Life Insurance With Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Written by Jason Fisher

Life Insurance With Shingles

Shingles affects many Americans in many different ways.

Curious to know if you can still buy life insurance with shingles? Those who either have or have had shingles have many questions about how they’ll be viewed by the insurance company.

We have those answers.

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In short, you can find life insurance with shingles, as long as you don’t have any major complications which might otherwise prohibit you from qualifying. For some, shingles is mild and not invasive. For others, it can be much worse. If you are searching for life insurance with other conditions like COPD, we have options for you as well.

If you are looking to buy life insurance with shingles in your medical history, keep reading to find out what you need to know before applying.

Life Insurance With Shingles

For those of you who aren’t familiar with shingles, let’s first discuss what it is, then we’ll discover why it’s so important for a life insurance underwriter to inquire about your shingles.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful, blistering skin rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This is the virus that also causes chickenpox.

After you get chickenpox, the virus remains inactive (becomes dormant) in certain nerves in the body. Shingles occurs after the virus becomes active again in these nerves after many years.

The reason the virus suddenly becomes active again is not clear. Often only one attack occurs.

Shingles can develop in any age group. You are more likely to develop the condition if:

  • You are older than 60
  • You had chickenpox before age 1
  • Your immune system is weakened by medications or disease

If an adult or child has direct contact with the shingles rash and did not have chickenpox as a child or the chickenpox vaccine, they can develop chickenpox, not shingles.

While a high percentage of people get chickenpox, only about 1 in 3 people end up developing shingles later in life. Just because you had chickenpox before doesn’t mean your time bomb is ticking until you get shingles, too.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Tingling, burning skin
  • Rashes
  • Blisters
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

Shingles can be pretty mild and last just a couple weeks from start to finish. If this is all you experience, you won’t have any trouble finding life insurance with shingles on your records, especially if you have no long term effects to speak of.

Where is shingles a concern for life insurance?

Unfortunately, shingles isn’t this simple for everyone. There can be complications, of which some are quite severe. The complications are where you may start to find some difficulty in finding affordable coverage. Cheaper life insurance with shingles is dependent on no chronic issues.

Here are some complications which could occur which might hinder getting the top tier results for life insurance with shingles:

  • Postherpetic Neuralgia (PHN)
  • Pneumonia
  • Blindness
  • Hearing Issues
  • Encephalitis

Although most cases are treatable, especially when caught early, a few cases of shingles do result in death.

What ratings can you expect for life insurance with shingles?

If you’re healthy and have no complications with your shingles, you’re a top tier candidate. Because shingles is mostly treated then cleared up, it’s not a long term concern for a life insurance carrier.

If your shingles presented you only minor issues, you can still get some discounted rates, depending on the time frame in which you’re applying. The further out you apply from having any complications directly tied to the shingles, the better.

All other applications for life insurance with shingles complications will be taken on a case-by-case basis, and the new underlying medical condition is now the main concern. It will be noted the issue was caused by the shingles episode you had, but this won’t eliminate the risk it entails.

To determine how risky you might be to the insurer, here are some question to ask yourself:

  1. What age did your shingles develop?
  2. How long did your shingles last?
  3. How long has it been since your last symptom?
  4. Do you have any lingering issues?
  5. Are you still prescribed medicines? If so, which ones?
  6. Did your shingles effect any physical control of any body part(s)?
  7. Were your eyes or ears affected?
  8. Did you have any complications? If so, are they still present?
  9. What other health concerns do you have unrelated to shingles?
  10. and more…

Remember, even if you are safe to buy life insurance with shingles, it doesn’t mean you other health problems won’t be a root cause for difficult underwriting. Your overall health still has be in order to qualify for the best life insurance rates.

If you have any questions or concerns about your particular bout with shingles, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we’ll be sure to assist you.


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