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Last updated: March 14, 2016 at 22:47 pm

High Risk Life Insurance

Life insurance is usually inexpensive and easy to get if you’re young and in perfect health. But that’s not always the case if insurers classify you as high risk. This can cause your rates to be higher or may even make an insurance company decline to insure you. Welcome to Insurantly Life where we focus on life insurance for high risk individuals.

Often referred as substandard rates

Life insurance companies will use terms like “table ratings”  when they consider you high risk. They may refer you to Table 1 or Table B for example. For each table rate there is usually an additional 25% increase above the standard rate a healthy individual would receive.

What Makes You High Risk?

What Are the Most Common High-Risk Categories? There are numerous factors that can class you as “high risk” in the eyes of insurance companies.

What makes you a higher risk to insure by life insurance companies can often be put into three main areas:

  1. health problems,
  2. occupations,
  3. and lifestyle choices

Some health conditions that will put you into a higher risk slot and increase your premiums include:

  • Cancer or a family history of cancer
  • Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease and/or a past heart attack or stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Asthma or other respiratory disorders
  • Hypertension
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression

Some high-risk jobs, recreational activities, and lifestyle habits include:

  • Police, fire, and military personnel
  • Offshore fishing or oil rig work
  • Logging/lumberjacking
  • Jobs with international travel to high-risk countries
  • Transportation and warehousing jobs
  • Skydiving and bungee jumping
  • A poor driving safety record
  • A criminal history
  • Use of tobacco or alcohol
  • Use of marijuana or other drugs hazardous to your health
Most Common Factors and Influencing Conditions For High Risk

Age.

The older you are, the more you’ll generally pay for insurance. An insurance company is much more likely to have to pay a claim on an 80-year-old than on a 20-year-old, and the older person will have fewer years to make payments on the policy.

Weight.

Insurance companies use height and weight charts to determine whether you qualify for regular rates or fall into the insurance for high-risk category.

Smoking.

Generally, if you’ve used tobacco products (including snuff, cigars, etc.) at all in the past 12 months, you’ll be classified as a smoker.

Diabetes.

According to the centers of disease control and prevention there are about 29.1 million people or 9.3% of the U.S. population have diabetes with about 28% being undiagnosed.

Ways to save if you are high risk

If you fall into one of these categories, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get life insurance. The following tips will help give you a better chance you get the coverage you need and want:

  • Consider different types of policies.

Term insurance is often the cheapest type of life insurance, but insurance companies can be strict with determining who can qualify. Other types of insurance, such as whole or universal life, can sometimes be less difficult for high-risk people to obtain.

Guaranteed Issue (GI) policies are generally the easiest to obtain and don’t include any medical questions. Their rates are typically higher, however, and they are usually issued for a relatively low face value.

  • Shop around.

Rates can vary from one company to another, and some are more likely to cover high-risk people than others. Shop around and get several quotes to ensure that you have the best chance of being offered coverage at the lowest possible rate.

  • Improve your health or behavior.

If you’re high risk because of health issues or behaviors, do what you can to improve them. For example, if you can stop smoking or prove that your diabetes is kept under good control, companies will be more likely to insure you.

A DUI arrest can also put you in the high-risk category, so changing your behavior can also help lower your rates after some time has passed.

Update your information if you have been denied.

If you’ve been denied insurance in the past because of health issues, that doesn’t mean you can’t get insurance now. If you had a heart attack several years ago but have had regular doctor visits and no such events since then, you may now qualify.

As you apply for insurance, make sure to answer questions fully and honestly. If you leave out or falsify information, the insurer is very likely to find out within a short period of time. Even if a policy is issued, it won’t pay out if it’s based on false information.

And finally, make sure to follow up with any additional request for information. You may be asked to supply provide medical records, for example.

Advice for Those Applying for High-Risk Insurance

Some tips and basic advice to follow when applying for a high-risk insurance policy are given below for your benefit:

  • Give your broker as much information as possible, and certainly, do not omit anything that is asked for. A seemingly insignificant detail can sometimes prove to greatly affect your coverage terms and premium. Your broker can guide you through this process, but prepare all of your medical information before talking with him to increase your odds of shaving down your premium as much as possible.
  • Never be tempted to put down false information on an insurance application. Besides being dishonest, it is also counterproductive. Insurers can access your health records and the information you submitted on applications to other companies. They will find out. This can lead to applications being declined, your policy being canceled, or your claims being denied/diminished.
  • Only apply to one insurer at a time. You can get as many quotes as you like, but if you have several applications out at once, insurance companies will know it. This can make them nervous about your intentions and lead to a decline.
  • Apply as early as possible. The younger and healthier you are, the less you will have to pay for the same coverage. This is even true with high-risk categories. If a medical condition progresses and worsens, it will become more difficult to find affordable coverage.
  • Do not “bind yourself” to a policy immediately. If possible, avoid being bound to the coverage while the insurer is still deciding if they will accept your application or not. You might have assurances that you will likely be approved, but when further information is acquired by the insurer, they might change their mind and leave you with a decline on your record.

How often you pay your policy also has effects on your pricing and rate discount.

The available payment mode options from least to most expensive:

  • Annual
  • Semi-annual
  • Quarterly
  • Monthly

You may look at this and wonder why it will cost you more to pay your policy monthly. Life insurance companies incur higher costs for processing your monthly fee and bill you every month.

Life insurance companies will take money received from premiums and put them into investment accounts. Therefore if you give them a lump sum of your yearly premium you will typically get a discounted rate.

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