When applying for a life insurance policy, there are some who are able to easily qualify for the coverage that they want and need. Yet for others, if there is an adverse health condition such as someone who needs life insurance after a heart attack, it could present some challenges to obtaining the type and / or the amount of protection that you desire.
For example, if you have chronic obstructive lung disease, you may be wondering if you will be eligible for life insurance coverage – and if so, how much that protection may cost. The good news is that you can still be a qualified applicant for the coverage that you need. However, it may require that you work with an independent insurance brokerage or agency to help you find the insurance carrier (or carriers) that may be more apt to accept a higher risk applicant. This is where we can help you.
How Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease Can Affect Your Life Insurance Application
Chronic obstructive lung disease, oftentimes also referred to as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – or COPD – is a term that is used to describe some progressive lung diseases. According to the COPD Foundation, these diseases can include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some types of bronchiectasis. This condition is often characterized by increasing breathlessness.
It is estimated by the COPD Foundation that roughly 24 million people in the United States are affected by this condition. However, it is also thought that more than half of these individuals may not even know that they have it.
Although many people may simply consider their breathlessness and their coughing as just a normal part of the aging process, in reality, this is not always the case, as the symptoms of chronic obstructive lung disease can lead to more serious issues – many of which can be managed and / or controlled if detected early.
In the case of COPD, the symptoms may or may not be noticeable – especially in the early stages. In fact, this type of condition can often be developing for a number of years without an individual noticing any major shortness of breath. However, as the disease develops, its symptoms will also come on much stronger. Some of this disease’s more common symptoms can include the following:
- Increased breathlessness
- Tightness in the chest
- Frequent coughing – either with or without sputum
There are a number of potential causes of chronic obstructive lung disease. These may include smoking – which includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and other formats – as well as environmental factors such as the inhaling of harmful pollutants in the workplace. There can also be genetic factors to blame.
Chronic obstructive disease can often be determined by taking a spirometry test. Early detection of the disease can help medical professionals to provide medication or other avenues of managing and/or controlling it before a major loss of lung function occurs.
Because chronic obstructive lung disease can lead to a more serious condition, if you are applying for life insurance, do know that your health condition will be a red flag for life insurance underwriters, and they will want to know more about it.
Having COPD, or chronic obstructive lung disease can potentially have a significant effect on your application for life insurance coverage. But working with an expert in the high-risk life insurance area can make the process of finding the coverage that you need much easier.
What Will the Life Insurance Underwriters Want to Know?
As life insurance approval, as well as the premium price, is in large part based on the applicant’s anticipated life expectancy, there are many factors that the underwriters will review before approving an individual for coverage. One criterion is your overall health condition.
The first step to applying for life insurance will involve fully completing an application for coverage. This will ask you a series of questions that will help the insurance company to know more about your:
- Smoking status / usage of tobacco
- Alcohol usage and frequency
- Marital status
- Occupation and income
- Overall health history
- Family health history – such as a history of Diabetes
- Hobbies and habits (particularly those that may be considered as risky to the insurance company, such as rock climbing, skydiving, etc.)
- Frequency of foreign travel
- Any other life insurance that is in force, as well as the amount of the coverage
The insurance underwriters will also want to know more about your chronic obstructive lung disease. Therefore, in addition to the basic application for coverage, it is likely that you will also be asked some or all of the following:
- When were you initially diagnosed with COPD?
- Is your condition due to emphysema, or other lung-related issues such as chronic bronchitis or asthma?
- Do you take any medication(s) for your chronic obstructive lung disease? If so, what medication do you take, and what is / are the dosage(s)?
- Are you working to help manage and / or control your condition using any other methods (i.e., alternative treatments)?
- Do you currently smoke? If so, do you smoke cigarettes, cigars, and / or other forms of tobacco?
- If you are a former smoker, how long did you smoke, and what type(s) of product(s) did you use?
- Have you ever been hospitalized due to your chronic obstructive lung disease? If so, what type of treatment did you receive?
- Have you had any relevant lab testing performed – such as a chest x-ray and / or a pulmonary function test (PFT) – regarding your condition over the past 6 to 12 months?
It is important that, when answering these questions, you provide the most complete information as possible, so that the life insurance company can make the most accurate decision.
Another aspect of the application process is the medical exam. Now, this is not something to fret, but there are a few tests that you’ll go through like blood pressure, blood sample, and they’ll collect a urine sample from you.
These things will be tested in a lab and then sent to the home office for them to analyze. Once they’ve done their research on your results, and ran them against their guidelines they’ll be able to comfortably give you an answer on your application and what the premium will be.
The Cost of Life Insurance with Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease
There are a number of key criteria that come into play when pricing a life insurance policy. These include an individual’s age and gender, as well as the type and the amount of coverage that is being applied for. Certainly, for those who have certain health issues like chronic obstructive lung disease, various condition-related factors will also be taken into consideration.
In most cases, an applicant who has chronic obstructive lung disease will be considered as a high-risk applicant – and because of that, the premium that is charged will typically be more than that of an insured who is considered to be in average or excellent health.
It is important to note, however, that because all insurance companies may differ somewhat in the way they underwrite applicants, the price that is charged by one carrier may differ – sometimes substantially – than the price that is charged by another, even for the same type and amount of coverage.
Therefore, it is essential that you shop and compare policies prior to moving forward with your purchase. To be able to directly compare policies, benefits, and premium quotes, all in one place, it is often best to find an agency who can provide you with rates from mutliple carriers.
What If You Don’t Qualify for Medically Underwritten Life Insurance Coverage?
In some cases, an individual who has been diagnosed with chronic obstructive lung disease may not qualify for traditional, medically underwritten, life insurance coverage. For example, this may include someone who has extremely severe COPD, and / or an individual who has been diagnosed with chronic obstructive lung disease but also continues to smoke. But this does not mean that you still can’t get any life insurance protection at all.
One avenue for obtaining coverage – even with an adverse health condition – is to apply for a no medical exam life insurance policy. These policies, as the name implies, do not require a medical examination in order to qualify for the coverage. And, in some cases, you may not even have to answer a long list of health-related questions on the application for coverage.
Because of this, often people who have conditions such as chronic obstructive lung disease will still be able to get coverage and, in turn, make sure that their survivors will have the funds that they need going forward. You can also obtain your coverage fairly quickly, as there are no medical issues, or blood and urine samples, that will require waiting for results.
A no medical exam life insurance policy may cost more than a medically underwritten policy – all other factors being equal. However, here too, it is important to shop and compare the policies that may be available to you through different insurance carriers.
Finding the Best Life Insurance Rates When You Have Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease
Obtaining life insurance if you have certain types of health conditions can be challenging. However, it is still possible. If you are in the process of seeking life insurance with chronic obstructive lung disease, the best way to find premium information – as well as other details that could be helpful to you – is to go through an independent insurance company or brokerage.
We can assist you with this process, as we work with many of the top life insurance carriers in the marketplace today. We can help in providing you with all of the important information that you need quickly, easily, and conveniently – all from your home computer, and without the need to meet in person with a life insurance agent. If you are ready to move forward, just simply take a moment to fill out the form on this page.