Life insurance for high-risk applicants

In order to get the most affordable high-risk life insurance you must first figure out if you qualify, what type of policy you can get and which company will insure you. A typical high-risk applicant is someone who has a long health and medical history or has a risky lifestyle. This makes them riskier to insure because the company will see their history and believe that there are higher odds that the insured will die prematurely. 

Because all insurance companies gauge risk differently, one company might offer you a policy despite your risk level, while another might turn you down. Similarly, one might offer you a better rate than another. Shopping around is key to getting high-risk life insurance.

What makes a person high-risk for life insurance?

There are several different factors that could make you a high-risk applicant. Common reasons are a job that puts you in risky situations, risky behavior like a history of DUI or your medical history. A risky job could be anything where injury or death is a hazard of the job. That could be a race car driver, a welder or a steelworker. These are jobs where something going wrong during work could cause grievous injury or death.

Additionally, if you’re an adrenaline junkie and like to do things like skydiving or rock climbing, insurance companies will view you as a high-risk applicant and raise premiums as a result.

Your personal medical history will also determine if you’re deemed to be high-risk. Having been diagnosed with cancer or having a heart attack in the past (or currently) will very likely put you in the high-risk category. Medical events in your brain, like a stroke, or cognitive disorders, like dementia or Alzheimer’s usually lead to a high-risk designation as well. 

High-risk insurance policy options

Whether it’s high-risk term life insurance or some other product, there are numerous options available to you even if you are a high risk to insure. For example, you will most likely be able to buy a term life policy, but it will cost more than a similar policy for someone with a lower risk. The best high-risk life insurance companies should be able to work with you to find a plan that works; however, it is almost a guarantee that it will cost more than if you were less risky to insure.

Guaranteed-issue life insurance is an option if you’re high-risk. This product is a whole life insurance policy that allows you to forgo a medical examination and avoid having to answer any medical questions ahead of getting a policy. Another benefit is being able to scale the death benefit up or down as you see fit. 

There are also no-medical-exam life policies that do have some health questions but are still easier to qualify for than traditional life insurance.

However, this type of insurance is riskier for the company and thus more expensive. There’s also a waiting period before you can access the benefits. This is done to prevent people at the end of their lives from signing up for a policy with the idea of cashing in immediately to aid their families.

Some companies specialize in impaired risk life insurance (another term for high risk) and will likely be able to get you the coverage you need. Again, however, you’ll pay higher rates.

Finally, if group life insurance is offered by your employer, take it. This type of policy usually has automatic acceptance and is very affordable thanks to the group rate.

How to get a high-risk life insurance policy

The best thing you can do is to shop around and work with an experienced agent to help guide you. An experienced agent will know which companies give the best rates to high-risk applicants and can help you navigate the intricacies of the process. 

Shop around and compare rates and policy options before you buy. You might be surprised by the availability of coverage; don’t jump right into an expensive guaranteed-issue policy before you’ve considered other options.

Some factors that make a person high risk can be corrected. While you can’t remove a heart attack from your health history, you can quit smoking, stop engaging in high-risk hobbies and take steps to improve your health. All of these things will make it easier to get life insurance.