Before applying for a life insurance policy, there are a number of things you may need to know, depending on your personal situation. Most people know that life insurance coverage is a good thing, but many don’t know what the different types mean, and how it may affect your family, or other beneficiaries. Many of the things you should know can be explained during the application process, but it’s also a good idea to know the answers beforehand, where possible.
There are many things that can affect your eligibility for life insurance. These include things like your lifestyle habits, medical history, and any medical conditions you may have. It should go without saying that if you have just been diagnosed with a terminal illness, your chances of being accepted for life insurance will be considerably lessened. How much life insurance you may be eligible for will vary, depending on your age for one thing. There are many factors that will affect your life insurance policy. These are some of the things you should know.
Will a pre-existing medical condition prevent me from getting life insurance?
That largely depends on what the condition is, and whether it is progressive or not. If you have high blood pressure, or a high cholesterol level, you can usually still get suitable insurance, providing the condition is under control and a doctor can verify this. Even applicants who have Type II diabetes can expect to be accepted if their condition is stable and being monitored by a doctor.
A heart condition makes it more difficult to get life insurance, and if you have had a heart attack within the past five years, your application may well be declined. This is also the case with those who have had cancer, though skin cancer is one exception.
Final expense policies and graded benefit policies are usually available for those who pose a high risk, but these policies also carry a much higher premium, though that will vary depending on the severity of the condition.
Will pregnancy affect an application for life insurance?
Yes, and it usually isn’t in a bad way either. Most women these days are more health conscious than usual when they become pregnant. They stop smoking and drinking, for example, and they think more about the food they eat, as well as the kind of things they drink. This tends to make pregnant women more healthy, and therefore a better risk for the life insurance companies.
While being overweight is viewed unfavorably by the insurance companies in most situations, it is considered normal and will not go against a woman who is pregnant if she applies for life insurance. She will not pay extra for the extra weight she is carrying, and as long as there are no complications with the pregnancy, and no other medical conditions to consider, she should have no difficulties in getting the kind of policy she wants.
How much life insurance coverage will I get?
As a general rule of thumb, the younger and healthier you are, the better your chances of getting the kind of coverage you want. As you near retirement age, the amount of coverage you can expect usually decreases, depending on your age and your health. The average applicant can expect to get coverage of around 20 times their annual income.
What is a paramed exam?
This is more of an interview than an exam. You will be asked about your medical history and current situation. The information will be used by the life insurance company to help them evaluate your suitability for insurance. You may have to contribute samples of blood and urine as well, and your weight and height will also be recorded.
It’s a good idea to eat nothing for the eight hours leading up to the exam. You should not take any alcohol for 24 hours before the exam, and limit your caffeine intake as well, especially in the final hour leading up to the exam.
How long can I expect to wait to be accepted after applying for life insurance?
If it is the standard kind of insurance, underwritten by a medical exam, then it should take no more than about three weeks from the time of your application. Any kind of complication will most likely lengthen that time period. If the life insurance company wants your medical records from your doctor, for whatever reason, that will also delay the proceedings.
It is possible to get a policy that requires no medical exam in about two or three days, but the coverage will likely be limited, and it will only be available for those under 60, or possibly even younger. This type of policy can be expensive, compared to one that is underwritten by a properly conducted medical examination.