How to Get Life Insurance if You’re High Risk

The thing that makes buying high risk life insurance difficult is the underwriting. Whether you are looking for term life insurance policy or whole life insurance, every carrier has underwriting guidelines that have to be met in order to qualify for a policy.

For young people, buying life insurance is easy and inexpensive.  But, as we age and as we become more vulnerable to developing a variety of chronic medical conditions, purchasing life insurance for high risk individuals is often very difficult.

To qualify for a high risk life insurance policies, clients need the guidance of an experienced independent life insurance agent.

Local Life Agents is the go-to source for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions because we have the experience to know which life insurance companies are best at underwriting each risk.

That means we have a strong record in securing – and we have secured – policies for high risk clients with, respectively, a family history of cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and many other illnesses.

Before we get started some things you should know.  High risk life insurance is also referred to as impaired risk life insurance so these two terms can be known as the same.  You should also know we work with, on a daily basis, over 30 high risk life insurance companies.  We know the competitive positioning and the appetite for all high risk life insurance carriers.

Understanding substandard rates

Substandard life insurance rates can be applied to a term life insurance policy and permanent policy.

Life insurance companies call substandard ratings “table ratings.”  If you receive a substandard rating, a company may refer to that as Table 1 or Table B.

Table rates add 25%, per table, above the standard rate.

Below is an example of a standard rate with a premium of $100.  This hypothetical shows how a table rating would add extra costs to the final price and rate a life insurance company offers.

Standard Rate
Table 1 or A
Table 2 or B
Table 3 or C
Table 4 or D
Table 5 or E
Table 6 or F
Table 7

High risk company guidelines

We represent over 30 life insurance companies who offer term life insurance and permanent coverage such as whole life and universal life. Some of these carriers are more flexible regarding high risk applicants. They have what we call loose underwriting guidelines.

Since we work with a core group of high risk life insurance companies and brands, we know which ones will more likely accommodate us and more easily accept a high risk applicant.

Also, each life insurance company has its own target markets and different underwriting guidelines for those respective markets.

Let us look at two life insurance companies — and determine which may be a better source for a high risk applicant.

Company A and Company B

We know company A has a competitive pricing structure, when it comes to reviewing an applicant’s height and weight.

Company A will allow someone who is 5’10” and 209 pounds to get preferred best rates.

Company B will only award preferred best rates to someone of the same height who weighs 188 pounds.

Look, again, at the different guidelines about a person’s build for company A versus company B.

Things get a lot more complicated in underwriting, as a life insurance company evaluate an applicant’s preexisting impairments such as MS or Cancer for example.  We thoroughly understand these underwriting guidelines, which is a critical asset to help our clients get covered and to find the best price.

Knowing each life insurance company’s underwriting guidelines empowers us to get the best life insurance rates if you are a high risk individual.  We know which life insurance companies to work with, in terms of any per-existing conditions you may have.

Arbitrarily applying with the wrong company is a waste of time.  Once you get declined, trying to buy life insurance can quickly become emotionally exhausting and incredibly time-consuming.

How to get a better rate if your high risk

If you are a high risk applicant and want to get a better rate, or have been offered a substandard rate from a life insurance company after that carrier has finished the underwriting process, the following information is of critical importance.

Most life insurance companies offer a “table shave” program or healthy lifestyle credits.

When a life insurance company approves your application, but offers you a substandard rate or a table rating, you can ask for a table shave reduction based on having a healthy lifestyle.

Most companies will provide table shave programs up to a Table C substandard offer.

Here is a list of things, which may enable you to qualify for a table shave program or a healthy lifestyle credit.

  1. Annual checkups with your doctor
  2. Favorable cardiac tests
  3. Regular health screening
  4. Lifetime non-smoker
  5. Regular exercise program
  6. Minimal alcohol use
  7. Good family health history (No history of either parent having passed away at an early age)
  8. Controlled blood pressure and cholesterol
  9. Preventative cancer screenings
  10. Preventative heart screenings

There are some additional points about this table shaving, which deserve your attention.

For example: If you received a table rating because you are 25 pounds over the standard height and weight chart, you will not be able to prove to a life insurance company that you enjoy a healthy lifestyle. You genuinely have to confirm these things, to get a table shave.

Also, some companies will not allow table shaving or provide lifestyle credits if you have coronary artery disease or cancer. However, we have a company that will include table shaving for these two ailments.

Don’t make these mistakes

— As an impaired risk life insurance individual, you must work with an experienced agent because finding life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions on your own, will most likely be impossible.  It will be time-consuming and you will not be able to get a realistic quote without working with an agent.  As well as, if you can even qualify.

— Getting a life insurance quote if you are a high risk candidate can be done by filling out our quote form. You can see quotes for term life insurance and permanent products.  This will give us the information needed to get you the most accurate quote possible before going through underwriting.  By completing the attached questionnaire (see below), we can get you the best quote and a potential tentative offer from an insurer.

— Local Life Agents makes this process a priority for every client.  We help you avoid misleading information involving rate classes that do not apply to high risk insurance candidates.

Get Quotes

Any life insurance agent can give you a quote for a life insurance policy.  Very few agents can deliver – and get you approved for the policy you want, particularly if you are trying to get quotes for life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions.

Local Life Agents evaluates the underwriting facts and simplifies this process.  We explain, with patience, respect and clarity, the odds you face – and we seek to beat them, period.

We accomplish our goals because of the experience we possess, counseling clients other agents are unable or unwilling to help.

Are you a high risk candidate for life insurance?

If you currently have, or have had treatments or surgeries for a serious health condition, then you are most likely a high risk or impaired risk life insurance candidate.

Does this mean you will not qualify for a life insurance policy?

In most cases, the answer is: No.

It does, however, mean that you need a resourceful professional who knows  – you need the help Local Life Agents provides – so you will meet the underwriting guidelines associated with most high risk applicants.

By filling out the attached questionnaire, we can get you a series of realistic quotes for your high risk rate class.

Not everyone is a candidate for traditional fully underwritten life insurance.  There are many uninsurable conditions that will leave you with no option except a guaranteed issue life policy which you can learn more about here.