Reasons You’ll Be Declined For Life Insurance

While we have been able to insure many of the “uninsurable” in the past, there are some issues which will cause 99% of all life insurance companies to automatically decline.  

Even though there are more insurance companies that tend to specialize in insuring certain ailments and can make significantly better offers in their niche compared to other insurance companies, some issues are really tough to insure with the “regular” insurance companies. 

While there are possible exceptions that can be made, below is a list of ailments for which almost every life insurance company with even semi-decent rates will decline:

  • Diabetics with kidney disease
  • Diabetics with HbA1C of 10.0 or higher
  • Anyone on dialysis
  • Anyone with implanted defibrillator
  • Any suicide attempts within recent past
  • Mention of recent thoughts of suicide in medical records
  • Treatment for alcohol or other substance abuse within past 2 years
  • Anyone with active Hepatitis C that still consumes alcohol
  • Any diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia, even if only very beginning stage
  • Diagnosis of COPD or Emphysema and still a smoker
  • Any internal cancer with treatment in the past 12 months

How can you avoid being declined for life insurance?

You’ll really need to find a knowledgeable agent that understands the high risk market and can offer you rates from every competitive life insurance company to help you find out if you are insurable. 

I’ve mentioned in past blog post how many agents have no clue when it comes to shopping tougher cases.

We suspect many of these inexperienced agents or agents whose only goal is to do a LOT of business will just have you apply to any companies, whether you can actually qualify or not. 

These agents may just see you as a possible commission… the more people they can get to apply, the more money they can possibly make.   

They may tell you things like, “If one company declines you, they’ll all decline you,” and this is SO WRONG!

We regularly help people that have been declined for life insurance in the past to get approved with other quality insurance companies, but this can take some work on our part.

Many agents or salespeople may not want to put in the work it takes to help you get the best offer possible. However, work is what it takes on more complicated cases.  

We “shop” really tough life insurance cases every day, and we have the perfect system to do so.   

Plus, we obtain medical records on every case, which makes it much easier for us to place you with ANY other life insurance company later.

So what do you do if you really need life insurance but have more significant issues? 

First thing, do not apply to any insurance company until you weigh the risk versus the reward of applying.

Since there is a possibility that you could be declined, you should consider applying for a group life policy with limited health questions first. 

We have access to a company whose group you can join for a small monthly fee, and then you can buy life insurance up to $100,000 (ages 18 to 50) or up to $50,000 (ages 51 to 64) as long as you are employed and working and can answer “no” to the seven health questions below.  

1) Have you been diagnosed with, treated for, or tested positive for HIV, AIDS, or AIDS Related Complex?
2) Have you EVER applied for and been rejected for life insurance? 
3) Have you been hospitalized in the past 90 days?
In the past 5 years, have you been hospitalized for, been diagnosed, or treated by a member of the medical profession or taken prescription medication for: 
4) Angina, heart attack, stroke, heart bypass surgery, angioplasty, coronary artery stenting, or coronary artery disease?
5) ANY form of cancer to include leukemia or Hodgkin’s disease (excluding non-invasive, non-melanoma skin cancer)?
6) Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, or any other chronic respiratory disorder, excluding asthma? 
7) Alcoholism or drug or alcohol abuse, liver cirrhosis, hepatitis, or any other disease of the liver?

Notice above there are no questions pertaining to diabetes… there are also no questions about heart disease or related ailments other than coronary artery disease.

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes or any heart issue other than coronary artery disease, then you may be able to qualify for this coverage.  

Also notice question 2, “Have you ever applied and been rejected for life insurance?”

This is the main reason to avoid applying somewhere else first.  Once you are declined by ANY company, this insurance will no longer be available to you. 

If you can qualify, you should accept this insurance first if you have more significant issues, and then you can cancel it at any time (if a better rate becomes available).

Other life insurance options if you have been declined

If you’ve exhausted all other options, and you can’t qualify for the group life coverage mentioned above, then you may only qualify for guaranteed issue life insurance. 

Guaranteed Issue (GI) life insurance is not the ideal coverage since most companies only offer amounts under $50,000.

GI is also expensive, and most GI companies have a limited death benefit that will be payable to your beneficiary if death occurs in the first two policy years by any disease or illness.  Full death benefit will be payable right away if death is due to accidental means.

If you’re under the age of 40, there is only about one or two GI companies that may offer you up to $10,000 of whole life or $50,000 of term coverage. 

As long as you are a living, breathing person, you will qualify for Guaranteed Issue coverage regardless of your health issues.  

Below are some guaranteed issue monthly life insurance rates for $25,000 of Whole Life insurance as an example of what you can expect to pay.  These rates and the coverage are guaranteed to remain level for life:

                     Male                       Female
Age 50:      $88.50                     $73.50
Age 60:      $136.00                   $103.50
Age 65:      $163.50                   $126.00
Age 70:      $221.00                   $171.00
Age 75:      $301.00                   $243.50
Age 80:     $413.50                    $347.25

We would only recommend Guaranteed Issue life insurance as an absolute last resort!

If you already have term life, but you have been declined for new coverage, consider conversion 

Conversion is the right to exchange your existing term policy to some sort of permanent life insurance without having to go through underwriting again. 

Even though you can only convert from term to permanent life insurance, which is more expensive than term, there are ways to lower your conversion cost.

An agent who is familiar with running permanent life illustrations can do a short duration/short pay solve on a permanent product.  This can make the conversion cost closer to a term insurance cost.  

We have been able to help numerous people who are now a decline for new life insurance convert their term policies and get an affordable rate.  

It doesn’t matter if we didn’t sell you the original term policy. As long as it’s through one of the hundreds of insurance companies that we are licensed to do business with, we could help you to get conversion quotes.   

Bottom Line

Almost everyone is insurable.

Finding the best life insurance rate and value for you may not always be easy, but if you’re reading this, you’re in the right place, as we shop extremely difficult life insurance cases every day!

To find the absolute best life insurance rate available to you, call us at 1-800-380-3533, click here to email, or click on the instant quoter to the right of this page and provide your name, phone number, and email address, and we will email you with information.

There are always guaranteed issue products available to you.  These are expensive for small amounts like $25,000, and they have a waiting period before full benefit would be payable for death by any disease or illness in the first two or sometimes three policy years.  These should always be your absolute last resort!