Let’s face it, buying health insurance can be a real drag. Not only
do you have to face the prospect of what might happen if you suddenly
die, which can be extremely emotionally strenuous, but you’ll have
to so repeatedly. If you have a pre-existing condition, the process only
becomes even more complex. You can expect a number of obstacles that will
delay the process and possibly raise your quoted rate. How can you be
sure you’re getting the best deal? Here are a few valuable tips
for shopping for life insurance with a pre-existing condition.
Do Your Research
If you have a pre-existing condition, you’re probably going to be
required to purchase a “high risk” life insurance policy,
which will require a lot more work upfront. It’s highly advised
you work with a trustworthy and independent agent (one who doesn’t
work directly with an insurance company of any type, but is a neutral
A broker will know what kinds of questions you’ll be asked about
your health and together you can work to research the answers in advance
to cut down on any wasted time throughout the process. They’ll also
be able to go over what documentation you’ll need in order to make
the process faster as well. You should be able to get these documents
from your doctor well ahead of time. This eliminates guesswork for your
agent and helps them make a better match for you with available carriers
Be Honest About Your Health
If you’re working with a reputable agent, you don’t forget
this one fact: they are on your side and want you to get the best possible
policy. However, they can only help you to the best of their ability if
you’re upfront and honest about your condition. If you leave things
out, such as important info about your condition or your budget, they
can’t find you the best policy match. Answer every question they
may have with as much detail as possible, and don’t try to hide
anything. If you smoke, drink, or are aware of a family history that makes
you predisposed to certain diseases, say so. Bring everything to the table
that you can, and you’ll be far happier with the results.
Another advantage of working with a third-party agent is they’ll
give you options from many different providers, not just a single company.
Being able to compare and contrast the different plans, prices, benefits,
and conditions will help you truly determine which policy is the best
for you, not which policy one carrier offers. Companies consider things
differently, and you may see a shocking variety of prices for your policy
from provider to provider. Don’t settle for the first company you
try; consider as many options as possible.
Choose the Right Type of Policy
When you have a pre-existing condition, the type of policy you have is
super important. Fully underwritten policies can require a complete medical
questionnaire, background and prescription checks, a physician’s
statement, and a full medical exam. Even then, some pre-existing conditions
disqualify those with pre-existing conditions. This often removes term
life insurance policies, or “traditional” life insurance policies,
from the table.
Graded benefit policies are less picky about your health, and generally
require just a few questions. Most don’t require a full health exam.
This allows someone in fairly poor health to still get coverage, but the
way these policies are paid out differs greatly from traditional term
life insurance coverage.
Guaranteed acceptance policies are exactly as they sound—you can’t
be turned down for a pre-existing condition, which sounds great, but usually
are severely limited in the amount of coverage you can purchase, and you’ll
pay the highest costs. Like graded benefit policies, you may not obtain
the full benefits of this policy until at least three years since the
policy purchase date or more. Generally, these are a last resort option.
Talk With Your Doctor
If you can take a medical exam, do it. Completing this task can help you
significantly lower your costs. If insurance companies don’t know
much about you, including your health, you’ll have to pay more to
offset the potential risk to your insurance provider. If the exam doesn’t
go as planned, you can always default back to a no-exam policy, which
will cost more but the underwriting will be more relaxed. If your policy
is good and doesn’t require an exam, you don’t need to take
it. But if you can take an exam ahead of time and it can help lower your
price, you should absolutely take this option.
You should remain in contact with your doctor after completing this exam
as well. Insurance companies will often request things like health records,
physician statements, medical history, and more. Staying in contact with
your doctor throughout the process can let them know to expect information
requests from life insurance companies, and odds are they’ll not
only keep your information up to date, but they’ll be able to send
the requested documents quickly to minimize delays.
If you’re looking for a high-quality life insurance policy but have
a pre-existing condition,
discuss your options with Insurance Specialists, Inc. today! Call our experts at 888.451.0883 to request more information!