Are You Hard to Insure?

At times you or a family member may have a disability or a medical condition that makes obtaining life insurance difficult to get. Fortunately, there are alternatives available, such as:

  • Group coverage with an employer group plan
  • Guaranteed issue policies
  • Simplified issue policies

These will be discussed in greater depth in the sections that follow.

Group Coverage with an Employer Group Plan

Many employer's group plans offer group coverage, which means you may qualify for coverage simply as a consequence of being included in the group that is covered. This may help to avoid the health-based disqualification that individual policies may be subject to. There are several things you can do to take advantage of this opportunity:

  • Seek out jobs that provide coverage.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to increase coverage without providing proof of medical insurability.
  • Consider converting group life insurance coverage to an individual policy when leaving a company. There may be no requirement to show medical insurability, although you have to be prepared to pay a higher premium than under the group plan.

Guaranteed Issue Policies

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a policy that provides benefits to a named beneficiary upon the insured’s death. The insurance company will offer it to an applicant regardless of health; however, because of this, the premiums tend to be higher than for typical life insurance.

So, the advantage is that these policies don't usually require completion of a health questionnaire or medical exam. Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages, such as:

  • Coverage may be lower than desired
  • Premiums may be high
  • Policy death benefits may be restricted (for example, they only come into force after two years)

Simplified Issue Policies

A simplified issue life insurance is a policy that is intended to be very simple. This means you answer a few questions about your medical history for the life insurance application, rather than undergoing a medical exam. Coverage is generally higher and premiums lower than for guaranteed issue policies.

With any life insurance application, full disclosure of medical conditions and treatments is required. Claims can be, and are, denied due to non-disclosure of a pre-existing medical condition.

Other Resources

  • Check out specific support and advocacy groups for those with disabilities.
  • Consider turning to an insurance professional to assist with seeking coverage.