Can you get term life insurance with heart disease risk factors?

You can get term life insurance with heart disease, but acceptance and rates depend on your diagnosis. Learn how to get life insurance after heart attacks or find life insurance with heart conditions.

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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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Written by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

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 Benji Carr

UPDATED: May 26, 2022

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Quick Facts

  • Term life insurance with heart disease risk factors is possible but depends on the condition
  • Quoted premiums will vary based on the underwriting risk category
  • You’ll need to disclose all of your symptoms, factors, and history when you apply

If you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease or have several risk factors, you’ll want to know whether you can get and pay for life insurance. If you are able to get this type of coverage to protect your family, is it likely to be a lot more expensive? 

We know that you may be worried about your family’s future care, and we have investigated how heart disease risk factors can impact your life insurance rates to provide you with the answers.

Can you buy term life insurance with heart disease risk factors?

Yes, you will usually be able to get term life insurance for heart disease, but underwriters will want to analyze your specific risk factors and current condition. You may pay more depending on the nature of the disease, but you’ll want to shop around and compare life insurance quotes before you decide.

When you get term life insurance, the company will typically issue it in blocks of time (typically five years each, for an overall term between 10 and 30). So, if you are looking at the overall cost, it may be more affordable to seek term life coverage with a shorter commitment instead.

Take a look at the table below to see how annual term life insurance rates vary by policy length:

Average Annual 10-Year Term Life Insurance Rates by Policy Length

Length of Policy in YearsAverage Annual Rates
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Life insurance policies with the shortest terms come with more affordable life insurance rates.

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How do you apply for life insurance with a heart condition?

When applying for life insurance, a company may ask you to undergo a physical exam and will consider key indicators like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.

If you know that you have some of those indicators, it may be worth trying to control them before applying. For example, you may be able to work with your doctor to lower your blood pressure levels. If successful, you may be able to get lower rates.

What information do you need when you apply for life insurance with heart conditions?

If you have heart disease, life insurance applications will require a lot of detail. The company will want an accurate medical history, and you need to answer some specific questions. 

For example, life insurance companies want to know when you were first diagnosed and how many hospital stays you have had. Insurers will also want to know about any symptoms you experience and their severity and frequency when considering life insurance with a heart condition. 

How do you manage the symptoms daily? What type of treatment are you receiving now, if any, or might you require in the future? All these questions are essential when looking for life insurance with a heart condition, and you should be as clear and detailed as possible. Never gloss over any important information or understate the situation. 

It is possible to get life insurance for heart condition patients, but full transparency is crucial. For example, an insurance company may refuse to honor a claim following your death if you lie on your insurance application, or if it finds out that your condition was worse than you initially claimed.

What are the underwriting risk categories for heart conditions and life insurance?

Insurance companies divide risk into different life insurance risk classes. These classes are broadly similar from company to company. When a company considers whether to issue life insurance for heart patients, it’ll want to know whether you fall into the super-preferred, preferred, standard, or substandard risk category.

For super-preferred, you must be in excellent overall health with no history of heart disease. Patients in the preferred category may take medication for high blood pressure or have a family history of the condition. 

Although many people fall into the standard risk class, they should still be tobacco-free, while substandard policyholders can exhibit significant health conditions, and the company may still accept them.

Understanding Life Insurance for Heart Conditions

You can get term life insurance after a heart attack and with other heart disease risk factors, but you need to shop around with at least three different companies.

You need to fully disclose your symptoms or risk factors to each company when you apply, but insurers will consider your specific heart condition and prognosis to determine your life insurance rates.

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