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  • Writer's pictureWing Chan

Which Medical Issues Affect Your Life Insurance Premiums

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

When applying for life insurance, you will surely be asked several questions about your health and your family's health history. This is because a life insurance underwriter determines your monthly premiums based on your health and genetic tendencies. But which medical issues will really make an impact on your rates, and which ones will the insurance underwriters simply gloss over? Here are six medical issues that can affect your life insurance premiums (and that might be checked during your medical exam and blood tests):

1. Heart Disease

Heart health is one of the most important medical issues that life insurance underwriters take into account. Because most heart issues typically occur in older people, it's best to get life insurance when you're a young adult. When you buy young, you can lock in a good rate and be covered in case any heart issues arise in the future.

2. DiabetesIf you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you can have a hard time getting life insurance. However, if you can prove that your diabetes is under control, your chances of approval are better. But while you CAN qualify for life insurance, your premiums will almost certainly be higher. How high depends on a lot of factors, including family history, obesity, high blood pressure, and more.

3. ObesityYour weight is one of the first questions you'll be asked about on your life insurance application. If your BMI is too high, you'll be automatically disqualified for certain plans. Life insurance companies take weight seriously because obesity is one of the leading causes of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health complications.

4. CancerTwenty years ago, it was almost impossible to get life insurance if you had cancer. Today, it's much more possible, but your premiums will likely be higher. Underwriters will take various factors into account to determine your premiums, including the type of cancer you had, how long you've been in remission, and the general state of your health.

5. Sleep ApneaSleep apnea is when a person stops breathing repeatedly during sleep. Sometimes breathing stops for a few seconds, sometimes for a few minutes. Sleep apnea can lead to hypertension, heart problems, lung issues and puts you at greater risk for accidents while driving which is why this condition will affect your life insurance premiums.

6. High Blood PressureWhile high blood pressure is a common condition, it will still affect your life insurance premiums. High blood pressure puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, kidney and arterial damage, and more. If you have high blood pressure that's under control, make sure to provide your insurance company with proof of how you're managing it; this can help you get lower premiums.

Honorable Mention

Mental Health Issues

Mental health issues are a bit of a gray area when it comes to life insurance since they vary in symptoms and severity. The ones that are taken quite seriously by underwriters are depression and anxiety. But if you can prove that you're taking the appropriate medications and managing your illness, you should be able to get approved, albeit with higher rates.


While smoking is more of a lifestyle choice than an actual medical issue, it too bears mentioning since it can lead to a whole slew of medical issues. In fact, smoking can cause such serious complications that smokers can sometimes pay significantly more for an insurance policy than non-smokers.

Tell the Whole Truth and Nothing but the TruthWhen it comes to medical issues and mental health issues, you may be tempted to fudge some paperwork or omit a certain condition altogether. While it's tempting, avoid this at all costs! If the worst-case scenario happens and you die, the insurance company will almost always investigate the cause of death. If they find out that you weren't truthful on your application, they may even attempt to deny the payout. And that is completely contrary to your goal, which is to take care of your loved ones if something happens to you.

Sproutt insurance advisors are available to help you determine what kind of life insurance is best for you. Simply answer a few questions and we will find the best-value plan for your lifestyle, needs, and budget.

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