Life Insurance And Chronic Illness: Reality Check


im-insurance-grad05-smallJust because you have a pre-existing medical condition doesn’t mean you can’t afford life insurance.

A nationwide survey by Genworth Financial concluded that many Americans fail to buy life coverage because they have a chronic illness that they believe will make insurance unaffordable. The study of 24,000 adults found that between 39% and 54% of those aged 18 and 64 with common, self-reported pre-existing conditions don’t have a life policy. (Overall, more than 118 million American adults went without life insurance in 2012, continuing a trend of fewer people buying less coverage).

However, recent advances in medicine and wellness care are making it easier for people to manage chronic conditions. At the same time, the insurance industry is using more sophisticated underwriting practices to provide preferred rates to people with less-than-perfect health, allowing companies to balance the need the need to price policies competitively with their ability to pay claims.

“We need to redefine the word ‘healthy’ in the context of life insurance eligibility,” says Janet Deskins, Genworth Senior Vice President for Product Development. “For adults with conditions such as anxiety, asthma, depression, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea, life insurance can still be an affordable part of their overall financial plan, especially if they’re actively taking steps to manage their condition.”

Eric Tyson, author of Let’s Get Real About Money and Personal Finance for Dummies, points out that not all insurance companies gauge risk the same way; “Some companies have a better understanding of certain medical conditions. You may be able to get much better rate that you expect. The key is managing your condition well.”

Even if you’re not in the best of health, the professionals at our agency would be happy to help you find quality life insurance coverage at an affordable rate.