Munjal Shah, CEO and co-founder of Health IQ, is a man on a mission to improve the health of the world. But his approach uniquely targets the already health conscious, like Spartan athletes. He firmly believes that health conscious people should be celebrated for their dedication to a healthy lifestyle. Getting special rate life insurance for athletes like Spartan Racers is just the first stop on Health IQ’s mission.
Life insurance companies have historically relied on information and methods to calculate risk when pricing premiums that can unfairly miscategorize athletes as higher in risk—resulting in imprecise underwriting and higher rates.
As an athlete, here are 6 obstacles you might run into when looking for life insurance:
- You have a high BMI. BMI tests can’t tell the difference between muscle and fat. Athletes often have a higher proportion of muscle— healthy bulk rather than unhealthy fat. Find a life insurance carrier that understands the reason behind your BMI.
- You have a low resting heart rate. Most life insurance carriers categorize normal resting heartbeat as 60-100 beats per minute. Health conscious people, especially endurance athletes, can have resting heart rates as low as 40 BPM. Look for an insurance carrier with the expertise to recognize that your low heart rate is a sign of your healthy lifestyle.
- You have a family history of disease. While family history certainly can be important when assessing one’s risk, it should not be the determining factor. Living a health conscious lifestyle can greatly lower one’s risk. Be sure to emphasize the health conscious steps you are taking to reduce your risk when talking to a carrier.
- You’re a vegan or vegetarian. Many carriers don’t take into account the fact that research studies have reported that vegetarians have a 24% reduced risk of death from heart disease and vegans have a 16% lower risk of colorectal cancer. Working with a life insurance company that understands the benefits of a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle can greatly benefit your rates.
- You have high cholesterol. While cholesterol levels can certainly provide important feedback about health, using total cholesterol as the absolute marker of health risk can unfairly categorize low-carb dieters. Be sure to mention any special diets you are on and ask if your carrier can focus on triglyceride levels and HDL (good) cholesterol instead.
- You have a chronic health condition. While chronic disease certainly affects health, there is a difference between a diabetic who sits on the couch eating desserts and one who is fueling his/her obstacle course race with complex carbs. Be sure to mention the health conscious steps you are taking to manage your chronic health condition when speaking with a carrier.
Keeping these above tips in mind can help health conscious people—like Spartan Racers— reap the financial benefits of all those WODs, races, and foregone desserts as well as tackle the unnecessary obstacles that can arise when purchasing life insurance.
More About Munjal and Health IQ:
Munjal’s own journey from unhealthy Joe to health conscious CEO began in 2010, when at age 37 he ended up in the emergency room with chest pains. The serial entrepreneur had sold his company to Google the day before, and his health hadn’t been a high priority. Munjal’s health scare served as a wake-up call: he was determined not to suffer a heart attack in his 40s like his father, and over the next several years he lost 40 pounds, changed his diet, and completed three marathons.
Not only did Munjal discover for himself the hard work it takes to become health conscious, so did his team of co-founders—all of whom were touched by a personal health challenge or that of a family member, such as Brett Cooper, who went from 320 pounds to 190 after 2+ arduous years of trial and error with nutrition and fitness, and Gaurav Suri, who lowered his high cholesterol and blood sugar levels (and lost 50 pounds) through healthy diet and exercise.
Through their own journeys to health, the co-founders realized that staying committed to one’s health was really difficult and asked themselves: what if there were a way to improve the health of the world by celebrating those who choose to put in the work of maintaining a healthy lifestyle? That’s when Munjal and his team co-founded Health IQ in 2013.
Throughout Health IQ’s early days, Munjal and his team acted as the company’s guinea pigs, going through monthly body mass index exams and OGTT tests—which measures glucose tolerance—to assess their own health consciousness.
Finally, Health IQ landed on creating fun but challenging science-based quizzes that individuals could use to assess their own health consciousness—their Health IQ—and over the next few years more than 1 million people took the signature Health IQ quiz. When analyzing this proprietary data, Health IQ observed that people who scored better also just seemed to be healthier, and that the health conscious had a lower risk of premature death. From this data, Health IQ began to forge ahead as a leader in special rate life insurance for the health conscious.
To learn more about Health IQ and apply for special rate life insurance for Spartan Racers, visit HealthIQ.com.