Pre-existing health conditions
If you have health issues, you may think getting life insurance is impossible. You want to protect your family with the financial security they'll need when you die, but may have written off that life insurance is only for the healthy. Before you go another day without getting the coverage your family may need, do a little homework and shop around for a life insurance company that's willing to provide you with some options.
Whether you have high blood pressure, are being treated for diabetes or a more serious health concern, you still may be able to get life insurance. Here are some life insurance shopping tips that may be able to help:
- Don't take the first “no” as an answer. Every life company has different underwriting criteria and there isn't a single hard and fast rule that says just because you've been turned down by one insurer that others will do the same. Shop around and get as many quotes as you need.
- Be open and upfront about your health. As you're shopping for life insurance quotes, be honest and upfront about your health issues. You may think that tiptoeing around the subject will soften the blow or give you some time to explain your situation, but all it does is waste valuable time that you can use to shop more carriers. If a life company isn't going to offer you coverage -it's better to know as soon as possible.
- Find out what you DO qualify for. There are multiple factors that life companies use when considering someone for a policy. Working off of actuarial tables that are drawn from the company's claims history, an underwriter will place you in a risk class based on your condition. This means you may still be offered a policy, although at a more costly standard or substandard rate. You may also be table rated, a process where a life company matches your condition with a specific risk. Every insurer uses different table rating criteria, but generally speaking each table rating typically adds another 25 percent to a standard rate. Table ratings are indicated as numbers or letters, such as Table A or Table 1.
Getting life insurance when pre-existing health conditions are involved can be challenging, but not necessarily impossible. The most important thing to remember is to find out what's available and determine how much you can afford. Often paying a higher premium can be worth the peace of mind for you and protection for the people you love.