Paget’s disease is a fairly rare health condition, but it can be a factor when you are applying for life insurance. The condition is not fatal but it can lead to health-related complications that can result in higher than normal premiums. If you apply for life insurance with Paget’s disease, it’s important to apply with a life insurance company that will be the most appropriate for that specific health condition.
If you do have Paget’s disease, you can take comfort in the fact that your application is unlikely to be declined. The primary issue will be the amount of your premium. There are many variables associated with the disease. It will be difficult to determine the exact premium upfront without going through the application process.
What is Paget’s Disease
Paget’s is a disease that affects the bones. It’s a chronic skeletal condition of abnormally rapid bone destruction and reformation. It is a progressive disease that moves slowly. New bone develops in different parts of the body, that is structurally abnormal, dense and fragile. Because of the abnormality, the patient can develop pain, arthritis, deformities and frequent fractures.
Paget’s disease most commonly occurs in the spine, skull, pelvis and lower legs.
About 1 million people have the disease. It’s more common in men than it is for women, and more so in older people. It’s also more pronounced in people of Northern European descent. The causes of Paget’s disease are not well known. It’s thought that it may be caused by a virus, but there is also evidence that genetic factors are also at play.
Pain is the most common symptom of Paget’s disease. It’s also possible to develop arthritis in the affected areas. If it takes hold in the skull, you could also have headaches, vision problems, hearing loss, numbness or tingling, or pain in your face.
In more pronounced cases, it’s even possible that you can see the changes developing in your bones, particularly in your legs. It may even affect your ability to walk.
In some cases, the disease causes extra calcium in your blood. That can make you feel tired and weak, causing you to lose your appetite or develop constipation. Less common symptoms include congestive heart failure, bone cancer and pressure on the tissue around your brain.
The disease can be identified by various means, including a bone scan, MRI, or CT scan. Blood and urine tests will also be taken.
There’s no specific cure for the disease, but drugs are available that can prevent bone loss in the progression of the disease.
How Life Insurance Companies Consider Paget’s Disease
If you have Paget’s disease, a life insurance underwriter will consider the following:
- When you are first diagnosed with the condition
- The extent of condition related symptoms
- The progression of the condition
- Medications you are taking for the disease
- Follow up therapies, including visiting your doctor and undergoing regular testing
- Whether or not you have the condition under control
- The existence of any additional health-related conditions
Underwriting will also be concerned with other factors typical to life insurance, including your age, gender, height and weight, your occupation, hobbies and lifestyle, and of course, whether or not you are a smoker. Your driving record is another factor.
Family health history is also a factor with Paget’s disease. As many as 30% of cases of the disease are believed to be genetic. The impact of the disease on any family members who have it will be an important underwriting consideration.
In many cases, the fact that you have Paget’s disease will have little impact on your application.
This is particularly true if your symptoms and the progression of the disease are mild. If you are otherwise in good health, it’s even possible to get a preferred rate. Under a worst case scenario – where the disease is advanced and causing significant impairment – your policy may get a table rating, which will result in a higher premium.
In rare instances, it may be necessary to apply for guaranteed issue life insurance. You will not be asked any health-related questions, nor required to pass a medical exam.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Applying For Life Insurance With Paget’s Disease
The range of possible outcomes with Paget’s disease is diverse. They can range from mild symptoms, such as tolerable arthritis, to more severe conditions, such as vision or hearing loss, or even immobilization. The number and severity of those conditions will determine the outcome of your application.
Be completely truthful in completing your application. Underwriting may request additional documentation which you must willingly provide.
As is the case anytime you have any kind of chronic health condition, like Paget’s disease, it’s critically important that you maintain good health overall. Any other health-related conditions, such as obesity, high blood pressure, or diabetes, will increase the risk that you present. Make sure you eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise, and get regular checkups.
If you do have any health conditions, make sure that you carefully and faithfully follow any required therapies. A well-controlled health condition is always better than an untreated one.
If you are overweight or you are a smoker, it may be worth delaying your application until you can get either situation under control. The insurance company will require a medical exam. You will need to present your overall health the best light possible.
Work With an Insurance Broker if You Have a History of Paget’s Disease
Whatever you do…
Don’t apply for coverage on a life insurance website.
They advertise extremely low premiums, but those are only available to young, non-smokers who are in excellent health. A history of Paget’s disease requires special handling. Never assume that the company that has the lowest premiums for healthy applicants will also be the lowest for those with chronic conditions.
Where you apply for life insurance will make a major difference. You’ll want to apply with the companies that specialize in high-risk life insurance. Those are not usually the ones that have the lowest premiums for people in perfect health.
But do you know who those companies are?
Unless you work in the life insurance industry yourself, you probably don’t. That’s why you need to enlist the services of a good independent life insurance broker.
That’s what we are. We work only in life insurance and know which insurance companies are the best for high-risk applicants. We can save you time and money by placing your application with the right company. And our services won’t cost you anything more than if you were to apply directly with the issuing insurance company.
If you have Paget’s disease – or any other type of health impairment – don’t go it alone. Let us be your partner in your life insurance search. We promise to get you the best policy available, for the lowest premium. If you are ready to get started, please fill out a quote request form and we’ll be in touch soon.