Life Insurance for High-Risk Individuals

A person’s occupation, hobbies, lifestyle, and health conditions can qualify them as high-risk. Buying life insurance for high-risk individuals can be simple as long as you know what to look for. Read through the article to learn more and get started with your search for affordable high-risk life insurance today.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Feb 10, 2021

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Quick Facts

  • Life insurance is an option for people who are considered high-risk
  • High-risk life insurance coverages vary based on several factors
  • Many companies offer high-risk life insurance coverage

Finding life insurance for high-risk individuals can feel like a daunting task.

Whether you’re deciding between term or permanent life insurance coverage, being high-risk can make finding life insurance coverage more of a challenge, and the cost of insurance can vary from one company to the next.

If you are high-risk, you can still find affordable life insurance for high-risk individuals. Finish reading this article and then compare life insurance quotes to see how much you can save!

What is high-risk life insurance?

High-risk life insurance is a label that many insurance companies use to identify individuals who do not meet the standard health category but are instead categorized as sub-standard.

Life Insurance Rating Class Summary
Rating ClassPolicy RisksPolicy Costs
PreferredLowLeast Expensive
StandardAverageAverage
Sub-StandardHighMost Expensive
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As the table indicates, people who are considered high-risk will likely pay the most for life insurance coverage.

The reasons a person may qualify as high-risk are vast and may include:

  • occupation
  • hobbies
  • lifestyle
  • health history
  • travel tendencies

Because of these factors and many more, some people have to shop specifically to find life insurance for high-risk individuals.

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What is a high-risk occupation?

Most insurance companies consider occupations that endanger your life in any way to be high risk.

For example, in the most recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one out of every five work-related fatalities in the U.S. was either a driver/sales worker or a truck driver.

Because of this, the individuals in these job positions will likely be considered high-risk.

Additionally, life insurance for nurses and other people in the medical field may also be considered high-risk due to their risk of exposure to life-threatening illnesses and diseases.

Other high-risk occupations include:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Emergency response
  • Military
  • Transportation
  • Manufacturing

While not all insurance companies have the same list of high-risk occupations, most of them are fairly similar.

What are high-risk hobbies?

Similar to a person’s career, an individual’s choice when it comes to pastimes can affect life insurance rates.

If you enjoy skydiving, scuba diving, rock climbing, or racing cars, you may want to consider searching for life insurance quotes for high-risk individuals.

Are there high-risk health conditions?

One of the most impactful categories when it comes to assessing risk is a person’s health. If you have health issues or pre-existing conditions, many insurance companies may deem you high-risk.

High-risk health conditions include:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Cancer
  • COPD
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Stroke

Finding life insurance for pre-existing conditions can be difficult, so it’s important to shop around and explore your options.

In addition to health conditions, a person’s habits could put them in the high-risk category if those habits have the opportunity to impact their overall health. Some high-risk habits include smoking, drinking alcohol, chewing tobacco, or using non-prescribed drugs.

What is guaranteed issue life insurance?

Life insurance for high-risk seniors, especially those who have pre-existing conditions or who participate in high-risk habits, can be difficult to find. This is where guaranteed issue life insurance comes in.

Guaranteed issue life insurance—also called guaranteed acceptance life insurance—involves no health questions and can help individuals pay for end-of-life expenses like funeral costs and medical bills.

Guaranteed issue life insurance falls into the category of final expense life insurance.

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How are rates for high-risk individuals determined?

Because life insurance rates for high-risk individuals fall into the sub-standard category, they will likely automatically cost more than the standard rates for coverage; however, there is still room for interpretation when it comes to average rates per person.

Companies will take all of the above factors into account before offering specific high-risk coverage options. Each insurance company will employ its own system for evaluating a person’s risk level.

What are my options for life insurance for high-risk individuals?

If you are considered high risk, you can likely still purchase a life insurance policy.

You may find that you have limited coverage options, and you will likely have to pay more for your life insurance policy. This is because any insurer’s life expectancy for you will be considered shorter than average.

How do I choose?

After reading all of the information above, it may feel daunting to try and choose where to go to find life insurance for hard to insure individuals.

Now that you have learned more about high-risk insurance coverage, use our tool to buy life insurance for high-risk individuals today!

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