Life insurance companies are experts at assessing risk. Any factor that could decrease longevity is a risk. The risk of not paying benefits in time may be offset by higher premiums. Understanding how your health may impact premiums can help you decide what to expect when choosing a provider that suits your needs and your budget.
High blood pressure is one health risk that can impact rates. High blood pressure can pose significant risks, including heart attacks and strokes. Although some life insurance companies may refuse coverage in extreme cases of high blood pressure (which is not common), it is possible. High blood pressure patients can find the right type of life insurance coverage for them and their dependents if they do enough research.
High blood pressure and life insurance
According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly half of Americans (45%) have high blood pressure (hypertension). This group has less than 25% blood pressure control. High blood pressure can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease, making it more difficult to insure.
Each life insurance company will have its own guidelines to assess different risks. Life insurance companies are unlikely to deny coverage despite the high mortality rate associated with high blood pressure. Insurance companies might consider the many ways that high blood pressure can be controlled, especially if there are medical conditions that can easily managed. High blood pressure patients can still get coverage.
High blood pressure can impact your life insurance
Each case is unique but there are some patterns in how life insurance companies handle high blood pressure cases. These patterns can help high blood pressure patients better plan for and prepare for questions regarding their underlying health condition during the application process.
- The American College of Cardiology has issued important medical guidelines in 2017. They have drastically reduced the definition of normal to readings below 120/80. Normal blood pressure was previously a reading below 140/90. A person with a blood pressure reading below 150/90 will usually be issued term or whole-life coverage by an insurer, though premiums could increase if the reading is higher.
- Influence of age – Senior insurance applicants may be eligible for lower rates if they have higher blood pressure numbers. Even if blood pressures are slightly higher than 150/90, many life insurers will continue to issue policies to these individuals.
- General health issues – Life insurance companies will look at high blood pressure within the larger context of your overall health. High blood pressure can be reduced by lifestyle factors like exercise, diet, and weight. In general, non-smoking will be a significant risk factor.
Life insurers will typically look for positive reasons to issue a policy. Make sure to take the time and list all your positive medical conditions and healthy habits before you apply.
Types of life insurance available for high blood pressure
People with high blood pressure can, for the most part, purchase the same policies as those in good health. Rates are the main difference between someone with high blood pressure and someone who has normal readings.
Whole life insurance is a type of permanent insurance that covers the insured for their entire lives. In most cases, the policy offers a guaranteed death benefit and increases in cash value. Due to its permanent nature, this policy is more expensive that term insurance and can be more expensive for someone with high blood pressure. The cost of this policy may be worthwhile if you need financial protections for the rest of your life.
Term life insurance
Term life insurance does not provide permanent coverage. Instead, it covers the insured for a set period of time (typically between 10-30 years), usually when financial protection is most important for their dependents. If you have high blood pressure, term life insurance may be an option. It covers the insured for a set amount to pay for unexpected funeral expenses and student loan debts. Premiums for life insurance policies may be higher depending on the severity of the insured’s blood pressure readings.
Final expense insurance
Final expense insurance, which is a policy with a limited coverage, helps surviving family members pay for funeral and burial expenses. If whole-life or term coverage is not available, this type of insurance could be the only option. The typical final expense policy usually has limits between $5,000 and $50,000.
Questions frequently asked
Which is the best life-insurance company?
There are many life insurance companies that you can choose from . It is important to evaluate companies that have a strong financial history, good policies, pricing, and good customer service. Next, compare several quotes. You may be able to qualify for lower rates depending on the type of policy that you choose.
What can I do to lower my blood pressure in order to pass a life insurance exam?
You may find it beneficial to lower your blood pressure prior to a life insurance exam. This is true regardless of whether you plan to do so for a few months or several years ahead. Expert recommendations:
- Increase your activity level or exercise
- Reduce sodium intake by eating potassium-rich foods
- Do yoga or meditate
- Quality sleep is the most important thing.
What are the worst things to do before you take a life insurance exam?
Certain things can be avoided to prevent high blood pressure. This is not only for a life insurance exam but also as self-care. The following could possibly increase high blood pressure
- Nicotine and smoking
- Red meat, which is high in cholesterol, is an example of high-cholesterol food
- Nasal decongestants and antihistamines