How to Get Term Life Insurance With High Blood Pressure

You can get term life insurance with high blood pressure, though your diagnosis may impact the rates and types of policies you can be approved for. The best thing you can do is to follow your doctor's advice precisely and make healthy choices going forward.

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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: Jun 1, 2022

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Quick Facts

  • Getting insurance with high blood pressure can be expensive
  • Your rates will depend on how long you’ve had it and how you’re responding to treatment
  • Controlling your high blood pressure through medication, diet, and good personal habits can lower your insurance rates

A person can have high blood pressure, or hypertension, for years without knowing. High blood pressure can cause irreparable damage to a person’s heart, circulatory system, and internal organs, plus, it also increases the risk of stroke and other related conditions. For these reasons, insurance companies view clients with hypertension as a risk, so getting life insurance with high blood pressure can be both difficult and expensive. However, there are things you can do to lower the risks and make purchasing life insurance with pre-existing conditions more affordable. Find out more below.

How does my high blood pressure impact getting life insurance?

When it comes to life insurance, high blood pressure doesn’t disqualify you, but it may affect the rates and terms of the policies you can get. In the most recent data available, it is estimated that almost half of the population has high blood pressure or hypertension.

Before qualifying for life insurance, you will likely be required to get a medical exam. The exam will make a record of general physical details and vitals, such as:

  • Height and weight
  • Pulse rate and blood pressure
  • Lab test results

These details will be evaluated when determining your level of risk.

Additionally, the medical exam will review additional risk factors, such as:

  • Your family history
  • Your medical history
  • Your lifestyle choices

Your insurance company will look at these and other criteria to determine your risk, decide if you qualify, and determine your rates.

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How High Blood Pressure Affects Life Insurance Rates

In general, insurance companies determine rates on a risk-to-reward basis. So there are factors revealed by the medical exam that will ultimately impact the rates they offer for a term life insurance policy.

  • When your high blood pressure was diagnosed
  • How long you’ve had hypertension
  • The likely cause of your high blood pressure
  • The medical prognosis

While it’s normal to expect your rates to rise, getting life insurance with heart disease risk factors, such as hypertension, does not have to be expensive. While some factors are out of your control, others are manageable. In fact, there are things you can do to change to reduce stress and your high blood pressure risk factors that may even lower your rates.

What can you do to lower your insurance rates if you have high blood pressure? 

Since insurance companies conduct business on a risk-to-reward basis, the more you can lower the risk, the more reward they can count on. What are some things you can do to lower the risk, and thus your rates?

  • Cooperate with your physician. Visit your doctor as often as he recommends to monitor your condition. Stick to the regime of treatment he prescribes. Maintain up-to-date medical records. A responsible approach to medical care can significantly lower your risk and improve your health, as well as your rates.
  • Address lifestyle choices. Smoking, alcohol abuse, and poor diet can exacerbate your high blood pressure. The Cleveland Clinic suggests that changing your habits and your diet can lower your blood pressure and improve the results on your medical records, making insurance companies more willing to provide you with affordable insurance.
  • Address underlying conditions. It’s helpful to determine what caused your hypertension in the first place. If it’s hereditary, there may not be much you can do other than improve your diet and exercise. But if you have underlying medical conditions, you can still get insurance. You can assess what contributed to your high blood pressure, and do what you can to address those conditions. This lowers your risk and can positively affect your policy rates.

There may not be much you can do about the damage already done or conditions inherited from your family. But there are areas of your health where you can exercise control over your recovery and prognosis. Positive actions in those areas can result in lower rates and simplification of the application process.

Bottom Line on Life Insurance for People With High Blood Pressure 

Even though having high blood pressure can make life insurance a little more expensive, there is much you can do to lower the rates. Commit to your doctor’s recovery regimen, maintain up-to-date medical records, and make healthy lifestyle choices. Work hard at doing what you can do to make term life insurance more affordable so that you can provide for your loved ones.

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