Margaret Huntley Last Updated On: March 12, 2024

Find The Best Life Insurance For Your Pre Existing Condition

Living with chronic illness can leave you feeling vulnerable. Finding life insurance with your pre existing condition shouldn’t make you feel even more so. We’re here to help. 

Whether it’s heart disease, diabetes, depression, or any chronic ailment, the fact is these conditions will affect your insurance rates. An equal truth—and an encouraging one—is that half of Americans suffer from pre existing conditions, so insurance providers have begun to get competitive about their pricing, offering you more affordable coverage options.

Keep reading. We’re going to tell you everything you need to know about getting the best life insurance with a pre existing condition. First, let’s talk about what constitutes a pre existing condition.

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Table of Contents

What's Considered a Pre Existing Condition?

Great question. A pre existing condition, as defined by life insurance companies, is a health issue you had before applying for insurance coverage. Not all pre existing conditions will impact your insurance premiums, but some will.

Here are the most common pre existing conditions that affect your ability to get life insurance, and your premiums if you do get it (just keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list):

  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Epilepsy
  • Asthma

Again, it’s worth repeating that having one of these pre existing conditions does not mean you cannot get life insurance, but it does mean that the life insurance you do get will likely be at a higher rate.

Tips For Shopping For Life Insurance With A Pre Existing Condition

Look Around. Not every insurance provider is a good fit for people with pre-existing conditions. It’s worth your while to look specifically for a provider who works in conjunction with an impaired risk specialist. These specialists are insurance brokers who are familiar with providers who provide the best rates for people with your pre-existing condition. Teaming up with the right provider and professional from the beginning can save you a lot of searching. 

Need help finding the right providers? Just fill out this form and we’ll get back to you with a list of your best options for your condition.

Mind Your Timing. Insurers are more likely to turn you down if you apply for coverage directly after diagnosis of a serious condition, like heart disease and cancer. We understand this is a cruel irony because right after a life-changing diagnosis is exactly when you most want the peace of mind afforded by life insurance. However, if you are turned down you can always reapply, ideally when you have medical records that demonstrate your treatment is working and your health is improving—or at least not getting any worse.

Take Control of Your Health. Some medical conditions are obviously outside the realm of your control, but if you have a condition you can help alleviate with positive lifestyle changes (like high blood pressure), then it’s worth your while to take steps to make those changes. Your health and wallet will thank you.

Re-Examine Your Existing Coverage. If your health has improved since you were approved, you may be eligible for lower rates. Ask for a new medical exam and get your agent to reevaluate your policy.

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How Your Medical Conditions Affect Life Insurance?

You already know what sorts of pre-existing medical conditions affect life insurance, but it’s also important to know how they might affect your life insurance. A potential insurance provider will ask you questions about your family’s health history, your medical history, and your current health—but it doesn’t end there.

Here are some other considerations that insurance companies will factor into making decisions and setting rates for your policy:

Age and Lifestyle. The younger and healthier you are, the more likely you are to get a lower premium. Smoking and drinking may increase your rates and decrease your eligibility. 

Length of Time Since Diagnosis. If your diagnosis was some time ago and your health is improving, this bodes well for your eligibility and your premium. However, if your diagnosis was some time ago and you’re health is not improving, it may be difficult to get approved. 

Type of Condition. There are many chronic illnesses that pose little life-threatening risk, such as arthritis. Heart disease, on the other hand, makes you a much higher risk to insure and as such, you are more likely to be denied or have to pay higher premiums.

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To be blunt, they can’t, until you provide them with the information they need to make their assessment that is—and you have to do this to apply for coverage. Some of this information comes from your answers to questions they ask you, and some of it will come from your medical records, which insurance providers typically require you to permit them access to in order to apply. Then there’s the medical exam, which is required during the underwriting process. Included in the medical exam is a blood test, which will often reveal any underlying medical conditions, even if you’re not aware of them.

Yes, but it’s easier to do if you can get it through work or a professional association. If you don’t have these connections, you can get an individual policy, however: just note a term life policy is more affordable than permanent life insurance. In the event you can’t get a term policy that works for you, look for a guaranteed-issue policy since acceptance is automatic, though there’s a limited death benefit. Guaranteed-issue policies are usually used to cover final expenses.

There’s no concrete answer for this. Each life insurance provider has a different approach to insuring different conditions. Your best bet is to shop around, get a few quotes, compare them and decide which offers the best policy for your budget and your needs. We can help. Fill out this simple form and we’ll get back to you with your top picks.

Your health affects the cost of your life insurance policy by informing the risk variables to the insurance provider. So, if you are in good health you’re less of a risk than someone in poor health, because it is less likely the provider will have to pay out on the policy. Other factors that impact the cost of life insurance are your age and gender, your medical history and family’s medical history, how long you’d like coverage for, and how much coverage you want.

No. The diagnosis of a pre existing condition will depend on the discretion of the attending doctor and will not need to be diagnosed, again, by another medical exam.


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