Getting life insurance may be easy for some applicants – especially if you’re young and relatively healthy. But the truth is that there are many people who may not be in the best of health, yet still have loved ones who need the financial protection that life insurance can provide. So, for those who may not be the picture of health, what are your life insurance choices? The good news is that there are many.
Today, because of our longer life expectancies – and the many advances in medical technology – it has opened up many new doors for those who many not have been able to get life insurance coverage in the past. Because people are living longer, life insurers aren’t having to pay out claims as often, and because of that, it has brought the cost of life insurance down for many people. In order to find the right coverage for you, though, you still need to know where to shop, and what conditions can still be considered high risk by the insurers.
Medical Conditions That Are Considered To Be High Risk
Even though there have been some amazing advances made in medical technology over the past several years – and various diseases are being cured, and / or managed – there are still some that can be considered higher risk when an individual is applying for life insurance coverage. Some of these can include the following:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Conditions
- Cardiovascular Disease
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- HIV / AIDS
- High Cholesterol
Being able to manage these conditions is a good start in getting the green light for coverage. In many cases, you will be required to undergo a medical exam as a part of the underwriting process – during which time the paramedical professional will take a blood pressure and heart rate reading, as well as a blood and urine sample. With this in mind, it is essential to be as truthful and complete as possible on your application for coverage, as most any health issue that isn’t disclosed will eventually show up during the medical exam.
The underwriters may also want to review your medical records from your primary care physician and / or from any specialist that you see for a particular condition that you have. This can help the underwriters to get a clearer picture of your overall health condition. If you are managing a condition that you have, however, this can show quite favorably regarding you being able to qualify for coverage.
Although most people understand that having poor health can hinder your life insurance application, what many may not realize is that there are other factors that can also have an effect. For example, the job that you have can play a big part in the amount that you pay for life insurance – and, if that job is considered to be risky, then you could end up paying more for your coverage, or even be denied altogether, if the insurer feels that you are too much of a risk.
Some of the occupations that are considered to be “high risk” in the eyes of life insurance carriers include:
- Police officers
- Window washers
- Coal miners
- Pilots (commercial and private)
- Construction and iron workers
- Farmers / ranchers
- Taxi drivers
- Commercial fishermen
- Truck drivers
- Electrical power line installers
- Skydiving instructors
- Flight instructors
- Offshore oil workers
Likewise, there are also many high-risk hobbies that an insurer will take a close look at before issuing coverage. These hobbies can include skydiving, rock climbing, scuba diving, and hang gliding. Because these can place an individual in danger – and in turn, increase a person’s risk of injury or death – they tend to increase the cost of life insurance coverage. This is the case, even if the applicant is otherwise in excellent health.
Unhealthy Habits That Can Affect Life Insurance Premium Rates
There are also habits that a person can have that a life insurer can consider to be unhealthy, and thus, can also raise the premiums on a life insurance policy. The biggest of these is smoking. The cost of life insurance for those who smoke can oftentimes be three to four times that of a comparable policy for a non-smoker, with all other factors being equal.
Another habit that is considered to be unhealthy by life insurance carriers is drinking alcohol. One’s alcohol intake can be a negative factor for a couple of reasons. First, depending on the amount that a person consumes on a regular basis, it can lead to alcoholism. In this case, an individual may find it difficult to obtain coverage at all if they have reached this point. Drinking alcohol to excess can also lead to weight gain.
Being overweight is yet another unhealthy habit considered by life insurers. Most insurance carriers will determine whether or not an applicant is of a healthy weight by calculating their body mass index, or BMI. This is a measurement that is based upon their weight in proportion to their height. A healthy BMI by most insurers’ standards is somewhere between 18 and 25.
Being overweight can put an individual at risk of many serious health issues – including stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. With this in mind, it is important to avoid such unhealthy habits and to instead focus on more healthy ones such as exercise and better-eating choices. These can lead to a longer life expectancy – and in turn, to lower life insurance premium rates.
What the Insurance Company Will Want To Know About You
In addition to just the information on the application for coverage, the life insurance company will typically want more in-depth information from an applicant who has a medical condition and / or who works in a higher risk occupation (or who may pose some other type of risk to the insurance carrier). Therefore, the insurer may ask some or all of the following questions in order to obtain more details:
- When did you obtain your initial diagnosis of your medical condition?
- What symptoms, if any, have you experienced since your initial diagnosis?
- What medication(s) have you been prescribed for your condition?
- What is the dosage of your medication(s)?
- In what other ways are you managing your condition (i.e., with diet and / or exercise)?
- How often do you see your primary care physician and / or medical specialist regarding your condition?
- Have you been hospitalized within the past 12 months for your condition?
- Have you had any type of relevant testing performed within the past six months due to your condition?
How to Help Yourself Get a Better Life Insurance Premium Rate
For those who have certain conditions or situations that may cause a higher life insurance premium, there may be – in some cases – things that can be done in order to help in lowering the premium amount. For example, for someone who is a smoker, quitting this habit can tend to eventually lower one’s blood pressure – which can, in turn, lead to numerous positive health-related outcomes.
There are other steps that can also be taken in terms of reducing one’s life insurance premium. For example, changing to a less risky occupation can lessen the danger in the eyes of the insurance carrier. This is one way of potentially lowering the premium cost of one’s coverage.
Likewise, by engaging in a more healthy diet, as well as by participating in a regular exercise program, an individual can put into motion several keys to increasing his or her overall life expectancy.
It is important to note that while these steps are all positive in nature, they may need to be in place for a certain amount of time before the insurance company will consider lowering the amount of premium on a policy holder’s coverage. In some cases, it may also require that the insured go back through the underwriting process.
What If You Can’t Qualify for Traditionally Underwritten Life Insurance Coverage?
If conditions exist that you are just simply unable to qualify for a traditional or medically underwritten life insurance policy, then there are still certain options available to you – even if you may have been turned down for coverage in the past, and even if you have taken certain steps to ensure your best overall health.
In certain cases, it may be necessary for an individual to go the route of guarantee issue life insurance coverage. With this type of coverage, an applicant will not be required to undergo a medical examination for the underwriting process. This means that individuals with certain types of health conditions, as well as those who work in various types of occupations, can still be able to qualify for coverage.
Because there is no medical exam to contend with, the process of approval on these types of policies can also go much faster than a medically – or traditionally – underwritten life insurance policy. Because of this, a person can oftentimes obtain their coverage within just a matter of days as versus weeks, or longer.
No medical exam coverage can be issued as either term or permanent. This means that an individual can choose whether they wish to have death benefit protection only, or if they would prefer to have both death benefit coverage along with a cash value component that also offers them the ability to build up tax-deferred savings.
Where to Obtain the Best Quotes on High Risk Life Insurance Coverage
If you are in the market for life insurance coverage, and you feel that you may not qualify for a traditionally underwritten plan, then it may be best to work with an independent agency or company that has access to multiple insurance carriers as versus going to just one single insurer and applying. This is because going this route will allow you many more options. Such agencies will also be able to point you in the right direction in terms of applying with insurers that may be more apt to underwrite individuals who have certain conditions or work in certain occupations. This can save you a great deal of time, as well as frustration, throughout the application process.
When you are ready to move forward with the purchase of life insurance coverage, we can help. We work with many of the top life insurance carriers in the marketplace today – and we can assist you with obtaining all of the essential details that you require in making your purchase decision. We can do you for you quickly, easily, and conveniently – all from your home computer – and without the need to meet in person with an insurance agent. If you’re ready to take a look at the many potential coverage options that you may have, then fill out the form on this page to get a set of customized quotes.
Should you find that you still have some questions as you move through the process, we have experts who are happy to walk you through, step by step, any of the concerns that you may have. Please feel free to contact us. We can be reached directly by phone, toll-free, by dialing 888-229-7522.
We understand that the purchase of life insurance may feel like it’s out of reach – especially if you have a health condition or work in a high-risk occupation. But the good news is that you still have a number of good potential options that are available to you. We can help you in finding the right type and amount of coverage that can give you and those you love the peace of mind that you deserve. So, contact us today – we’re here to help.