If you’ve had a heart attack, you might think life insurance is out of reach.
While your heart attack will definitely make qualifying more difficult, there are still many companies that would consider your application.
The key to getting insured is a smart application. Good preparation gives you a much better chance of getting a policy at a fair rate.
Finding life insurance can be a long journey. If you’ve had a heart attack, it’s going to be even more difficult, but we are here to help.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the underwriting standards for someone with a heart attack.
Life Insurance Underwriting After A Heart Attack
Your insurance agent should ask a number of questions about your heart attack:
- When was your heart attack?
- What health problems led to your heart attack?
- Did you have any procedures to prevent future problems like coronary angioplasty or a bypass?
- Has your condition and health improved since the heart attack?
- Do you have a family history of heart disease and have any close family members died of heart disease?
- Are you a smoker?
- What medications are you taking for your condition?
Common medications for after a heart attack include:
- Beta Blockers
- Cholesterol medication such as statins
None of these prescriptions are going to cause you to be declined depending on the rest of your health.
You want the insurance underwriter to get as clear a picture of your current health situation as possible.
The underwriter is much more likely to reject giving you a policy given your past health problems if you don’t give them all the info.
Life Insurance Quotes After A Heart Attack
When you apply for life insurance after a heart attack, insurance companies will want to thoroughly research your current health. This is because they want to determine whether you’re likely to have another heart attack.
It’s a good idea to wait a couple of years after your heart attack before applying for coverage. This gives your condition time to stabilize plus gives you a chance to improve your lifestyle. Each company has their own rating categories, but here are some basic categories you’ll see:
- Preferred Plus: Impossible. A heart attack is just too serious a health problem for you to qualify for this rating.
- Preferred: Also likely impossible. Regardless of how much your health improves, insurance companies will still be too worried about your past heart attack.
- Standard: In rare cases, you might get this standard policy. To get this rating, your heart attack must have been very mild, it must have been several years since the attack.
- Table Rating (substandard): Your most likely rating. The rating you receive will depend on the time since you had your heart attack, your current health at the time of your application, the treatments you took for the heart attack, and whether you have a family history of heart disease.
- Declines: You should expect a decline if you’re a year or two of a heart attack Also, applicants that have a poor lifestyle, other health issues or have a family history of heart disease could be declined because of the high chance of future heart attacks.
Life Insurance Case Studies After A Heart Attack
While your life insurance application always matters, it becomes particularly important after a heart attack. To help hammer this home, here are some stories of clients we’ve worked with in the past.
Case Study #1: Female, 66 years old, does not smoke, had a heart attack at 63, taking Beta Blockers and Statins, and no other pre-existing conditions.
She had a mild heart attack when she was 59. As soon as she got out of the hospital, she tried to buy a life insurance policy. She was denied because she applied too soon. The agent didn’t’ clearly explain why she was rejected so she just assumed she couldn’t get life insurance.
When she contacted us, we suggested she try again as more than enough time had passed since her previous attack. We also recommended she request an EKG to test the current state of her heart as the applicant was in fairly good health. By trying again, this applicant received a rated level 1 policy, the best level before a standard rating.
Case Study #2: Male, 64 years old, had a heart attack at 55 years old, former smoker, improved weight and overall health since the diagnosis, started regularly seeing his doctor at age 60.
This applicant was in poor health. He smoked, was overweight, and had high cholesterol and blood pressure. This lifestyle eventually caused him to have a heart attack at 55. For a few years after his heart attack, the applicant continued his bad habits. However, at age 60, he quit smoking, started seeing his doctor regularly, and dramatically improved his health.
His applications were rejected. We thought this was because insurers weren’t accounting for his better health. He was devastated, but we need the next steps to take. We told him to go to his doctor and ask him to write a note which described his improved health. We included the note with his application and was able to get a rated policy.
Before You Apply
While getting life insurance after a heart attack isn’t easy, it’s definitely possible. It all starts with a good application. To make sure you handle this process correctly, you can work with a qualified broker that understands your medical condition.
If you’ve suffered from a heart attack, you already have a red flag. The life insurance company will scour your application for any other risk factors. You want to clean up your application.
Before you apply for life insurance, you need to get in shape. If you’re carrying any extra weight, the insurance company sees you as a risk for another heart attack. They are going to jack up your premiums because of your weight. The lower the weight on your scale, the lower your premiums can be.
Another thing to do before you submit an application is to find a company that favors applicants with a heart attack. There are companies out there who offer lower premiums than other companies.