by Chris Funnell
When you’re applying for a life insurance policy, you may have heard that insurers evaluate your application based on certain criteria like your age, your lifestyle, your profession, and most especially your health.
The result of this evaluation of your health conditions can either make you a higher-risk candidate which means you pay higher premiums, or keep your premiums low and minimal if the insurers find that you’re your health conditions are well-managed.
Though you can hardly change your age, profession or lifestyle at the time of your application, here are the top 10 health conditions that can affect your life insurance health class.
High blood pressure is a very common health condition affecting people over 40, especially those with a family history. However, if you can show your insurer that you have excellent control of your high blood pressure – like following medication, change in diet and exercise, and routine preventative doctor visits, you may even end up a preferred policy holder.
Elevated cholesterol often goes hand in hand with high blood pressure. Like high blood pressure if you can show that you your high cholesterol is well controlled with medication, diet and exercise, and regular cholesterol checks with your Doctor, you will be evaluated more favorably than those who disregard their health condition.
Some insurance companies can even offer preferred rates for those taking medication and have good cholesterol numbers.
Adult onset diabetes, or Type 2, has many life-threatening health situations attached to it that makes insurers leery of people with this particular health condition. Similar to HBP and high cholesterol, Insurers look closely at how well is the diabetes controlled.
If a Diabetic has their condition under excellent control though medication, diet, exercise, and good height & weight, then Diabetics can also be approved at favourable rates.
Sleep apnea is often misconstrued as snoring but it can be a life-threatening health condition because it can cause you to stop breathing in the middle of the night. It also is linked to high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. The lack of sleep is also potentially life-threatening especially in the workplace.
Many people have their sleep apnea under control with the nightly use of a CPAP machine. Underwriters will ask about the severity of the sleep apnea, and how well it is managed.
Heart disease is a health condition that insurers look carefully at. Heart disease is most often associated with a heart attack but is actually a combination of other heart diseases and manifestations. Risks will escalate if you have had previous experiences with heart disease, like if you’ve already had a heart attack, which is why it’s necessary to provide all relevant medical history and results of visits to the Cardiologist.
Underwriters will also take into consideration any immediate family history of heart disease or heart attack.
Cancer has many stages and degrees of recovery that makes it necessary for insurers to take a deeper look into your medical history to assess your life insurance application. Having cancer doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll be considered high risk and in general, the longer the time since diagnosis, the better the rate you can be approved at.
Asthma by itself doesn’t seem to be life threatening but complications may arise that involve life-threatening situations especially if the attacks happen often, or you don’t have sufficient medication to counter the effects and when the attack is more serious than you thought. These variables are what makes asthma a potential concerns to insurers.
If possible, common considerations like mild asthma from exercise or allergies should be emphasized on your application to avoid overstating this condition.
Your build is also carefully evaluated by insurers. Obesity can lead to heart problems and diabetes, and can affect your life insurance premiums. Different companies have different height and weight standard rate criteria. Ask you Broker which company is likely the most liberal for you.
If you’ve recently lost some weight, you can request the Underwriter review your coverage and reduce your premium.
Organ transplants, and especially the less common ones make insurers wary. Kidney transplants are becoming pretty common, and may be less of a worry. However, other organ transplants like liver and heart are still pretty rare and can involve a lot of complications even while in recovery, so insurers are wary of them.
Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety are also very common these days. Underwriters know many people take medication for depression, and this condition can be extremely well-controlled with proper care. Many Insurance Companies can even offer preferred rates for those with depression or anxiety.