Life Insurance with High Cholesterol: A Guide to Getting the Best Rates

high cholesterol term life insurance

High cholesterol doesn’t disqualify you from life insurance but it can affect your rates.

Therefore, this guide explores finding the best coverage and companies for your situation. In fact, you may pay too much for life insurance with the wrong company.

Our service matches you to the best companies and rates based on your cholesterol history.

Can I Get Life Insurance with High Cholesterol?

People with high cholesterol are at higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. However, they may not realize that some life insurers specialize in high cholesterol.

In short, you can get life insurance if you have high cholesterol. It’s rare that you would get declined solely due to elevated cholesterol levels.

Still, you may pay more if your cholesterol levels and ratios are above average.

There’s plenty of evidence available that supports high cholesterol being a significant risk factor for heart disease.

Elevated cholesterol levels contribute to heart disease, but also increase the risk of pancreatitis and increase the risk of steatohepatitis (fatty liver).

What Do Life Insurance Companies Consider to Be High Cholesterol?

As most of us know from our annual physicals, lab companies’ normal cholesterol, blood pressure, and build ranges continue to be lowered, putting more people outside the normal range.

Fortunately, life insurance companies use their underwriting guidelines to decide what hyperlipidemia is, with different cutoffs for preferred best, preferred, and standard rates.

Paramedical exams complete the following cholesterol lab tests:

  • Total cholesterol
  • Cholesterol ratio – there are 2
  • HDL – high-density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol)
  • LDL – low-density lipoprotein (the bad cholesterol)
  • Triglycerides

The two cholesterol ratios are:

  1. Total cholesterol/HDL ratio – The lower the ratio, the lower the risk of coronary heart disease.
  2. LDL/HDL Ratio – The higher this ratio, the greater the risk for coronary atherosclerosis.

For example, if your LDL/HDL ratio is high, it indicates a greater risk for coronary atherosclerosis.

If you’re wondering why underwriters are concerned about cholesterol, the reason is the risk of developing heart conditions.

Coronary Risk based on LDL/HDL ratio*MenWomen
1/2 the average risk1.01.5
Average risk3.63.2
2x average risk6.25.0
3x average risk8.06.1
*Source – 2021 Labcorp Guidelines

Best Life Insurance Companies for High Cholesterol

The following chart, updated for 2024, shows the underwriting guidelines by company. The first number is total cholesterol, and the ratio is in parentheses.

Rate Class
2nd Best
Rate Class
3rd Best
Rate Class
Allianz< 200 (5.0)<260 (7.0)
American General300 (4.5)300 (5.5)300 (6.5)
American National (2)300 (4.5)300 (5.5)300 (6.0)
Assurity (2)210 (4.5)250 (5.5)
Aviva260 (5.0)270 (6.0)
Banner Life1300 (4.5)300 (5.5)300 (6.5)
Brighthouse220 (4.5)240 (5.0)
Cincinnati Life240 (4.5)250 (5.0)280 (6.0)
Corebridge Financial
300 (4.5) a
300 (5.0) b
300 (5.0) c
300 (5.5)
300 (6.0)
300 (6.0)
300 (6.5)
300 (7.0)
300 (7.0)
Equitable300 (5.0)300 (5.5)300 (6.0)
Fidelity240 (6.0)300 (8.0)
Foresters (2)220 (4.5)230 (5.0)260 (6.5)
Global Atlantic260 (5.0)270 (6.0)
Guardian240 (4.0)260 (5.0)280 (6.0)
Illinois Mutual (2)<220 (5.0)<250 (6.0)<280 (7.0)
John Hancock (3)250 (5.0)300 (5.5)300 (7.5)
Lincoln National300 (5.0)300 (6.0)
Metlife220 (4.5)240 (5.0)260 (6.0)
Minnesota Life240 (5.0)260 (6.0)280 (7.0)
Mutual of Omaha300 (5.0)300 (6.0)300 (7.0)
Nationwide230 (5.0)250 (5.5)300 (6.5)
New York Life275 (4.5)300 (4.6)300 (6.1)
North American300 (5.0)300 (6.0)
Pacific Life (1)300 (4.0)300 (5.0)300 (6.0)
Penn Mutual220 (4.5)260 (5.5)280 (6.0)
Principal240 (4.0)270 (5.5)300 (6.5)
Protective Life2275 (4.5)275 (5.5)
Prudential300 (5.0)300 (6.0)300 (7.0)
Sagicor (2)220 (5.0)240 (6.0)
SBLI (1)300 (4.5)300 (5.0)300 (6.0)
Symetra<300 (4.5)<300 (6.0)<300 (6.5)
Transamerica230 (5.0)260 (5.5)300 (6.2)
(1)-cutoffs vary by gender, (2)-medication not allowed, (3)estimate from JH Ucheck system. Corebridge varies by age (a) 0-59 years, (b) 45-69 years, (c) 70+.

Life Insurance Companies to Avoid

The good news is that most competitive life insurance companies allow you to take medication and qualify for the best underwriting rate classes available.

And we’ll tell you which life insurance companies are best for your cholesterol medication history.

On the other hand, we’ll also tell you the companies to avoid, including these:

  • American National
  • Assurity Life Insurance
  • Foresters
  • Illinois Mutual
  • Sagicor Life

The above companies are difficult to work with if you have elevated cholesterol or take statins.

Additionally, if you have health issues such as a history of atrial fibrillation, heart problems, open heart surgery, or a myocardial infarction history, let us know.

Underwriting is more concerned about heart issues than cholesterol guidelines.

High Cholesterol and Life Insurance Policies: Tips to Lower Your Rates

If you need to lower your cholesterol quickly, there are several steps you can take, such as:

  • Avoid trans fats from cakes, cookies, and fried foods.
  • Lose weight
  • Exercise more
  • Eat high-fiber foods – oatmeal, prunes, beans
  • Fish – Eat more fish
  • Nuts – Eat nuts that help lower LDL cholesterol

You may need to take some time to control your cholesterol before completing a paramedical exam.

Medical Conditions that Affect Cholesterol

Certain medical conditions may affect your cholesterol levels, including:

Smoking may affect HDL cholesterol by lowering it.

Moreover, if you have a history of alcohol misuse, underwriting will be looking at your triglyceride levels.

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We have the answers if you have questions about cholesterol and life insurance.

Final Words

If you have high cholesterol, now is the time to get life insurance. Request a quote today to learn more about getting your best life insurance rate.

With our service, you are never under any pressure or obligation. Instead, you get the information you need to decide about your life insurance.

  1. 2024 – Legal & General America (Banner Life) Field Guide for Life Insurance Underwriting – 03/2024 ↩︎
  2. 2024 – Protective Life -Underwriting Guide – 03/2024 ↩︎
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