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Life Insurance Basics

Considerations for finding affordable life insurance with a pre-existing condition

If you have a pre-existing condition and want to purchase life insurance, you may still be able to obtain coverage.

Finding life insurance with many pre-existing conditions is not impossible

If you've been diagnosed with a medical condition, chances are you're contemplating buying a new life insurance policy or increasing your current coverage. However, because life insurance companies factor into their underwriting decisions and pricing any pre-existing conditions that you may have, you may run into some challenges in finding affordable life insurance coverage.

Depending on the type and severity of your diagnosis, an insurance company may offer you a policy but at a higher premium than someone without a pre-existing condition. And in some cases, they may even deny you coverage altogether.

But there is hope. According to Marvin Feldman, CEO and president of the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education, the insurance landscape has shifted dramatically. “The rules vary greatly depending on the insurer," he says. “But it is now a lot easier for people with pre-existing conditions to get life insurance policies.”

The following are a few tips and considerations when shopping for affordable life insurance coverage with a pre-existing condition.

Understand that every insurer is different

It's important to note that every life insurance company has its own set of qualifying criteria. So if one company turns you away, don't let that prevent you from shopping for coverage elsewhere. Try finding an insurance carrier that will treat you the most liberally or leniently when it comes to your particular condition. Start by getting a number of quotes from reputable insurers.

Know that not everything is considered pre-existing

While certain conditions such as type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea can drive down your overall health rating, it doesn't necessarily mean that your life expectancy will be shortened - especially if you're under a doctor's care. In many cases you may be able to find the coverage you need, especially if you are actively managing your condition.

Stable conditions can bring better rates

Today, many ailments are being diagnosed and treated more effectively than in the past, and more life insurers are taking those factors into consideration. For example, if you've been successfully treated for breast cancer and your condition has since stabilized, you may still be able to find coverage.  

Get quotes from an experienced life insurance agent or reputable insurance company

If you are shopping for life insurance and have or have had a serious illness, Feldman suggests working with a life insurer who has experience working with applicants with pre-existing health conditions. "Costs vary drastically from company to company," he notes.

Being able to find affordable life insurance after you've been diagnosed with a serious condition isn't as impossible as it has been in the past. And while there is no guarantee, more life insurers are willing to consider applicants with a history of illness on a case to case basis.




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