Top 5 High Risk Diseases That Will Make it Difficult to Get Life Insurance

Posted on October 15, 2014 and updated November 12, 2014 in Critical Illness, Life Insurance Canada News 6 min read
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Looking for life insurance with a high risk disability or disease is a difficult task. Often, insurance companies will only offer expensive premiums and others will decline your application all together. There are many variables that are considered when determining to accept an application. Some factors include, age, weight and gender.

Companies also rate the severity of the disease. If an illness is categorized as mild or moderate then companies will accept you. You may be able to obtain preferred or standard rates. Yet, if the illness is clearly severe then your only option is the substandard rate otherwise you may be declined. Here are five of the most difficult diseases to obtain life insurance with.

1. Coronary Heart Disease

According to Statistics Canada heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada and is a major concern for both men and women. Coronary heart disease occurs when there is a partial or complete block of blood from the heart to the arteries. There are many factors used in determining how to rate the severity of coronary heart disease, such as, cholesterol, age, history of heart attacks and treatment. In moderate to severe cases, young individuals with heart disease are at risk of being declined life insurance.

2. Cancer


Getting life insurance with cancer is an extremely difficult and long process, depending on the type of cancer, stage the cancer is in, and the severity of the cancer. In most cases, time is the most important factor. If the person diagnosed with cancer has lived between 3 – 10 years, depending on the cancer type, then more options are available. This list will briefly go over breast, colon and skin cancer.

For those that have breast cancer, it is possible to obtain life insurance as long as you are below stage 3. Anyone diagnosed with breast cancer below stage three can qualify for standard and substandard rates. Anyone diagnosed with breast cancer above stage three will have to look into a graded policy.

Similar with breast cancer, anyone with colon cancer that is stage three and below are eligible for life insurance. Stage four colon cancer is uninsurable and will have to look into getting a graded policy

Unlike breast or colon cancer, there are different types of skin cancer and different levels of risk associated with it. The first two types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. For those that have been diagnosed with either type have no worries. Once the cancer has been removed insurance companies will offer, at most, the standard rate. The last type is a malignant melanoma. This type of skin cancer can be hard to insure since the cancer can be fatal. Earlier detection and removal means you could get preferred or standard rates. Otherwise, companies will put a hold on the application for 2 – 5 years.

3. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. (COPD)

COPD is a long-term lung disease often caused by smoking. The lining within the lungs will start to decay. Dealing with COPD the only rates that can be offered are either standard or substandard. Decline occurs with any of the three following conditions. If you are still smoking with COPD, require an oxygen tank or lung function is below 40%.

4. Multiple Sclerosis

People with multiple sclerosis know how hard it is to obtain life insurance. The key to obtaining life insurance with MS is to target life insurance companies who are competitive with MS cases or contact high risk insurance brokers. In mild cases of multiple sclerosis where the applicant has control over treatment and no disabilities or other medical conditions then you will qualify for standard rates. In other cases, where disability has been declared but a caregiver is not needed, then the substandard rate will be applied. Unfortunately, in severe cases where a caregiver is required or if the disease is progressing then traditional life insurance is not applicable. However, the option of a graded policy is still offered.

5. Diabetes

Life insurance companies look at five key factors when determining your life insurance application they are: age of diagnosis, treatment, type of diabetes, other complications and A1C and blood sugar levels. How these factors impact your chance in gaining a life insurance policy. Age has a big impact in the premium that has to be paid. Someone who was diagnosed with diabetes in a later stage in life will have a better premium than someone diagnosed earlier. You can get better rates if you are getting treatment for your diabetes. Type 2 diabetics will have a better chance in getting life insurance over type 1. If you have diabetes with other complications then it is possible to declined life insurance. Finally, your blood sugar and A1C levels will determine if you have to pay standard or substandard rates.

A common thread with each high risk scenario in this article is that you must provide the date of diagnosis, the treatment you are undergoing and your overall health. The most important factor is when the you were diagnosed with the disease. For example, someone who was diagnosed with a high risk disease later in their life will have a better rate than someone diagnosed earlier in their life.

If you have a pre-existing condition, the key to getting life insurance or better premiums with high risk cases is control. Life insurance companies want to see that there is control over high risk problems and that the person is willing to make changes so they are not as high of a risk.

Another way of increasing your odds of obtaining life insurance or lowering your premiums, is contacting an insurance broker. Insurance brokers, especially those with experience or familiar with cases that are high risk will find the best possible policy that will fit your needs.
 

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