh this up against your existing financial obligations and number of dependents.

Ideally, your life cover policy should cover what you owe on your debts, such as your home or car loan.

There might be other aspects to consider, depending on your particular circumstances.

For example, if you are the sole provider for your family, you should definitely consider increasing your cover so your loved ones can continue to live on an amount similar to your monthly income.

You should also consider the future needs of your family, such as university tuition, or the retirement of your partner.

Once you have decided how much cover you need, you can request a bespoke life cover quote and your insurance company will calculate your premiums based on a number of risk factors. Some of these would include the following:

1. Lifestyle habits

Lifestyle habits, such as smoking or excessive drinking, will affect your life cover premiums and could even affect the amount of cover for which you qualify.

This is due to the fact that certain types of lifestyle habits may be deemed unhealthy by medical experts, which could make the policyholder more likely to suffer an early death or develop an illness, so your life cover insurance premiums are likely to be higher.[1]

2. Weight

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa [2],being overweight or obese has serious effects on a person’s health.

This increases your risk of having a heart attack or developing serious health problems, like high blood pressure, diabetes and certain types of cancer. If you’re overweight, all of these risks are taken into account when calculating your premium.

3. Family medical history

Certain medical conditions are hereditary, so your family history is important to insurers.

If an immediate relative suffered from a serious condition like cardiovascular heart disease, there is a higher chance that you could also develop this condition, which would affect your life cover premiums.

4. Mental health

An insurer won’t just look at your physical health and lifestyle. The broker will also take your mental health and well-being into account. Even if you are on medication for a particular mental condition and it’s under control, it may still influence the premiums you pay.

5. Job / Occupation

If you have an office-style desk job, chances are slim that your life cover premiums will be affected.

However, if you’re engaged in an occupation, like security, you could probably expect to pay a little more.

Jobs like piloting and even occupations where you spend a lot of time driving can drive your premiums, because statistically speaking, you’re more likely to be involved in a motor accident.[3]

6. Hobbies

Your insurance broker won’t just look at your job or occupation. Insurers will also want to know if you engage in any high-risk entertainment activities or sports.

So, for instance, if you’re an adrenaline junkie and love spending weekends jumping out of planes or participating in motor cross events, you will need to inform your insurance company.

7. Age

Life cover premiums are likely to be higher as one gets older. This is because the underlying risk of the policyholder increases, each year, as you get older.

Life cover you can trust

Determining one’s individual life insurance risks is something that should be undertaken by a qualified broker who can provide you with a life insurance quote that reflects your lifestyle and  is designed to adequately protect your loved ones when you’re gone.

Contact Dialdirect’s team to discover more about a life policy and to get an individualised life cover quote.


Long-term insurance policies are underwritten by 1Life Insurance Ltd an authorised financial services provider (FSP licence number: 24769)

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7 Factors that affect your life cover premiums