What Kinds of Things Might Affect My Eligibility for Insurance or Increase My Costs?
Life insurance can be a saving grace that protects your children, sustains your spouse, pays off taxes and prevents the transfer of debt to survivors should you pass away, but what if you don’t currently have a life insurance policy and aren’t sure if you qualify for one? Believe it or not, even if you think you’re not eligible, you may still have some options. Let’s take a look at some factors that can impact your insurability and some of the options that may be available to you.
Certain occupations, lifestyle or health conditions could affect your life insurance costs and even make you ineligible for coverage.
Being employed in a high-risk profession. You may be surprised by what insurance companies consider high risk. While most companies rate firefighters and police officers similarly to the general population, pilots may face higher rates if they operate small aircraft or fly to high-risk countries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a list of jobs that carry the highest rates of accidents and deaths.
Pursuing a dangerous hobby. Do you regularly scuba dive, mountain climb or hang glide? Such hobbies can have an adverse impact on your premiums and insurability.
Having a pre-existing condition or recent health event. Serious conditions or recent health events are likely to have an effect on your premiums and may even disqualify you from some policies. Here’s a short list of some of the most common medical reasons coverage is declined.
- Abnormal liver function
- High cholesterol
- High PSA
What Are My Options?
Some of the factors that could cause companies to decline coverage aren’t necessarily permanent, and many (like the list above) could be reversed, treated or improved. And, there are other types of insurance available that just might fit your needs.
Change it up! Turn it around!
Even life insurance companies recognize that some situations that could cause them to charge higher premiums or decline coverage today can be improved or reversed. Have you had surgery or another treatment like a heart or gastric bypass in the past year? Do you need to lose weight, have high cholesterol or have uncontrolled diabetes? Waiting to apply and seeking medical help to improve these conditions could turn a “no” into a “yes”!
Investigate different types of insurance policies.
Group policies. Many employers (and some alumni associations and professional organizations) offer group life insurance policies that may not require a medical exam. If your workplace plan has a conversion privilege clause, you may be able to convert it to an individual plan if you leave or retire. You also may be able to purchase insurance through your spouse’s workplace benefits.
Get guaranteed issue life insurance. If you’ve exhausted all other options, a guaranteed life insurance policy is always an option. As the name implies, this type of policy guarantees you’ll qualify, as long as you pay the premiums. However, premiums can be quite high, the payouts tend to be much smaller than those of other types of life insurance policies, and your policy may not pay out if you die within the first two years of purchase.
Final Expense Insurance. You might think that a final expense policy only covers funeral costs, but it actually can cover other expenses like medical bills and credit cards. And, you’ll be guaranteed to qualify. Final expense policies are available to those 50 and older.
Accidental Death Insurance. This type of policy is also guaranteed to be issued. In the event you pass away in an accident, an accidental death insurance policy is an option to protect your loved ones from unexpected expenses.
Find the Right Coverage for You
Whether you’re looking for a new life insurance policy or are hoping to supplement your current plan, Navy Federal Financial Group can help you find affordable life insurance coverage that will suit your needs. Explore your life insurance options.
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- Investopedia. (n.d.) Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance. Available at:
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- Investopedia. (Sept. 16, 2014). Can I Get Life Insurance? Available at:
- Kiplinger. (May 5, 2010). 5 Medical Conditions That Raise Life Insurance Rates Most. Available at:
- NerdWallet. (Sept. 14, 2015). Are You Too Fat to Buy Life Insurance? Available at:
- NerdWallet. (Oct. 21, 2015). 3 Ways to Buy Life Insurance on a Spouse Who’s Uninsurable. Available at:
- NerdWallet. (Sept. 1, 2016). 7 Tips for Buying Life Insurance With a Pre-Existing Condition. Available at: