You have probably heard that it's hard to find life insurance if you have Lupus.
Is that true?
The truth is, finding affordable life insurance with any health condition can be challenge if you don't know what to do. If you have good resources (and expert help) then you're in good shape.
Here is what we'll cover:
- 4 different types of Lupus
- Typical symptoms of the disease
- What questions will underwriting ask
- Best life insurance company for those with Lupus
- What if you are denied?
Lupus is a widespread disease in the U.S. The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that over 1.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with some form of the disease and, in fact, over five million people worldwide have it. Although Lupus is known to strike mainly women of childbearing age, men are also known to develop lupus between the ages of 15 to 44.
There are Four Different Forms of the Disease
- Systemic Lupus: Systemic Lupus is the widest type of lupus that affects Americans and represents about 70 percent of all reported cases. Published reports indicate that in about half of all cases of Systemic Lupus, the heart, lungs, brain, or kidneys would likely be affected.
- Neonatal Lupus: With this rare condition, the mother's antibodies affect the fetus. It will typically result in skin rash, liver issues, or low blood cell counts at childbirth, but generally, disappears after the child reaches six months of age with no apparent lasting effects.
- Cutaneous Lupus: Cutaneous lupus affects the skin and represents about 10 percent of all reported cases.
- Drug Induced Lupus: Drug-induced lupus can result from high doses of specific medications and represents about 10 percent of the cases reported.
What are the Symptoms?
Since lupus is an autoimmune disease, many common symptoms can be conspicuous to those Americans infected. While some individuals may suffer only a few symptoms, others may experience many more severe symptoms.
The symptoms for people living with Lupus are typically presented starting in the teen years and into the 30s:
- mild unexplained fever
- skin rash and lesions
- thinning hair and hair loss
- lung and breathing issues
- kidney issuess
- swollen and sore joints
- gastrointestinal issues
- thyroid problems
- dry eyes and dry mouth
Expected Underwriting Questions
Once you have revealed on your life insurance application that you are living with lupus, there will be intensive follow up questions, and you should be as truthful and informative as possible. Knowing the typical questions in advance will help prepare you for the underwriting process.
Life insurance carriers will need to know about your medical history, lab results, and review the medical exam taken during the underwriting process.
- When were you first diagnosed with the disease?
- Have you been hospitalized as a result of lupus or had any major complications?
- What form of lupus did your doctor diagnose you with?
- What symptoms have you encountered?
- When and how long was your longest bout with symptoms?
- How frequently do your symptoms flare up?
- What parts of your body have been affected?
- If you are currently being treated, describe your treatment plan.
- What type of medications are you taking?
- Have you used other types of treatment in the past?
- What is your doctor’s prognosis about your lupus?
- Have you filed for or are you on disability because of lupus?
These are typical questions that your life insurance underwriter will need answers for, and in addition to these questions, you will likely have to undergo a medical exam along with blood and urine analysis. Your underwriter will also order reports from your doctor to help them determine the status of your disease.
Don't be scared or stressed out! An independent insurance agent that specializes in high risk cases will prepare you ahead of time for all these questions.
What is the best Life Insurance Company for People with Lupus?
Generally, the best life insurance for a lupus patient is a carrier that specializes in high-risk cases. It's important to understand that your current condition and treatment success will have an impact on whether your application is accepted and the life insurance premiums you'll be charged if your policy is issued.
Fortunately for those Americans suffering from Lupus, insurers in the high-risk insurance business have become a little more liberal with underwriting rules and guidelines because of competition in the marketplace.
The agent you select to represent you to the insurance company is just as important as the company you apply with. Agents who specialize in high-risk insurance cases are more likely to become your advocate and will help you select an insurer that is more likely to approve your life insurance application.
It is always best to select an independent agent over a direct captive agent when you apply for life insurance. A captive agent only works for one insurance company. Independent agents will typically represent dozens of companies which will allow you to select a carrier that is most likely to accept your application.
Your independent agent will also help walk you through the underwriting process and will stay engaged until the underwriter publishes the company’s decision.
What if My Application is Declined?
If you work with the right agent, it probably will NOT. They have the ability to communicate directly with insurance carriers before even submitting a formal application. Your exact health picture will be shopped to multiple companies to find the best fit that you CAN get approved for.
In some cases this may mean sub-standard rates known as table rated.
If you cannot be approved for a fully underwritten insurance policy because of your lupus condition or for any other health conditions, your agent may suggest final expense insurance to coverial burial costs or a “guaranteed issue” life insurance policy.
Although more expensive than traditional life insurance, a guaranteed issue policy has no health requirements (no exam life insurance). The insurance company will issue your policy automatically without regard to your health condition(s). There are some things with guaranteed issue insurance that you should know about in advance:
- Higher cost of Insurance: Since the insurance company is accepting you as an unknown risk, the company is at a disadvantage and will charge you higher insurance rates.
- Lower Face Amount: Life insurance companies that offer guaranteed issue policies will typically cap the death benefit at $25,000, sometimes up to $50,000.
- Waiting Period: Insurance companies that offer guaranteed issue life insurance will require a waiting period of two to three years before they will pay the full death benefit if you die from natural causes. If you die of natural causes within the waiting period, the insurer will likely pay a death benefit equal to the total of premiums you’ve paid in. Some carriers will offer an additional percentage of 5 to 10 percent.
Most companies will, however, pay the full death benefit to your beneficiary from day one if your death is the result of an accident.
Where to Go from Here?
For personalized help in finding the best life insurance for individuals with Lupus, please fill out a quote request and we'll be in touch shortly to help.
You can quickly compare term life insurance quotes on the site but figuring out your rates on your own may be trickier without help.
Life insurance is our only business and our loyalty is to our clients, NOT the big insurance companies. There is never any cost or pressure when working with us.