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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 third-party broker).

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 and policies.

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.

Shop Around

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!