Whether you are in the process of researching the requirements associated with a life insurance policy or have purchased one in the past, you most likely have quite a few questions about it. There are many challenges that come with acquiring life insurance, especially during the pre-qualification and underwriting stages. The following are some of the more common questions from people who are considered to be high-risk.
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1. Which Insurance Companies Accept Higher-Risk Individuals?
There isn’t any one insurance company that specializes in serving higher-risk individuals. There are a number of top-rated insurance carriers, including Prudential, MetLife, John Hancock and American General, among others, that underwrite certain kinds of risk. Reputable insurance advisers and agents are familiar with which companies specialize in certain risks and have developed strong relationships with these companies.
They can help you choose the right company to apply with to give you the best chance of being accepted.
2. Which Is The Best Insurance Company For Me?
To determine the best insurance company for you, get pre-qualified through gathering all of the required medical records and having a personal interview. All underwriting risks that you might pose are identified so that from the very beginning you will know what your potential challenges are.
Based on the results of your pre-qualification, your adviser or agent can help you find the best carriers that will provide you with the most competitive rates as well as a summary of all of the rates available in the marketplace. They will also be able to recommend which carriers you should apply for.
3. Will I Be “Pre-Approved” For My Insurance Coverage?
No, you won’t. With life insurance underwriting, there are no pre-approvals. You are only officially approved after submitting an application and going through the underwriting process. A pre-qualification provides you with a quoted rate that you will be approved for. So that means you can submit your formal application and know what your rate will be if you are approved.
4. Can Anybody Get Life Insurance?
No, life insurance is not guaranteed. Unfortunately, some people are not insurable. It could be based on having a serious drug habit, severe organ failure or other types of extreme financial, legal, lifestyle or medical risk factors, that insurance company will not take a chance on. It also becomes challenging to get a proper coverage at an affordable rate once you are over 80 years old. However, these cases are rare. Most individuals are immediately eligible for insurance coverage.
5. If I Am Considered Higher-Risk Will I Be Required To Pay A High Premium?
Not always. The key here is to find an insurance carrier who is very comfortable with underwriting whatever your particular risk is. Their specific level of expertise may mean that they don’t consider you to be a very high risk. People frequently are charged exorbitant rates due to the fact that they apply to an insurance company that doesn’t specialize in their specific risk.
When you choose the right insurance company for you, then the underwriting process is a lot clearer.
6. Will I Be Hurt By Being Rejected By Prior Life Insurance Applications?
Fortunately, no. The underwriter will order a copy of the file that the Medical Information Bureau has on you, which keeps a history of your insurance applications. This will tell them what underwriting decisions were made in your past applications. They will want to have more information if they see any ratings or rejections.
One benefit that a pre-qualification gives you is that your application history is put into context. People are often rated or declined due to applying to the wrong insurance company or because they were not represented sufficiently by their broker. You are ensured of getting a fresh start if everything is put into perspective whenever you reapply.
7. How Long Does The Pre-Qualification Process Take?
That will depend on the length of time that it takes to get accurate and thorough quote information. The main goal is providing a reliable and competitive quote as soon as possible. If all of the necessary information can be obtained in one personal interview, then it shouldn’t take more than a week to get pre-qualified. It could take a couple more weeks if medical records are needed, depending on how long it takes for your doctor’s office to provide a copy of your file. There are often third-party services used to increase efficiency and to stay on top of the process.
8. Can I Use The Medical Records That I Already Have?
Yes, you can. The more documentation that you have the better. They will most likely be useful for your pre-qualification process if they support and document the verbal disclosures you provide regarding your medical condition. Once your formal application is submitted, the underwriter most likely will order additional medical records in order to confirm that there aren’t any other underwriting issues that need to be addressed.
9. When I Apply To Get Life Insurance, Is My Personal Information Protected?
Everyone is concerned about their privacy these days, especially since we hear about all of the hacks going on at major companies all the time. There are safeguards that have been built into the application process to ensure that all the standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) are followed. Your insurance broker or agent should also make sure that your quote information can only be accessed by authorized personnel.
10. How Can I Ensure That I Don’t Lose The Insurance Policy That I Currently Have Before My New Once Replaces It?
You control this part of the process. The policy owner is the only one who has the ability to terminate your coverage. Brokers do not have the authority to do this. Use the following plan to ensure continuous insurance coverage:
- Keep your policy and continue to make payments.
- Change your premium mode over to quarterly so that you don’t end up having to pay past the time it will take for a new policy to be put into place.
- After your new coverage has gone into effect, contact your existing insurance carrier to have your previous policy canceled. Any unused premium should be refunded to you.
I hope that the answers to these questions will provide you with some peace of mind and confidence and encourage you to find the right life insurance coverage for you.