Life insurance underwriting is all about knowing the company rules, niches, and which carriers to work with based on your history.
With RiskQuoter, we make it easy for you to get the right policy.
Get Your Best Quote Here!
Risk-Free, No Pressure Service
Life Insurance Underwriting Process
Underwriting is the evaluation of your medical history, personal background, height, and weight history.
In addition, other factors below are used to determine the life insurance underwriting classes available.
Life insurance companies need to know about your current health.
Life insurers will review your medical records, prescription databases, and the results of the paramedical exam.
In some cases a paramedical may not be required if you meet the accelerated underwriting criteria.
As part of the underwriting process, companies need to know about any medical conditions you’ve had.
The following is a great article about high-risk life insurance when health issues are involved.
We detail many health conditions, including:
- Cancer History
- Diabetes and Endocrine Disorders
- Heart Conditions
- HIV Positive
- Mental Health
- Prostate Disorders
- Brain Disorders
- Other Medical
We can help even if you’ve been denied life insurance due to health issues.
If your policy has a table rating or flat extra, let us know as there may be better offers out there.
As part of the underwriting process, life insurers will obtain your medical records. If your records are available using Human API, that will speed the process along.
Family Medical History
Did you know that your parents’ and siblings’ medical history may affect your life insurance rates?
It’s true, but the following guide will help you find the best company based on your individual circumstances.
The above details how your parents’ and siblings’ medical history of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes may affect you.
It then tells you which life insurance companies are best, and what to expect in terms of price.
Some occupations may require an additional expense called a flat-extra.
Examples include commercial divers, professional athletes, marijuana workers, miners, etc.
Most occupations are insurable, it just becomes a matter of price.
Income and Financials
Life insurance carriers want to make sure the amount of coverage you seek is justifiable.
Underwriters may ask about:
- Annual Income
- Household Income
- Unearned Income
- Net worth
- Credit History
For unique situations when you are seeking more life insurance than would typically be expected, a good cover letter is helpful.
An example of this might life insurance in divorce settlements if the amount of coverage sought seems excessive.
Annual Income – Companies will ask what your annual income is.
In most cases, they do not ask for additional information such as does your income consist of salary, commissions, etc.
Household Income – Some companies ask what the total income is for your house if your spouse also works.
Unearned Income – If you have unearned income, life insurers want an estimate of what you make from those investments.
Credit History – Your credit history is reviewed during the application process.
Bankruptcy is the most common issue we see.
Some companies will make you wait until discharge, while others may consider now depending on the circumstances.
Life insurance companies may charge you more if you participate in any of the following activities:
Some companies will allow an aviation exclusion rider for private aviation.
Commercial airline pilots are not affected unless they also participate in private aviation.
Do you travel internationally?
Countries on the U.S. State Department travel warnings site may result in additional premiums…
Or postponement of life insurance until your return.
Life insurers use a points system to determine if your motor vehicle record will negatively affect you.
A single violation such as a speeding ticket is usually a non-factor.
Multiple moving violations within a 2-3 year period of time may result in higher premiums.
Reckless driving and DUI’s typically follow criminal rules.
The most common history we see is for drunk driving arrests.
Most rates are based on the time since your DUI arrest and court outcome.
The availability of life insurance depends on the crimes committed, convictions, and your current status.
The following are the most common questions we receive.
It may take from several days to a few months depending on the various types of underwriting available. It all depends on the type of policy, insurance company chosen, your medical history, and more.
Each life insurer has its own set of general life guidelines that are used to determine your eligibility and price for life insurance.
Fully underwritten life insurance requires the most comprehensive review when compared to other types of underwriting mentioned later.
No medical life insurance is a great option if you are in good health, like convenience, do not like paramed exams, and you are in a hurry to complete your life insurance.
With guaranteed issue life insurance, few if any questions are asked. The main reason why any health questions are asked is to determine if you will receive a level or graded death benefit.
After your file has been reviewed, the underwriter determines if you are eligible for life insurance, and at what rate.
Approved As Applied – You received the price you were expecting.
Approved Other Than As You Applied (AOTA) – You may receive approval at a more or less favorable rate class.
Postponed – If you were recently diagnosed or just completed treatment, you may be postponed for a period of time.
Denied – You may be denied by the life insurance company. When this happens, we’ll discuss the next steps.
Are life insurance offers negotiable?
Yes and No.
If there is a health issue involved and you received a table rated offer, we should discuss it.
There may be times when we can get the company to reduce or eliminate the rating.
If not, we can potentially move to another company for a better rate.
If you have other positive factors that we can point out to underwriting, that will help.
Will you qualify for preferred best rates?
Keep in mind that 20% of all applicants qualify for the preferred best life insurance rates.
If you meet the criteria, you’ll get the rate.
Will my upcoming birthday affect my rate?
Most life insurers consider you to be the next age once you are within 6 months of your next birthday.
Companies do allow you to “backdate” your policy for the younger age, but…
You’ll need to pay premiums from the backdate forward.
Do medications affect life insurance rates?
It depends on the medication and the control of the medical condition.
Many companies still allow their best rates if you take blood pressure or cholesterol medication.
Life insurance is available for many health conditions and non-medical issues.
The best way to get started is to submit your quote request today.
When we receive your request, we’ll provide you with accurate quotes from the best companies available.
There is never any pressure or obligation with our service.
Other Underwriting Articles
- How Human API Gets You Approved Faster!
- Pilot Life Insurance
- Life Insurance Table Ratings
- Life Insurance and Divorce
- What Scuba Divers Should Know About Life Insurance
- If You Read One Article About Flat Extras Read this One
- The Only Paramedical Exam Resource You Will Ever Need
- How Does Weight Affect Your Life Insurance Rate?
- Denied Life Insurance
- How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?
Michael Horbal is the founder and owner of RiskQuoter.com and a licensed life insurance agent who has helped thousands with affordable protection for families and businesses.