If life insurance wasn’t a priority before, it will become one if your health declines. The combination of realizing the most important people in your life are financially dependent on you and you are no longer invincible is a wake-up call for many.
Most consumers with health issues admit that getting life insurance while they were young and healthy was always a thought, but nothing ever pushed them to pursue it until now.
No one likes to think about their untimely passing, but having a health condition prompts the thought of “If something happened to me, would my family be okay?” The harsh reality is when these health complications arise, it becomes a challenge to find affordable life insurance rates.
If you have any health or lifestyle issues and you’re having trouble securing life insurance, here are 3 tips to help you in your search.
Tip #1: Work with a life insurance agent or agency that has experience with your risk.
The truth is, every life insurance company will look at your risk differently. Some life insurance companies will look at your unique risk more favorably than others. Just because you’ve been declined with one company, doesn’t mean you can’t secure affordable coverage with another company.
Ask your current agent if they have access to a “high risk” life insurance specialist. If they don’t then just do an internet search for your risk. For example, you can search: “Life Insurance with COPD” or “Life Insurance with Congestive Heart Failure.” You’ll find several agents who are experts in your risk and will know which life insurance companies will give you the best offer. There are plenty of qualified high-risk life insurance agents out there.
Tip #2: It’s all about control and compliance
If you have a chronic medical issue (diabetes, asthma, arthritis etc), all you have to do is demonstrate control and compliance. Control meaning there are no major complications, and compliance meaning you’re following your doctor’s recommendations. This applies to the majority of medical issues.
In many cases you just need to bring your cholesterol, blood pressure, a1c levels, triglycerides, PSAs or other lab results within normal limits. If you’ve been declined or highly rated because of your lab results, work on getting those under control and reapply when they back within normal limits.
Tip #3: Obtain “trial offers”
There’s a process in the life insurance industry where we can send your risk to several life insurance companies at one time without completing a formal life insurance application. This means you can know with a degree of certainty what kind of offer to expect from several life insurance carriers before you formally apply and without taking a medical exam. Think of it as a “prequalification” service.
Here’s what this entails:
1. Your agent gathers your health information (in great detail), summarizes it for the underwriters and sends it out to any life insurance carrier who would consider the risk.
2. The life insurance companies review your health profile and reply with “tentative offers” in writing. Which means as long as everything was disclosed and nothing has changed, these are the rates you can expect.
3. You choose the best offer and formally apply with that company. Your agent would attach the tentative offer to your application.
The biggest misconception for people with health issues looking for life insurance is that they can’t qualify for coverage. We hear this all the time and in most cases affordable coverage is obtainable.
Qualifying for life insurance coverage with health impairments takes some expertise and a little more work from your agent, but it can be done. Don’t let any health issues deter you from securing this important coverage.
My advice is always to secure coverage while you’re young and healthy because tomorrow’s health is promised to no one. However, sometimes it takes a wake-up call to get life insurance off the backburner.