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It is recommended that you get life insurance when you are younger and healthy to safeguard your family’s financial situation in case something happens to you. However, if you should suffer from a critical illness, getting a life insurance policy is still possible, although it will be more expensive compared to when you were healthier.

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What is Critical Illness?

This is an illness that is considered life-threatening either in the short or long term. Several major diseases are considered critical, which include, but are not limited to the following;

  • Heart Disease: Over 28 million Americans were diagnosed in 2016
  • Breast Cancer: It is estimated that about 288,000 per year will be diagnosed
  • Diabetes: Over 37.3 million Americans are estimated to have this disease
Hospital Medical Care

Any illness that is left untreated and will most likely claim your life as a result is considered a critical illness. Whether short-term such as heart disease, which may lead to a heart attack to long terms, such as diabetes. It is true that some critical illnesses, such as breast cancer, have a high survival rate which is mostly attributed to early detection and vigorous treatment.

Critical Illness Life Insurance

If you have a family history or are concerned that you might contract a critical illness, you can have a critical illness rider attached to your policy. Some are specific, such as breast cancer, while not adding much to your premiums.

Of course, you must be healthy before purchasing such a policy, but it can provide advantages. This is particularly the case if it offers living benefits that can be used to help pay expenses.

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Life Insurance and Critical Illness

While the purpose of life insurance is to protect your family in case the worst should happen to you, a critical illness is still no barrier. However, the type of life insurance you receive will depend on the policies of the insurance company that you choose.

Standard: In most cases, those with a critical illness will not be accepted for standard life insurance as the risks are simply too high for the insurance company. There may be exceptions, so you must ask your insurance agent.

Guaranteed: This life insurance does not require any medical exam or health questions. Even those who are critically ill can purchase this form of insurance. However, it is also the most expensive form of life insurance, and the full benefits will not kick in for the first two years with most policies.

No Medical Exam: This form of life insurance does not have a medical exam, but there will be questions about your health.

Those who are critically ill will have to reveal their condition when asked. Otherwise, the life insurance policy will be rejected or canceled when the information is discovered. Depending on the nature of your critical illness, you may or may not be accepted.

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The bottom line is that you can purchase life insurance, even if you are critically ill. You should expect to pay a high premium for the coverage depending on the nature and status of your illness.


Meet Aaron H., a senior life insurance agent from California with 15+ years of experience. With a major in finance, excellent analytical and communication skills, and a passion for helping clients find personalized solutions, Aaron is a trusted advisor in the industry. He stays up-to-date on the latest trends and developments by attending webinars and workshops, reading industry blogs, and writing informative blog posts on this website. Aaron also has a keen understanding of SEO and online marketing, which he uses to help his clients reach a wider audience and get the coverage they need. He cherishes spending quality time with his wife, two children, and elder parents.