Jeff is a well-known speaker and expert in life insurance and financial planning. He has been featured and quoted in Nerdwallet, Bloomberg, Forbes, U.S. News & Money, USA Today, and other leading finance websites. He is a licensed life insurance agent and has helped over 3000 people secure life insurance. He is licensed in all 50 states & DC. Jeff has spoken at top insurance conferen...

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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 15, 2020

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Can You Get Affordable Quotes Despite Your Condition?

You need life insurance protection for your loved ones. The problem is you are not sure if you can afford the coverage due to a pre-existing medical condition.

Or perhaps are you even insurable?

The quick answer is… it depends.

Most likely you are insurable, unless you have an advanced medical situation. But, the question remains how do I know what I will pay for coverage. And what insurance company should I apply to?

This article will give you some tips and shortcuts to finding out how to go about researching your options for coverage.

Tips For Finding The Best Rates

So, it is important to understand that all life insurance companies look at your health and lifestyle differently. This is known as underwriting.

Each carrier will have different underwriting criteria to determine if you are an acceptable risk.

But, it is also important to know that there are a handful of life insurance companies who “specialize” in underwriting pre-existing medical conditions.

These companies have made a business decision to aggressively underwrite conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, MS, stroke history, cancers, etc.

This small niche of life insurance companies will almost always offer better rates than many of the more well known highly advertised insurance companies that most people are familiar with.

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How Do You Find These Companies?

Probably the most important tip I can give you when looking for the companies that specialize in pre-existing medical conditions is to use a “special risk” agent.

A special risk agent will be someone who has many years in the life insurance industry. They typically will be an independent agent and will represent multiple insurance companies.

The special risk agent will know the questions to ask, know the insurance companies that like a particular risk. And will know how to negotiate the best rate with the carriers.

Unfortunately, many people when researching options for life insurance will just go to their home and auto insurance company or perhaps just take the recommendation of a friend.

This option can sometimes be fine if the insured is in perfect health. But, when dealing with a pre-existing medical condition for life insurance you need an expert

In actuality, not using an agent who specializes in pre-existing medical conditions can hurt your chances for an affordable offer.

How Your Agent Can Help You Save Time And Money

Let’s look at a real-world example of how your special risk agent can save you time and money on life insurance with a pre-existing medical condition.

Example: Joe is a 55-year-old male who has determined his need for $500,000 of term life insurance. Joe is somewhat concerned that he may not be able to afford coverage or possibly be declined due to his history of heart by-pass surgery.

Joe has a history of high blood pressure and also had 3-vessel heart by-pass surgery approximately 7 years ago. Joe has maintained regular check-ups with his cardiologist.

He also recently completed a full cardiac workup along with a treadmill test.

Joe contacts the insurance company that handles his home and auto insurance. Joe tells the agent about his need for $500,000 of term life insurance.

Joe’s agent primarily sells home and auto insurance, but they do offer life insurance as well. Joe’s agent is excited about the possibility of a new sell and quickly sets up and appointment with Joe.

At the appointment, the agent brings along a quote from the big P&C Company for their best term policy. Not knowing about Joe’s past heart history the agent quotes the preferred class and shows the rates to Joe.

Joe reviews the rates and is initially excited about what seems to be a very reasonable rate for $500,000 of protection. Joe asked the agent if the rates take into account the history of Joe’s by-pass surgery?

The agent stares back at Joe and tells him no. He says he’s not sure how the insurance company will look at the heart history but feels confident enough to recommend that Joe go ahead and apply.

The agent states that once the company reviews his medical history they will determine what the final rates will be.

Unfortunately, this is a mistake that a lot of agents with no experience dealing with pre-existing medical conditions make.

Joe completes the application and also has a medical exam done. A few weeks pass and the agent calls Joe with the bad news. He has been declined for coverage due to his medical history.

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Naturally, Joe is upset that he has been declined coverage. Joe asks the P&C agent if he has any other companies he can go to. Unfortunately, the agent only represents one carrier so his options are limited.

Joe is now more worried that he may not be able to find insurance. Joe goes online and researches options for life insurance coverage. He comes across a website that specializes in finding coverage for those with pre-existing medical conditions.

Joe contacts the agent about his need for $500,000 of coverage.

The Correct Way To Find What Coverage Is Available

Joe speaks to Mike a special risk agent and gives him the background about his health. Mike also asks very specific questions regarding Joe’s height/weight, family history, medications along with getting the names and addresses of Joe’s doctors.

Mike knows he will need this information while researching Joe’s options.

Mike takes all the information form Joe and goes to work. Mike works with several companies who specialize in underwriting coronary artery disease.

After speaking to each underwriting company, Mike comes back to Joe with a tentative offer for coverage.

Mike explains to Joe that the offer is tentative until a complete application and exam is completed and reviewed along with any of Joe’s medical records.

Mike tells Joe that typically the tentative offer will be the final offer, but no guarantees until everything is complete.

Mike also tells Joe that once a formal application is submitted, the underwriting insurance company will typically review the medical information bureau (MIB) to see if any other applications had ever been declined.

Joe is worried that his application to the P&C company that was declined might be a red flag. Mike said he would advise the underwriter of the prior decline so as to not cause any surprises once they check the MIB.

A couple of weeks pass and Joe is advised by Mike that his application has been underwritten and approved. The original tentative offer was approved and a new policy was issued for $500,000 of protection.

Joe is excited that his family is now protected. Joe also is glad to know that there are agents out there they specialize in companies that underwrite pre-existing medical conditions for life insurance.

Joe has several friends at work and family members that could also use Mike’s assistance in finding affordable life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions.

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It is important to remember that life insurance coverage for pre-existing medical conditions is probably available.

But, you must use an agent that not only has the companies that underwrite these conditions but also has the experience and knowledge to know how to get the lowest rates in the marketplace.

If you have a need for life insurance and you have a history of pre-existing medical conditions, please contact us for a free evaluation of your situation.