Shopping for life insurance can be a daunting task if you have a pre-existing health problem such as a heart condition, diabetes, cancer or stroke. The main reason is that even minor health conditions can have a significant impact on your rates and many life insurance companies just are not willing to give you the benefit of the doubt in underwriting. The good news is that some life insurance companies specialize in writing life insurance if you have had past health issues. Understanding your overall condition and performing the proper steps in both managing your disease and approaching potential insurers will help you substantially in finding a company that will work with you.
What You Should Know About Impaired-Risk Underwriting
Having a serious health condition does not necessarily mean that you are absolutely ineligible for life insurance. While it may be possible that one company will decline your application and reject coverage, you will likely find other companies that are willing to make competitive offers. The most important thing is to not to get discouraged and find a professional agent that has your best interests at heart.
It may take some time to find the right insurance company. Be patient and work with a professional that will gather your detailed health information and shop the marketplace prior to submitting any formal application. One of the best strategies for finding the company that will offer you the best rate given your specific medical history is the trial application process. By gathering all of the necessary information up front and shopping the market based on the actual health information, you can have several life insurance companies bidding on your case. This creates a competitive situation and allows you to sit back while the companies are making aggressive underwriting offers for you to evaluate.
The problem is that most life insurance agents are not willing to do the work required to get you the best results. Before you submit any applications for insurance, you should always ask for references. A top independent agent will have several references from people he or she has worked with that have similar medical conditions as you.
Medical Conditions Considered High Risk by Insurance Companies:
Every life insurance company will underwrite, or assess the nature of your treatments and maintenance of your condition, to establish your risk and life expectancy. Knowing the severity of your health problems will help you to better anticipate what insurers are looking for and potentially allow you to minimize rate increases. In many cases, we find that our customers do not have the complete picture from their physician’s with respect to their specific health concerns, see My Doctor says I’m Doing Great. Therefore, by securing your actual medical records up front, we can get the specifics and then allow insurance companies to make offers based on your exact information. In most cases, this assures optimal results.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. Today. It is also one of the most serious but common medical conditions that we face when trying to find competitive life insurance. Heart disease can occur in a number of forms and includes heart attack, coronary artery disease, angina, coronary bypass surgery, congestive heart failure and irregular heart beats such as atrial fibrillation.
If you have a heart condition, your life insurance rates will depend upon the specifics of your medical records. Potential offers can range from standard to decline. If you have heart disease, the importance of using a life insurance professional to help you find the best policy cannot be understated.
Diabetes is another common condition that affects millions of Americans and with our current lifestyle can only be expected to rise. As with all medical conditions, your rates will depend upon your level of control. Two of the most important indicators of control of diabetes are glucose and A1C. Of these two, your A1C reading is the most important variable in determining your life insurance rate. For more information, see “What is an A1C Reading?”
There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Usually diagnosed before the age of 18, Type 1 diabetes is not contracted by poor diet or lifestyle. Type1 diabetes is more genetic and is commonly subject to higher insurance rates. Type 2 diabetes is oftentimes more manageable with diet and exercise and therefore can be underwritten more aggressively if you have good compliance. In fact, in certain circumstances, there is one insurance company that will potentially offer type 2 diabetics a preferred rate if they exhibit excellent control of their glucose and A1C. For more information, see Diabetes and Life Insurance.
Another terrible disease which is rampant today is cancer. In fact, I would say that everyone in the country has a family member or knows someone that has had cancer. Much like diabetes, cancer also has varying types and the type of cancer will be crucial in assessing you risk and determining your rate for life insurance. For example, certain skin cancers are nonthreatening and allow for the best health class while other more serious cancers such as pancreatic cancer can be automatic declines.
Life insurance companies are most interested in the severity of the type of cancer as well as the stage and grade of the cancer. Additionally, the treatment being performed such as surgery and radiation or chemotherapy will also have a significant bearing on you insurability and policy rates. Finally the length of time that has passed since your cancer has been in remission is also critical.
An important medical report called a pathology report will be crucial to the insurance company to accurately define a cancer risk.
Stroke or Cerebral Vascular Accident
A major stroke can have serious consequences and lasting affects. For this reason, strokes are difficult to underwrite and usually carry a pretty hefty rating or extra charge. Additionally, strokes can reoccur if not treated properly which greatly increases risk of death.
The key to getting a competitive rate after a stroke is the MRI and brain scan results. Quite frankly, if the results are not optimal, you will be declined for insurance. As with several of the medical conditions listed above, a trial application should be taken and your medical records accessed before formally applying for life insurance.
A milder form of a stroke called a Trans Ischemic Attack or TIA is generally not as difficult to insure as the symptoms usually go away within 24-48 hours. Again, an MRI and brain scan will go along way to determining the severity of the stroke and the viability of securing an affordable life insurance policy.
It is Mandatory to Use an Independent Agent Experienced in Impaired-Risk
While there are many resources available today to assist you in finding a satisfactory life insurance provider, employing the help of an experienced independent agent is absolutely the most valuable if you have a challenging medical condition. As mentioned above, most life insurance agents do not have the ability nor are they willing to put forth the effort required to get you the best results. At MEG we specialize in working with people who have tough medical conditions and in fact focus on these cases. We have helped hundreds of people across the country with heart problems; diabetes and cancer find affordable life insurance. If you have a prior medical history of any of these conditions and are seeking life insurance, you owe it to yourself and family to do business with a pro. Our guarantee is that “we will leave no stoned unturned” when working for you. Call MEG Today at (877) 583-3955 and we do everything we can to help you!
If you have a significant past medical history, securing affordable life insurance can be very tricky if not impossible. The key to a good life insurance offer is to gather your medical records and work with an independent agent that will shop the market on your behalf. If your case justifies, the trial application process is likely the best approach. This assures that you will not be formally turned down by multiple insurance companies and that you will receive the best bids available. If you have had a serious medical condition and would like MEG to assist you in the process of finding affordable life insurance, simply call us today toll free at (877) 583-3955 or submit a question here.
Ins. Resources for People with Medical Conditions
- Life Insurance Medical Directory
- Life Insurance Health Classes
- Underwriting Life Insurance
- Trial Application Process
- Instant Life Insurance Quote