High Risk Life Insurance – the Secret to Finding the Best Rates

When looking for high risk life insurance it is imperative that you have options. Having options and the knowledge of the niches offered by each option is the “secret” to finding the best rates. That’s why we review dozens of top rated best life insurance companies and top rated no medical exam companies. We painstakingly search out the various company niches so we can educate readers with health issues with the best company for that particular health or lifestyle risk.

What is high risk life insurance?

This is a great question, because in truth, “high risk” means something different to nearly each and every life insurance provider.

Let us explain:

Every life insurance company out there is going to have a set of underwriting guidelines that they’ll follow when it comes to approving an application for life insurance.

These guidelines are designed, not only to determine who the insurance carrier will and won’t insure, but also to help determine the rate class that each applicant will be placed in when it comes time to determine the cost of the insurance being applied for.


And what that means is that while one life insurance carrier may use a set of guidelines that force a client with a particular pre-existing condition to seek out high risk for life insurance, another company may not!

Finding the cheapest high risk life insurance companies

When seeking the cheapest high risk life insurance companies you need to know where to look. You see, the life insurance industry is a very competitive industry, and unlike other insurance products, when a client decides to purchase a life insurance policy, that sale will typically last for years, if not decades! For this reason, many different insurance companies find themselves having to carve out a “niche” within the industry to gain a competitive advantage in order to obtain these highly valuable clients.

For Example:

Let’s take a look at life insurance with type 2 diabetes.  According to the Center of Disease Control, it’s currently believed that nearly 8.3% of the U.S. population has diabetes today. Now this isn’t even taking into account all of the “pre-diabetic” cases that have yet to be diagnosed.

Now while this clearly represents a huge health risk to our country, it also represents an enormous sales opportunity for a company to tap into should a company simply “loosen up” on their underwriting guidelines for a specific impaired health or lifestyle risk.

Current list of companies that cater to life insurance for diabetics would include: American General, Prudential, Banner Life, MetLife and for no exam coverage, Sagicor Life.

But this “loosening up” on underwriting guidelines is not only happening for diabetics!

Certain insurance carriers have also begun to “loosen up” on their guidelines when it comes to cases dealing with health issues such as:

And cases dealing with dangerous occupations and dangerous hobbies. 

Which High Risk Life Insurance Company Should I Choose?

The reality is, most companies write high risk life insurance policies. However, there are specific companies that you should choose for a specific impaired risk condition. The key is finding the right agency that deals in specializing in placing tough cases.

3 things to look for in a high risk life insurance agency


1. Your agency should be able to write an insurance application with dozens of different impaired risk life insurance companies.

Having only a few companies available may not be enough to choose from when it comes time to getting high risk life insurance. Plus, are you really just interested in “getting approved” or would  you rather get the “best deal possible?”  After all, you are more likely to get a better “deal” when you have more companies competing for your business. The key is to have options because the more options you have the better chance you have of finding the right life insurance company for your specific impaired risk health or lifestyle.

2. Beware of the call center

Like it or not, if your application simply represents 1 out of the 100 that your call center agent needs to write this month, you’ll inevitably be treated like you’re 1 out of a 100. In other words, no personal attention.

After all, what’s going to happen if your application begins to take up too much of their time due to a high risk activity or condition?  An agent working in a call center typically needs to write 4 or 5 new policies each and every day, just so that they can keep their job. Can you imagine what the pressure is like for an agent working in that type of atmosphere?

Now picture just how much time such an agent can afford to spend on your application during the underwriting process?  (Hint: very little, if any). Which is really when a High Risk Term or Whole Life Insurance Policy needs the most attention!

A smaller, more specialized life insurance brokerage will typically write about 20 applications per month. The lower number is mainly because smaller agencies don’t expect to see a 50-60% drop off between from when an application is written to when the client is approved. Smaller agencies can focus on quality instead of quantity.

For this reason alone smaller life insurance agencies are better designed to place high risk life insurance policies because they can naturally spend more time working on them.

3.  Don’t just apply and take a medical exam

Before you even take a life insurance medical exam you need to make sure that you can qualify for that risk impaired life insurance company. Take your time — a true insurance professional should be able to send out a “pre-qual letter” to a dozen different insurance carriers so that they can see if your condition would be “acceptable”.

If done correctly, provided there are no additional “surprises” during your medical exam,  you should feel pretty confident about being approved even before you’ve submitted your application.

What Types of  High Risk Life Insurance Policies Are Available?

There are many different types of life insurance policies available for high risk clients. Probably the most popular and cheapest product is high risk term life insurance through a high risk friendly insurer. Other products available for impaired risk clients are whole life and universal life. Finally, there are also accidental death insurance policies available. However, if you engage in high risk activities, you might want to read the fine print of the accidental death policy and make sure the policy covers hazardous activities, i.e. skydiving, rock climbing, and bungee jumping.

If you are an impaired risk, than high risk term life insurance has two additional benefits to being the cheapest insurance. With term, you will also have a conversion option which allows you to convert the policy to a whole life policy down the road. However, you do not have to exercise the option until the policy ends or age 70, whichever comes first.

Also, included with most life insurance carriers, a high risk term life insurance policy will include a terminal illness rider. The terminal illness rider will pay out to the insured the lesser of 50% of the face amount or $250,000 if the primary insured is diagnosed as terminally ill. This gives the primary insured cash to pay for final expenses, hospice, tying up loose ends, or whatever else they wish to do with it.

High Risk Universal Life insurance is a great way to go if you are considering a policy that will have fixed premiums and last the rest of your life. A version of Universal Life for spouses is a survivorship life insurance. The good news for high risk life insurance clients is that a survivorship or second to die policy takes the health of both spouses into account and the premium will often be much lower than buying whole life on the impaired risk client.

What other products are available for high risk life insurance besides term and whole life?

If you do not qualify for term or whole life insurance then you still have options. There are other types of life insurance for high risk individuals, such as simplified issue, guaranteed issue, and/or accidental death insurance.

Simplified Issue

Simplified issue life insurance is great for someone looking for a moderate amount of final expense life insurance coverage but does not want to take a medical exam. Typically, the most life insurance you can qualify for with simplified issue is $400,000. However, for those considered high risk that have been turned down for life insurance already this might not be the best choice.

Guaranteed Issue

Guaranteed issue is whole life insurance that is guaranteed—no questions asked. This is an awesome choice for high risk life insurance clients who must have coverage but cannot get regular life insurance. These policies are considered burial life insurance. There is no medical exam and no health questions so anyone ages 45-80 can qualify.

There are many final expense insurance or burial insurance companies to choose from.

Accidental Death

Finally, for those who want a decent amount of coverage but can only qualify for guaranteed issue life insurance, accidental death insurance is a great choice to add some additional coverage. The one major drawback to AD&D insurance is that it only covers accidental death and will not cover sickness or other types of death due to natural causes.

What do I need to do to apply for high risk life insurance?

Simply give TermLife2Go a call today and one of our professionals will help guide you to to best company at the best price—for you based on your specific high risk health or lifestyle condition.

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