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What if my health changes after I buy life insurance?

There are plenty of precedents where insurance penalizes you when something happens. Car insurance immediately comes to mind when they raise your rates because you have a speeding ticket (or two). So, can your life insurance rates be changed if your health changes? Let’s look at this from two perspectives, both of which have the kind of outcome you want.

What if my health improves after I buy life insurance?

This is fairly common occurrence. You buy life insurance and on the exam you weigh more than you thought you did (or more than you hoped you did), or some lab result(s) are out of the normal range, resulting in an approval at a higher rate than you had hoped for. This triggers two actions if you are working with Hinerman Group. The first thing we do is look at the underwriting guidelines of other life insurance companies to see if we can simply move your business and get you the price you wanted. That works out in a lot of cases. If we can’t improve the outcome by moving to another life insurance company, then we have a discussion about what is called a reconsideration.

Most life insurance companies will allow a reconsideration at the first anniversary of your new policy. Of course that means losing that weight or seeing your doctor and coming up with a plan to get your labs in the normal range, but the reward is that the company will lower the price back to what it would have been. Furthermore the price will stay at the lower rate for the rest of the life of your policy without having to prove that the weight stayed off or your labs got out of whack again.

What if my health takes a nosedive after I buy life insurance?

This is one of the true gold nuggets with life insurance. Once approved and in force the life insurance company won’t ask about your health again. There is an assumption built into all life insurance that some people’s health will stay the same or improve and some people’s health won’t fare so well. It all balances out so your price stays the same no matter what health problems you have down the road. Another piece to this good news is that if you have term life insurance and want to convert all or part of it to permanent life insurance, you can make that change at the same rate class you were originally approved at, guaranteed.

Except for John Hancock!

I would be remiss to not mention that John Hancock has a super competitive product called Protection Term with Vitality. The company assigns you a Vitality status when you are first approved. You then share your health status with them on an annual basis. If you have, say, a Gold status when approved but over the ensuing years you don’t do the things that qualified you for that status (regular exercise, regular doctor visits, etc), they can lower your status to Bronze or Silver and raise your rates. I don’t recommend any product that gives a company the right to raise your rates.

If you have questions, or if I can help you find a better rate for your health challenges, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.