Are you blackballed when you are declined for life insurance?

In the 18th century blackballing was simply voting using a black versus white ball. In more recent times it came to mean a removing someone from consideration. Being blackballed Is serious stuff no matter what the context. In life insurance blackballing would mean that a future life insurance application would be unjustifiably denied the right to even be considered for approval. Let me be very clear. What one life insurance decides, in this case to decline your application, has no impact at all on the underwriting process with another company. Much has been made of a theoretical role that the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) plays in the purported blackballing. That too is false. MIB stores medical information but absolutely, 100%, does not store any information on what action a company took based on the medical information.

So, what are your chances of being approved after a decline?

All life insurance companies have an underwriting guide they follow. It may be their own or it may be the guidelines of a larger company that carries part of their risk, called a reinsurance company. It is an absolute fact that all companies don’t use the same underwriting guidelines. The guidelines vary so much that what is a clear reason for a decline with one company can actually be approved, even at the best rate class, with another company. A decline for type 1 diabetes would be a certainty with all but a handful of life insurance companies, so your chances of being approved are very low unless you find an agent that knows who that handful of companies are. If you use an agent that specializes in hard to find approvals, your chances of being approved, even after several declines, are very good.

Let me make this really clear. There are over 1000 companies that sell life insurance in the US. If you are HIV+  and it is well controlled, there are 3 companies that will approve you for life insurance. There are at least 200,000 life insurance agents and, while I can’t prove this, I would be shocked if more than 50 of those agents knew which 3 companies would approve and what their approval criteria are. The right agent will know the right company and can turn almost any decline into an approval.

There are medical issues that all traditional life insurance companies agree should be declined. All stage 4 cancers would be a good example. That is prudent underwriting though, not blackballing. That may mean you have to turn to a more non-traditional route like guaranteed issue life insurance, but even with stage 4 cancer not all doors are closed.

Here’s how to win!

At Hinerman Group we have educated ourselves and focused for 20 years on getting approvals for people who have been declined for life insurance. There are others that are equally focused and dedicated. They would be part of the 50 I mentioned above and if you find one of them you will be well served.

Bottom line. What can you do about being declined for life insurance?  You’re in luck. You already found me. If you have questions, have been declined or believe your health issues might not get a fair shake, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.