denied life insurance

Denied Life Insurance

If you’ve been denied life insurance in the past, you may be wondering if coverage is even available to you?

Don’t let a prior life insurance application outcome discourage you.

We’ve helped many people find affordable life insurance and want to help you too.

Denied for Life Insurance Overview

You’ll find the most common reasons for life insurance denials below.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting to the right company. Other times it may be the details of your health records that derail your underwriting.

We encounter all of the following on a regular basis and we want you to know that there are options available even if you’ve previously been declined.

Medical History

If you were denied life insurance due to your medical history, you may still be insurable.

There are companies that specialize in high-risk life insurance underwriting.

Just because one underwriter declines you, doesn’t mean they all will.

Let us know why you were declined for life insurance and we’ll tell you what life insurance options are available to you.

A good example is heart attack survivors applying soon after their heart attack. Sometimes you have to wait a few months to get coverage.

The same goes for heart bypass surgery. If you apply too soon you may get postponed or declined.

Lab Results

Everything seems fine, and then you take your life insurance medical exam.

Soon after you get declined due to your lab results.

It happens sometimes, and I can say that in the past 20+ years, most of these cases end up being insurable.

Life insurers are quick to decline or postpone coverage for unexpected lab results.

The first thing you should do is request a copy of your lab results.

Some common lab results that may get you declined:

  • Bilirubin greater than 6.0
  • Denied life insurance due to HIV Positive
  • Positive for cotinine (nicotine metabolite) when your application says you never used tobacco.
  • PSA levels above cutoff limits by age
  • Creatinine Clearance Levels below 55 ml/mn.
  • Denied life insurance due to elevated liver enzymes
  • Hemoglobin is less than 11 gm/dl without a prior history.
  • Brain Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) – NT-proBNP levels greater than 1,000 pg/ml without cardiac workup history.
  • Abnormal Calcium levels above 1.5
  • Positive Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (CDT) with a history of abuse, DUI history, etc.
  • Positive for illegal drugs, including marijuana if it was not disclosed on the application.
  • Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) levels below 60 when no prior kidney history
  • Hepatitis without a prior diagnosis
  • Protein levels greater than 200 mg/dl
  • Diabetic control – HbA1C greater than 10
  • High cholesterol above 300

You may end up with a life insurance policy with a table rating, but that’s better than no policy at all.

Many of the top 10 health problems will get you declined with the wrong company.

Medical Records

You may get denied life insurance if you have unfavorable notes in your medical records.

If you’ve been declined due to your medical records, it usually is one of four things in the notes:

  1. Your doctor recommended testing and you have not completed those tests.
  2. You’re scheduled for an upcoming surgery.
  3. If you mentioned past history of drug use, there may be notes in your records.
  4. Your Physician’s office mixed up your records with someone else with the same name.

If the lab results were unexpected when you started underwriting,

Life insurers may simply decline or postpone offering coverage until your doctor evaluates you.

If you lost significant weight recently due to exercising, insurers may decline you if it’s not explained in your records.

Life insurers will postpone or decline your application if a recommended test has not been completed such as a colonoscopy or cardiac workup for someone with heart disease.

If you have substance abuse mentioned in your records but not admitted on your application, that is difficult to overcome.

We’ll work with you to get this resolved but it could take time.

Some family history medical issues such as Huntington’s disease will cause a decline for you,

Unless you have the genetic testing results that show you don’t have it.

Mixed-up medical records happen more often than you think, especially with common names.

It may take a little time, but we’ll get this fixed when we work with your physician’s office and our medical records company.

Recent Treatment

Most companies require some time to pass after treatment before they will offer you life insurance.

If you’re looking for life insurance after cancer,

The type of cancer and treatment details will determine when life insurance is available.

Life insurance with heart disease will depend on the type of heart condition and treatment received.

Let us know what treatment you had recently and we’ll tell you what to expect in terms of a postpone period.

Driving Record

Most life insurers use their own points system where they assign point values to different infractions. 

The total of all motor vehicle violations will dictate if life insurance is available.

Your age at the time of the violations, time since the motor vehicle violations,

And most importantly the types of violations determine your underwriting outcome.

Life insurance after vehicular homicides will require individual consideration by underwriting departments.

Multiple DUI’s, reckless driving, and speeding violations that are 40 mph over the limit can quickly get you declined.

When your driving history gets you declined, let’s talk about it. 

We’ll reach out to underwriters on your behalf to see if we can get life insurance for you at a reasonable rate.

Criminal Record

The availability of life insurance depends on your current status.

What crime you were convicted of, and how’s your overall criminal history?

  • Charges Pending = Postpone
  • Awaiting Trial of Sentencing = Postpone
  • Currently, in Jail = Postpone
  • On Probation or Parole = Postpone

Misdemeanors – Once off probation, life insurance is available at standard rates.

You may be able to get a preferred rate depending on the details.

Single Felony – Insurers may postpone coverage for 1 year after you get off probation. 

At that time, you may receive an offer with an additional expense called a flat extra

As more time passes since the end of probation, the rate class available tends to improve.

Examples of single felonies include grand theft, larceny, assault, involuntary manslaughter.

Multiple Felonies or Major Felony – Life insurance companies will most likely decline to offer you coverage. 

Major felonies include drug trafficking, organized crime, rape, murder, terrorist acts, etc.

Our best advice is to tell us about your history. 

We’ll reach out to insurance companies for feedback to see if we can get you coverage.

Denied for Other Reasons

If you’ve been denied because you participate in activities such as:

You just applied to the wrong life insurance company and we can help you fix that easily.

We’ll show you the options available based on your activities.

Denied Life Insurance Options

If you were denied life insurance, what should you do next?

Get the exact details as to why you were declined.

The life insurance company has to send you a letter with the reason why you were declined.

Do you need life insurance for a divorce decree?

Let us know as we can provide you with proof that you are trying to obtain coverage.

If it was due to the paramed exam results, request a copy of your lab results.

Call your physician if the denial was due to notes in your medical records. Mistakes are made all the time.

An option that is available to have some coverage is an accidental death insurance policy.

There’s no pressure or obligation with our life insurance service. 

We’ll provide you with the information you need in order to make an informed decision about your next steps.

Michael Horbal - Author

Michael J. Horbal

Owner of RiskQuoter

Too many people overpay for life insurance because they end up with the wrong life insurance company, agent, or both. That’s why I started RiskQuoter – To help you get the best life insurance rates available.

As an independent insurance agent, I’m licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and offer 40+ life insurance companies to ensure you get your best rate!

By Michael Horbal – updated on – 10/27/2022

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