- Life Insurance and High Blood Pressure: Background
- Getting Life Insurance with High Blood Pressure
- What is a Rated Policy?
- Can You Be Denied Life Insurance for High Blood Pressure?
- Does High Blood Pressure Increase Life Insurance?
- What are the Typical Life Insurance Rates with High Blood Pressure?
- What Life Insurance Types Can You Get with High Blood Pressure?
- What is the Best Life Insurance for People with High Blood Pressure in Canada?
Life Insurance and High Blood Pressure: Background
Blood pressure is a measure of the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. It’s an important indicator of your overall health, as high blood pressure can be a sign of cardiovascular disease. According to Statistics Canada, nearly one in five Canadians suffer from high blood pressure.
Normal blood pressure for most adults is defined as a systolic pressure (the top number) of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure (the bottom number) of less than 80. Elevated blood pressure is when the systolic reading is between 120-129 and the diastolic reading is below 80.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, occurs when either or both numbers are higher than 130/80 mmHg over several readings. When it reaches crisis level, both numbers are usually above 180/120 mmHg.
It’s important to monitor your blood pressure regularly and take steps to keep it within healthy limits. This includes eating a balanced diet low in salt and saturated fats, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, and not smoking.
High blood pressure is a pre-condition that can affect life insurance rates. Let’s take a closer look at the impact and how to get life insurance when you have high blood pressure.
Getting Life Insurance with High Blood Pressure
Having high blood pressure doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from getting life insurance coverage. However, the severity of your condition plays a critical role in determining your eligibility. Individuals who have effectively managed their hypertension through medication, diet, and exercise may qualify for competitive rates with traditional life insurance providers.
However, those with untreated or prolonged high blood pressure, especially if it has persisted for some time, face the risk of being declined. These individuals can explore no medical life insurance, which does not come with a medical exam, just a brief health questionnaire.
For those who face possible rejection for a traditional policy, guaranteed issue life insurance could be an option. It’s important to note, however, that guaranteed issue policies tend to be expensive, come with low coverage caps, and only pay out for accidental deaths (not health related death) during the first two policy years. If a health-related death occurs, the policy returns the premiums to the beneficiary.
When choosing a policy, health factors play a vital role. In addition to undergoing a medical exam for a traditional policy, applicants may be asked several questions about their age, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, stress management, diet, medication, blood pressure history, treatment compliance, and co-existing conditions such as obesity or stroke.
Remember, simplified issue policies come with a list of questions but no medical exam, while guaranteed life insurance policies have neither a medical exam nor a questionnaire. Between traditional, simplified issue, and guaranteed issue, it is possible to get life insurance if you have hypertension.
What is a Rated Policy?
Those with high blood pressure that is controlled with good lifestyle habits and/or medication may be offered a rated policy. This is standard/traditionally underwritten insurance that is offered at a higher premium to offset the increased risk to the insurer. Let’s take a closer look.
Rated life insurance is a policy issued to individuals who are considered a higher risk by the insurance company due to their health, lifestyle, or occupation. This type of policy comes with higher premiums as it compensates for the increased probability of the insured person passing away sooner than expected. Simply put, insurance companies use underwriting guidelines to determine the risk associated with insuring an individual. If an applicant falls outside the standard risk profile, they may be offered a rated policy with higher premiums to account for the increased risk.
While rated life insurance policies come with higher premiums, they provide valuable financial protection for individuals who may not qualify for standard coverage. It’s essential to compare different policy options and work with an experienced insurance broker to find the best coverage for your unique needs.
Can You Be Denied Life Insurance for High Blood Pressure?
Being denied life insurance solely based on high blood pressure is rare. Usually, additional risk factors will contribute to the denial. However, if you are declined, seeking medical treatment and making lifestyle changes may increase your chances of approval within six months.
If you are not eligible for a traditional life insurance policy, the insurance company may offer a simplified issue or guaranteed issue policy instead. Keep in mind that these policies typically provide less coverage at a higher cost, especially with guaranteed issue policies. Nonetheless, it is better to have some coverage than none at all.
Does High Blood Pressure Increase Life Insurance?
Rates can be affected by high blood pressure. The premiums you receive, whether standard or rated, will depend on how long you have had high blood pressure and how well you are able to manage it. Additionally, your diet and lifestyle choices may also factor into your rates. Most insurance companies consider a blood pressure above 130/80 to be high.
High blood pressure can also serve as an indicator of other potential health problems such as heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes. As the risk associated with insuring you increases, so do your rates.
What are the Typical Life Insurance Rates with High Blood Pressure?
Generally speaking, the overview below shows how most Canadian life insurers treat high blood pressure in their underwriting process. A broker will help you find your ideal policy, which is always based on a number of factors.
|Insurer A||Standard rates||Substandard rates
(i.e. increased rates)
|Insurer B||Depends on the severity and control. If treated, well controlled and has regular follow-ups with attending physician, rates can usually be standard||Possible high rating (i.e. more expensive rates)||Decline|
|Insurer C||In most cases can be offered standard rates if well-controlled and compliant with medication||Possible high rating (i.e. more expensive rates)||Decline|
These sample rates show the broad range of premiums for life insurance with high blood pressure, and why working with a broker can help you secure the best premium and policy for your condition.
- A 40-year-old male, non-smoker, in good health, for a traditionally underwritten policy with coverage of $500,000 on a 20-year term: $45-$180/monthly.
- A 40-year-old male, non-smoker, some pre-conditions, for a simplified issue policy with coverage of $500,000 on a 20-year term: $60-$180/monthly.
- A 40-year-old male, non-smoker, in poor health, for a guaranteed issue policy with coverage of $40,000: $89/monthly.
What Types of Life Insurance Can You Get with High Blood Pressure?
Depending on your condition, you could be offered standard, rated, simplified issue, or guaranteed issue insurance.
Standard life insurance refers to a policy where the applicant is considered to be of average or safe risk and therefore receives an insurance rate that reflects this. Rated insurance is when the applicant is considered to be higher risk and is charged a higher premium for coverage. Simplified life insurance is a policy that does not require a medical exam. The applicant may still need to answer a few health-related questions, but the process is quicker and more forgiving than traditional underwriting. Guaranteed life insurance is a policy that guarantees acceptance regardless of the applicant’s health. However, these policies often have limited coverage amounts, higher premiums, may have age restrictions, and usually don’t pay out during the first two policy years for a health-related death (premiums are returned to the beneficiary in such cases).
This chart shows the breakdown of the various types of non medical life insurance you can get with high blood pressure.
|Insurance Type||Medical Exam||Detailed Medical Questionnaire||Short Questionnaire||Coverage Limits||Important to Know|
|Simplified Issue Life Insurance||No||No||Yes||$1,000,000||Yes, most applicants can typically qualify for this insurance.
Questionnaires will vary across providers.
|Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance||No||No||No||$25,000
|Yes, you can always qualify for this one.|
What is the Best Life Insurance for People with High Blood Pressure in Canada?
Numerous Canadian life insurance companies provide life insurance for people with high blood pressure. Let our brokers assist you in comparing rates and deciding which policy option – traditional, simplified, or guaranteed issue – is best for you. Our team of knowledgeable life insurance brokers are available to help you right now. Fill out the quote request to get started.