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Grumpy work colleagues? Better check your life insurance premiums...

Something old, something new.

Early last year we noticed a research article that said “people treated unfairly at work and who suffer in silence have twice the risk of a heart attack, or dying of heart disease".

Conversely, if you get really mad at the office once in a while, shout at your boss, yell at your colleagues and generally blow a gasket… you’ll have a far better chance of living longer (and losing your job, obviously)!

Read about this research here in one of our earlier blogs.

Now there’s more!

New research from Tel Aviv University, Israel indicates that having supportive work colleagues helps you live longer!

Dr Arie Shirom and her team studied the medical records of more than 800 workers who had been tracked for 20 years, from 1988 to 2008. The research found that a good relationship with co-workers had an impact on mortality risk, and was most pronounced between the ages of 38 and 43. (Too bad this doesn’t affect me any longer).

The researchers found that they could strongly predict the risk of dying (from any cause) from how well a person was socially integrated and connected in the workplace. They also found that mortality was not determined by how supportive their boss was, but rather by how supportive their work colleagues were.

So, why is this interesting to us in the life insurance business??

Because, when you take out life insurance, the insurance company is in effect ‘taking a bet’ on how long you’ll live.

If you die earlier than expected, it’s bad for business. That’s why we’re a much happier bunch when our policyholders live a long, long time. That’s how life insurance companies make a tidy profit. (And living longer isn’t too bad for policyholders either).

So, will this new research change the way life insurers offer life insurance?

Maybe life insurance companies should ask you on their application forms how supportive your colleagues are at work? If your answer is that your colleagues are grumpy and unsupportive, you’ll be charged higher premiums on your life insurance… and your life will be shorter, obviously!

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