11 October 2012 0 Comments

Medical History Impact On Availability And Price Of Life Insurance

Age, sex, family history and use of tobacco all have an effect on how much you pay for life insurance.  Medical condition and history will also play a big role in determining the premium.  And some medical conditions will preclude obtaining insurance at any price.*

However, over the years I have heard many people say that they can’t get life insurance because of a particular condition when, in fact, coverage would be available at an affordable premium.  In the next several entries I’ll be discussing how life insurance companies look at various medical conditions and what you can do to get the best possible premium.

Often, different life insurance companies will view a given medical history in totally different lights.  One company might decline to issue an applicant at any premium while another company looking at exactly the same information offers a standard underwriting class.  This is why it is important to deal with an agent who can broker your application with more than one insurance company.

Likewise, you cannot just look at the table rating being offered.  A Table 2 indicates an extra mortality charge of 50% and a Table 4 would be a 100% surcharge.  However, the actual premium charged by the company offering Table 2 might be higher than another company offering Table 4.  I won’t try to explain why; just take my word that it does happen.

Following is a list of the impairments that I’ll be discussing.  If you or a family member are interested in life insurance and have one of these conditions, I hope this will be helpful:

  • Alcohol/Drug Use
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Hepatitis
  • Cholesterol Elevation
  • High Blood Pressure
  • COPD
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Dementia/ Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s
  • Depression
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Stroke

With any medical condition, control and recognition are very important.  An underwriter is more apt to give a better premium to an individual who recognizes his/her condition, sees a doctor on a regular basis and follows the regimen prescribed, than to one who only sees the doctor when symptoms flair up.

*When a regular policy is not available at any price, graded death benefit policies can likely be purchased, subject to age restrictions. The premium is high and the death benefit for the first 2-3 years will be return of the premium paid plus interest.

In my next entry I’ll be discussing one of the most prevalent diseases:  Diabetes—Type 1 & Type 2.

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