• Sarah Smith, Tenaya Insurance

4 Tips for Getting High-Risk Life Insurance


If life insurance wasn’t a priority before, it will quickly become one if your health changes or you have a scare. Realizing the most important people in your life are financially dependant on you and receiving a reminder that you are not untouchable is a big wake-up call for most people.

Having a health condition prompts us to think of what would happen to our family left behind if we were no longer around to take care of them. The hard reality is that when these health conditions develop, it becomes a real challenge at that point to find affordable life insurance, or in some cases to get coverage at all. But it’s not impossible.

If you have health conditions and you’re having a hard time getting life insurance, here are 4 tips to give you your best shot of getting coverage in place:

TIP #1 – Work with a life insurance agent who specializes in hard to place cases

This is the most important tip we have on this subject . . . the agent that you work with can make the difference between you getting declined for the coverage you apply for or getting approved for it. Applying for life insurance always needs to be approached in a certain way, but this is especially critical if you have a health condition or are considered “high-risk” to carriers. You can’t just randomly throw multiple applications out to different insurance companies, cross your fingers and hope for the best.

Different carriers are lenient with different health conditions, and intolerant of others. There is a method, and specific steps that should always be followed to give you the greatest chance for success. Working with an agent that specializes in hard to place cases will know exactly what to do.

For example, I have a client named Martha. When I first met her, she was very frustrated. She had a life insurance policy for $20,000, but that’s all she had ever been able to get, even after numerous attempts to get a higher level of coverage. Martha had gone through losing her father who had no life insurance, and the financial burden of paying for his funeral and burial costs at a moments notice all fell on her. It was incredibly stressful for her, and she never wanted her sons to have to go through that, which is why she wanted to get more coverage in place.

But why was she having such a hard time getting more coverage? Martha has a slow-progressing form of Parkinson’s, which she inherited from her mother who also has the disease. That condition alone poses a large obstacle, but she was also diagnosed as being pre-diabetic by her doctor. I had my work cut out for me! But I was committed to doing everything I could to get her the coverage she wanted and needed. I got to work, following our step-by-step process that we follow. The end result? For only $10 more a month than she was previously paying for her $20,000 policy, I was able to secure her a permanent life insurance policy for $100,000. We got that thing in force so quickly, and I had one happy client!

Having an agent in your corner who understands the underwriting process, specializes in hard to place cases, and who will put in the work and time to exhaust every option for you makes all the difference.

TIP #2 – It’s all about control

If you have a chronic medical condition (diabetes, arthritis, asthma, etc.) what the insurance company wants to see the most is that you have it under control and it is well managed, and that you are following your doctor’s recommendations.

How do you show this? Through doctor’s letters, lab reports showing your cholesterol, blood pressure, A1C levels, triglycerides, etc. that pertains to your condition. Your insurance agent will tell you exactly what they need from you or your doctor. If your agent is concerned that your numbers or your condition might not be at a place where you can successfully get coverage in place, they can give you a plan with specific steps on what you need to do and when you can re-apply and move forward.

TIP #3 - Obtain “Trial Offers”

In the life insurance industry there’s a process where we can send your “high-risk” case to several life insurance companies at one time without completing a formal life insurance application. Think of it as "pre-qualifying" without sending carriers your name or identifying information. This allows your agent to know with a degree of certainty what kind of offer they can expect from several life insurance carriers before you formally apply and without taking a medical exam.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Your agent gathers your health information (in great detail), summarizes it for the underwriters and sends it out to any life insurance carrier who are a possibility for considering the risk

  2. The life insurance companies review your case and reply with “tentative offers” in writing. This means that as long as everything was disclosed and nothing has changed (they don’t find something different or contradictory in your medical records), these are the rates you can expect.

  3. You choose the best offer and formally apply with that company. Your agent would then attach the “tentative offer” to your application.

TIP #4 – Don’t assume

The biggest misconception for people with health issues looking for life insurance is the assumption that they can’t qualify for coverage. We hear this regularly, and in most cases affordable coverage is obtainable, you just need to work with the right agent!

Qualifying for life insurance coverage with health conditions takes some expertise, knowledge of the underwriting process and carriers, and a little more work from your agent, but it can certainly be done. Of course we always recommend that you get coverage in place when you're young and healthy, but if you find yourself in a different situation, don't let any health condition prevent you from looking into whether or not you can qualify. The only way you’ll know is if you try, and you and your family deserve the protection and peace of mind that life insurance provides!

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We are experienced in hard to place cases and we will work hard

to exhaust every option for you because you deserve it. We are here

to make the process as easy for you as possible.

Call Tenaya Insurance Services at (925) 322-8073 today!

#Denied #LifeInsurance #Financial #moneytips

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