Life Insurance And Family History: What Matters?

Written by Jason Fisher

Life Insurance Family History

Your history can impact your life insurance rates.

An often overlooked piece of the underwriting puzzle for life insurance is your family history. Many clients we’ve worked with never even thought it was a concern, but it could knock you out of some discounts.

When you buy life insurance and family history is something which will need to be taken into account, you should understand what will impact your final rating and premium.

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Even if you are perfectly healthy, you might end up with a standard rating!  Keep reading if you’re interested in learning more about buying life insurance while pregnant.

A family history won’t get you declined, but it may cause you to pay more in the long run. Do you have a condition called epilepsy and want to know if you can qualify for life insurance with epilepsy? We can help answer these questions for you.

Life Insurance And Family History

Your family history can affect your life insurance approval because there can be some underlying factors which mean you are more risky to a life insurance company. While some family histories won’t matter, others make a big difference. Some of the main things underwriters look for in your bloodline are:

But just because there are occurrences in your family, doesn’t mean they count against you. On an application, most companies ask strictly to your immediate family. This is your biological parents, brothers, and sisters only. Grandparents and cousins aren’t direct enough to make an impact.

Also, the tolerance towards the disease is multi-level. Here are additional questions which will be asked if you have to answer “yes” to any of the above listed health concerns:

  1. At what age did the disease occur?
  2. At what age did the family member die?
  3. How many family members have dealt with a concern?
  4. Were there outside factors involved?

Most of the time, if the family member who had a disease didn’t have any signs or diagnosis until after the age of 70, it likely won’t affect you much. On the other hand, if it happened before 50, it’s probably going to have a pretty big impact on a discounted rate or two.

Also, if the family member still lived a long life, this could work in your favor. As modern medicine evolves, health risks which were very debilitating years ago can be maintained for years to come.

If multiple members of your immediate family have dealt with the same or different health risks, this could play against your rate. Life insurance and family history is extra sensitive if there are multiple members, and multiple diseases. But remember, if they occurred late in life, it may not.

If the family member in discussion had external factors which caused or were a major contributing factor to the disease, let someone know. For example, the family member could have worked with hazardous materials, they may have been a smoker and got lung cancer, whereas you haven’t ever touched a cigarette before, or any other environmental factor which you’ve not been exposed to.

What Ratings Can I Expect?

Life insurance and family history, while the following is only a guideline, can be achieve the following. Not all companies have equal underwriting practices also, so there could be other factors involved.

Best Class Ratings

These top notch ratings are reserved for those with little to not family history. But even if you’ve had a parent who died before the age of 70 because of a disease, you may still get it. It will mostly depend on what disease they had and how old they were when they got it.

Knockout Example: Cardiovascular disease before age 50 will likely get you removed out of this category by most carriers, even if death didn’t occur until later.

Preferred Class Ratings

The second best class available, the preferred rates can go to those who have a family history, but one which has minimal impact to you. If you had multiple members who had a disease before 70, you can probably expect to be bumped to this category by more than half of the life insurance companies. There are a few who will even allow early diagnosis of a disease for this risk class.

Knockout Example: Cardiovascular disease before age 50 resulting in death will bump you out of this category by the majority of companies.

Standard Plus Ratings

This is the last discount you might still be able to qualify for if your family’s past was an issue. This risk class is reserved for instances where a family member passed early due to a disease. As long as it is only one family member, this can be attained quite regularly.

Knockout Example: One parent was diagnosed early with diabetes, and passed early in life. Second parent had heart disease and died before 50.

The Way Around Family History

Luckily for you, there are companies who offer life insurance outside of these guidelines! We have been able to get coverage for someone who had a family history of heart disease before 50, as well as other hits on their personal profile, at a Best Class rating.

The company you work with will make a difference  in a lot of situations, so you may want to contact us before applying to make sure the carrier you’re seeking will offer you all the discounts you deserve.

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