Chris and his team work with clients across the country to help them navigate the insurance and financial world. His mission is to help people and businesses have the protection they need at the lowest possible price. He works on behalf of his clients and not the insurance companies. When not researching the latest financial and insurance topics, Chris can be found spending time with his family...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 12, 2020

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You can obtain affordable life insurance with a life-altering illness such as inflammatory bowel diseases.

Do not let a diagnosis stop you from reaching out to an independent agent and discuss your case.

It does not have to be complicated nor do you need to worry that purchasing life insurance with an illness is beyond your financial means.

Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and IBS + Life Insurance

The term inflammatory bowel disease or IBD for short includes three medical conditions.

  • Ulcerative Colitis (UL-sur-uh-tiv koe-LIE-tis): chronic inflammation and sores in the large intestine or colon and rectum.
  • Crohn’s Disease: inflammation of the digestive tract, sometimes spreading into the intestines (large and small)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): a chronic condition affecting the large intestine (colon).

Crohn’s Disease symptoms may include fatigue, diarrhea, weight loss, and pain, going beyond discomfort to life-threatening in some instances.  Other symptoms may include bloody stools and lack of appetite, which may be accompanied by fever.

IBS symptoms may include constipation or diarrhea, cramps in the abdomen, inflammation of the colon or large intestine, and some discomfort.  IBS is not considered a risk leading to colon cancer.  No diagnostic test exists for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Symptom management may be as simple as changing your diet, drinking more water, and may not require medication.

Each of these conditions will play a different role in your life insurance policy depending on the classification, the disease, and the insurance carrier. Some are going to declare you a higher risk than others.

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4 Classifications of Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis has four classifications as determined by the symptoms experienced and the location of the inflammation.  Inflammation may occur throughout the digestive tract, bowels, intestines (large and small) rectum, and cause an extended abdomen.

  • Acute severe ulcerative colitis: or fulminant colitis is uncommon, affecting the colon, and accompanied by bleeding, fever, lack of ability to eat, severe pain, and profuse diarrhea.
  • Left-sided colitis: The descending colon to the rectum is inflamed, accompanied by pain, abdominal cramps on the left side of the body, with bloody diarrhea and unintentional weight loss.
  • Pancolitis: is diagnosed when there are attacks of abdominal cramps, pain, fatigue, and bloody diarrhea, and a pronounced loss of weight.
  • Proctosigmoiditis: Inflammation affects the rectum and lower end of the colon or the sigmoid. Symptoms are similar to the above conditions, with the inclusion of tenesmus or the inability to defecate despite the sensation of needing to.

Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and bleeding that is not apparent in your stools.  Symptoms vary from person to person, ranging from mild to life-threatening.

Seeking a diagnosis of your condition and following a medical plan is important to managing the disease.

Treatment will vary according to severity, sometimes medication will manage the symptoms, in some instances surgery is required.  Your life insurer will ask questions relating to your treatment.

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2 Related Inflammatory Diseases

Inflammatory bowel diseases range in symptoms, classifications, and severity.  Two more types that may receive consideration in this class are lymphocytic colitis and Collagenous pronounced kuh-LAJ-uh-nus.

Another term is microscopic colitis, characterized by watery diarrhea minus the blood.  There may be no visible signs until a colonic mucosal biopsy reveals inflammatory changes in the wall of the colon.

Because there are no ulcerations in the walls of the colon or bowels the stools are free of blood.

Life Insurance with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Each life insurer uses the basic criteria when evaluating your condition.  There are those who are more lenient than others.  Since not every person is the same, cases are considered individually.

The following 10 rating factors are a standard when evaluating your case:

  • The date of your diagnosis and the most recent incident
  • How many episodes or flare-ups since your diagnosis
  • The number of flare-ups in the past 6 months
  • The number of episodes during the past 2 years, how long symptoms persisted, and the average length of the episode (quantified in days, weeks, and/or months)
  • Your specific diagnosis and symptoms
  • Hospitalizations (you will be asked for dates)
  • Surgeries performed or were any recommended. With dates completed or planned.
  • Prescription medications provided for the episodes or flares.
  • When was a colonoscopy or diagnostic tests performed and the results
  • Prescribed medications used on a daily basis, if any.

Other considerations may include the age of diagnosis, treatment history which includes surgeries suggested/performed and medications provided to treat inflammatory bowel disease.  You will need to let your life insurer know if you are experiencing symptoms daily or if your condition is currently stable.

You may have to wait for 6 to 12 months for a policy assessment if you have recently had surgery for irritable bowel disease.

A more stringent assessment occurs for those who have undergone multiple surgeries or were unsuccessful with medically managing their condition with the possibility of being declined for a policy.

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Affordable Life Insurance is Available with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

As we stated at the beginning of this article, you can find affordable life insurance with existing health conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease.  There are life insurers who are more lenient than others when making the decision to issue a policy.

Using an independent insurance agent such as Abrams Insurance Solutions ensures you the widest search possible.

With access to over 70 life insurance companies in the United States, we will find the right coverage at a price you can afford.  Our years of experience, knowledge, and relationship with these insurers offer you the best possible choices.

We know which companies make it easier to obtain an insurance policy for a person diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease and similar health conditions.

How can Independent Agents Get You Life Insurance with Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

As an independent agency, we have established relationships with various insurance companies across the country.  Our underwriting advisor understands how life insurance companies price policies for clients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease.

Once your condition is evaluated based on the criteria, we will apply to the insurance company offering the lowest policy rate and the highest possibility for approval.  Since we are independent, we can shop over 40 of the leading life insurance companies for your situation.

This will ensure you receive the best rate and policy for your individual circumstances.

We do not charge fees to find you the most affordable and best life insurance policy.  It is our goal to ensure that you receive a life insurance policy that fits your needs, financially and lifestyle.

We are part of your team as we work for you and not the insurance companies.

Don’t let a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease stand in the way of purchasing a life insurance policy.