Denied Life Insurance – You May Just Have the Wrong Company!

By Michael Horbal - Updated on 07/06/2023

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.

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, the details of your health records may 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 might still be insurable.

Some companies 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.

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 have ended 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, etc.
  • Positive for illegal drugs, including marijuana, if it was not disclosed on the application.
  • Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) levels below 60 when there is 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 top 10 health problems will decline you 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 a history of drug use, there might 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 decline or postpone offering coverage until your doctor evaluates you.

If you lost significant weight recently due to exercising, insurers might 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 substance abuse is mentioned in your records but not admitted on your application, that is difficult to overcome.

We’ll work with you to resolve this, 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.

Prescription History

Sometimes, the life insurance company will decline you due to your prescription history.

When that happens, it’s usually due to one of the following:

  • Not disclosing prescriptions on the application
  • Having prescriptions for high-risk medical conditions that are uninsurable

Not Disclosing Prescription Medications

There are two scenarios that we encounter on a regular basis.

The insured who forgot to mention one of their medications, and the insured who completely lied on the application.

Life insurance companies today use prescription databases that tell them about your prescription history.

Sometimes the insured was prescribed a medication that they never ended up using, but will still show up in the databases. It’s pretty easy to address with a letter from your doctor.

A more frequent issue lately revolves medical marijuana. In this day and age, medical marijuana is no big deal with the right companies as long as it’s disclosed on the application.

If you fail to disclose the marijuana use upfront and your lab results are positive, you’ll get declined. If that happens, the easiest thing to do is move to a new company and fully disclose everything.

Uninsurable High-Risk Prescription History

There are a number of medications where life insurance companies will decline you as soon as they see the medication history.

Examples include medications used for:

  • Dimentia medications
  • Schizophrenia medications
  • Chemotherapy medications
  • HIV Positive medications (except for companies that insure HIV+)
  • Pain medications – when multiple medications are involved

Whatever your history is, let us know and we’ll do our best to find coverage for you.

Recent Treatment

Most companies require time to pass after treatment before offering 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 for heart disease will depend on the type of heart condition and treatment received.

Let us know what treatment you have had recently, and we’ll tell you what to expect regarding a postpone period.

Driving Record

Most life insurers use their points system to 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 DUIs, reckless driving and speeding violations of 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 were you 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 one 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, and involuntary manslaughter.

Multiple Felonies or Major Felonies – 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 contact 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 quickly.

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 stating why you were declined.

Do you need life insurance for a divorce decree?

Let us know, and we can provide 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 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 to make an informed decision about your next steps.

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