Life insurance is a way to ensure your loved ones are provided for if you pass away. You make a monthly payment (called a premium), and the insurance provider agrees to give your beneficiaries a payout (called a death benefit) when you die. They can use this payout for whatever they want, from covering funeral expenses to paying for their education.
Life insurance is worth it for many people. But getting it isn’t a slam dunk. Life insurance providers decide if you qualify for a policy based on several factors, including your age, gender and whether you participate in any dangerous hobbies. These factors give providers an idea of how risky you’ll be to insure. One of the factors they consider is your health, including any pre-existing conditions.
Pre-existing conditions can make it harder to get life insurance, but not impossible. In this article, we will explore the ways those with pre-existing medical conditions can still secure life insurance.
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Can you get life insurance with a pre-existing condition?
Pre-existing conditions are health conditions that may affect your life expectancy. They include cancer, high blood pressure, asthma and diabetes. Many life insurance policies require a medical exam, which includes checking your vital signs and going over your medical history. If the exam determines you have a pre-existing condition, it can make your premiums higher (if you’re approved for a policy) or prevent you from getting a policy altogether.
That said, just because one provider denies you coverage doesn’t mean every provider will. If you have a pre-existing condition, you still have options.
How to get life insurance with a pre-existing condition
Don’t give up on life insurance if you have a pre-existing condition. Here are four ways you can still get a policy.
1. Get no-exam life insurance
A no-exam life insurance policy doesn’t require a medical exam, so you won’t be denied because of a pre-existing condition.
No-exam policy premiums may be higher, the death benefit may be limited, and some have age limits. But they’re worth considering if you can’t get a policy otherwise. Before signing on the dotted line, compare a policy’s coverage terms with your needs.
2. Look into term life insurance
The two main types of life insurance are term and whole life. With term life insurance, you pay a smaller premium but are only covered for a certain period. With whole life insurance, your premium is higher, but you’re covered for your entire life.
Term life insurance is typically less expensive than whole life insurance. If you qualify for both types of coverage but can’t afford whole, term may be your best bet. You can always consider converting your term policy to a whole policy when it expires. This process doesn’t require a new medical exam, so you may be able to get a whole life insurance policy even if your condition has worsened.
3. Accept a higher premium
Life insurance providers are wary of applicants with pre-existing conditions because they’re riskier to insure. As a result, they often charge people with pre-existing conditions higher premiums. While paying a higher premium isn’t ideal, if it’s the only way you can get life insurance, it may be worth the cost for the peace of mind it provides you and your loved ones.
Comparison shopping is the best way to find the right coverage for you. Get started by getting a free estimate or using the table below.
4. Consider group life insurance
If your employer offers a life insurance plan, you may be able to qualify without a medical exam. Group policies tend to be less expensive than individual policies, but they only provide basic coverage. Depending on your needs, you may want to add supplemental life insurance to get your preferred coverage amount. Supplemental policies often don’t require a medical exam, either, and you can also get them through your employer — potentially at a discount.
The bottom line
A pre-existing condition doesn’t bar you from getting life insurance. You might just need to consider options other than a traditional policy. As with any type of life insurance, the sooner you apply, the better. If you lock in a policy before your pre-existing condition develops any further, it could save you on premiums. Whatever you do, don’t hide your condition. Lying on a life insurance application can result in a provider denying death benefits to your beneficiaries.