Whether you're a young adult, a stay-at-home parent or a retiree, you may have a need for life insurance.
Yet you may have concerns about your health conditions. Many people think certain conditions preclude them from getting life insurance. In reality, many common and manageable conditions won't disqualify you from being approved for a policy.
The truth about life insurance and health conditions
Although it varies by insurer, many companies will extend coverage to people who experience the following:
1. Health conditions a medical professional is helping you control and manage.These conditions could include high cholesterol, hypertension, asthma, thyroid conditions, heart murmurs, diabetes, being overweight and more.
2. More serious conditions that you had in the past. This can include heart attack or heart surgery, cancer, stroke and other diseases. “Things an insurer will consider include the type and severity of the illness, the time that's elapsed since the diagnosis, the stability of your health and your treatment regimen,” says John Ptaszynski, chief life underwriter at Erie Insurance.
It's important to remember that it typically costs more to buy life insurance if you suffer from a health condition or use tobacco. It's also worth noting that your ability of obtaining life insurance decreases if you suffer from multiple health conditions.
Three things to keep in mind
John advises anyone interested in life insurance to keep three things in mind.
First, never assume a health condition automatically disqualifies you from obtaining life insurance. “Don't think that you can't get life insurance because you're in less than perfect health,” he says. “You may very well be eligible for coverage—so always check with a licensed insurance agent to find out for sure.”
Second, be honest about your medical history. “You may compromise a future claim if you make a material misrepresentation, like failing to mention a major surgery or serious diagnosis,” says John.
As a condition of obtaining life insurance, you will likely undergo a simple medical exam. This exam can reveal certain conditions like high blood pressure or a smoking habit. “It's just not worth it to not disclose important information about your health,” says John.
And third: If you do have a condition like the two mentioned above, it's best to apply earlier rather than later. That's because it could be impossible to obtain coverage if things take a turn for the worse later on. And if things improve, you can always talk to your insurance agent about more affordable options that could be available to you as a result of your improved health.
Your Agent's there to help
Life insurance and health conditions might sound intimidating or confusing—but they don't have to be. Your best course of action is to talk with a professional like an Erie Insurance Agent in your community. He or she will be able to give you trusted advice on which coverage options* are available to you and your family.
*Life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.