Having a pre-existing health condition such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, kidney or liver disease does not necessarily mean that you’ll be denied life insurance. However, it can create challenges including delaying the application process.
You can reduce the delays as well as ensure the best price possible if you have candid conversations with your life insurance agent and if you make sure you are working with an independent insurance agency.
These additional seven suggestions will help you streamline the process, especially if you have any medical problems in your history.
1. Plan Ahead
The process of getting life insurance is never fun so it’s understandable that you’d want to get this process done with as quickly as possible. However, if you have a pre-existing condition, it’s important to take the time to explain your needs. If you end up needing high-risk life insurance, you’re going to have to do more work to obtain this option.
You’ll likely need to submit documents including current prescriptions, letters clarifying your health, and even more comprehensive details from your doctor depending on your specific medical condition.
It’s wise to collect as much health information as possible before you speak with your independent life insurance agent so they can be as informed as possible as they work to help you find life insurance options for your specific situation.
Having this information handy will minimize any complications for your agent so that he or she can connect you with the most appropriate provider.
2. Work with a Trusted, Independent Agent
Having an independent representative is handy as these brokers can give you prices from more than one life insurance carrier. If you work with an independent agency, you’ll be able to see all of the plans you qualify for while saving you time by not having to research other insurance options on your own. Independent agents can do the work for you. (Captive agents work with only one insurance company.)
Your independent agent will guide you to the insurance carrier with the best options and most affordable premiums based on your past and current health history. The agency and agent you choose should be experienced on how to best handle your situation.
(Thankfully you can count on us to help get you moving in the right direction. If you have questions about life insurance, be sure to ask us.)
3. Be Candid About Your Health
Be as open as possible when you talk to your agent. These professionals are on your side and their actions are based on the information they obtain from you. Also remember, the best agent in the world can only act on what you’ve told them.
Detail every concern that you have. Having the proper diagnosis, treatments, and other medical details can help you a great deal. Understanding your medications in addition to your lab values is important as well. Provide the agent with anything that may be important regarding your condition.
This is crucial in getting accurate quotes and in determining if there’s in fact a life insurance option available to you based on your health situation.
4. Obtain Multiple Quotes
Take advantage of your agent’s ability to shop around for the best policy. The goal is to make sure that you have quotes from multiple companies. This comparison is incredibly important for high-risk situations because health may be evaluated differently from carrier to carrier.
After you receive quotes, ask your agent about each insurance carrier in case you’re not familiar with the company. You want to choose the company that you are comfortable with.
5. Pick the Appropriate Policy
Be mindful that with health conditions, you may be restricted in the type of insurance policy you can purchase.
For example, “guaranteed approval” life insurance policies may limit the coverage and may have higher premiums.
Have a candid conversation with your agent to fully understand your options before selecting a policy.
6. Take the Medical Exam
The best policy prices are saved for those who complete a medical examination. This is because the less that the life insurance carrier knows about your health, the more that it has to charge in order to cover the risk.
Many people who already have pre-existing conditions should still take the test because it may still flow in their favor, allowing them to secure better pricing than in a “no-exam” policy.
7. Talk to Your Doctor
Be sure your doctor knows you are working on obtaining a life insurance policy. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, an insurance carrier will likely request a doctor’s statement or APS to determine your health from the clinical documents.
Make sure that your records are accurate and current. Also, make sure your medical providers are watching for the document request(s) and that they will respond in a timely manner. This way they’ll be sure to send requested documents to the insurance company promptly.
Having any type of health problem in your medical history can result in greater scrutiny when you shop for life insurance. However, a small investment of time can expand your life insurance options while reducing the time you have to invest in the process.