Life Insurance With Pre-Existing Conditions

Purchasing adequate life insurance with pre-existing conditions can seem daunting — but in this post, we’ll show you how. Sure, it’s tough dealing with medical conditions, let alone convincing a life insurance carrier to sell you a policy to protect your family. As a 35-year-seasoned independent broker, I’ve seen an array of situations. My team and I always face challenges head-on to get the best rates for our clients. That said, here’s what you need to know about getting life insurance with pre-existing conditions.

Know Where You Stand Health-Wise

Most Americans believe they’re healthier than they honestly are. It’s a trick our minds play on us, attempting to brighten a situation that might be dimmer than we wish. Although this sideways look at reality doesn’t always impact us tremendously, life insurance underwriters are less thrilled about the fantasy self we see in our minds.

But let’s back up and spotlight underwriters for a moment. Underwriters are typically the final say in whether a life insurance application is approved and under what terms. When reviewing your life insurance application, an underwriter will determine your premium and coverage amounts.

Instead of pegging your healthy, marathon-running fantasy self against a down-to-earth underwriter (who’s going to uncover all your truths anyway), try the honest approach. Get real with your health, and know where you stand.

Remember, pre-existing conditions are medical conditions, illnesses, or injuries before starting a new insurance plan. Up to 50% of non-elderly Americans deal with a pre-existing health condition. So, albeit overlooked, they’re not uncommon whatsoever. Some of the most widespread pre-existing conditions are:

  • Diabetes,
  • COPD
  • Cancer
  • Sleep Apnea

Plus, perhaps you forgot about that stint in the hospital for high blood pressure a few years ago. Or maybe you picked up smoking again or got hooked on hang gliding during your last vacation. All of these factors influence what’s known as your “insurance rating.”

Understand Insurance “Rates”

Think of insurance rates as a grade, categorizing your lifestyle and health conditions into specific classes. What’s really happening? An underwriting assigns you a risk level — how likely you are to pass away sooner than later.

Suppose you’d like to know more about insurance ratings and the underwriting process. In that case, we feature a post on our site about a pre-existing condition, sleep apnea, which details this information. You can find this helpful clip here: Is Sleep Apnea A Disability? How to Make Sense of Insurance “Ratings”

Keep in mind; some circumstances you believe to be happenstance could raise a red flag for an underwriter. Consider losing a parent to cancer at a young age. Or think about dealing with high blood pressure during an extended and stressful work project. All of these events add up to possible co-morbidity factors.

For an idea of underwriting guidelines, here are the basic life insurance classifications:

  • Preferred Best/SuperPreferred: Reserved for people with optimal health and no increased health risks, think marathon runners and Dr. Dean Ornish practitioners.
  • Preferred: Typically assigned to those with excellent health who also deal with a few minor problems such as elevated cholesterol levels.
  • Standard Plus: People in this category have optimal health but commonly struggle with more significant health issues such as being overweight or high blood pressure.
  • Standard: Assigned to people with average health and a normal life expectancy, but co-morbidity factors such as early parental death or minor health problems play a huge role.
  • Preferred Smoker: Otherwise falling into the regular preferred category, this is reserved for those who smoke (occasional smoking or cigar smoking often included).
  • Standard Smoker: Reserved for people in the standard category who also smoke.

What to Expect from an Application

How our society approaches life insurance — and nearly everything else — has changed. The COVID-19 health crisis put a wrench in the whole world’s plans. That said, this pandemic has motivated more carriers to take a different approach to their application process.

In the past decade and recently, more life insurance carriers have embraced the “no medical exam” approach. And some are holding off on the exam for as long as possible, which is also a plus.

Being in this field for over three decades, all I can say is that it’s about time!

However, this no-exam approach isn’t standard yet. So, it’s still necessary to weed out the insurance carriers who won’t treat you fairly, demanding a medical exam before submitting an application or a verbal consultation (which is nuts!).

What’s more, over 30 years ago, most insurance carriers wouldn’t even consider insuring someone with a pre-existing condition. Or the rates would be so outrageous that it wasn’t honestly worth it.

Today, you can expect a life insurance application to consist of many health-related and general questions. But the entire process isn’t as painstaking as it once was. The answer is yes when asking, “Can you get life insurance with pre-existing conditions?”

For example, at CB Acker Associates, we discuss your situation, evaluate your risk, and solicit “preliminary offers” from specific speciality companies with whom we have relationships and solid working history.

More than anything, a life insurance application should rely on details and truth — where you stand health-wise and what you need to protect your family.

How to Get the Best Rates

Landing the best life insurance policy is a straightforward process. It doesn’t involve trickery or trying to pull the wool over the underwriter’s eyes. After all, this dishonest approach will get you in a lot of trouble!

Our article, Living with Sleep Apnea? – 7 Tips on How to Get Awesome Term Life Rates lists tips about getting the best rates. The gist of the article is that underwriters tend to focus on the big picture. In other words, they want to see a robust health management plan at work in your life.

For example, are you addressing your pre-existing conditions? Do you take your medicine or go to treatment regularly? Have you tried to improve your overall lifestyle? How well do you manage stress and anxiety?

Underwriters want to know the answer to these questions because they’ll better understand whether the condition manages you or you manage the condition — two very different approaches.

Lastly, getting life insurance for pre-existing conditions can be a positive experience. However, working with an experienced broker is your best bet. Knowledge and understanding go a long way in the field of insurance. No one wants to be delayed, jumping through hoops or tied up with red tape.

Since 1985, my team and I have been helping people find the best life insurance policies for them. We’d be thrilled to help you, too!

Take the Next Step

It’s tough knowing how to protect your family after you’re gone, especially with such a vast amount of information out there. But we can help!

To support you as you safeguard your financial security, I’ve created an up-to-date guide for parents who need life insurance here. My guide can help you with your long term life insurance goals, especially with a family to nurture at home.

Here at CB Acker Associates, we want to help you take care of your family. If you’re ready to find a policy that fits your needs and your budget, we can help!

With access to all the top-rated life insurance companies, we work extra hard to get you the best life insurance rates possible. You can even compare rates and benefits from over 40 providers with no obligation to buy here. Plus, it’s fast — under 60 seconds kind of fast.

Please, give us a call today at 650-969-5844 or email [email protected].