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Life Insurance Rates and Family Health History

Researcher & Writer
November 23, 2015

Did you know that various life insurance companies have unique health niches that benefit clients that fall under specific health criteria? Life insurance is not a one size fits all industry. Just because one company offers you the best online quote does not mean it is going to offer you the best life insurance rates. That is because certain things, such as life insurance rates and family health history, are looked at more liberally by some carriers as opposed to others. At TermLife2Go, we work with dozens of the top life insurance companies and the top no medical exam companies. To find out who would be best for you, please give us a call today for a free consultation.

Family medical history

Before a life insurance carrier issues you a policy, they will want ample information about you, including your lifestyle choices (do you smoke/drink, etc.) and your medical history. Additionally, they will want to know about your family’s health as well.

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How can they ask me to disclose medical information about another person?

Information about your medical history is exactly that—your information—and your family member’s medical information is also their personal information. So who has the right to share the medical history of another person with a third party like a life insurance company? Life insurance companies will not ask specific questions about your relative’s medical history; they will simply ask about the presence of certain medical conditions in your immediate family. Questions about your family member’s medical history will look something like this:

  • Has anyone in your immediate family been diagnosed or treated for heart disease?

  • Has anyone in your immediate family been diagnosed or treated for cancer? If yes, which kind?

  • Has anyone in your immediate family been treated for a stroke?

As you can see, a life insurance company is not going to ask you to detail your sister’s entire experience with breast cancer—after all, she’s not the one looking to be insured. A life insurance company simply ask you a more generic question like, “Has anyone in your immediate family had breast cancer?” Basically, they want to know what diseases and illnesses run in your family. If someone in your family has heart disease, then there is a higher chance that you will get it than if nobody in your family has it.

What if I am adopted and/or come from blended family?

A life insurance company does not care about the medical history of your adopted parents because it has no bearing on your chances of any hereditary diseases. They also do not care about the medical history of your step-parents or step-siblings. If you have a half-sibling, then you may want to disclose any hereditary diseases he/she has unless you are sure they come from your step parent rather than your biological parent.

What kind of medical history do life insurance companies want to know about my family?

Life insurance companies only care about genetic or hereditary diseases and illnesses. They will care about things like cancer, tumors, neurological diseases and so forth. They will not, however, care if you have a relative with a traumatic brain injury caused by a car accident. Although a TBI is a terribly difficult medical issue, presence of it in your family says nothing about your own medical health, and thus a life insurance company will not take that into consideration.

Life insurance companies will also not be concerned if your family member has a hereditary disease which shows up only at birth or in early childhood. As an adult, you have already passed that stage, and thus you have no chance of suffering the same medical fate as your relative.

What if I am in great health, but my family is not?

Again, if your family members suffer from any hereditary diseases that you may get later on in life, then you may have to pay a premium on your insurance policy.

Can I lie on my life insurance application?

You are free to make your own choices in life, but we would never recommend lying on a life insurance application. In fact, we would highly recommend that you tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It may be tempting to leave out the fact that your father has prostate cancer or that your mother has heart stents, but when it comes time to pay out your life insurance policy, the life insurance providers are going to investigate. If you lie to get a lower life insurance rate you may end up compromising your entire policy in the process. There’s no point in getting a life insurance policy if your beneficiaries aren’t going to be able to collect when you die.

What if I don’t know my family’s medical history?

For whatever reason, you may not know who has what disease in your family. Don’t worry; a life insurance underwriter isn’t going to punish you for what you don’t know. You also will not be responsible for collecting this information—believe it or not, life insurance companies are usually reasonable, and they understand that you just might not have access to your complete family medical history.

What if my family has terrible medical history, will I still be eligible for life insurance?

Chances are, there is a life insurance policy out there for you. You just need to know where to look. The life insurance industry is vast, and it can be overwhelming to make such an important decision simply by looking around on the internet. TermLife2Go is here to help you get the right life insurance policy for your life circumstances.

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We are a team of life insurance experts with the simple mission of helping you find the best coverage for your unique situation. We research, review, and rank life insurance companies to make that process easier.