High Risk Life Insurance
If you have been turned down for life insurance in the past, or think that you can’t get approved for life insurance, it’s possible that you need to explore your options for a high risk life insurance policy. We are experts in helping people get approved for life insurance and in this article I’ll discuss some options for getting coverage.
What is considered high risk life insurance?
There are various levels of what might be considered high risk. Ranging from a type 1 or type 2 diabetic, to more severe health conditions such as cancer, there is a wide range of impairments that insurance companies see as riskier than the average healthy person. Not all impairments are the same. While the diabetic may have more health risks than a non diabetic, they can still get approved for a regular term or permanent life insurance policy. However when it comes to more severe conditions such as someone who has recovered from cancer within the last few months, or has had a stroke recently, other options for coverage will need to be considered. Let’s explore those options with an understanding of high risk life insurance cases and their health ratings.
Evaluating High Risk
It all comes down to how much risk a life insurance company is willing to accept before they offer you a policy. Underwriting is a process that manages that risk. Each company has an underwriting process that is put in place to evaluate every applicant who is applying for life insurance. Although similar in many ways, each company is different in how they may rate you based on the most common underwriting criteria.
Here are they typical areas that companies use to evaluate if an applicant is insurable and their related underwriting health class. Your health, height/weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, tobacco/alcohol/drug use, cancer history, hazardous occupations/activities, driving and family histories.
Finding the best solutions
Are you concerned that you may have a situation that may be considered a high risk? That is why it’s very important to work with an independent life insurance agent. Your agent should be asking you specific questions about your health and history. Answering your agent’s questions thoroughly and accurately gives them the best chance to find the right company for your high risk situation.
Understand that high risk cases are not an “All” or “Nothing” grouping. This means that your situation may be extremely risky to one company, but not as severe to another. Let’s look at some examples of risk.
- Cerebral Palsy
- Colon Cancer
- Coronary Bypass Surgery
- Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Private Security Contractors
- Sleep Apnea
- Irregular Heartbeat
- Marijuana Use
- Crohn’s Disease
- Hepatitis C
- SCUBA Diving
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Multiple Sclerosis
Understanding rated life insurance policies
If you have seen a life insurance quote form on the internet, you’ve probably seen a choice of health ratings to categorize yourself in. They are typically Preferred Plus, Preferred, Standard Plus, and Standard. Preferred ratings are designed for people that are in excellent health while Standard ratings are reserved for those who may be in good health but have a few extra pounds, or a minor health issue such as asthma, or sleep apnea.
What most people don’t see on the quote forms are “table ratings”. These usually have a letter or number and are considered “substandard” or below standard health ratings. Insurance companies use a number between 1-8 or letters A-H to rate people that have an increased risk associated with their health. For example going back to a type 2 diabetic – if their A1c levels are well controlled they will typically see somewhere between table 2-4 pricing, and still be able to get approved for a regular policy. Someone with Mild or Moderate MS for example may see a rating of table 4-6 for example (you have to choose the right company to apply with – which we help you do). This means that if you have a pre-existing condition it doesn’t mean that you can’t get approved for life insurance it might mean that your pricing will be a bit higher depending on the condition and that you can get approved for a “rated” policy which has a table rating.
Simplified and Guaranteed Issue life insurance
If you have a pre-existing condition which is a bit more severe you may not get approved for a rated policy. In these cases you could explore a simplified or guaranteed issue policy. The way these policies are different than a standard policy is that they have an initial waiting period, usually of two or three years depending on the insurance company. If the insured passes away in the initial waiting period, their family would get back all the premiums they they paid for the policy and some additional interest. Once the waiting period is over the death benefit becomes in effect just like any other insurance policy.
With Simplified Issue life insurance you only need to answer a few health questions to qualify for coverage. Many people who have been denied for a regular policy can get approved for coverage. Guaranteed issue policies don’t have any health questions at all and anyone can qualify for coverage. With simplified issue you can typically get more coverage, up to $150,000. Guaranteed issue policies are usually limited to around $20,000.
Navigating high risk life insurance coverage can be complicated and requires an expert who has experience and understands the underwriting guidelines of many insurance companies. For most people, trying to navigate underwriting guidelines from over 60 companies can be quite difficult.
Which Company Should I Choose?
Finding the best company for you may not be the best company for your wife, friend, neighbor…the list goes on. Every company is different. For example, 5Star Life Insurance is a company that offers a great opportunity for a variety of people with high risk circumstances. One of their great advantages is that they offer policies for people that travel and work in dangerous places. Their underwriting guidelines are very different from other companies and are a go to company for certain clientele. Life insurance companies do not have a “1 size fits all” guideline. Each company will look at you differently. Make sure you work with an agent or agency that can find the companies that will give you the best chance at coverage at the best rate.
Michael Quinn specializes in high risk life insurance and can help you narrow down your options for what type of policy you may be able to get approved for, and at what price.
To explore this further call us at 1-888-411-1329, or simple fill out our High Risk form below. We’ll be able to start researching your options based on your individual details.