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Do you have high blood pressure and are currently shopping for life insurance? Here’s why it can be more affordable than you think.
Having high blood pressure might impact your monthly insurance premiums
Underwriters look at the specifics of your condition to make their risk assessment
Not all carriers treat health conditions the same so you can still find affordable options
If you live with a medical condition like high blood pressure you might think affordable insurance rates are not within reach. Since underwriters assess your health from head to toe to determine the risk of insuring you, it would seem likely that any health concerns would get flagged and act as a deterrent.
The reality is, with the proper diet and medication, living with high blood pressure doesn’t have to prevent you from finding affordable life insurance, you just have to make sure you’re going with the best option.
Ready to find the best life insurance rates and top companies for high blood pressure? Let’s start digging.
While two life insurance companies can offer seemingly identical coverage, the way they judge health conditions can vary. Determining the specifics of the condition and treatment options can cause some carriers to be more forgiving than others.
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For someone who is life insurance shopping for the very first time, it might seem like high blood pressure has about as much to do with that process as tapioca pudding has to do with jigsaw puzzles. But the fact is, risk assessment is the bedrock of the underwriting process, and conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, or depression are placed under the microscope when your health is analyzed.
The underwriting process will include a look at your hobbies, lifestyle, medical records, medical exam results, and even your family’s health history. The end goal is to determine the likelihood you’ll pass away while your term life insurance policy is still active.
Once all the data is analyzed, you will be classified based on your risk and that will determine how much you pay each month. A Preferred Plus customer may get a more competitive rate while a Substandard customer may expect to pay quite a bit more.
So that brings us back to the topic of high blood pressure. Since this health condition can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke (the leading causes of death according to the CDC in the United States), it can impact your risk profile and classification.
But there is no need to despair: underwriters don’t use a blanket approach when assessing your risk. Depending on how long you’ve had high blood pressure, how you are treating it, the severity of your symptoms, and other factors, you can still find affordable life insurance from the right carrier.
If you are currently living with high blood pressure and applying for life insurance, you can expect underwriters to cover their bases the same way they would with other applicants. But along with the standard health questions and medical exam results, they may look at the following factors that are specific to those with high blood pressure.
Your age factors into your insurance assessment in more ways than one. Underwriters look at the age of each client (more often than not, the younger you are the better your rates will be), but they might also ask you how old you were when you first developed high blood pressure. If you have had high blood pressure your entire life you may be evaluated differently than if you’ve developed this condition just in the last year due to a job change, divorce, or other stressful circumstances.
Your blood pressure reading is made up of two sets of numbers: systolic (upper number on a reading) and diastolic (lower number on a reading). The following blood pressure numbers from the American Heart Association are broken down by category ranging from Normal to Crisis.
|Normal||Under 120||and||Under 80|
|High (hypertension) Stage 1||130-139||or||80-89|
|High (hypertension) Stage 2||140 or higher||or||90 or higher|
|Crisis||Over 180||and/or||Over 120|
When determining the severity of your condition, underwriters will ask you for a record of your blood pressure readings to see where you stand. A client with numbers in the Elevated or High - Stage 1 range will be assessed differently than someone who is the High - Stage 2 or Crisis range.
When you take the insurance medical exam, you will likely be asked what types of blood pressure medications you are taking to manage your condition. If you can produce proof of treatment you will be a more desirable candidate than someone who hasn’t made any lifestyle or medical changes to control their high blood pressure symptoms. To determine how you’re managing your condition, you might be asked the following:
According to the Mayo Clinic, eating a low-sodium, balanced diet, cutting back on coffee and alcohol, quitting smoking, working out regularly, and looking for ways to reduce stress may help you manage your blood pressure symptoms, and lower your numbers.
Your answers to these questions will give the underwriter an idea of how well you’re managing your condition and may determine your life insurance classification and rates.
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