Having a pre-existing condition doesn't mean you can't get life insurance, but it does mean you will have more difficulty and likely will have to pay more. Here are a few things to know to make the process of getting life insurance smoother.
Shopping Around Can Pay Off
Every insurer has different underwriting standards, and they treat pre-existing conditions differently based on their risk modeling and claims history. For example, one insurer may be more worried about insuring someone who has a chronic condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, rather than someone who has had cancer in the past but is considered in remission or cured. You also may have better luck working with an independent agent, who can look for policies from many companies, rather than a captive agent who works for one insurance company.
Pre-existing Doesn’t Mean Forever
There are many pre-existing conditions that you can control and even cure with lifestyle changes and medication. If you have type 2 diabetes, for example, you can lessen the effects of the condition by losing weight, which may make it easier and cheaper for you to get life insurance. The same goes for conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. A life insurance expert from Steers Insurance Limited says some insurers will ignore or reduce the cost of insuring for these conditions if they are controlled with medication.
Consider Group Insurance
If your pre-existing condition is preventing you from getting affordable life insurance or getting a policy at all, look for ways to get group insurance that doesn't have a medical exam requirement. For example, your employer may offer group insurance to its employees with the premiums paid through payroll deductions. You also may be able to find group life insurance through a group you belong to, such as a union, fraternal organization or auto club.
Consider Term Life
If you have a chronic condition that affects your health but isn't likely to prove fatal anytime soon, you might want to get a term life policy. Term policies protect you for a fixed period of time and then the policy ends. Such coverage could protect you and your family from an untimely death, such as from an accident.
Thanks to medical advances, many pre-existing conditions these days are manageable with medicine, diet and exercise. Insurers know this, and they are likely to still write you a life insurance policy. Be prepared, though, to jump through some hoops and probably pay more.