I’m working on one of those stranger than fiction life insurance cases right now. When I shopped it and got the first round of responses I literally sent all of them back out and ask them if they had read my request correctly. Surely they had missed something when a perfectly healthy guy got two table 6 offers and Banner Life refused to even make an offer. Now I’ve certainly tipped my impaired risk life insurance opinion when I said the client is perfectly healthy, which he is, so what could fluff up so many life insurance underwriters?

So, the facts. The client is 45 years old, 6’1, 185 and a non smoker, a business executive needing life insurance. So far so good. He exercises abundantly, doesn’t drink and has never done drugs. His father had a heart attack at age 67, had an angioplasty and 8 years later is living a healthy, normal life. At the time his Dad had the heart attack the client was 37, a successful business man with executive health care coverage that had no boundaries to its’ eagerness to pay for preventive health care. His Dad’s MI led him to ask questions with his doctor and the doctor explained that CAD (coronary artery disease) doesn’t just suddenly pop up and cause a heart attack, that in all likelihood his Dad had CAD for a long time before the cardio mishap. So he tapped his executive health plan for a cardiac checkup just for a baseline and lo and behold he had some very minor plaque buildup that showed up on a cardiac scan. They followed that with an angiogram that confirmed very early stage CAD, a good find, but if he took care of himself and monitored the situation on a regular basis, nothing that would leave him in fear of a Father/Son replay.

So eight years later he has had three stress tests, two angiograms and is treated preventively to keep his lipid panel in the stellar range that it is and has been. His cholesterol is 157, hdl 49, trigs 112. His other labs are all where they should be. This is the second post in a row I’m going to digress. Hope that’s not a symptom of something. If this client had never even looked into the possibility of a genetic cardiac link and possible CAD, he could have applied for life insurance and the only blemish would have been his family history,  father’s MI, but after age 60 and even with the most conservative companies, after age 65, it wouldn’t have affected him at all. Slam dunk preferred plus. In fact if he had been pushing the limit on weight for the best rate class, never exercised, had a lipid panel that just barely made it to the best rate class, and generally didn’t care about his health as is true with most guys his age, he would have still be approved at preferred plus. If he had continued to ignore his cardiac health the company that approved him at preferred plus could have just taken their first step toward paying a $2 million claim when he had the big one at age 60.

But, he’s smart. He’s proactive. He has a wife and children that he wants to hang out with forever so one life insurance company won’t even touch him because he has “early onset CAD”. Two of them would rate his life insurance as if he, not his Dad had the heart attack and the best case was a standard rate from half a dozen companies. Now call me stupid, but I suspect that almost everyone who has a heart attack in their 50’s or 60’s could be linked back to “early onset CAD”, but if they have that heart attack and survive they could get better offers than at least the three worst quotes he received.

Bottom line. I am in no way advocating that people don’t proactively consider their family history, but based on this real example of life insurance underwriting, you might want to buy your life insurance first. Even though my client has been tentatively approved for the best standard rate class out there I will be actively begging the underwriter to consider preferred during the whole process. If you have any questions or have been killed by life insurance underwriting when logic says you shouldn’t have, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.

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