Life insurance for LGBTQ individuals

If you are a part of the LGBTQ community, insurers cannot discriminate against you in any capacity. However, certain considerations may impact your life insurance application.

Nupur Gambhir

By

Nupur Gambhir

Nupur Gambhir

Life Insurance Expert

Nupur Gambhir is an insurance editor at Policygenius and licensed Life, Health, and Disability agent in New York.

Updated August 2, 2021|4 min read

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Even with the legal, political, and cultural progress made for the LGTBQ community over the past few years, there are still significant challenges that jeopardize their financial security in the U.S. According to a study conducted by Experian, 62% of those surveyed experienced financial hardships due to their sexual orientation or gender identity [1]

Getting life insurance, however, should not be an obstacle for anyone in the LGBTQ community — and the unique challenges they face make it all the more important to have adequate financial protection. Insurers cannot discriminate against you in any capacity due to your sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The LGBTQ community encompasses people of various identities and orientations, which means there’s no one size fits all approach to planning for your future. Shopping around for a policy is the best way to find an insurer that honors your identity and will offer you the lowest prices for your profile. 

Key Takeaways

  • If you are in the LGBTQ community, you can still get competitive coverage, but there are personal considerations to keep in mind

  • Insurers cannot discriminate against LGBTQ individuals

  • Shopping around with multiple insurers is the best way to find coverage that honors your profile

Buying life insurance if you’re in a domestic partnership

In 2015, the supreme court legalized same-sex marriage in the U.S [2] . But still, many couples opt for domestic partnerships or civil unions regardless of their sexual orientation. If you’re in a domestic partnership or civil union, there are no limitations in naming your partner as your life insurance beneficiary as long as there is insurable interest

Insurers cannot prohibit you from listing a beneficiary because of sexual orientation or gender identity. But they may ask you to provide documentation that demonstrates how your listed beneficiary will be financially impacted if you die prematurely. If you and your partner share finances — such as living expenses, assets, or a home — there is insurable interest. Insurable interest is required for all life insurance applicants, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Buying life insurance if you’re non-binary or genderqueer 

At this time, most insurance companies only allow applicants to choose between male or female when assigning their gender on a life insurance application. Unisex designations are rare, and you will likely undergo the underwriting process based on the gender you were assigned at birth. 

Though insurance companies won’t honor your gender identity on the initial application, there shouldn’t be a large impact on your rates. Men pay slightly higher life insurance rates than women across the board, but you won’t receive a lower health classification based on your gender. 

Buying life insurance if you’re transgender

Life insurance companies cannot increase your rates or deny you coverage if you are transgender, have had gender confirmation surgery, or take hormone medication. However, if you are scheduled to undergo gender confirmation surgery, your application may be postponed until after the surgery is completed due to the risks associated with surgery. 

While most insurers will honor your actual gender during the application process if you are a transgender man or woman, some will underwrite you based on the gender you were assigned at birth. This may impact how much you pay for coverage because women pay lower rates than men across the board. You can find an insurer that will honor your actual gender by shopping around with multiple insurers for a policy. 

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Buying life insurance if you’re HIV positive

Life insurance options for HIV-positive applicants have always been limitednot all insurers offer coverage to applicants that have received an HIV diagnosis. Also, available policy options are generally more expensive because HIV-positive applicants receive a lower health classification. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some insurers have implemented even stricter underwriting guidelines and getting a traditional life insurance policy may not be feasible at this time. 

However, there are still coverage options available for HIV-positive applicants. Guaranteed issue life insurance is available to most applicants, regardless of their health status. Guaranteed policies are far more expensive than a traditional term policy, but provide some financial security for your family if you cannot get it elsewhere.

Buying life insurance if you’re taking PrEP

Insurers conduct a prescription check during the underwriting process to verify your medical history. If your prescription check shows that you take diabetes medication, for example, your rates will likely be impacted. But if you take PrEP to prevent getting HIV, there is no impact on your life insurance application. 

Because PrEP is preventative medicine and doesn’t signify that you have a medical condition, insurers won’t increase your rates. However, you should be completely honest about any medications you’re taking. Information that is intentionally not disclosed during the application process may invalidate your policy later on. 

Insurers evaluate each application on a case-by-case basis and shopping around is the best way to find an insurer that will work with your profile. 

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Life insurance rates for LGBTQ individuals

Insurers cannot raise your rates or deny coverage if you are LGTBQ — the LGBTQ community pays the same amount for life insurance as their cisgender and heterosexual counterparts. While a serious medical condition or planned surgeries may increase your rates or postpone coverage, this is regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Here’s how much you can expect to pay for coverage: 

AGESEX$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
25Male17.1727.1045.10
Female14.2721.2434.46
35Male18.7930.4151.94
Female16.5525.542.75
45Male122.66228.52439.63
Female28.5347.5886.27
55Male84.29151.88287.30
Female60.64108.34206.32

Methodology: Prices shown are based on 20-year term life insurance policy for non-smoker males and females in Preferred health rating as of August 2021. This calculation is a composite of the 11 carriers that offer policies through Policygenius, including AIG, Banner, Brighthouse, Lincoln, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Principal, Protective, Prudential, SBLI, and Transamerica.

The best life insurance companies for LGBTQ individuals

Because each insurance company treats each application on a case-by-case basis, finding the right company for you will require shopping around for a company that honors your needs. For example, some insurance companies may honor your gender identity, while others may not. 

Working with a broker to get coverage ensures that you get the lowest possible price for your profile. 

FAQ

Can insurance companies discriminate against LGBTQ individuals?

No, insurance companies cannot discriminate against LGBTQ individuals in any capacity. Your premiums and eligibility for a policy cannot be impacted by your sexual orientation or gender identity.

What is the best life insurance company for LGBTQ individuals?

Because every life insurance company has its own guidelines, there is not one particular life insurance company that is recommended for LGBTQ individuals over the other.

Can you buy life insurance if you’re non-binary or genderqueer?

Yes, but you will have to choose between a male or female designation in your life insurance application.

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