Life Insurance Table Ratings Explained

Everyone that applies for life insurance will be “rated” one way or another.

If it sounds cold and hard, that’s because it is.

If you are generally in good health, you will fall into one of the 4-6 regular health classifications. The better the health class, the lower your premiums.

But what if you have health issues and can’t qualify for the top rates?

Enter the life insurance table ratings….

Insurance companies have 8-10 additional levels that are referred to as “table ratings

In short, here is what you need to know:

  1. All table ratings are considered substandard. They are BELOW the Standard health class.
  2. They move up quickly in price. Each level lower is a 25% increase.
  3. Certain health conditions will automatically place you in the table ratings.
  4. Some companies use an alphabetical scale and some use numbers. These are the same.
  5. They are still approvals! You do get insurance coverage even if table rated.

How Life Insurance Table Ratings Are Set

During the underwriting process, the insurance underwriters will look at:

These things go into the decision on your health classification. If there are multiple medium risks, or certain individual serious risks, you may end up with a table rated life insurance policy.

The actual table rating you receive will depend on the specific issue or condition you have and the company you are applying at.

Table Rating Costs

Table A-J or Table 1-10 are the same. It just depends on which system that particular carrier uses.

A=1, B=2, C=3, etc, etc.

Table 1 or A will be an additional charge of 25% on top of that company’s Standard rates. With each level lower, there will be another 25% added.

  • Table 1 = Standard +25%
  • Table 2 = Standard +50%
  • Table 3 = Standard +75%
  • Table 4 = Standard +100%
  • Table 5 = Standard +125%
  • Table 6= Standard +150%
  • Table 7 = Standard +175%
  • Table 8 = Standard +200%
  • Table 9 = Standard +225%
  • Table 10 = Standard +250%

warningYour table rating will be different with each insurance company. All companies have their own niches and strengths for certain conditions. We may send our clients with anemia to one company but those with high blood pressure to a completely different insurer.

To better visualize the difference table ratings, here is an example:

Sample rates for a 38-year-old male on a 20-year term

Table Rating$250,000$500,000$750,000
Table 1$33.14 per month$59.94 per month$87.28 per month
Table 2$38.72 per month$70.87 per month$103.68 per month
Table 3$44.29 per month$81.81 per month$120.09 per month
Table 4$49.87 per month$92.75 per month$136.49 per month
Table 5$55.45 per month$103.68 per month$152.90 per month
Table 6$61.03 per month$114.62 per month$169.31 per month
Table 7$66.60 per month$125.56 per month$185.71 per month
Table 8 $72.18 per month$136.49 per month$202.12 per month

Remember: It may not be fun for your wallet to receive a table rating offer, but it IS an approval. You WILL have protection for your loved ones. That is more than many people can say.

How To Get a Better Table Rating

If you are unhappy with the table rating offer you received, there are 2 options.

Reconsideration request

This will depend a lot on the specific reason or condition that led to the table rating. Life insurance carriers have certain time frames that they “penalize” you for. As time passes without complications or additional issues, you outlook improves.

Table rating due to a recent DUI? As 12 or 24 months have passed, you CAN find lower rates.

Table rating with a stroke from 2 years ago? If symptoms have improved, you CAN get a better rating.

Your independent broker can help you file a reconsideration request. At the same time, it’s a good idea to have them shop you around to additional companies. If another insurer is willing to beat the rate, then you win.

Don’t accept the first offer

Ask your insurance broker if this is truly the best you can do.

How did they arrive at that rate?

How many different companies and underwriters did they work with?

Why did they choose that specific insurance company?

The sad truth is that some insurance agents want to move clients and applications along as fast as possible. If you aren’t comfortable with their answers to the above questions, you may want to get a second opinion.

At Simple Life Insure we are life insurance ONLY specialists. We don’t get distracted with other products and services.

If you have questions about life insurance table ratings or anything else, we would be happy to have a quick, no pressure chat with you.


  • 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