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What Are Life Insurance Underwriting Guidelines?

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One of the biggest advantages of working with an experienced high risk life insurance agency is our understanding of life insurance underwriting guidelines. These guidelines is one of the biggest factors which separates carriers, and why we pair people with companies who have life insurance underwriting guidelines which fit their specific situation. An agent who works for a captive life insurance agency will only be able to access the products of one company, where an independent agent will have over 50 carriers in which we have the availability to work with.

Life insurance underwriting guidelines can be very confusing for the average consumer to navigate and many times people decide to never purchase a policy because it just becomes too much. Even the most experienced life insurance agent can find themselves spending hours searching through life insurance underwriting guidelines in order to find the right product for their client. This is why we have resources which can help us based upon any medical conditions or budget someone is trying to design a policy within.

Understanding Life Insurance Underwriting Guidelines

Life insurance underwriting guidelines are the set of rules in which life insurance carriers use to decide if they are going to offer coverage, and at what rate. These guidelines take into a variety of different factors which are considered risk characteristics of the insured. Some of the most common factors which go into life insurance underwriting guidelines include:

Your age and sex will play a role in your ability to find affordable life insurance rates. Generally, the older you are the more expensive your premiums will be for life insurance.

This is just due to life expectancy and when you are older you have less time to pay into a policy so it must become more expensive. Another factor which many people do not consider is whether you are a male or female. Women can expect to pay lower premiums than a male of the same age and health. This is because women statistically will live longer than men. Any risky hobbies or health concerns you have, or have had, can affect your premiums based on a variety of different factors.

Another aspect is whether or not you should undergo an exam. There are policies where you can skip it, though you may end up paying more. While the increase would be small, it would save time, you would avoid the pesky exam, and it would also help in situations where you weren’t sure if would be approved if you did go through the blood work, due to high cholesterol, for example.

As of January of 2018, you can get up to $2,000,000 of no exam term life insurance from Haven Life.

Just remember, the most elite no exam life insurance carriers are ones you may not have heard of before. We can help you find the best no exam companies, so get a quote here to get started if you want to forego the medical.

Different Carriers, Different Rates

Something which the average consumer does not understand is different life insurance carriers actually have different life insurance underwriting guidelines. Most people who have declined for life insurance feel they will be declined from every carrier, and this could not be further from the truth. We have helped individuals who have been declined by multiple life insurance carriers simply because nobody took the time to research the life insurance underwriting guidelines. This is unfortunate but it does happen everyday.

This is why we work with over 50 life insurance carriers. Because of the variety of life insurance underwriting guidelines we can ask you specific questions so we can pair you with a company with the best chance of approval. For example, one company may penalize someone for using marijuana, while another company may issue this person as a non-smoker. One company may decline someone with a history of COPD, while another company may issue them with a standard rating. This is how big of a difference understanding life insurance underwriting guidelines really is.

Financial Underwriting

Another area not many people consider is underwriting where financials play a big role.

It can be limiting in a situation where a person simply wants or needs a lot of death benefit, but their income is low. There are maximum multiples a carrier will allow considering income to death benefit ratio.

In the same way, estate planning sometimes needs creative financing, and life insurance can be a way to do it. Estate plans need to utilize time and long term cash values to withstand the very taxes and growth they’re built to protect. This adds layers of additional underwriting, both for the buyer and insured, and the estate which is being protected.

How To Get Started

Getting started searching for life insurance is often times the hardest part of the process. We make getting started very simple. We have two different ways in which you can get started. If you like working with an agent you can give us a direct phone call in order to speak with an experienced agent. We can work with you one on one to make sure you are taking advantage of life insurance underwriting guidelines.

If want to take another approach and would prefer to shop for your life insurance online, we have provided the tool for this. The quote tool we feature on this site will allow you to view quotes from over 50 carriers with just a few clicks. Once you find what you are looking for, we can help you get the application process started.

If you have a medical condition which has, or may prohibit you from qualifying for life insurance please give us a call directly, or send us an email so we can help you avoid another decline.



Jason Fisher

Jason Fisher is the founder and CEO of, LLC. and a multi-state licensed life insurance agent who has helped over a million Americans seek out affordable coverage, compare quotes, or get their family and businesses covered.

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