High Risk Life Insurance - Getting Approved for Coverage

If you're looking for high risk life insurance, I’ll cover some of your options in this article. At ChooseTerm.com, we're high-risk brokers and experts, so if you would like a customized insurance quote based on your specific health situation, fill out our quote form. Otherwise, keep reading for more information.

High Risk Life Insurance: What Are Your Options?

Many people who are considered "high-risk" can get approved for the same life insurance policies that anyone else can get. The difference is that if you do have a pre-existing health condition, you will likely pay more for a life insurance policy than someone who is healthy and does not have a history of a medical condition. The first step in understanding high-risk life insurance is an understanding of life insurance health ratings. Insurance companies have health ratings like Preferred Best, Preferred, Standard Plus, and Standard. Most people will fall into one of these categories based on their blood pressure reading, cholesterol, height/weight, or family history.

If you've ever gotten a life insurance quote online, you have probably seen the health rating options I just mentioned. However, there are also substandard ratings that life insurance companies offer, also known as Table Ratings. These are usually numbered from one to ten, or lettered from A-J, and are reserved for people who wouldn’t fall into rates at standard or better, but also wouldn’t get declined for coverage. Anything below a standard rating – or substandard – is considered high-risk. Individuals who wouldn’t get approved, even at the substandard rates, are also considered high risk. Luckily, there are other types of life insurance they may qualify for, such as Simplified Issue Graded Benefit or Guaranteed Issue life insurance, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

Life Insurance Health and Table Ratings

Most people are familiar with the typical life insurance health ratings you could qualify for in a life insurance policy, such as Preferred or Standard pricing. However, if you have a pre-existing health condition and are considered a greater risk, you'll most likely get a Sub-Standard Rating. Below the regular “Standard” rating, life insurance companies  have substandard ratings called table ratings, usually in the form of letters or numbers. For example, if you are high risk, you may get approved for life insurance at anywhere between a Table A-J health rating, otherwise known as a Table 1-10 health rating. The lower the number, the cheaper the price of the policy.

High Risk Life Insurance – Medical Conditions

At Choose Term, we have had success helping people with various pre-existing health conditions get approved for life insurance. For example, we have helped diabetics, people with multiple sclerosis, people with a history of cardiovascular disease or heart attack, heart murmurs, epilepsy, stroke, sleep apnea, asthma, history of cancer – including breast cancer and prostate cancer, liver enzyme elevations, and a host of other issues get approved for life insurance.

Health Conditions that Lead to Substandard Life Insurance Rates

There are many health conditions that can lead to substandard life insurance rates. For example, both type 1 and type 2 diabetics would get a table rating on a policy. Other conditions that can lead to substandard rates are Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, history of cancer or stroke, Hepatitis C, and Elevation in liver function test. In all these cases it is possible to get approved for a regular life insurance policy – just at a substandard rate, which basically means a higher premium amount.

In cases of more severe health conditions – for example aggressive MS, or a stroke within the past 12 months, uncontrolled diabetes, etc. one would probably be declined for a regular life insurance policy and would need to look for graded benefit life insurance.

Graded benefit life insurance is a type of life insurance policy for people with high risk and typically during the first two or three years the death benefit is equal to all premiums paid, plus interest. After the initial waiting period is over the full amount of coverage is in effect. Coverage available ranges from $5,000 to $150,000 depending on the age and insurance company.

What If You Have Already Been Declined?

If you have been declined for life insurance, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get coverage. It is very possible that you didn’t apply for coverage with the right life insurance company. Different life insurance companies have a different appetite for the kind of risk they want to take, and while one company may decline you, another might approve you. At ChooseTerm.com, we specialize in high risk and work with over 30 life insurance companies. Based on your specific condition and situation, we will match you up with the right life insurance company, giving you the best chance to getting approved for life insurance. If you do get declined, there might be other options with guaranteed acceptance or graded benefit life insurance – which we can help you with.

Term Life Insurance for High Risk

We typically recommend term life insurance for high risk individuals since it helps keep the costs lower for life insurance. We work with over 30 life insurance companies for high risk, such as Prudential, American General, Banner Life, Fidelity Life, Transamerica, MetLife, and others.

Impaired-Risk Specialists

Anyone who has a serious health condition or who enjoys high-risk hobbies that have led to an impaired-risk classification can seek help from an impaired-risk specialist. These are insurance brokers who have extensive experience in locating the best policies for certain situations. An impaired risk specialist can point out the various ways an individual applicant is a better risk for a particular company. Whereas insurance companies tend to focus on the big picture, an impaired-risk specialist can narrow the focus down to the specific applicant. For example, heart attack survivors may, as a group, be a greater risk for the insurance company, but a specific heart attack survivor who has taken healthy steps to prevent future heart attacks and who is receiving high-quality medical care will likely be a lower risk to the insurance company.

Armed with medical records and other pertinent information about the applicant, access to the right insurance companies, and extensive experience in the field, the impaired-risk specialist can then act as the applicant’s advocate and work to locate the best-priced policy, regardless of the applicant’s health history.

High Risk Life Insurance Rates

If you're looking for the best rates, fill out our quote form and let us know your specific situation. We will contact you and provide you with a customized life insurance quote.

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