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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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: Mar 24, 2021

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Does life insurance cost more for the hearing impaired?

Hearing loss is much more prevalent in our society than you might think.

A study carried out by John Hopkins in 2011 revealed that almost 20% of Americans today who are 12 years of age and older have a hearing impairment.

There are very strict Federal and State laws that provide very stringent protection to the hearing impaired and protect those with hearing loss from being discriminated against.

Most notable is the Americans with Disabilities Act which was first enacted in 1990 and subsequently amended in 2008.

This also prohibits life insurance companies from discriminating against the hearing impaired.

Quick Guide to Insurance for the Hearing Impaired

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How Life Insurance Underwriters View Hearing Loss

Essentially, the vast majority of hearing-impaired persons do not have their life expectancies affected in any way because of their disability. For this simple reason, most Americans who have a hearing disability will not pay any more for a life insurance policy than someone who is not affected by this disability.

Those who are deaf or hearing impaired cannot be treated any differently…

Life Insurance for the Hearing Impaired - No Discrimination

So the good news is that the vast majority of Americans who have a hearing impairment will pay the same rates for Term Life insurance and Permanent Life insurance as any other American. One of the main reasons is that most Americans with standard hearing loss can be treated with surgery, medication or a hearing aid.

However, there are some exceptions. People who have a hearing loss caused by a pre-existing medical condition or more severe physical trauma may be rated differently by an underwriter. The hearing in itself isn’t the factor but rather the underlying condition or cause that resulted in the hearing loss.

RELATED: 5 Critical Tips You Must Know Before Buying Life Insurance

Types and Causes of Hearing Loss

Let’s look at some of the more common types of hearing loss which won’t affect what you pay for a life insurance policy. The more common types of hearing impairment which won’t affect your life insurance premium include:

Conductive Hearing Loss – Occurs when the sound ways are improperly being transmitted from the outer ear to the eardrum and middle ear and are considered the most treatable. This can be caused by an infection or abnormal bone growth
Sensorineural Hearing Loss – Generally occurs when the inner ear is damaged – this is usually a permanent condition caused by consistent exposure to loud noise or the result of the normal aging process.
Mixed Hearing Loss – Consists of some form or degree of the above hearing loss types
Ruptured Ear Drum – Caused by a sudden blast of loud noise, ear infection, physical trauma such as being poked in the ear by an object or a sudden change in pressure
Tinnitus – Ringing in the ears
Ototoxic Medications – Some types of medications are also known to cause hearing loss
Presbycusis – Hearing loss caused by sound

In all instances for the listed conditions, and if the hearing loss is the only affliction you are suffering from, you will not be
rated any differently

However, if you have other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or some other form of a potentially life-threatening health condition, then how you are rated by an underwriter will be the same as any other American who has similar medical conditions.

Aside from any other pre-existing medical condition, another factor which also affects what your premium is your age. It’s a simple fact that as you age, insurance premiums increase.

Whether you have a hearing impairment or not, it is very important that you consider buying a policy when you are younger rather than waiting until you are older. As you age there is a greater likelihood that your health will deteriorate and you will end up paying much more for a policy.

Buying a policy when you are young will save you a lot of money.

Hearing Loss Caused By Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

There are some pre-existing medical conditions which may affect how you are rated by a life insurance underwriter, resulting in higher premiums paid.

You are not being penalized for the resulting hearing impaired disability, you are simply considered to be a higher risk because the medical conditions listed below may seriously affect your life expectancy.

Some of the more serious medical conditions may include the following:

  • Meniere Disease
  • Usher Syndrome
  • Alport Syndrome
  • Pendred Syndrome
  • Acoustic Neuroma or Tumors
  • Vestibular Schwannoma
  • Physical Head Traumas

These and other forms of pre-existing medical conditions which often result in a hearing loss may be more serious, thus rated differently.

If you have been diagnosed with one of the above listed pre-existing medical conditions (or any other) you would be well advised to apply for life insurance through an independent agent.

RELATED: Check Sample Life Insurance Rates by Age (No Personal Info Required)

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Finding Affordable Life Insurance for the Hearing Impaired

Your best bet to find the most affordable life insurance, if you are deaf or hearing impaired, is to speak with an independent agent.

So what should you do if you have been turned down or quoted exorbitant rates?

Find an independent broker. Some insurance companies employ agents who sell only that firm’s products, but high-risk applicants are better off finding an independent broker. Dan Bortolotti, Life Insurance on the Edge, Money Sense

We have access to dozens of companies so we know which companies are more lenient than other life insurers. We also specialize in providing affordable policies to those individuals who have serious health conditions or might be considered as high risk.

Apply for Life Insurance Online – No Phones Needed

You’ll be able to fill out a simple application and be sure in the comment section to mention you are deaf and prefer to communicate by email as much as possible.

We can help you decide which kind of life insurance plan is going to work well for you.