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Life Insurance Rates and Family Health History

Researcher & Writer
April 04, 2020

Did you know that various life insurance companies have unique health niches that benefit individuals 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 life insurance companies as opposed to others.

Before a life insurance company gives 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.

Why do they want to know about my family's health?

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 anything specific about the health experiences of your family. A life insurance company simply asks you a more generic question. Basically, they want to know what diseases and illnesses run in your family. The reason they are interested in this information is generally speaking if someone in your immediate family has a specific health condition, the odds are higher for you to also have it when compared to someone who doesn't have it in their family. That will factor into their decision to both qualify you for life insurance and how much you will pay.

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

A life insurance company isn't concerned and doesn't need the medical history of your adopted parents because it has no bearing on your chances of any hereditary diseases. Similarly, they aren't concerned 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 stepparent 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. However, something they wouldn't be concerned with is if you have a relative with a traumatic brain injury caused by a car accident. Although that is a terribly difficult medical issue, the 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.

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; you won't be punished 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. 

If you need guidance on finding the right life insurance coverage you should consider speaking with a life insurance agent. They can help guide you through the process. to finding the right policy for you and your family.

Written by
TermLife2Go
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.