Life Insurance for Those With Medical Conditions

Most of you know that life insurance is a necessity for the majority of Canadians. Like it or not, it’s the only financially responsible solution for protecting your loved ones, business and home if something happens. For most people, applying for life insurance is simple and it costs far less than many expect.

There is a large group however that simply assume they won’t qualify for life insurance due to medical reasons and feel that their only option is to go un-insured and hope that nothing happens to them. This may be true for some people but the vast majority of these “higher risk” health cases are actually fully insurable – and for far less than you might think.

The majority of health issues will be assessed and sometimes the insurer will come back to you with a few follow up questions. Once they have all of the information they need, the insurance underwriter will decide if the policy will be approved standard or if they will apply a “rating”. A rating is a percentage basis over and above the normal rates. If your policy would normally cost $37 per month and you are given a 150% rating, this would mean your coverage would cost you $55.50 per month. Yes this is a little more money but it’s hardly unaffordable or unreasonable to provide the coverage your family needs.

Let’s take diabetes for example. This chronic health condition results in high levels of glucose in the blood and according to the Canadian Diabetes Association, it affects over 9 million Canadians. I repeatedly hear from people with diabetes that automatically assume that they won’t qualify for life insurance or if they do, it will be at very high rates. The insurance company will look at a variety of details before making a decision. They will request an “attending physician statement” from your doctor to assess how long you have had this condition and how well it’s being managed with treatment. Typical applicants that have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can expect to pay anywhere from standard rates up to 2 times the standard rate. When it’s well controlled and there are no complications, we often see those with Type 2 diabetes come back anywhere from standard to a 50% surcharge.

The best chance of having a policy application being approved is to provide the necessary information to properly make a decision provided up front. The easier we can make the insurance underwriter’s job, the more likely they are to come back with an approval. A qualified insurance advisor will help you draft up a summary letter explaining the pertinent details and they will forward this on with the application. By using this method and a few other “tricks”, we have countless quick and favourable policy approvals each year for clients who previously felt that they were simply un-insurable.

For confidentiality reasons, I won’t display an inventory of all the various health issues that we’ve gotten approved over the years but I can assure you that this list would surprise you. So before you assume you just won’t qualify or it will be way too expensive, take the time to research your options and find out the truth. The life insurance coverage you really do need might be far more attainable than you think!