When shopping for life insurance, high blood pressure or treated blood pressure can complicate the process.
If you currently have high blood pressure, getting life insurance will be more difficult.
The higher your blood pressure, the more chances you will be excluded from the best life insurance rates and policies. However, there are still insurance companies that will offer favorable rates for those with high blood pressure or being treated for high blood pressure under the right conditions.
Your specific blood pressure rate is important to insurance companies, but whether you take medication or not is also important. Your average readings for the past year or two will be taken into consideration when you have high blood pressure or treated blood pressure.
Why Life Insurance Companies are concerned about Hypertension
When a life insurance applicant has high blood pressure (hypertension), it means that there is the potential for serious health problems, making that person a high risk life insurance individual.
Here are some, but not all, of the potential health complications that could contribute towards a premature fatality that would require a life insurance company to pay a death claim:
- Strokes and Transient ischemic attacks
- Heart attacks
- Possibly cause sleep apnea
- Artery damage and aneurysms
- Kidney failure and scarring
- Heart disease and heart failure
Obviously, an applicant with these conditions would make that person a high-risk category for insurers. There are other health-related complications that aren’t necessarily life-threatening. However, conditions such as poor eyesight resulting from damage to the eyes, bone loss due to excessive elimination of calcium in the urine, problems with having sex for both men and women, and possible dementia would be issues that are not of immediate concern for life insurance companies but are real nonetheless.
Life Insurance and Blood Pressure Readings
It is very important that an individual who has been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure understand and monitor their blood pressure readings.
Blood pressure readings are composed of 2 numbers and they are usually displayed as a ratio. The top number is called the Systolic reading, and it measures the fluid pressure in the arteries when the heart is beating. The second number (bottom number) is Diastolic and measures the pressures in the artery in between the heartbeats.
These numbers are measured by the pressure in terms of the millimeters of mercury. The American Heart Association has the following guideline recommendations for categories of Blood Pressure:
mm Hg (upper #)
mm Hg (lower #)
|Normal||less than 120||and||less than 80|
|Prehypertension||120 – 139||or||80 – 89|
|High Blood Pressure|
(Hypertension) Stage 1
|140 – 159||or||90 – 99|
|High Blood Pressure|
(Hypertension) Stage 2
|160 or higher||or||100 or higher|
(Emergency care needed)
|Higher than 180||or||Higher than 110|
Most life insurance companies prefer that your blood pressure readings are in the prehypertension range or better in order to get their preferred rates.
Life Insurance Companies consider Blood Pressure Medications
When you need life insurance with high blood pressure, taking medications may count against you with some life insurance companies. This is true even if the medication keeps your blood pressure at healthy levels. If your blood pressure is under control, insurance companies prefer that it has remained under control for a long time. However, if your blood pressure is still fluctuating, it could count against you. Some companies have a specific time frame that they prefer your levels to be under control.
Almost all of the typical medications that are being used today to treat high blood pressure can be taken orally. Some of the most popular ones are:
- Metoprolol succinate
- Toprol XL
Make sure when applying for life insurance, that you know the exact dosages of the medications you are taking. This will be one of the questions that you will have to answer either to your insurance agent, a paramed examiner, or to a life insurance company employee.
In addition to the normal pharmaceutical’s prescribed by doctors, you will find many homeopathic treatments and natural non-drug treatments being advertised for treatment of high blood pressure.
Some of these are:
- Herbal teas
- Calamarine oil
- Seaweed extracts
Always check with your pharmacist before taking something new, even over the counter, to see if it interacts with any high blood pressure medications you may be taking.
Life Insurance with Blood Pressure Other Considerations
In addition to medications, life insurance companies always look at the total picture when they are doing their underwriting. In other words, they look at the total health and lifestyle of the applicant.
Here are other factors they will look at when deciding whether to offer a life insurance policy to a high risk individual:
- Tobacco Use
- Height and Weight Build Charts
- Family History
- Other medical conditions related to High Blood Pressure such as cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, poor eyesight, etc.
- Level of exercise or physical activity
The life insurance premiums you are eligible for may be limited when you have been diagnosed with hypertension, or high blood pressure. However it is possible to get a favorable policy for a low rate if you have a steady history of keeping your blood pressure under control. Your overall health will also be a factor. If you don’t smoke and have no other health problems, you will likely have a variety of life insurance offers.
Keep in mind that almost all Life insurance companies have varying degrees of underwriting, and are lenient on some factors and are stringent on others. For example, Banner Life, Mutual of Omaha, Genworth, Provident all have different requirements and rates for individuals with high blood pressure.
If you are trying to find the best rate on your own, it would be almost impossible to do it without spending a lot of time and a lot of multiple applications.
We can help submit your information to the insurance companies that we already know are more lenient with high blood pressure readings, smoking (if applicable), overweight, etc. This can save you time and money by calling us or completing our Compare Rates form.
Tips for better Life Insurance Rates
So if you need life insurance with high blood pressure, what are you to do? Here are some common sense important steps that can help. You probably know these, but it is a matter of doing them, not just knowing to do them. So do it – start now:
- Increase physical activity: Multiple studies show that moderate exercise can reduce high blood pressure for both men and women. This could be something as simple as walking briskly. Easy to do and costs very little.
- Eat a healthy diet: WebMD recommends the DASH diet
- ADD: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, nuts & low fat dairy foods
- SUBTRACT: foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fats, sodium, sweets, sugary drinks and red meat
- Reduce your bad habits such as using tobacco products and overindulging in alcoholic beverages.
- Keep your blood pressure under control with medications if necessary. It is better to have controlled HBP with medication than to have it uncontrolled just to say you don’t take any prescriptions.
Applying for Life Insurance with High Blood Pressure
So you’ve been told by your banker, your spouse, your attorney or CPA, your Financial Planner, or you have realized on your own that you need to apply for life insurance. Here are best practices for getting the best rate with high blood pressure.
- Go back and read the previous section and follow the tips
- Have a list of all your medications and the last 5 or so Blood Pressure Readings
- Try to know about how much you can afford to add life insurance premiums to your monthly budget
- Call us at or complete our Compare Quotes form on the right side of this page
- Begin to gather your list of all your medical providers and dates of services for the times you have been to see them in the past 2 years
- Be prepared to answer questions about your family history and your history of High Blood Pressure (when you were first diagnosed), and any other related health conditions
One of the final decisions you will need to make is to know the difference between term life insurance and permanent life insurance. Many times if you have a health condition that causes your life insurance premiums to be surcharged, or “rated up”, then you want to find the cheapest life insurance premiums you can.
Another option for those applicants in the high-risk life insurance category is to consider going the route of applying for a no exam life insurance policy. These are guaranteed acceptance plans– they can cost a little more but are generally available even to individuals with uncontrolled high blood pressure.
We can help you do this because we represent many different life insurance companies that are lenient on high blood pressure applicants. We can save your time by doing the shopping for you.
Even though there may not be immediate pressure to buy life insurance today, keep in mind that having life insurance for high risk individuals is even more important than for someone in excellent health.
Life insurance death benefits can be used for final expense needs, college funding for children, salary continuation for the surviving spouse, philanthropic donations to a favorite charity, and obviously to pay off any personal or business debts.