Have you been told that you don’t qualify for life insurance because you have Crohn’s Disease? Or have you been approved for life insurance with Crohn’s Disease, but the rate that you received was just too much for you to handle? Well if so, you’ll definitely want to keep reading!
Getting Life Insurance with Crohn’s Disease.
By now you may have discovered that qualifying for high risk life insurance with Crohn’s Disease can often times be a very difficult process. Especially if you don’t know where to start.
The difficulty of finding life insurance coverage with someone who has been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease lies in the fact that “No two cases of Crohn’s disease ever seem to be the same!”
For this reason, life insurance companies will often find it very difficult to underwrite these applications consistently throughout the industry, which is why it’s so important to apply with the best life insurance company from the start.
Let us explain:
While the exact cause of Crohn’s disease remains unknown, it is generally believed to be due to an abnormal response by the immune system leading to sever inflammation and obstruction of various parts of the gastrointestinal tract.
This severe inflammation will generally cause swelling and scar formation within the GI tract that can later cause bowel perforation, abdominal distension, sever pain and fever. All of which, in extreme cases, can become life-threatening.
But I’ve never really had and issues with my Crohn’s Disease.
It’s true that for many people their Crohn’s Disease may only represent a single episode which required minimal if any medical treatment. For these individuals, it is often possible to secure a “Standard Rating” for life insurance provided that is has been over 6 months since you were first diagnosed.
Challenging Cases of Crohn’s Disease.
Insurance companies are not generally all that concerned about those who have experienced a one time, “non-eventful” attack from Crohn’s disease. What concerns an insurance underwriter is those who have had multiple flare ups and/or have experienced some of the more severe symptoms associated with a more serious Crohn’s condition.
Beyond the “Single Flare Up” Cases.
For those who have experienced several flare up episodes, it really comes down to the severity of symptoms that were experienced.
Mild to Moderate Crohn’s disease.
Mild to moderate Crohn’s Is characterized by mild abdominal pain, minimal bleeding and possibly a brief bout of diarrhea. These applicants may even have been prescribed a corticosteroid to suppress their immune system for a brief period of time.
If any surgical procedures were required, they would no longer be considered a Mild to Moderate case and would be immediately considered a higher risk for life insurance.
Age of Diagnosis will also play a role in determining the severity of your condition. Those diagnosed earlier in life, primarily before the age of 40 to 45, will generally be considered a higher risk than those diagnosed later in life, mainly after age 45.
Severe Crohn’s disease:
Generally, there is very little confusion about who has severe Crohn’s disease and who do not.
Severe Crohn’s disease will typically be characterized by:
- frequent diarrhea,
- significant weight loss,
- continual of corticosteroids,
- multiple surgeries,
- history of inflammation of joints, skin, kidney, liver,
- as well as other internal organs coupled with multiple hospitalization stays.
Life insurance approvals for severe Crohn’s disease is on a case by case basis, whereby the insurance underwriters will need to examine the applicants whole medical history to determine if the applicant is an “acceptable” risk.
If there is any evidence of dysplasia or sclerosing cholangitis, there will be very little chance for one to be approved for a fully underwritten term of whole life insurance policy, and the best route may be a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.
So Can I Get Life Insurance with Crohn’s Disease?
Short answer… Yes, you can get life insurance with Crohn’s Disease.
The trick to getting life insurance with Crohn’s Disease is knowing which life insurance company to apply with, while at the same time, avoiding some of the larger national insurance brokers who are unwilling to write what they consider to be a “Higher Risk Life Insurance Policy” due to their own stricter internal guidelines.
Applying for life insurance with Crohn’s will become easier for you as time passes from your last flare up.
If your last flare up was over 36 months ago, you should be eligible for a Standard life insurance rate provided that your medical exam doesn’t turn up any “New Surprises”.
For those that are only 12 to 24 months removed since their last flare-up, it may still be possible to obtain life insurance at the “Standard Rate” it will really just depend on the severity of the last flare up and your overall health excluding your Crohn’s condition.
Those only 6 – 12 months since your last flare-up, would most likely be looking at receiving a “table rating” on their approval, unless of course the flare up in question was very, very mild.
So Maybe I should just wait a while.
Not a good idea, and here’s why…
A. You could actually, DIE!
You could die during the time that you are waiting to get a better “rate”. Which would end up leaving your loved ones with absolutely no life insurance protection in place.
B. Your health could decline.
Who’s to say that you couldn’t have another flare up while you’re waiting or worse, you could be diagnosed with some type of condition that could actually prevent you from qualifying for life insurance all together such as: cancer, heart attack, stroke, etc..
C. If you wait a year, you’ll be 1 year older.
Age is typically the number factor when it comes to determining what one will pay of life. So the savings that you may see by waiting a year or two, may in fact disappear due to the fact that you’re now a year of two older.
D. Lastly, you may not be healthy enough for the rate you want.
It’s possible that you may have some other risk factors that could make you a “high risk” applicant with or without your Crohn’s Disease.
So what should I do?
That really depends upon your situation, and without asking a few targeted questions, it’s impossible to tell.
What remains certain is that those with Crohn’s disease will typically have a much more difficult time qualifying for life insurance and need to know where to look when trying to secure the best rate for themselves.
For this reason, there are a few things you should look when it comes time to choosing an agency to work for you!
Options, Options, Options…
Like or not, just by being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, your application will generally be considered a “high risk” application from the start.
This is why you’re going to need an agency that can pick and choose between dozens of different life insurance companies when it comes time to submit your application.
Not having access to dozens of life insurance carriers could mean the difference from getting a great rate for life insurance and being denied coverage because you don’t meet their criteria!
Beware of the call center.
As someone who is applying for life insurance with Crohn’s disease, you need to be aware that your insurance application is most likely going to require significantly more work to get the application approved then an application for someone who hasn’t been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
Your agent will typically want to:
- Send out several “pre-qual” letters to several different insurance carriers first to see if you look like a good risk before ever submitting an application.
- They’ll also need to be proactive and order your medical records right away.
In addition to staying on top of the underwriters to make sure that your application does not “stagnate” in underwriting.
Will you’re application receive this same type of attention when being worked by an agent in a call center?
Call center insurance agents, will generally need to write about 4 or 5 new policies each and every day in order to “hit” their monthly goals.
So now just ask yourself, do you honestly feel that your application will receive the time and care it needs if it’s just 1 of a 100 or so?
Or would you be better served by a smaller insurance agency that focuses primarily on “high risk” applications choosing to focus on only 10 or 15 policies each and every month?
Don’t just apply and take a medical exam.
This point can’t be stressed enough. As someone who is applying for life insurance with Crohn’s disease, it’s OK to “Take your time!”
Don’t just apply right away, let your insurance professional do some research for you.
The agent that you choose to use should be able to send out multiple “pre-qual letters” to several different insurance carriers without actually submitting an application to them.
In these letters, they’ll describe your situation and see if the insurance company will consider you an “acceptable” risk! If done correctly, provided there are no additional “surprises” during your medical exam, you should be able to feel pretty confident about being approved even before you’ve applied!
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