Life insurance with pre-existing conditions can be intimidating.
That’s for sure.
It leads many clients we speak to asking if it’s possible to obtain life insurance with pre-existing conditions.
After years in the life insurance industry, here is what I can tell you.
So, can you get life insurance with pre-existing conditions? Yes, you can get life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions. To obtain life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions you will need to work with an independent life insurance agent and your coverage eligibility will be determined on a case by case basis.
Additionally, life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions is a case by case situation.
An insider secret that many people don’t know is each life insurance company views pre-existing health conditions differently.
That means choosing the right life insurance company for your specific pre-existing condition can save you big dollars or even avoid getting a decline.
We know this because we specialize in helping people find high-risk life insurance coverage with pre-existing conditions.
Our article will give you all the best tips and tricks for getting the best rate on your life insurance with a pre-existing condition, even no-exam life insurance.
With pre-existing conditions, we recommend comparing rates with many companies we always recommend comparing rates with over 50 life insurance companies.
It’s the only way to ensure you are getting the best price.
You can do easily below using our free instant quote tool.
Tip #1: Work with an Expert Independent Broker
You need a broker who is an expert in field underwriting.
This is not a job for your brother-in-law who just got licensed.
Most agents are out of business within a year, and 95 percent of agents don’t last past year 5.
You need an agent who has authority, expertise, and control of their craft to get the best deal.
You also want to work with an independent broker who works with 15 or more companies to have a robust selection of options, not a captive agent who works for one insurance company.
Your neighborhood State Farm Life Insurance agent may get you a great deal on your home and auto policy, but State Farm is not always the best fit for getting life insurance with a pre-existing condition.
Also, career agents, who work for life insurance companies directly, may claim to have access to other insurance companies, but don’t be shocked if their company is “the best option.”
Career agents that work directly for life insurance companies may be incentivized to promote their company’s proprietary products and could have a conflict of interest.
An independent broker works for you to match you with the best life insurance companies to tackle your specific pre-existing condition and are independent contractors, not employees.
So how do you know if you have found the right agent to work with?
Here are some sample questions to ask your agent to see if they are an expert:
- How long have you been in the life insurance business?
- Do you work for an insurance company, or are you an independent broker?
- Why should I work with your company over another agent?
- How many companies do you offer? (you want 15 or more)
- Do you have experience insuring my condition?
If the agent you’re talking to cannot give you adequate answers to those questions, run!
Working with an inferior agent will just cost you time and money in the long run.
Tip #2: Be Honest and Upfront about your Pre-existing Condition
An independent broker is on your side and wants to get you the best deal possible.
However, we cannot get you life insurance with a pre-existing condition if we don’t have all the facts.
The worst thing you can do on a life insurance application is lie or misrepresent yourself.
This can jeopardize your payout when you die, especially during the contestability period.
Pro tip: Life insurance companies can contest the death benefit within the first 24 months of the life insurance policy for things like fraud, so be honest!
However, you most likely won’t get through underwriting without your pre-existing condition being discovered.
Life insurance companies have been doing this for a long time.
They will look at your prescription history, your medical records, and even public records in some cases.
If you have selected an experienced agent who understands how to underwrite your pre-existing condition, then they will absolutely dig deep to find you the best deal.
An experienced independent agent will ask you certain questions specific to your pre-existing condition.
It’s best to be prepared with the following information:
- When were you diagnosed with the condition?
- What medications do you take currently?
- Is your condition under control with medication?
- Have you been hospitalized or had any surgeries in the last 10 years?
- When was your last check-up/doctor’s visit?
Tip 3: Stable Pre-existing Conditions get the Best Rates Period!
Life insurance companies HATE instability when it comes to pre-existing conditions.
They want to see your condition is under control and has been stable for an extended period.
The life insurance company will be looking at not just your current medical status, but how consistently controlled your pre-existing condition is.
What life insurance companies fear is someone temporarily improving their health to get a better rate on their life insurance, but not making a permanent lifestyle change.
We see this a lot with life insurance for obesity.
If the underwriter suspects that you binge dieted to drop weight quickly, they may add some weight back on based on your medical history.
On the other hand, life insurance companies love people who make lifestyle changes and stick with them.
Our agency got a woman with type-2 diabetes who was previously highly rated a standard rate with no medical exam due to her consistent history of weight loss and controlled A1c levels.
Tip 4: Take your Medicine!
One of the most common things we see as brokers that affect your life insurance rates with a pre-existing condition is when someone doesn’t take their medicine consistently.
For example, if you have sleep apnea, you must use your CPAP machine consistently.
If the insurance companies find you’re not using it, you can see a rate increase or even a decline.
Insurance companies won’t accept “you don’t need your medicine anymore” or “your condition went away on its own.”
If your doctor hasn’t cleared you as cured, not maintaining doctor-recommended treatments or medications can be a huge obstacle in getting life insurance with a pre-existing condition.
If your medication is unaffordable, ask your doctor about options that can lower the cost such as prescription savings cards.
Tip 4: Complete all Recommended Follow-ups and Procedures
Occasionally, clients will apply for life insurance and get postponed due to pending follow-ups or procedures that they need to complete.
Life insurance companies hate loose ends almost as much as they hate instability.
No life insurer will approve you if your doctor orders a procedure that you never completed.
For example, your primary care physician suspects you may have sleep apnea and recommends you do a sleep study, and you never get it done.
If the underwriter sees that you have an upcoming or outstanding procedure, they will postpone the underwriting of your case until it is completed.
What your doctor says and what your doctor writes in your medical records can be two very different things. We live in a “CYA” world these days.
Your doctor may softly suggest that you should think about getting a colonoscopy done during your visit, but write in his notes, “recommended a colonoscopy as preventative medicine.”
A life insurance company will want to see you the results of that procedure before issuing your policy. If you never got it, they’ll make you get it if you want life insurance.
If your doctor tells you to come back in 6 months for a check-up and you don’t go, that is a problem.
The underwriter will want to be certain that any procedure or medication is working.
Therefore, it is extremely important to see your doctor once a year for a check-up and complete any follow-up visits or procedures to get life insurance with a pre-existing condition.
Tip 5: Don’t Procrastinate to “Improve your Health”
Every now and again, we’ll get someone with a pre-existing condition that is suddenly motivated to change their lifestyle to qualify for better life insurance rates, but this rarely works.
Most people find it challenging to change their lifestyle to improve their health and well-being and saving a few bucks on your life insurance isn’t any more motivating.
What ends up happening is that people’s health usually stays the same, and they end up paying more since they are now older or sometimes their health declines!
Even worse, the family members that you were buying the life insurance coverage for in the first place still remain unprotected financially if you die.
Life insurance rates go up every year that we get older.
It is better to lock in a rate today that can never increase.
Pro Tip: Life insurers will lower your rates if your health has improved, but they can’t increase your rate if your health gets worse after you buy your policy.
If your health improves, we can either replaced your policy with a better one, or we can ask the life insurance company to lower your rate if your health actually does improve.
More importantly, your loved ones had the protection of life insurance in place while you were getting your pre-existing condition under control.
Tip 6: Don’t Waste Time Looking at Rates Online
While online life insurance rates can give people a ball-park idea of what life insurance will cost if you’re in average-to-excellent health, all bets are off when you have a pre-existing condition.
Merely seeing the rates of 15 plus life insurance companies does you no good if you cannot qualify for them. You need to consult with an expert.
As we covered earlier in the article, you want to shop agents not shop quotes when you have a pre-existing condition.
Pro tip: life insurance rates are set at the state level and cannot be discounted by agents. No matter what agent you work with, your rate will be the same.
The life insurance company will give you the best rate regardless of what any agent quotes you.
Our job as expert brokers is to put you with the company that gives you a great deal.
Additionally, all the top rates are usually within a few percentages of each other.
If you are getting a quote that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Tip 7: Consider Alternative Insurance Options
If your pre-existing condition gets you declined for traditional life insurance, you do have other alternatives to protect your family.
Accidental Death Coverage
Accidental death insurance is like life insurance in that it pays a death benefit, but only for accidental deaths.
Therefore, your pre-existing health condition has no effect on the cost.
Accidental deaths are completely random as the name implies and are a top-5 reason for claims, especially for people under the age of 50.
If you cannot get approved for life insurance, then you can at least protect your family from random events, like car accidents.
Sure, we all want full coverage but as we always say, some life insurance is better than no life insurance.
Group Life Insurance Coverage
Group life insurance coverage is provided by your employer and usually is much easier to qualify for. However, group coverage does have negatives.
You usually are only able to get a multiple of your income (i.e., 5x your salary), which may not be enough coverage for your family.
Additionally, your premiums are not level.
That means that over time, your premiums will increase and can be quite expensive as you enter your late forties and beyond.
Also, if you leave your job, you can lose your coverage, or it may be expensive to continue it without your employer subsidizing it.
Group life insurance coverage, in combination with accidental death insurance, can supplement your lack or traditional life insurance coverage.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
If you are only looking for life insurance to cover your final expense, then guaranteed issue life insurance may be the best option for you.
There is no medical underwriting for guaranteed issue life insurance.
In fact, they don’t even ask you any health questions about your pre-existing condition at all.
However, the death benefit is modified in the first 2 years of the policy.
Usually, you’ll get your paid premiums returned plus some interested if you die in the first 2 years of medical death.
Accidental deaths are usually covered from the first day on most guaranteed issue products.
After 2 years, the full death benefit will pay regardless of the cause of death.
Usually, you can get up to 25,000 of death benefits with guaranteed issue whole life.
It’s not ideal, but a good option nonetheless if you can’t qualify for level coverage.
American General Life Insurance offers one of the best-Guaranteed issue policies in the business.
We recommend that if you fall into this boat, consider looking at these kinds of options to ensure your family is protected.
Final Thoughts on Life Insurance with a Pre-existing Condition
You can get life insurance with a pre-existing condition and working with the right agent will increase your odds of getting matched with the best high-risk life insurance company.
If your condition is under control, you will have the best chances of getting the best possible rate with your pre-existing condition.
If you are unable to secure traditional coverage, there are other alternatives for you to offer some protection to your family while you get your health improves.
If you have any questions about if you personally can get life insurance with a pre-existing condition, request a quote on the side of our web page.
An experienced independent agent will contact you to let you know your best options without any pressure or obligation.