Having a pre-existing medical condition can be seen by some as something of a roadblock that prevents you from attaining a quality life insurance policy. The truth is it’s still possible to get the coverage you need within your budget. There are many things you can do to make the best of a difficult situation and still qualify for life insurance. Here are 8 tips for buying life insurance with a pre-existing condition.
1. Don’t Apply Right After a Diagnosis
If you’ve only just been diagnosed with a condition, it’s often best to hold off for a while before applying for high risk life insurance. There may even be a waiting period of around 6 to 24 months before you can even be considered for a policy as the insurance company might like to see how well you are managing the condition. If you are managing the condition well, and your medical records can prove this, the insurance company will likely be more understanding and likely to approve your application or even boost you to a better rate class.
2. You Can Qualify For Several Rate Classes
Having a pre-existing condition doesn’t mean you’ll get grouped into the riskiest and most expensive rate class for insurance. You can still qualify for the following categories:
- Preferred Best: This is the best rate, and only around 5% to 8% will qualify. You should have overall good health, but a minor issue or two may not stop you from qualifying.
- Preferred: Applicants will generally be healthy, with some minor issues such as being slightly overweight. A family history of health issues such as heart disease or cancer could prevent a healthy applicant to Preferred from Preferred Best.
- Standard Plus: Notable health issues will prevent someone landing in the above two classes, however Standard Plus applicants won’t have issues placing them in immediate danger. Those around 60lbs overweight, diabetic, a survivor of cancer or daily smokers will often be standard plus.
- Standard: Typically, this includes people around 80lbs overweight, with no serious health issues and an average mortality risk when compared to their health group and same age.
- Substandard: This class is for those who could have ended up being declined a traditional life insurance policy.
3. Know that All Insurance Companies Are Different
It’s always important to remember that every insurance company will have their own different sets of qualifying criteria. Being declined by one company shouldn’t prevent you from continuing to shop around. You should first start by gathering a selection of quotes from numerous providers, and try to focus on ones that treat you with the most leniency when it comes to whatever condition you have.
4. Take the Medical Exam if Possible
By completing the medical exam, you can usually open yourself up for the best rates. By finding out more about you, the insurance company needn’t worry so much about offsetting its risks.
Don’t let a pre-existing condition deter you from taking the exam if you can. It provides the best opportunity to ensure you get a policy that has enough death benefit to meet your needs, and with greatly cheaper rates. Some policies don’t require an exam, so there may be no need to undergo one, but if it does, and while it may cost a little more, it’s ultimately worth it in the long run.
5. Choose the Right Type of Life Insurance Policy
You may find yourself limited to specific types of life insurance policies available, depending on what health risks you may or may not have. While fully underwritten policies will require a lot of information, such as medical history, background checks, a physician’s statement and more, with some conditions, fully underwritten policies won’t be available.
A graded benefit life insurance policy may be better suited in this instance, as there are no exams required and fewer questions, so those of fairly poor health could still get life insurance this way.
Guaranteed acceptance life insurance policies are also available which offer no medical questions or exams and assures that you can’t be turned down. This isn’t as good as it sounds, however, as your coverage will be limited, and the costs will be incredibly high. This should be seen as a last resort.
6. Get Several Quotes
It’s always best to shop around to find the best policy to suit your needs, especially in the instance of a high-risk case. Different carriers may view certain health issues differently from one another and class them differently.
You should always ask your agent about any insurance companies you aren’t very familiar with. It’s always important to find a provider that you’re comfortable with, as would be the case in any situation, and your agent should be well versed to answer any questions you may have with how each carrier stands up against one another.
7. Don’t Lie About Your Condition
Lying about your condition will get you nowhere at the end of the day. By being upfront and honest throughout your application, you can be sure that your agent will know exactly what’s what when working on your behalf, and will be able to find you a policy that truly suits you and your needs best.
Make sure to answer each and every question you’re asked in as much detail as possible, and have all your information such as dates, former treatments and tests ready and available. Other information such as medications, past and current, along with doses and other info can go a long way in helping them to provide you with the best possible policy too.
8. Choose the Right Agent
By choosing the right independent agent to work as a broker on your behalf, you can be sure that you’ll be able to view all of the policies available to you, all while freeing yourself of the hassle and pain of shopping around different agencies to find the best policy.
This can obviously be a process of elimination, and at the start you’ll be replacing your insurance shopping with agent shopping, but it’ll all pay off in the long run. If you have a medical condition, there are agents available who specialize in high-risk insurance policies.