I started Insurance Blog by Chris™ because I have a passion for insurance. Here at the blog, our job is to educate and inform people about the best insurance for them. Since then, we have grown into national brands with a large team of researchers helping people understand all forms of insurance.

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Written by Chris Huntley
Founder of Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services Chris Huntley

Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insu...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2020

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Have you been asked to pay more than you expected or have even been declined for life insurance due because a life insurance company placed you in a high-risk category?

Don’t give up!

We specialize in delivering affordable high-risk life insurance approvals for difficult high-risk applicants. We know how important it is to make sure your loved ones are cared for in the event of your passing.

In this article, we’ll explain the key to getting “tough” cases approved, find affordable life insurance rates, and point out some of the best ways to save money on life insurance premiums.

The Key to High-Risk Life Insurance Approvals

Some insurance companies are more lenient on specific higher risk health issues than others.

What the above sentence means is that every insurance carrier has different underwriting guidelines when assigning your specific needs for a high-risk life insurance policy.

Carrier A might treat your diabetes as a Standard health rating, giving you a standard rate, while Carrier B might treat your diabetes as a Substandard or Table health rating, causing higher rates for your life insurance plan.

Finding an insurance provider and insurance broker giving out the best rate for high-risk life insurance is what we do best.

Finding approvals at low premiums is all about knowing who the best high-risk life insurance companies are, and which insurance carrier one is right for each particular case.

One important note to make here:  You need to use an independent life insurance agent.

If you go directly to a company like Met Life for a quote, they won’t have access to multiple companies.

This could drastically reduce your chances of an affordable approval since you are “stuck” with their one price and their one underwriting process.

We have had success with multiple high-risk life insurance cases such as:

We’ve insured them with traditional coverage, not that overpriced guaranteed issue life insurance!

We have also helped people with epilepsy, pacemakers, on medication for high blood pressure or cholesterol, pregnant women, and people on medication for anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder.

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Types of Life Insurance for High-Risk Explained

Many people think they’re going to pay out the nose for a life policy simply because they take a blood pressure medication.

Not true, usually.

The truth is that some medical conditions have little to no effect on your premium, while others affect the price more substantially.

Here are a few examples of where certain medical issues fall on the spectrum.

Examples of Minor Medical Issues:  (In most cases, these have little to no impact on your premium.)

Examples of More Serious Medical Issues:  ( Could be approved at a Standard rating, in most cases.)

  • Diabetes
  • Sleep Apnea
  • History of Heart disease or Cancer
  • Mild Stroke also known as TIA

Examples of High-Risk Medical Issues: ( Could be approved as a highly rated case, costing more than an average policy.)

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High-Risk Hobbies, Driving History & Travels

We’ve covered high-risk medical conditions, now let’s check out high-risk activities, where we also specialize.

Why is this important?

These are your high-risk insurance individuals who may have high-risk occupations or have dangerous hobbies, such as riding a motorcycle, racing, scuba diving, or skydiving, and they too tend to have to pay higher premiums than the average Joe.

Individuals who do not have a full-time permanent U.S. residence or reside outside of the U.S. for 3 months or more annually are considered non-U.S. residents. Citizenship is not a determining factor in defining a non-U.S. resident.

We’ve also helped people with DUI’s or multiple speeding tickets find better rates.

Plainly stated, we are the BEST solution for term life insurance and whole life insurance for people with medical impairments or taking medication or any other high-risk factors.

3 Steps to Approval for High-Risk Life Insurance Cases

  1. Call us for a Phone Interview – We have created an extensive questionnaire that will cover your medical history. You can call us at 888-603-2876 and complete the Pre-App Questionnaire over the phone.  The more we understand your medical condition, the better armed we are for step 2.
  2. Shop Your Case – Ever buy a house?  The more mortgage lenders, the better, right? Same thing goes for high risk life insurance shopping.  In Step 2 we write a detailed health bio about you and send it to up to 30 life insurance companies.  Their underwriters review the details and get back to us with what’s called a trial offer.  Whichever company has the best offer typically also has the best price, so that’s how we know which company will be the best fit for you.
  3. Pick the Best Option – Apply to the insurance carrier with the best trial offer and attach the trial offer to the application.  The company is somewhat bound to the trial offer unless they find out new information during underwriting.  Please note that if you can’t qualify for life insurance through traditional underwriting, you will likely qualify for our Express Issue Whole Life plan.

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap insurance rates.

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5 Savings Tips with High-Risk Medical Issues

Even if you are able to get approved, you still might want to save some money to make your premium more affordable.

Here are 5 tips we suggest for massive savings:

  1. Lose 3 Lbs – Save 25% on Life Insurance – Many people could be just a few pounds away from “fitting” into a better health class.  Insurance companies such as AIG or Banner Life, have max weights for each height. You might be right on the line or close to it, where just losing a few lbs could save you 25% on life insurance.  In addition, you’ll be amazed at how much better you can do on your lab results by just eating better and exercising for just a couple of weeks.
  2. Buy more than 1 policy – You can actually save 10% to 30% by buying multiple term life insurance policies and staggering their maturity dates. This is call laddering policies. Sometimes if you get several face amounts such as $10,000, $15,000, or $50,000, you save money and lower the amount you pay as you hopefully age and phase into a more financial situation with fewer debts.
  3. Don’t buy No Exam policies – a lot of people looking for high-risk life insurance think they can “trick” insurance companies by getting a policy without an exam. Don’t try it, you’ll still have to answer questions on the life insurance application about your health, so they’ll find out anyway. No medical exam life insurance policies tend to charge 30% to 100% more on average, than a policy that requires an exam.
  4. Choose an Annuity Payment Death Benefit – You have heard that life insurance pays a lump sum death benefit.  Did you know you can save 10-30% on life insurance with some companies by setting up the death benefit to be paid out over 10 years or more?
  5. Always use an Independent Agent – As stated above, we independents can save you thousands because we know which carriers will offer you the best rates for your particular health issue.  In other words, don’t use agents from State Farm or Farmers who can ONLY sell products from their OWN carrier.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

For most people with pretty standard health issues like:

  • diabetes
  • history of stroke
  • history of heart disease

You can get high-risk life insurance quotes by using our instant quote form on the top right or clicking here for our free quote page.

Simply set your health rating to “Standard” or “Regular.”  This will give you an idea of what someone, who’s a non-smoker, pays with an average life expectancy. Depending on your health condition, you might expect to pay roughly double to triple that rate.  It’s best to call us to confirm.

However, you may not qualify at all for traditional life insurance coverage and may need to buy guaranteed issue life insurance instead.

Guaranteed Issue Life insurance will cover you even if you currently have cancer or any other terminal condition.

However, it’s Guaranteed Issue for a reason.

These policies also go by another name, Graded Death Benefit policies.

Depending on the carrier, there are waiting periods that can last for 2 to 3 years before 100% of the coverage takes place.

During that period your coverage grades up.  The longer you live, the more of the policy that pays out.

Until then your policy usually will pay out all the premiums you paid into it along with a few percentage points added to it if you pass away before the waiting period.

I know this seems a bit extreme; however, if you currently have a condition that most carriers will not approve, like COPD or Cancer, the insurance company looks at this as an ultimate risk on their end.

Usually, we try to exhaust all of our options before offering this type of coverage.

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More Impaired Risk Life Insurance Resources:

If you’ve been declined or are paying too much for life insurance and are considering giving us a shot at helping you, please read the following articles, so you understand our process and the success we’ve had.