With all of the class action commercials that you hear nearly every day talking about the risks associated with being exposed to asbestos, you would think that if you’ve actually been diagnosed with a pre-existing condition called “asbestosis”, there would be no chance of you being able to qualify for pre-existing condition life insurance!
But the truth is…
Provided that your asbestosis is a mild case and that you’re no longer currently being exposed to asbestos, you should still have a pretty good chance at qualifying for a fully underwritten term or whole life insurance policy.
Asbestosis is defined as a lung disease that is caused by directly breathing in asbestos particles. Asbestosis is characterized by sever fibrosis of the lungs which can lead to an increase risk of mesothelioma.
- A persistent “dry” cough.
- A tightening of the chest, often accompanied with pain.
- A loss of appetite.
- “Clubbed” or enlarged finger tips.
- As well as finger and toe nail deformities.
Because having asbestosis is not the same as suffering from lung cancer or mesothelioma, the treatment of asbestosis will often center around managing the symptoms associated with asbestosis which is why:
- Oxygen therapy will often be used to help alleviate any shortness of breath.
- Respiratory physiotherapy will also be used to remove secretions within the lungs.
- And prescription medications may also be used to help dilute any lung secretions as well as manage any pain that the patient may be suffering from.
The good news is that because being diagnosed with asbestosis isn’t the same as being diagnosed with lung cancer or mesothelioma, the prognosis for these individuals is often very good. This is why many life insurance companies will be willing to take the risk of offering life insurance coverage to those suffering from asbestosis.
Qualifying for life insurance after being diagnosed with asbestosis.
In addition to needing to meet the same requirements a “typical” life insurance applicant would need to meet in order to be approved for a traditional life insurance policy, those diagnosed with asbestosis are also going to be asked a series of questions designed to learn more about the “severity” of your condition.
Common questions you’ll likely be asked will include:
- When where you first diagnosed with asbestosis?
- Who diagnosed your asbestosis? A general practitioner or a specialist?
- Do you know when and where you were exposed to asbestos?
- Are you still exposed to asbestos?
- What symptoms do you experience now due to your asbestosis?
- What treatments are you receiving for your asbestosis?
- Has your condition been improving, remaining stable or worsening over the past 24 months?
- In the past 12 months have you used any tobacco or nicotine products?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other serious medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease, stroke or diabetes?
- How often do you see your primary care physician?
- Are you currently working now?
- In the past 12 months have you applied for or received any form of disability benefits.
Best case scenario…
A “best case” scenario would be one where the life insurance applicant:
- Will know exactly when and where they had been exposed to asbestos.
- Will no longer have any exposure to asbestos.
- Be tobacco or nicotine free for at least one year.
- Will only be experiencing minor symptoms associated with their asbestosis.
- Will be able to document that their condition has been stable over the past year.
- Will not have any other pre-existing medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease, stroke or diabetes.
- And they’ll be working full time, assuming that they are a primary bread earner for the family.
For these types of clients, it should be possible to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy at a Table Rating.
What is a “Table Rating”?
A table rating is a heath rate class that is considered just below Normal or Standard.
Worst case scenario…
Worst case scenarios would typically involve clients who:
- Aren’t exactly sure where they have been exposed to asbestos and who may still be in contact with the particle.
- Are currently using tobacco or nicotine.
- Are experiencing significant and debilitating symptoms directly related to their asbestosis.
- Have other pre-existing medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease, strokes or diabetes.
- Are currently receiving disability benefits directly due to their expose to asbestos.
With applicants like these, turning to an alternative life insurance product like a guaranteed issue and simplified issue life insurance policy which won’t require an applicant to take a medical exam or perhaps answer any health-related medical questions in order to be approved may be the best option.
But one should be aware that these types of life insurance policies will contain what is called graded death benefit, which will limit when in fact the policy will begin to provide coverage for a death due to a natural cause. For more information regarding these types of life insurance policies, we would highly recommend that you give us a call when you have a few minutes.
Now we know that…
We’ve gone over quite a bit of information here in this very brief article, and the last thing that we actually expect is for you to have taken it all in and now be a “expert”.
But what we do hope that you will have gained by reading this article is that being diagnosed with asbestosis isn’t the end of the world when it comes to qualify for life insurance. Sure… it may make things a bit tougher, but that’s something for us to worry about not you!
So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today and see what we can do for you!
So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today or visit our Best Term and Whole Life Insurance quotes page and see what we can do for you!