Life Insurance with Cardiovascular Disease

This may be common knowledge, but your heart is an incredibly important organ.

The heart is responsible for circulating oxygen through your bloodstream to the rest of your body. This helps your body get the nutrients it needs, while simultaneously ridding it of waste. Basically your heart is responsible for how well the trillions of cells in your body function; if it stops working properly, the rest of your body also fails to work properly.

To reiterate: your heart is important. And if your heart is in less-than-perfect condition, it causes a chain reaction of health issues.

It also spells bad news for your life insurance premiums. Don’t get frustrated, we can assist you in finding life insurance with cardiovascular disease. Let’s start be taking a look at this condition first.

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is a pretty broad umbrella category. It refers to any heart condition that includes diseased vessels, blood clots or structural problems.

The reason that life insurance companies take heart conditions so seriously is because they are incredibly prevalent; in fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that heart disease is responsible for 1 out of every 4 deaths, killing roughly 610,000 Americans every year.

Now, if those numbers aren’t staggering enough on their own, think about heart disease from the perspective of a life insurance underwriter.

It is the responsibility of an underwriter to allow a life insurance company to take on the most risk while retaining the most profit. This means that it is their responsibility to sell policies to low-risk individuals, and it should come as no surprise that a history of heart disease is a red flag to underwriters.

The most common form of cardiovascular disease is called coronary heart disease – also known as CHD. Characterized by insufficient blood flow throughout the heart muscle, coronary heart disease causes about 370,000 deaths each year. If an underwriter encounters an application with a history of CHD, it’s natural to expect higher rates.

Similarly, an individual applying for life insurance with a history of heart attacks will also be faced with extraordinarily expensive premiums and – in some cases, declines. Heart attacks, while not as common as CHD, occur in about 735,000 Americans each year, and about a quarter of these individuals have had more than one heart attack.

While heart attacks aren’t as prevalent as CHD, they do increase the likelihood that an individual will experience other heart malfunctions.

Your heart health is imperative to proper body function and – you may have guessed it – to your life insurance premiums.

Cardiovascular Disease and Underwriting: Before

If you were reading the above section and panicking about your life insurance with cardiovascular disease, there is good news.

You see, heart disease of any sort – even mild plaque on your arteries – would automatically leave you and your family uncovered.

For those selling no-medical exam life insurance – also known as Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance – these declines and high premiums were great. It meant that more and more customers were directed to these no-exam options. No exam coverage gives people the option to purchase insurance at a flat rate, no matter what their medical condition may be.

Because the life insurance industry is constantly evolving and changing, this type of coverage is no longer necessary.

Now, if you’re reading this and thinking that insurance without the hassle of medical exams sounds great, think again. The problem with this type of coverage is that it doesn’t actually save policyholders money. Instead, you might actually pay more for your coverage because you may be lumped into the same category as those with severe heart conditions.

The Evolution in Life Insurance Underwriting

Think of an underwriter like an investigative journalist: it is his or her job to find out all they can about your individual condition and any medical news or breakthroughs surrounding it. It is this research process that is actually making it easier – and more affordable – to obtain life insurance with a heart disease.

Thanks to breakthroughs in the way we diagnose, treat and manage heart conditions, underwriters and insurance companies are getting less rigid in how they view the risk of applicants with cardiovascular disease.

Now, heart conditions are viewed on a case-by-case basis, with underwriters thoroughly examining:

   How the disease was caused and the symptoms associated with your heart condition

   The age at which you were diagnosed

   The results of your EKG and cardiac tests

   Your diet and lifestyle choices

   Your history with smoking and tobacco use

   Which medications you are taking or treatments you are following

   Your weight at the time of diagnosis and your current weight

   Your good and bad cholesterol levels  

…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The more complex and detailed underwriting heart disease gets, the more accurate your insurance company will be able to predict your risk based on your individual health history.

The views on certain disease have also changed throughout the years. This could be due to better medical technology and increased life expectancy or the fact that underwriters look at situations on a case-by-case basis; however, either way, heart attacks are no longer cause for an immediate coverage decline.

Instead of declines, you may find that you have to postpone your coverage application under after major medical procedures or that you are charged a flat extra onto your policy. The most likely scenario for those with mild heart conditions and no additional health complications is a Standard rating.

Your Key To The Best Insurance

Perhaps the best change in the life insurance industry is the introduction of the independent insurance agent.

Agents used to work for specific companies, which meant that they working in the company’s best interest.

These days, independent insurance agents are cropping up everywhere, which spells great news for those looking for insurance with cardiovascular diseases. Take, for example, this particular website!

I am an independent agent, and I have dedicated this site to educating my clients about life insurance.

Like other independent agents, I have access to a number of resources that allow me to quickly and accurately help you compare insurance ratings from companies that will look favorably upon your risk. Additionally, I – and the agents I work with – take the time to research multiple high-risk diseases and conditions that once meant declines for my clients.

The biggest evolution in the insurance industry is the move toward this personal approach; instead of working for big insurance companies, agents now work for you. These agents take the time to get to know you and to present your situation to underwriters.

This gets you the best insurance rates, every time.