Getting life insurance with a bicuspid aortic valve is not always difficult, but you must deal with an independent agent or broker who’s familiar with cardiac issues and can offer you rates from all of the competitive insurance companies.
Having had a bicuspid aortic valve and heart valve surgery myself, I know all about bicuspid valves and the potential problems they can cause in life insurance underwriting.
According to the Bicuspid Aortic Foundation, they estimate that approximately 1 in 50 people is born with a bicuspid valve. So there’s a lot of us out there.
What are the underwriting issues with regard to having a bicuspid aortic valve?
An increased risk of endocarditis, aortic dissection and severe aortic valve dysfunction are just a few of the more serious issues that can result from having a bicuspid valve.
Congestive heart failure, permanent heart damage, abnormal coronary arteries and unstable blood pressure are other potential issues.
All of the above are potentially fatal complications and the reason that people with bicuspid valves will pay more for life insurance.
All life insurance companies will not “rate” you the same with regard to your bicuspid valve.
Choosing the wrong company could cost you thousands of dollars over the life of your policy. Don’t pay more than you have to!
What Does Life Insurance Cost If You Have Bicuspid Valve
The best prognosis for life insurance underwriting purposes is to have a bicuspid valve with mild to no regurgitation, no shortness of breath or other symptoms, a relatively normal echocardiogram, a good ejection fraction over 50% and very good health otherwise.
Most bicuspid valves get progressively worse as you age and many will ultimately require a heart valve repair or replacement.
So buy as much life insurance as you may need and can afford while you’re younger and healthier.
Following are $250,000- 20 year term “range of cost” rates you can expect to pay if you have a bicuspid valve with no more than mild regurgitation and good health otherwise. These are monthly rates and are only estimates as the actual rate for which you qualify could be lower or higher:
Age 30: $27- $34 $23- $30
Age 35: $30- $38 $26- $33
Age 40: $41- $53 $34- $44
Age 45: $65- $85 $50- $65
Age 50: $97- $128 $72- $95
Age 55: $152- $201 $106- $139
Age 60: $252- $334 $176- $233
I’ve shown you 2 rates in each category above as a range of the likely cost.
Remember that every life insurance company can rate you differently based on their opinion of your overall health and your exact bicuspid valve history.
Shorter duration 10 or 15 year term rates would cost less than rates above and longer duration 25 year, 30 year or permanent life insurance would cost more than the rates above.
More Complicated Bicuspid Valve Cases
If you have a bicuspid valve with moderate to severe aortic stenosis or regurgitation or if you have an enlarged or dilated aorta or aortic root, then many insurance companies will automatically decline you or charge you an even higher rate than the rates shown above.
It is a common syndrome for people with bicuspid aortic valves to also develop an enlargement or an aneurysm in the aorta or aortic root. For an aneurysm greater than 4.5 cm, most of the regular insurance companies will decline.
Following are $250,000- 20 year term “range of cost” rates you can expect to pay if you have a bicuspid valve with moderate or worse regurgitation or stenosis or if you have an enlarged aorta (under 4.6 cm) and/or if you have other issues (i.e. overweight, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.). These are monthly rates and are only estimates as the actual rate for which you qualify could be lower or higher:
Age 30: $38- $49 $33- $42
Age 35: $43- $55 $37- $47
Age 40: $59- $76 $49- $63
Age 45: $95- $125 $72- $95
Age 50: $143- $189 $106- $139
Age 55: $225- $299 $156- $206
Age 60: $375- $499 $261- $346
Shorter duration 10 or 15 year term rates would cost less and longer duration 25 year, 30 year or permanent life insurance would cost more than the rates above.
If you have a bicuspid valve with an aneurysm of 4.5 cm or less, then you may possibly be insurable with the “regular” insurance companies.
If the aneurysm is greater than 4.5 cm, then all of the competitive or “regular” insurers will likely decline you.
There is still life insurance available to you if you do have an aneurysm greater than 4.5 cm, but it may not be the “perfect” life insurance.
BEWARE: Don’t apply to any insurance company if you have an aortic aneurysm as there is a company that will currently insure people with larger aneurysms as long as they have not been declined for life insurance in the past! Once you’re declined, this coverage will no longer be available.
As an absolute last resort, there is also guaranteed issue life insurance for which almost anyone can qualify.
Bottom Line On Getting Insurance With a Bicuspid Valve
You must shop with ALL of the competitive insurance companies if you want the best offer on your life insurance and you have a bicuspid valve.
You can’t just shop with American General AIG, Banner Life, Protective Life, Prudential and the more “main stream” or well known companies.
You also must look at the not so main stream, but still quality companies, like AXA Equitable, Columbus Life, John Hancock, Nationwide, Principal Life, Zurich Life…..
Or you must have an experienced agent/broker shop for you.
If you have already applied and have been offered a higher rate than you were expecting or if you just want to verify that the rate for which you qualified is a good offer, we will happily re-shop your case as we do this regularly.