There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to how a pre-existing medical condition will affect a life insurance premium. Some people may hear advertisements for no-exam policies and assume that a pre-existing condition won't hinder their quest for quality life insurance. Others may not even attempt to get life insurance if they have a serious medical condition such as cancer or diabetes because they're afraid the policy won't be worth it. To clarify some of the confusion, it's time to look at the facts.
There are certain pre-existing conditions that will be more appealing to insurance providers than others. When it comes down to it, insurance providers are looking for how a person is making the effort to keep themselves healthy. So if an applicant has Type 2 diabetes, an agent will want to see that the individual is working hard to adjust their diet and exercise routine as well as taking any medications they may need to keep their blood sugar levels at a normal level. If the person has a history of heart disease in their family as well as a current serious heart condition, they may have fewer options when it comes to negotiating their premium. But the good news is the number of controllable issues will only continue to climb as new research and medical techniques continue to improve life expectancy and patient outcomes.
Making the Rounds
Each life insurer will have their own take on pre-existing conditions, so shopping around and comparing reputations can make a difference when it comes to the service and benefits an individual receives.1 Typically, insurance companies will have the most resistance to major conditions such as metastasized cancer or COPD. When it comes other types of conditions though, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure or stroke, insurance companies will look at the severity of the condition, the factors that led up to the problem, and the actions a person has taken to control the issues. Even HIV and AIDS patients may have slightly higher chances of having a life insurance company work with them due to advances in treatment. However, patients with severely compromised immune systems may still have trouble finding approval.
Guaranteed acceptance policies are sometimes the only choice for people with severe pre-existing conditions. They're generally available to those between the ages of 50-75 regardless of any pre-existing health conditions they may have. The rates are typically much higher than that of a normal life insurance policy, but there's also no chance of being denied. So long as a person continues to pay their premiums, their family or loved ones will receive a limited death benefit to cover the necessary expenses. Each life insurance policy will have their own terms, but the total amount of the death benefit is often the amount of the total premiums plus interest. There is no medical underwriting with this type of policy, and thus can be approved within minutes of application.
It's fairly easy for patients to spot the patterns when it comes to how their pre-existing condition affects their benefits. Some may find that their rates are all relatively equal, while others may find their condition is far more malleable in the eyes of insurance companies. For example, they may find that four insurance companies deny full coverage due to Type 2 diabetes while three others approve them for full benefits. There is no absolute when it comes to exactly how much a person will pay for coverage over time. However, all potential applicants should be aware that they do have options for coverage if they so choose — even if their only option comes in the form of a guaranteed acceptance.
As an independent advisor I have access to virtually all of the major carriers so I can shop for my clients to help them find the best possible coverage for their situation. Let me know if I can answer any questions or help you find the right policy to meet your needs.