Life Insurance Approval with Kidney Disease

I think you'll agree that finding affordable life insurance with a health condition like kidney disease can be tough.

But it doesn't have to be...

Advancements in underwriting and risk assessment have come a long ways. Certain insurance companies are willing to offer life insurance (with fair rates) to many people they used to turn away.

After this article, you’ll know exactly what to do. Here is what we’ll cover:

  • Different types of kidney disease and why they matter
  • Can I really get approved? (Yes)
  • How to increase approval chances (and lower rates)
  • How to get help during the process
  • How much will it cost
  • Possible outcomes

The Different Types of Kidney Disease

When we consider health issues that can make purchasing life insurance more challenging, kidney disease is one of the most complicated to deal with. There are several types of kidney disease, and each type can make purchasing coverage more difficult.

life insurance approval with kidney disease or kidney stones

Typically kidney disease will affect both kidneys. When a kidney’s ability to regulate or remove water and various chemicals is substantially damaged, waste products and fluid buildup generally occurs and results in significant swelling and uremia. There are many different causes of kidney disease and many different types that can be characterized as hereditary, congenital, or acquired.

  • Hereditary – Hereditary disorders can be transmitted to males and females and will usually produce symptoms beginning in teenage years to adulthood. The most prevalent of these conditions is polycystic kidney disease. Other types include cystinuria, primary hyperoxaluria, hereditary nephritis, and Alport’s syndrome.
  • Congenital Disease – Congenital disease typically involves a malformation of the genitourinary tract which often leads to a type of obstruction resulting in the production of infection and destruction of kidney tissue. This destruction can result in chronic kidney failure.
  • Acquired Disease – Acquired kidney diseases are numerous, with the general term being nephritis (inflammation of the kidney). The most common type of nephritis is called glomerulonephritis which has many causes. 
  • Kidney Stones – Kidney stones are very common and can cause severe pain when they are passed. The formation of the stones can be hereditary, secondary to malformation or infection, or can present without any prior kidney problems. 
  • Nephrotic Syndrome – Nephrotic syndrome refers to a substantial protein loss in the urine and is typically associated with low albumin levels, high cholesterol, and significant retention of body fluid. Nephrotic syndrome can be a primary kidney disorder or secondary to another illness.
  • Diabetes Diabetes that is long-standing can also lead to kidney failure but can be mitigated with tight control of blood glucose levels.
  • Hypertension Long-standing high blood pressure can also cause kidney disease or may be the result of a kidney disorder.

Can I Purchase Life Insurance with Kidney Disease?


Even with kidney disease, you are eligible for life insurance. To get the most favorable rates, you should apply with a company that fully underwrites the policy. The insurer will require a lot more information about your disease than just the questions the application provides. For example, they will typically want the following information:

  • How long have you had your disease and when was it first diagnosed?
  • How well are you managing your kidney disease?
  • What medications, treatments or surgeries have resulted from the disease?
  • Have you developed other health complications because of your disease?
  • How is your overall health apart from your kidney disease?
  • What medications, treatments or surgeries have resulted from the disease?
  • Have you developed other health complications because of your disease?
  • How is your overall health apart from your kidney disease?

Your insurance underwriter will also schedule for you to have a medical exam and a blood and urine test. Most underwriters will also order reports from the Medical Information Bureau, RX database, department of motor vehicles, and your health care providers.

What Can I do to Increase My Chances of Getting Approved?

There are several things you can do to increase your chances of getting approved for a policy along with having a positive effect on your insurance rates.

  • Take positive steps in managing your kidney disease. Your doctor will likely recommend a modified diet along with prescribing medications. Follow-up visits with your doctor should be kept religiously and will demonstrate that you are taking a proactive position with your disease.
  • Eliminate habits or activities that will negatively impact your overall health. Your underwriter will be interested in seeing that you’ve made the necessary lifestyle changes required when dealing with kidney disease.
  • Make your doctor aware that you are applying for life insurance so that he or she will make certain the required attending physician statements are sent to the insurer on your behalf.
  • Apply for life insurance when your symptoms have abated, and there is evidence that you are on the mend.
  • Apply for a lower death benefit to reduce the risk for your insurance company and reduce the premiums you will pay for your coverage.

What Will It Cost?

In case you weren't aware, life insurance premiums are based on 5 things:

  1. Age
  2. Sex (male or female)
  3. Amount of insurance coverage
  4. Length of term (10,20,30 years, etc)
  5. Your health history 

With regards to the health history, you will be placed in one many health classes. This will go a long way towards determining the amount you'll pay each month for the policy.

With regards to kidney disease specifically, the insurance carriers will be interested in 5 things:

  1. The severity of your condition - (more on this below)
  2. How long you've had kidney disease - longer is more concerning
  3. How you have managed the condition - how dedicated are you to improving things?
  4. Medications taken 
  5. Surgeries or treatment history - How many, how long ago, and what were the results.

Possible Outcomes - Health Ratings

If you only have a few kidney stones occasionally and your condition is considered mild. You can usually get approved at normal rates and not be "dinged". The rest of your health picture will be looked at though and judged accordingly.

If your condition if more severe but under control and manageable you are looking at sub-standard rates. These are more expensive and based on what are known as table ratings

If your condition is considered severe, traditional life insurance policies will be extremely hard to get. Your best option, in this case, is a guaranteed issue policy with a smaller face amount.

How Do I Get Help During the Process?

The agent you select is just as important as the insurance company you select. You should contact an agent that takes an interest in hard-to-place cases and will work diligently to find an insurer that can deliver an insurance solution to meet your individual needs.

Since independent agents represent multiple carriers, they will have the ability to shop your insurance with all the carriers they represent, and they will typically know in advance, the best company for your health condition.

A good agent will be available to walk you through the underwriting process and explain each step that must be taken. He or she will offer their professional advice to help you make an informed decision about the type of insurance you should purchase and the death benefit you should apply for. Your agent will also explain the riders that are available and how they can broaden the coverage of your insurance policy.

If you are ready to get started, please fill out a quote request and we'll be in touch shortly. Life insurance is our only business and our happy clients tell us we do it really well.


  • Ty Stewart

    Ty Stewart is a founder and contributor of He started researching and studying about life insurance when he got his first policy for his own family. He has been featured as a life insurance expert speaker at agent conventions and in top publications. As an independent licensed life insurance agent he has helped clients nationwide to secure affordable coverage while making the process simple.

  • Bennett Bier

    I’m Bennett Bier, owner, author and fact checker of Simple Life Insure. I believe working with a small independent broker offers consumers more personal attention and superior customer service. As an independent agent licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia I have access to many of the top A+ rated life insurance carriers. This lets me locate a plan that you will qualify for while saving you money at the same time. Over the years I have mastered the art of underwriting, getting approvals even for my highest risk clients. I’m also likely the person that will answer the phone when you call.