Life insurance is important – and often a necessary – financial planning tool. This vehicle is essential for many people for protecting their loved ones from financial devastation in case of the unthinkable. It can also ensure that debts will be paid off and that future promises will be kept such as a child or grandchild’s college education and / or funds that are promised to a charity.
While some people can easily qualify for the coverage that they need or want, others may not be so lucky. This is oftentimes due to certain health related issues that can make them appear riskier to a life insurance carrier. One such condition can include high blood pressure.
What is High Blood Pressure and Why It Can Affect Life Insurance Coverage
While many people may not realize it, your blood pressure can have a major effect on your overall health – and therefore, on what you pay for life insurance, as well as whether or not you may even qualify for a policy at all.
In its most basic sense, your blood pressure itself is the force of your blood as it pushes outward on your arterial walls. This pressure is therefore created by your heart as it pumps the blood through your blood vessels and capillaries.
When it comes to your actual blood pressure, there are two different readings that are associated with it. These are typically read as the “top” number and the “bottom” number. On top is the systolic pressure. This is what measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart is beating. The bottom number refers to the diastolic pressure. This is what measures your pressure in your arteries when your heart is resting between its beats.
If a person has high blood pressure – which is also referred to hypertension – it means that he or she has blood pressure in their arteries that has increased, which in turn, has forced their heart to work harder. This puts more pressure on their arteries, and can essentially result in damage to their heart, as well as to their arteries and to other bodily organs.
If high blood pressure is not treated, it can lead to a number of dangerous – and potentially fatal – health issues. These can include stroke, heart attack, and / or kidney damage. For these reasons, life insurance companies take a very close look at applicants who have high blood pressure prior to issuing coverage.
Depending on what a person’s blood pressure is, and how – or if – they are treating it, the premium rate of their life insurance coverage could be higher. This is why it is important to shop around before making a final determination on a life insurance policy, as different carriers may “rate” their policies differently when it comes to this type of issue.
What many people may not realize is that, while all life insurers have some type of criteria for evaluating their applicants for coverage, all of these carriers do not do so in an identical manner. For example, an individual who applies for a policy, and who has high blood pressure, may be approved for a policy at one carrier as a substandard policyholder. However, that same applicant may be approved for a policy at another insurance carrier as a Standard – and offered substantially lower rates.
What the Life Insurance Underwriters Will Want To Know About You
When applying for life insurance, the underwriters will want to know certain information about you before issuing you a policy. This is because the insurer will need to have a clear understanding of just how much risk it is taking on in terms of the potential for a claim.
Therefore, applicants are typically required to complete an application for coverage. With this, basic information will be requested, such as your:
- Height and Weight (weight as it relates to height)
- Contact Details – Including state of residence
- Occupation and Income
- Marital Status
- Smoking Status and / or Tobacco Usage
- Alcohol Consumption / Frequency
- Foreign Travel Frequency
- Risky Hobbies (such as skydiving, scuba diving, rock climbing, etc.)
For those who have high blood pressure, it is likely that the underwriters will also want more in depth details regarding your condition. With this in mind, you may be asked some or all of the following questions:
- When were you initially diagnosed with high blood pressure?
- What, if any, medications do you take for your condition?
- What is the dosage of any prescription medication that you take for your high blood pressure condition? Had the amount of this dosage changed since you initially began taking this medication?
- Are you controlling your blood pressure in any other manner, such as through diet and / or exercise?
- Do you visit any medical specialist for your high blood pressure condition?
- What are your recent blood pressure readings?
It is likely that you will also need to take part in a medical examination as a part of the overall underwriting procedure. This will help the life insurance underwriters to obtain a more clear idea of your health condition, as well as how serious your blood pressure condition is affecting your health – as this may affect how your life insurance policy is classified and likewise, priced.
The medical exam usually consists of meeting with a paramedical professional who will take a heart rate and blood pressure reading. They will typically require that you submit a blood and a urine sample. These samples will be tested for various health issues that could pose a risk to the life insurance carrier.
In addition, the insurer may also want to review the medical records from your primary care physician and / or from any specialist that you see for your high blood pressure condition. Once all of your health information has been received by the insurance carrier, it can be more carefully reviewed, and a determination can be made regarding your life insurance coverage. Likewise, a determination can be made regarding the cost of your life insurance policy.
How Much Will Your Coverage Cost If You Have High Blood Pressure?
While high blood pressure can pose other health issues to those who have this condition, the good news is that, provided it is well controlled, those who have this issue, can oftentimes obtain Standard – or even Preferred – life insurance rates.
Once all of an applicant’s information has been reviewed, if it is determined that – even with high blood pressure – the individual is in average health, then it could be that they will be given a Standard policy classification. In this case, the premium that will be charged will be average, or in line, with that of the average policyholder who is of the same age and gender class.
If, however, the applicant is in below average health – yet not in poor enough health to decline his or her application for coverage – then it may be that they will be given a substandard policy classification. In this case, they will be charged a higher premium rate than that of the Standard policyholder.
Conversely, if an applicant – even with high blood pressure – is in excellent health, and also has a family history of excellent health, then he or she could be given a preferred rating on their policy. Preferred policyholders will usually pay a lower amount of premium than the Standard, or average, policyholder.
It is important to note, though, that not all life insurance companies will have the same criteria for underwriting their applicants for coverage. Therefore, what may constitute a substandard policyholder at one insurer may be a Standard at another, and vice versa. With that in mind, it pays to shop around carefully prior to making your final determination on your life insurance coverage. This is because it could essentially end up saving you a great deal of premium in the long run. It could also help you to ensure that you obtain the very best policy that is suited for your specific coverage and protection needs.
What If You Can’t Qualify for Standard Life Insurance Coverage?
In some cases, due to more serious health issues that may stem from one’s high blood pressure, an individual may not qualify for a standard, or medically underwritten life insurance policy. In this case, all hope is not lost.
There could still be options available to you such as through a no medical exam policy. With these policies, as the name implies, there is no medical exam required as a part of the underwriting process. Therefore, the applicant does not need to submit a blood or urine sample. Therefore, many individuals who have certain types of health conditions can oftentimes still qualify for no medical exam life insurance coverage.
Because the types of applicants who qualify for no medical exam coverage are typically considered high risk policy to the insurance carrier, the premiums that are charged for these plans are usually higher than for comparable medically underwritten policies. However, in some cases, this may provide the only option for obtaining the life insurance protection that is needed.
A no medical exam policy will provide other benefits, too, for someone who has high blood pressure. For example, because there are no medical underwriting requirements to contend with, the time that it takes to approve these policies is typically very short. For example, unlike a medically underwritten life insurance policy that could take weeks – or longer – to approve, a no medical exam policy may be approved within days, or even sooner. Therefore, an applicant could be covered with the life insurance protection that they need within just a very short time period.
How and Where to Obtain Affordable Life Insurance for People with High Blood Pressure
If you or a loved one has high blood pressure and are seeking affordable life insurance coverage, it is important that you work with either an agency or a company that has access to more than just one carrier. This way, you can directly compare multiple insurers, along with their policies, benefits, and premium quotes – and from there you can then make the determination as to which one will work the best for you.
When you’re ready to move forward, we can help. We work with many of the best life insurers in the industry today, and we can assist you in accessing the information that you require for making an informed purchase decision – even when you have high blood pressure. We can help you to sort out which type of coverage would be best, as well as how much protection that you may require. We can also work with you in deciding which of the many carriers may be the best one to fit with your specific coverage needs. When you are ready to begin, just fill out the form on this page to get a set of life insurance quotes.
Should you find that you still have any questions regarding how to find affordable life insurance for people with high blood pressure – or, even if you just have a question about life insurance in general – please feel free to give us a call. We can be reached directly, toll-free, by calling 888-229-7522.
We understand that when you have a condition such as high blood pressure, the prospect of obtaining life insurance may seem a little daunting. But the good news is that not only do you have many options – but you could even qualify for extremely affordable premium rates. With the many carriers that we have available, there is a wide variety of coverage, benefits, and premium plans that you can choose from. By working with us, you now have an ally on your side. So, contact us today – we’re here to help.