If you have an aortic valve disorder like aortic stenosis (AS) or aortic insufficiency (AI), the condition is going to be an issue when you apply for life insurance. Insurance companies are very cautious about aortic valve disorders because of their potential to cause serious heart problems.
However, you still could get insured despite your condition. It depends on several factors including the seriousness of your condition. To get a better idea of what to expect, give our guide to insurance underwriting for aortic valve disorders a read.
Life Insurance Underwriting for Aortic Valve Disorders
During the application, you’re going to have to answer about a hundred different questions about your health. Some of those are going to be focused on your aortic valve disorder:
- How long have you had an aortic valve disorder?
- What type of disorder do you have (aortic stenosis, aortic sclerosis, or aortic insufficiency)?
- Has your disorder led to any negative symptoms like chest pains, dizziness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, or heart failure?
- Have you had an echocardiogram or cardiac catheterization to check the seriousness of your condition?
- Do you have any other additional risk factors?
- What medications are you taking?
While there are no medications for an aortic valve disorder, your doctor could prescribe medications for your heart like: Thrombolytics, Beta blockers, Nitrates, and cholesterol medication like statins.
Be sure to answer every question on your application in complete detail. Underwriters will want to know everything they can about your aortic valve disorder to make sure there isn’t a serious problem. If your application appears incomplete, you could get rejected or pay higher rates.
Get Quotes for Life Insurance with Aortic Valve Disorders
The biggest factor for your rating will be the severity of your condition. If you have aortic stenosis, the insurance company will want to know by how much your aortic valve has narrowed as the narrower the valve, the higher the chance of heart problems. If you have insufficiency, the insurance company will want to know how much blood backflow there is in your valve.
Beyond the severity of your condition, there are plenty of other things the company is going to look at. They are going to look at your age, general health, activity levels, and much more. After they’ve gotten all the information, they are going to place you in a rate class. Each company is different, but here are the classes most companies have.
- Preferred Plus: Impossible for someone with an aortic valve disorder. Even if your disorder isn’t causing any problems now, insurance companies will be too worried about future problems to give you this rating.
- Preferred: Also impossible for someone with an aortic valve disorder. Insurance companies consider this condition too serious to give a discounted price on a policy.
- Standard: Best possible rating for someone with an aortic valve disorder. Usually only given to applicants that are 60 or older because the real issue with valve disorders is they cause early heart problems. To get this rating with AS, your AS should be minimal meaning the peak gradient is ≤15mmHg. If you have AI, the blood backflow should only be mild. In addition, you must be in overall decent health and not have other heart problems.
- Table Rating (substandard): This is where most applicants with the disorder get rated. Your rating will depend on how severe your condition is, your age, whether you have any other heart problems, and your overall health.
- Declines: Applicants with severe AS (valve opening)
Aortic Valve Disorder Insurance Case Studies
While an aortic valve disorder will make it harder to qualify for a policy, there are some ways you can get cheaper coverage. As a high-risk applicant, you need to do some work beforehand. To hammer this idea home, we will show you some stories of clients we’ve worked with.
Case Study: Male, 61 y/o, diagnosed with minimal aortic stenosis at 56, never caused any problems, overall in decent health
This applicant was in good health, it was surprising when he was diagnosed with minimal aortic stenosis at 61. He maintained his good health habits and the condition never developed into anything serious. After he applied, he got very bad rates.
While the applicant seemed fine, this isn’t enough for life insurance companies. We recommended he go for an echocardiogram to recheck his valve condition. The tests showed the AS was still minimal. This new information helped the applicant receive a Standard rating.
Case Study #2: Female, 59 y/o, diagnosed with mild AS at 56, used to be overweight and former smoker, taking statins for cholesterol
This applicant used to have an unhealthy lifestyle. She smoked, was overweight and had high cholesterol. When she was diagnosed with mild AS at 56, her doctor warned her that she needed to take better care of herself to avoid future heart trouble. She took this advice to heart and quit smoking, started taking statins regularly, and lost a lot of weight. All in all she was much healthier and this helped her AS from getting worse.
After she applied, her application was rejected. She was stunned. We told her the insurance company hasn’t seen enough of her changes. We suggested her go to her doctor and ask for a note which detailed her improved health and the improvements she made. After she did this, she was approved for a rated plan.
Getting Cheaper Life Insurance with Aortic Valve Disorders
As an applicant with a serious health condition like aortic valve disorder, you’re going to pay more for your plan. There is no ifs, ands, or buts, about it. Just because you’re going to pay more doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on your coverage.