When faced with the reality that life insurance rates are going to be higher than expected due to high blood pressure readings on an insurance exam, denial is the mode of the day. People don’t deny that their blood pressure was high. It just follows that there will be a string of excuses such as, 1. I had to fight traffic all the way home to make the appointment. 2. I had to watch the kids while the exam was being done and they were a bit crazy. 3. The examiner was annoying me with all the questions. 4. I didn’t sleep well the night before.

The truth is that all of those things can raise the blood pressure of someone who is susceptible to spikes in their blood pressure. So what’s the big deal? Why don’t life insurance underwriters just accept the excuse and ignore the readings?

High blood pressure is a contributing factor to stroke and heart attacks. If a person is prone to spikes in their blood pressure over things that normally occur in life, that means that their chance of hypertension doing damage is higher than the average person. Life insurance is all about assessing risk and clearly a susceptibility to spikes in blood pressure is a risk.

If you have a good independent agent working for you, they will likely work with the underwriter to get a new set of readings in the absence of the stress. An underwriter will average these in with the original and hopefully you will gain some ground. That’s only about the rates you pay though.

While you might be able to dodge the bullet in your life insurance rates, in my opinion you should still recognize that their is a gun aimed at you. Don’t ignore the fact that your blood pressure shoots up in stressful, but real life, situations. To me this handwriting on the wall should be a heads up to a cork that could blow at any time, given the wrong circumstance. See your doctor if your blood pressure is high on an insurance exam. While it may be normal under some conditions for it to be higher than usual,  being above the normal range should be checked out.

This post is somewhat dated. Life insurance underwriting is changing and evolving continually. For more updated information check out some of the key word links. If you have a specific question or topic you need information for do a search. If you don’t find the answers you need contact me and we’ll make sure you get the information that is important to you.