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Can I Get Life Insurance if I Have a Disability?

Licensed Life Insurance Agent/Staff Writer
April 21, 2020

The short answer is yes, life insurance is available for persons with disabilities. 

If your disability does not affect your life expectancy, you’ll most likely be able to get any life insurance policy offered to a nondisabled individual in a similar health class. You might not even pay higher rates for it.

However, if your disability affects your life expectancy, it will affect your life insurance:

  • You may pay higher rates for a policy.
  • You may be limited in some of your options. 
  • You may be denied a policy you applied for.

But don’t get discouraged if you have a disability that might affect your life expectancy.  While such disabilities can make navigating life insurance more complicated, you still have options.

How do I get life insurance if I have a disability?

The best way to get life insurance with a disability is to work with a licensed agent.

A licensed life insurance agent will consider your specific circumstances and work with you to find the best life insurance product. Plus, since agents understand the inner workings of life insurance companies, they are likely to know which companies work better with specific disabilities or pre-existing conditions.

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Tips for getting life insurance if you have a disability

Make health improvements where you can

A life insurance application does far more than check for disabilities. In fact, insurance companies may pay greater attention to other aspects of your health history than to your disability.

Improving areas of your health that you can control can make a huge difference on your application. 

When setting improvement goals, it’s important to be realistic. That said, keep in mind that life insurance medical questions tend to focus on three things: 

  1. Blood pressure
  2. Height-to-weight ratio
  3. Tobacco usage

Improvement in any of these areas can improve your life insurance rates—and your potential for acceptance on the application.

Shop around

If one company rejects your application, that doesn't mean every company will follow suit. Some life insurance companies are stringent on which risks they accept, but others are more lenient. If you're denied a policy, apply elsewhere: another life insurance company might be happy to insure you.

Also, a denied application shouldn’t be the sole impetus for shopping around—sometimes you can find a better price for a similar life insurance policy with another company. Compare quotes and you could get better rates.

Buy through your employer

Employer-provided life insurance can be a solid choice for people with disabilities. Because employers offer policies that are part of a group plan, your health won’t be a factor on your application—only your age and gender. Just keep in mind that many of these policies may end when your employment ends—unless you have the option to convert it to a permanent policy (which can be pricey)

Consider guaranteed life insurance

There are a few life insurance policies that don’t ask any medical questions or require a medical exam. Called “guaranteed acceptance,” these policies are available to any individual regardless of health. Guaranteed acceptance life insurance tends to have higher premiums and lower death benefits than traditionally underwritten policies, but it’s there if you need the coverage.

The bottom line

Getting life insurance when you have a disability isn’t impossible

Having a disability might make getting a life insurance policy more complicated, but it’s not necessarily a disqualifier. You might even be able to find the best product out there on your own if you know what to look for. But, again, the best way to get life insurance coverage is to work directly with an agent. Contact one if you want personalized help or aren’t sure how your disability might impact your eligibility or rate.

What’s next?

Written by
Alex Enabnit
Alex is a licensed life insurance agent who has appeared on Yahoo Finance, HealthPopuli, and Good Morning Arizona. He writes factual, useful, and occasionally amusing articles about life insurance. Believe it or not, he enjoys researching the intricacies of life insurance and helping people choose the best policies for their specific needs—almost as much as he enjoys kayaking and long hikes.