Life Insurance with Asthma: 5 Things You Must Know

Good news first

You CAN get life insurance at a good price having asthma. For some of our clients, we have secured as low as Preferred Plus rates (that is the best).

Now the bad news

It’s not quite as simple as just applying at a few companies and hoping one of them approves you with low premiums. It’s critical that you know:

  1. What the insurance companies are looking for
  2. Which companies are the most lenient for asthma

Back to more good news

Read this article and you’ll be in good shape to get the best rates possible with asthma. We are going to answer the following questions for you:

  • What questions will the insurance companies ask about my asthma?
  • How will the carriers classify my asthma?
  • What health rating can I expect with asthma?
  • How much will I pay for life insurance with asthma?
  • What insurance companies should I apply at?

Asthma affects 18.7 million adults in the united states. You are certainly not alone in having it. You also don’t have to be alone in your quest to find fair life insurance rates.

In a hurry or don’t want to deal with multiple insurance companies? Let us handle this for you. We have experience getting all our asthma clients the lowest possible premiums. We will do the same for you. There is NO pressure and NO cost to work with us.

What the Insurance Companies Need to Know About Your Asthma

Insurers are in the business of accurately assigning risk in order to determine premiums. They need to know about your condition in order put you in the right health class.

warningBe totally up front with your life insurance agent before applying. The more they know about your asthma (and everything else) the more prepared they will be to shop you to the right companies to secure the lowest rates.

Independent brokers work solely for YOU and not the insurance company.

Here is what the underwriters will be looking at:

  • When were you originally diagnosed with asthma?
  • How frequent are the attacks? How many per year?
  • When was the most recent attack?
  • Do you know what leads to the asthmatic attacks?
  • Is your asthma acute and chronic?
  • What symptoms do you have?
  • Any hospitalizations because of your asthma?
  • Do you currently smoke or have you smoked in the past?
  • What medications do you take?
  • Any steroid treatment for your asthma?
  • Is your asthma year-round or seasonal?
  • Results from your pulmonary function test (PFT)

In addition to the information about your asthma, there will be questions about the rest of your medical history and lifestyle. While the asthma is important, it’s NOT the only thing that will determine your premiums.

To repeat because it’s so important: Work with an independent broker ahead of time and discuss all the above. If you just go running directly to the company offering the cheapest rates, you may waste a lot of time and pay much more. No reason to do that.

How Will the Carriers Classify My Asthma?

Like anything in life insurance, it will vary some from company to company. Generally speaking, you can expect the following classifications for your asthma.

Classification Description
Arrives with changing of seasons or less than 6 attacks per year.
Mild Less than once per day. Lung function greater than 80%.
ModerateFrequent attacks with some hospitalization. Some steroid treatment. Lung function 60%-80%
SevereFrequent attacks that require hospitalization. Ongoing medication and steroid treatment. Lung function less than 60%.

What Health Rating Can I Expect with Asthma?

There are 16 health ratings with life insurance companies and these affect your rates significantly. The underwriters determine your health classification based on your total picture and asthma will play a part.

The below ratings are ONLY based on the effect of asthma. Assume an otherwise healthy individual.

Asthma ClassificationHealth Class Rating
Preferred to Preferred Plus
ModerateStandard to Standard Plus
SevereTable 2 to decline

How Much Will I Pay for Life Insurance with Asthma?

Again, the below sample rates are based on an otherwise healthy individual. We are displaying the best rates for each particular health class and coverage term and amount. These are NOT all from one particular company. It’s impossible to know the best rates for you without first carefully considering everything about you.

42-year-old male seeking 20-year level term insurance.

Health Class Rating$250,000$500,000$750,000
Preferred Plus$21.75 per month$36.91 per month$53.54 per month
Standard$39.72 per month$73.41 per month$106.09 per month
Table 3$56.25 per month$106.20 per month$156.53 per month
Table 7$85.22 per month$163.72 per month$242.82 per month

What Insurance Companies Should I Apply At?

I don’t care what anyone says.

There is NOT just one insurance company that everyone with asthma should go to. Are there some that are more friendly? Absolutely.

At the moment, these companies are the best if you have asthma. These are where we are sending all our asthma clients.

  • American General
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Prudential
  • Banner
  • TransAmerica

warningPlease don’t just go sending out 5 applications to all the above companies.

Life insurance underwriting guidelines are subject to change at any moment. Consult with someone you trust who stays current on the industry.

Bottom line: Your asthma is definitely going to play a part in the premiums you pay for life insurance. However, it is not the only thing you’ll be judged on. Make sure to apply at the company that is best for your overall situation. That is how you “win” at life insurance.

Now What?

You are much better prepared to find affordable life insurance with asthma.

Should you need any assistance in finding the best rates, we are happy to answer questions and guide you. When you work with us you don’t pay a penny, and our help is casual, NEVER with any pressure.

Life insurance is our passion and the only product we sell. Take advantage of our expertise so you can save $$ now.


  • 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. Stewart Ty
  • 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. Bier Bennett