Can I buy life insurance if I've had an aneurysm?

Yes, you can get life insurance if you’ve been diagnosed with an aneurysm. The details of your condition and treatment will determine your rates and which type of life insurance policy is right for you.

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Katherine MurbachKatherine MurbachEditor & Licensed Life Insurance ExpertKatherine Murbach is an editor and a licensed life insurance expert at Policygenius. Previously, she wrote about life and disability insurance for 1752 Financial, and advised over 1,500 clients on their life insurance policies as a sales associate.

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Antonio Ruiz-CamachoAntonio Ruiz-CamachoAssociate Content DirectorAntonio helps lead our life insurance and disability insurance editorial team at Policygenius. Previously, he was a senior director of content at Bankrate and CreditCards.com, as well as a principal writer covering personal finance at CNET.

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Yes, you can buy a life insurance policy if you’ve had an aneurysm, but your rates and the types of coverage available to you will depend on your specific medical history. 

Rates can vary drastically with history of aneurysm, a bulge in a blood vessel caused by weakness in the vessel wall, [1] since there are many variations of the condition. The best way to find the cheapest quotes for you is to speak with a life insurance agent about your health condition and treatment.

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Before approval, the insurance company will ask you a series of questions to assess risk and determine your premiums. You’ll likely be asked about the following details of your condition:

  • Date of diagnosis and onset of symptoms

  • Type of aneurysm

  • Location of the aneurysm

  • The cause of the aneurysm

  • The treatment needed

  • Surgical history

  • Additional health conditions that might make an aneurysm more risky (for example, high blood pressure)

These details will impact how much you pay in life insurance premiums. They’ll also impact the type of life insurance you can qualify for.

Life insurance options for people with a history of aneurysm

You can apply for either term life insurance, which is one of the most affordable options on the market and lasts for a set number of years, or whole life insurance, which is a permanent policy. 

  • Term life is a good fit for people looking to protect their income and provide their family with a financial safety net.

  • Whole life can be a good option for people with long-term financial obligations, or those looking for an investment vehicle in addition to their Roth IRA or 401(k).

Guaranteed issue whole life insurance or other types of final expense insurance can be a good option for people who are seeking a small coverage amount and may not qualify for traditional term or whole life policies due to their health.

Types of aneurysm and how they influence your life insurance options

 Cerebral aneurysm

A cerebral aneurysm, also called a brain aneurysm, occurs when a weakened area of a blood vessel expands in the brain. Cerebral aneurysms are often detected after they rupture. Symptoms of ruptured cerebral aneurysms include severe headaches, nausea, loss of balance, pain around the eyes, and loss of consciousness. [2]

  • If you have a small cerebral aneurysm and get routine check-ups, life insurance coverage may be possible, though with more expensive rates than someone without the condition.

  • If you’re advised to get surgery, insurers will typically postpone your application until at least six months after the procedure. 

  • If you had a cerebral aneurysm in the past that was treated with surgery with no complications, you’ll likely get an approval when you’re fully recovered, at least six months after the operation. 

  • If it’s been five or more years since surgery, you’re more likely to get cheaper rates.

Aortic aneurysm

Aortic aneurysms occur when there is a bulge in the wall of the aorta, which is the major blood vessel that connects the heart to the rest of the body. [3] Abdominal aortic aneurysms occur in the part of the aorta in the abdomen, and thoracic aortic aneurysms occur in the part of the aorta that’s within the chest cavity.

  • Thoracic aneurysms are more rare, but can more often result in a decline for traditional term or whole life insurance.

  • Your application for life insurance may be approved if you had an abdominal aneurysm, but with more expensive rates, as long as your condition is treated and stable. 

  • If you have pending surgery, your application will typically be postponed until after the operation. 

  • If you have an abdominal aneurysm that’s larger than 5 cm, you’re more likely to see an application decline.

Why do aneurysms affect life insurance?

Insurance companies base your life insurance premiums on your estimated lifespan and health risks. Your age, sex, lifestyle, and medical history are all considered when you apply for a policy.

Aneurysms affect your life insurance rates because of their impact on your overall health. A brain aneurysm, if left untreated, could rupture and cause complications such as stroke, brain damage, or coma. [4]

Similarly, abdominal aneurysms could rupture and cause severe internal bleeding if untreated. [5]

How much does life insurance cost if you’ve had an aneurysm?

A 35-year-old woman with a history of an aneurysm could pay between $38 and $68 per month for a $500,000, 20-year term policy, but rates for this health condition can vary drastically. 

It’s best to speak with a licensed agent about your specific health details in order to get a better picture of your rates and the types of policies you’re eligible for.

20-year, $500,000 term life insurance rates for people who have had an aneurysm

If you had a single, small cerebral aneurysm and you’ve been stable for five years, you could receive the rates in the column on the left below. These are Standard rates, usually reserved for people who might have a well-controlled or resolved moderate health condition, have one or two medications they take regularly, or have had a more serious health incident several years ago. 

If you have a small abdominal aortic aneurysm that has been stable without surgery needed, you can likely get approved for life insurance with similar rates as long as you get routine check-ups. In this scenario, you could qualify for up to Standard rates as well.

On the other hand, if you’ve had multiple cerebral aneurysms or they’ve been treated with surgery within the last year, you would likely pay higher rates if approved, shown in the right-hand column. If your abdominal aneurysm has been treated with surgery, you’ll typically be eligible for life insurance after six months of recovery, assuming no complications and routine check-ups.

In the above scenario, you could receive Substandard rates, shown in the two right-hand columns. These rates are usually reserved for people who have experienced a more serious health condition or people who take medications classified as immunosuppressants, and there’s a wide range of them. The rate assigned to you will depend on your overall individual health profile.

Age

Sex

Stable for five years, no history of surgery 

Small aneurysm, treated with surgery 6+ months ago and stable

Aneurysm treated with surgery 6+ months ago, with additional conditions increasing risk 

35

Female

$38.00

$52.99

$68.74

Male

$45.70

$63.55

$82.83

45

Female

$75.97

$106.75

$140.26

Male

$96.53

$134.79

$177.74

55

Female

$169.18

$242.81

$321.90

Male

$238.96

$329.89

$442.62

65

Female

$515.37

$762.90

$1,015.14

Male

$770.88

$1,117.36

$1,487.48

Collapse table

Methodology: Sample monthly rates are based on a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy for male and female non-smokers in a Standard, Substandard Table 2, and Substandard Table 4 health classification. Rates vary widely for this health condition; for the most accurate estimates, speak with a licensed agent about your health details. Quotes are based on data from Policygenius partner insurance companies including AIG, Banner Life, Lincoln Financial, Foresters Financial, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, Prudential, Symetra, and Transamerica, and may vary by carrier, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 01/17/2023.

If you have a thoracic aneurysm, life insurance companies may be more likely to decline traditional life insurance coverage. In this instance, you may want to consider guaranteed issue whole life insurance, which has fewer medical requirements to apply and get approved. 

You’d likely also want to explore guaranteed issue insurance if you're under the age of 60 and have an abdominal aneurysm, since having an aneurysm at a younger age presents increased risk to the insurer and your application may be declined.

Ready to shop for life insurance after an aneurysm?

Start calculator

How to buy life insurance if you have a history of aneurysm

Buying life insurance with a history of an aneurysm will be similar to buying life insurance with any other pre-existing condition.

  • First, you’ll want to shop around to find the best company for your health profile, since each insurer has their own underwriting guidelines. Independent brokers like Policygenius can help you compare quotes for top-rated insurers in one place.

  • You’ll need to disclose your condition on your health questionnaire when you apply, including details around your diagnosis and your treatment or follow-up plan.

  • Next, you’ll take a medical exam, which is a very common part of the life insurance application process and similar to an annual check-up. The medical exam is paid for by the insurance company.

You’ll then wait for the insurer to review your application and extend you a final offer or final decision, which can take five to six weeks on average. The insurance company may ask you for more information in an attending physician statement (APS) along the way — this is so they can get a full picture of your health.

Once underwriting is complete, and you have a final rate, you can accept your offer and pay your first premium to put the policy in force.

Life insurance options if you’re denied coverage

If you’re denied a traditional term or whole life insurance policy as a result of your history of aneurysms, you can still get covered with the following options:

  • Final expense insurance: These policies — also known as guaranteed issue or simplified issue insurance — primarily cover end-of-life expenses and allow you to skip a medical exam. Both types of policies have some age restrictions. The death benefit on them is usually much smaller than what traditional policies offer, but approval is near-certain for guaranteed issue policies — and there are fewer health requirements for simplified issue policies.

  • Group life insurance: Employers and other organizations often supply subsidized life insurance to employees with no health evaluation required. You may be offered less coverage than you need, and you likely won’t be able to keep your policy if you leave your job, but it can be an option to receive some form of coverage.

Every health condition will be considered by the insurance company on a case-by-case basis, so it’s worth talking to an agent or broker to figure out your best options.

At Policygenius, we have licensed agents with experience working with high-risk health conditions, who can help you compare top insurers and find the right policy for your needs.

Other health concerns that can affect your life insurance

Certain pre-existing conditions and other health-related concerns can affect your life insurance options or costs. A Policygenius expert can help you find the right policy for your needs.

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of our

editorial standards.
  1. Cleveland Clinic

    . "

    Aneurysm

    ." Accessed January 17, 2023.

  2. Johns Hopkins Medicine

    . "

    Cerebral Aneurysm

    ." Accessed January 17, 2023.

  3. Mayo Clinic

    . "

    Aortic Aneurysm

    ." Accessed January 17, 2023.

  4. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

    . "

    Cerebral Aneurysms Fact Sheet

    ." Accessed January 17, 2023.

  5. Mayo Clinic

    . "

    Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

    ." Accessed January 17, 2023.

Author

Katherine Murbach is an editor and a licensed life insurance expert at Policygenius. Previously, she wrote about life and disability insurance for 1752 Financial, and advised over 1,500 clients on their life insurance policies as a sales associate.

Editor

Antonio helps lead our life insurance and disability insurance editorial team at Policygenius. Previously, he was a senior director of content at Bankrate and CreditCards.com, as well as a principal writer covering personal finance at CNET.

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