Getting Life Insurance If You Have Emphysema

If you have emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and you want to buy life insurance, you must read the following:

Unless you work with an agent who specializes in high risk life insurance and understands how to get life insurance for someone with emphysema or COPD, you will quickly become frustrated by the confusing and misleading information that does not answer this most urgent question, “Can you even purchase life insurance if you have emphysema?”

Thankfully, Local Life Agents has extensive knowledge about buying life insurance if you have COPD, emphysema or chronic bronchitis.

What Is Emphysema?

According to the Mayo Clinic, emphysema involves damages to the air sacs in your lungs, which leaves you experiencing acute shortness of breath. Smoking is the main cause of emphysema.

As the air sacs become weaker and then rupture, there is a reduction in the amount of oxygen that enters your bloodstream.

Since these sacs no longer function properly, and as there is no space for fresh oxygen to be released, breathing becomes more difficult and painful.

Certain treatments may slow the advance of emphysema, but there is no medication to undo the damage caused by this form of CPOD.

COPD Facts

According to the American Lung Association, COPD is the third most common cause of death in the United States. Recent statistics put that number at 134,676, though 12.7 American adults have some form of COPD.

There are at least 4.7 million Americans with emphysema, of which 92% are 45 or older. In contrast, 10.1 million Americans have chronic bronchitis.

Overall, more women have COPD than men, with 70,000 females compared to 64,000 males.

COPD Underwriting Guidelines

The life insurance underwriting guidelines involving CPOD vary, with emphysema presenting the most difficult challenge.

The following information will influence the outcome of the underwriting process for someone with CPOD or emphysema who wants to get life insurance:

  • The applicant’s age at the time of diagnosis.
  • What kind of CPOD, ranging from asthma to chronic bronchitis to emphysema.
  • If the applicant is a smoker.
  • If the applicant has been hospitalized because of CPOD.
  • The results of an applicant’s most recent electrocardiograph (ECG).
  • What medications the applicant takes for CPOD.


Possible Outcome

Best case: Standard Rates
Typical case: Table 2-8
Worst case: Decline

Learn more about how table ratings and sub standard life rates affect your cost of life insurance.

Get a Quote

By clicking on and filling out the enclosed questionnaire Local Life Agents can immediately shop among more 40 insurance carriers, to see if you qualify for coverage. We can then can offer you permanent life insurance or term life insurance, depending on what kind of CPOD you have.

Local Life Agents is your trusted advocate, when trying to get life insurance for someone with emphysema, chronic bronchitis or other forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

We keep you informed throughout this process, and are happy to address your concerns, because it usually takes at least six weeks (or more) before a life insurance company finishes its review and underwriting of your application.

During that time, you will take a free medical exam with a paramedical representative. The exam allows a life insurance company to analyze your overall health and your medication history.

We will also be by your side every step of the way during the application process.  We will follow up and help make sure the application and underwriting process goes smooth.

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