Don’t Let Family History Ruin Your Life Insurance Rate!

By Michael Horbal - Updated on 08/12/2023

You may be shocked that your family’s medical history could negatively affect your life insurance underwriting.

It’s true, but we’ll help you get to the right company.

Family History Life Insurance Overview

In addition to normal underwriting requirements like having your height and weight checked, you also need to know that family history affects your rates too.

Family history weighs heavily in life insurance underwriting, mainly if you apply for the “preferred best” or “preferred” rate classes.

Underwriting does not consider grandparents’, cousins’, or your spouse’s medical history into underwriting.

Essential to keep in mind is that each term life insurance company has its own set of family history guidelines.

If you need a quick overview of the entire life insurance process, our life insurance 101 guide will be helpful.

Heart Disease in the Family

Life insurance statistics show that heart disease family history affects life insurance underwriting more than cancer, diabetes, or cerebrovascular health issues.

The following are general rules to remember about your family’s medical history.

Parent Heart Disease

  • The death of a parent before 60-65 eliminates the availability of the best rates with all companies.
  • Heart disease in a parent before the age of 60-65 eliminates the best rates with some companies.
  • If you are currently aged 60-70, some companies disregard family history.

Sibling Heart Disease

  • The death of a sibling before 60-65 eliminates the availability of best rates with some but not all companies.
  • Heart disease in a sibling before age 60-65 stops the best rates with some companies.
  • If you are currently aged 60-70, some companies disregard family history.

It’s rare to get exceptions to the best life insurance rates if there was an early death of a parent from a heart problem.

If you’ve had a stress test completed or another full cardiac workup, let us know, as that may help you with underwriters.

In some cases, two parents with heart disease may impact the above rules.

Getting to the right company will save you a lot of money. 

When we discuss your request, we’ll tell you which companies are best for you.

We’ll review your options for life insurance riders, choosing the right beneficiary, or determining how you would like your beneficiary to receive the death benefit settlement proceeds.

Here’s a great guide about life insurance with heart disease that may be helpful to you.

Cancer in the Family

A family history of cancer may still allow you to obtain the preferred best rate classes with the right companies.

Underwriters need to know if there is a familial malignant melanoma history.

Here’s what you need to know:

Parent Cancer History

  • The death of a parent before the age of 60-65 will still allow the best rates with some companies.
  • The incidence of cancer in a parent before the age of 60-65 is rarely an obstacle in underwriting.

Here’s a great example. Banner Life and Protective Life are the only companies offering a 40-year term life insurance policy.

If your parent died from cancer before age 60, Banner will still consider you for their preferred best rates, while the best rate available with Protective would be a “standard” rate.

Let us know if your parent’s cancer was due to cigarette smoking, as we can use that to try for underwriting exceptions.

Sibling Cancer History

  • The death of a sibling from cancer before age 60-65 is rarely an obstacle in underwriting.
  • Cancer incidence in a sibling before age 60-65 is never a problem.

Gender-specific cancers such as breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer are not held against you if you are of the opposite gender.

As researchers better understand the genetic link among cancer histories of family members, we expect more companies will improve their underwriting.

Diabetes in the Family

A few companies will hold the death of a parent or sibling from diabetes against you.

You’ll find more details in our life insurance guide for diabetics.

If your siblings or parents have diabetes or another type of endocrine disorder, that’s not a problem.

Cerebrovascular Disease in Family

Like diabetes, only a few carriers will stop you from getting the best rate classes if your parent or sibling dies from a stroke or brain aneurysm.

From experience, we’ve been able to get exceptions on this.

Especially when it involves a sibling, there is typically an underlying health issue involved.

How family history affects the rates you pay

Every life insurance company has its own set of life insurance underwriting guidelines.

We have access to and use these guides to get you to the most competitive term life insurance company.

When we work on quotes for you, we factor in your family history to ensure you receive accurate quotes. 

Family History if You Are Age 60 or Older

The good news is that many life insurance carriers recognize that it’s foolish to penalize seniors when they’re older than their parent or sibling was when they had their health issue.

Enough companies can get you a great rate without worrying about family history after 60.

You’ll also like that some companies offer up to $500k of life insurance with no exam up to age 60!

I Don’t Know My Family Health History

If you were adopted, let us know, as some companies waive family history requirements.

In some cases, the insured did not know one of the parents and may be unable to answer that question.

Most companies will not penalize you for not knowing the history.

Lying About Family History

First, there’s no need to lie about family history as many companies are available for you.

As part of underwriting, companies obtain your medical records, require paramed exams for some and will review the MIB for application activity elsewhere.

Those records usually note your parents’ and siblings’ medical history.

Underwriting will ask us to review those questions with you when there is a discrepancy.

Bottom line: Tell us your family history, and we’ll ensure you get to the best company available.

What we do to get you the best rates

We’ll give you the information you need to decide about your life insurance. 

When we speak, we will ask about your family’s medical history as part of our life insurance underwriting process.

We will match you to the best available life insurance rate based on your health circumstances.

Just make sure you get the coverage so your family doesn’t have to rely on GoFundMe for life insurance.

Something else you should be aware of is the life insurance conversion privilege available with the policy you consider.

If you develop a significant health issue in the future, conversion allows you to trade your term policy for permanent insurance like a universal or whole life policy.

Final Words

Based on your unique history, we know the rules and which life insurers will best suit you.

We specialize in life insurance underwriting, including high-risk life insurance.

We’ll help you determine what type of life insurance and how much life insurance to get.

Remember that there is never any pressure or obligation with our service.

We will give you the information you need to decide about your life insurance.

Would you rather discuss your request?

Please call us at Toll-Free (800)909-2040.  Thank you.

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