How To Buy Life Insurance With Pre-Existing Conditions In 2024 - PinnacleQuote

How To Buy Life Insurance With Pre-Existing Conditions In 2024

Let’s talk about how to buy life insurance when you’ve got pre-existing conditions. It might seem tricky, but with the right info and approach, it’s totally doable. This guide is here to help you navigate the ins and outs, making sure you feel equipped and confident in finding the right coverage for you.

The value of life insurance is undeniable. It can provide peace of mind and financial stability to your family in the event that you pass away prematurely.

So when looking for life insurance with pre existing conditions you just need to know what to prepare for.

Life insurance rates are often higher for those who have pre-existing conditions, but it may not always be necessary to pay these higher rates if you purchase a policy through certain types of policies.

There are two main types: Term Insurance and Whole Life Insurance. Term life offers coverage for a certain period (i.e., 10 years) while whole life provides lifelong benefits with no end date, which sounds like the best option right?

We break down the pros and cons as well as how each type affects your rate based on what kind of pre-existing condition you have below!

Life Insurance with Pre existing Medical Conditions

If you are able to buy life insurance with health issues, it will most likely be a high-risk policy, which is significantly more expensive than standard policies.

However, knowing which carriers specialize in specific health impairments, life insurance applicants will get affordable coverage regardless of any pre-existing health condition.

Honestly, it is easier than you think to obtain life insurance for people with medical conditions

Despite this, it is still possible to achieve the best life insurance for pre-existing medical conditions and get a decent policy.

The Good News is, there are several companies that actually specialize in insuring high-risk individuals that cover pre-existing conditions.

So determining who has the best life insurance policy for pre-existing conditions will depend on the carrier.

They all have their own niches that they specialize in. One thing is for certain, expect to pay a higher premium.

Life Insurance Eligibility with Medical History

What common health impairments will affect my life insurance premiums?

We will discuss many below in detail.  Here are some that you may have had, may have, or could possibly have if family history is a factor.

Examples of pre-existing conditions for life insurance are:

Life insurance regardless of the health conditions we will speak of is achievable. As far as life insurance quotes with pre-existing conditions, every insurance carrier has its own niche and criteria to determine the price.

You will hear us speak often that every carrier looks at every person differently. There are many factors to this besides health.  Age is also a factor. Lifestyle too in getting accurate life insurance quotes for pre-existing conditions.

Many clients have asked, Can someone with cirrhosis get life insurance? Depending on the severity, they may qualify for a guaranteed acceptance policy.

This is something that would need to be discussed with your agent so they could better guide you. at getting the best life insurance quotes for pre-existing medical conditions.

No Medical Exam Life Insurance Policy With Pre existing Conditions

A no-medical exam policy may be your best option if you’re having trouble getting accepted by a life insurance company.

Since these plans do not require a medical exam, it is easier for a high-risk applicant to get coverage. However, these policies are more expensive.

You always want to make sure that you are working with top-rated life insurance companies. Many of them are very financially stable, so they’ll be more comfortable taking on riskier applicants.

The underwriting for a no-exam is very similar to the underwriting for health insurance.

There are some conditions that may limit you and you may have to go with a Guaranteed Issue life policy. You may be concerned if you can afford life insurance under this type of policy.

Ask your independent agent to help you break it down.

You can pay for your policy with a credit card if you want to. But you have to pay all at once, or every six months. If you’re not sure, ask your agent.

Life Insurance Plans for Chronic Diseases

If you are able to obtain and qualify for term life coverage, having a pre-existing condition will raise your rates.

However, going for a term policy has a significantly higher death benefit. This would benefit you compared to products with limited underwriting.

The following will give a range of ratings for different health impairments.

It will also break down different stages of health impairment into different rating classes based on the severity of the pre-existing condition.

Multiple Sclerosis

(MS) and Life Insurance

Multiple Sclerosis Underwriting Questionnaire
Condition Time Since Event Underwriting Table
Suspected MS, not confirmed < 2 years Table 4
3-4 years Table 3
4+ years Standard (preferred possible)
Definite MS < 2 years Table 6
3-5 years Table 4
6-10 years Table 3
After 10 years Table 2
Severe Abnormalities, immobility Decline

Income Protection Insurance Pre-existing Conditions

Is it a good idea to obtain income protection for pre-existing medical conditions? YES!  

Income protection insurance is an important insurance benefit.

Also known as disability insurance.  The terms and conditions vary from one carrier to another.

You have a wide range of choices when it comes to income protection insurance.  Depending on your illness or injury, there is short-term or long-term disability insurance.

Many clients have income protection or disability insurance through their employers.  

That is fantastic, however, if you quit or lose your job tomorrow, Now What?   Ask us about disability insurance Today!

Ho To Get Life Insurance With Pre existing Cancer

Prostate Cancer:

  • Standard if Older ages at diagnosis, Gleason Score < 6, No Gleason 4 or 5 reported.
  • PSA does not rise during active surveillance (watchful waiting) if over the age of 60.
  • PSA is persistently < 0.2 after radiation.
  • Also if PSA is persistently undetectable (<.01) after radical prostatectomy

Breast Cancer:

  • Standard of treatment completed over 5 years ago (excluding tamoxifen), and no evidence of recurrence.
  • 3- 5 years after treatment, fee extra between 5.00-10.00 per thousand.

If you are looking for coverage with pre-existing cancer and are still being treated, then the only policy available will be a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy.

These policies generally have graded restrictions, for more information on these types of policies please reference our Guaranteed Acceptance article.

Above all getting coverage will always come down to the type of cancer and the stage of a cancer diagnosis.

For instance, if you have late-stage colon cancer and you have successful treatment, waiting periods may vary compared to other cancers.

Regardless, when the waiting period is over a term policy will give you the best opportunity for low months premiums.

Life Insurance with Pre Existing Condition Diabetes

How Insurance Carriers look at Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes 

  • Age at issue – 18-34 Table 4-6 (lower table for a shorter duration (< 7 years) since diagnosis)
  • 35-49 Table 3-5 (lower table for a shorter duration (< 7 years) since diagnosis)
  • 50-65 Table 3-4 (lower table for a shorter duration (< 7 years) since diagnosis)
  • 66+ Table 2-4 (lower table for a shorter duration (< 7 years) since diagnosis)
  • Add 1 table per 1% of A1c over 7%

With Type 2 Diabetes

single medication or diet controlled

  • Age of Onset 0-17 – Decline
  • 18-34 – Table 3-5
  • 35-49 – Table 2-4
  • 50-65 – Table 1-3
  • Age of Onset 66+ – Standard Plus – Table 2
  • Add 1 table per 1% of A1C over 7%
  • If 2 medications, add 1 table

Furthermore, in most cases when a consumer is managing their diabetes, it’s very common to be on maintenance of high blood pressure medications in addition to cholesterol medication.

In fact, these medications in combination with metformin are a very common treatment regimen.

When it comes to underwriting, taking these medications really won’t have an adverse effect on your rate as it’s not being treated for an underlying condition.

Life Insurance Medical Conditions

Epilepsy/Seizure Disorder

Is epilepsy a critical illness? Yes, it is! It is very common to ask does insurance cover epilepsy surgery or if can you get life insurance with epilepsy.

It will come down to the type, how long since the last seizure, and what kind of medications you are taking.

  • Any surgical corrections – postpone 12 months
  • Complex partial, Tonic-clonic, infantile spasms;(within 6 months -postpone, within 2 years of last seizure-table 3, 3-5 years – table 2, after 5 years Std)
  • Simple partial, Nocturnal, generalized absence;(Within 2 years of last seizure – table 3, after 2 years, standard)
  • Metabolic brain disease, status epilepticus;(within 5 years, decline

Sleep Apnea Disorder

Can you get life insurance if you have sleep apneaWhen you are diagnosed with sleep apnea and your physician prescribes you a CPAP machine but you do not use it, your premiums will reflect this.

A couple of insurance carriers that are great with sleep apnea:

  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Prudential

What can happen if sleep apnea is not treated? If you have symptoms and it is not treated, you are at risk for high blood pressure, heart failure, and even strokes.

Can you die from sleep apnea?  You actually stop breathing for a period of time throughout your sleep. So there is a huge risk of cardiac death. Always consult with your physician!

  • Mild- Standard Plus Possible
  • Moderate – Standard
  • Moderate untreated – Table 2
  • Moderately Severe – CPAP nightly – Standard – Table 2
  • Severe, Non Compliant – Decline

Atrial Fibrillation

Finding the best life insurance companies for AFIB can be discouraging. However, more and more life insurance carriers have gotten lenient with the atrial fibrillation underwriting guidelines.

Here are some of the ways carriers may look at underwriting classes when determining coverage.

Assuming no other impairments are present:

  • No cardiac evaluation – Table 7 to decline
  • No structural heart disease – Table 3
  • Current heart failure – Decline
  • Paroxysmal/Intermittent/Recurrent – Standard possible
  • A single episode, resolved – No rating, Preferred possible

Heart Attack

It can be demoralizing when suffering a heart attack. Life can change at a drop of a dime. If in recovery you probably think about the best life insurance after a heart attack and how to achieve it.

Below are the ways that underwriters will categorize your rating class after a heart attack.

  • < 40 – Decline
  • 40-50, after 12 months – Table 8
  • Age 50+, 3+ years – Table 4
  • Age 50+, 5+ years – Table 3

Bipolar Disorder

When you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder it can be scary. Once you are diagnosed with this condition it may be challenging to find life insurance.

In reality, insurance carriers just are not up to the times. Your bipolar life insurance rating will depend on treatment and if you have a stable treatment program.

Here are some of the ratings underwriters will look at when determining the rate class.

  • Mild – Stable, maybe taking psychiatric meds but no antipsychotic or MAO inhibitor. No suicide attempts or thoughts of suicide in the past 3 years. – Standard
  • Moderate – Psychiatric medication dosages increased in the past 12 months, with no suicide ideation in the past 6 months. Table 2
  • Severe – Use of MAO inhibitor, changes to medication dosages. – Table 4

Maximizing Affordability with Pre-Application Health Strategies for Life Insurance

There are other ways to get cheap and affordable protection, aside from simply comparing companies. Your general health level will have a major impact on your quote.

Anything you can do to make a better impression with the life insurance company before you apply is highly recommended.

Below, we’ll list a few things you can do before applying that will help get you a more affordable policy:

  • Quit Smoking
  • Exercise frequently
  • Lose excess weight
  • Lower your blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Eat healthier

How much life insurance should I get?

Choosing the amount of coverage to buy is a huge decision. You want to make sure that you get a large enough life insurance policy to support your family after you pass.

Below, we’ll list some things you may want to consider covering:

  • Mortgage(s)
  • Any debts you may have
  • Children’s college tuition
  • Final expenses (funeral services usually cost around $10,000)
  • Replacement of salary or retirement income

Once you figure out everything you’d like covered, then it’s time to calculate the total cost. From there, you’ll have a better understanding of how much life insurance you’ll need.

Death benefits will be paid in a lump sum.

Getting Life Insurance Regardless of Health

Ensure that you investigate your options and know exactly what you have to do and what questions you’re going to be asked about your well-being.

Needed documents frequently include prescription info, cover letters describing your health difficulties, or more comprehensive information if your broker wishes to have a quote from a provider.

However, before you even speak with an agent, collect as much info about your condition as possible.

You might require dates and documentation of healthcare diagnoses or treatments in addition to the title, frequency, and doses of any medicines you require.

With this information handy can cut the guesswork out of your broker so they are able to pair you with a suitable carrier.

Related Articles


Can I get life insurance with a pre-existing condition?
Absolutely! It might require a bit more legwork, but there are policies out there for you.

How does the underwriting process work for pre-existing conditions?
During underwriting, insurers will assess your health condition based on medical records, treatment history, and overall health. They look at how your condition is managed, its severity, and any potential risks it poses. This process helps determine your eligibility and premium rates.

Is there a waiting period for life insurance with pre-existing conditions?
Some policies, especially guaranteed issue life insurance, may have a waiting period before full benefits apply. This means if the insured passes away during this period due to a pre-existing condition, beneficiaries might receive only a portion of the death benefit or the premiums paid to date.

Can lifestyle changes impact my life insurance options if I have a pre-existing condition?
Yes, positive lifestyle changes can significantly impact your life insurance options. Improvements in diet, exercise, quitting smoking, or better managing your condition can make you a less risky candidate to insurers, potentially leading to lower premiums and better policy terms.


Buying life insurance with pre-existing conditions in 2024 doesn’t have to be a headache. With the right knowledge and a bit of patience, you can find a policy that gives you peace of mind without breaking the bank.

Remember, you’re not alone in this – there are plenty of resources and experts out there ready to help you on your journey.

More Life Insurance Resources