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Life Insurance With Chronic Back Pain

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Looking for life insurance with a medical issue, even one as seemingly non-assuming as back pain, can be frustrating.

The application becomes much more time consuming than for someone with a clean bill of health. The life insurance company wants to make sure your chronic back pain isn’t linked to any other issues which could cause a problem down the road.

Fortunately, we’re experienced with all types of impaired risk underwriting for life insurance, and we can help you, too.

Below is the most important information to keep in mind when looking for life insurance with chronic back pain.

If you just want quotes, feel free use the quoting tool on this page and select the Regular health rating.

Buying Life Insurance with Chronic Back Pain

The American Academy of Pain Medication estimates roughly 60 million Americans currently suffer from chronic back pain.

Unlike acute back pain, chronic pain isn’t a normal bodily response. It doesn’t go away for weeks upon weeks; it may not go away for years. Some people even struggle with it for life.

Part of the reason chronic back pain is so prevalent is its wide range of causes. It’s often caused by an injury, but is also a symptom of numerous medical conditions including arthritis and cancer. Some people even experience chronic back pain without any correlating illness or evidence of damage.

Here is a list of the most common causes of chronic back:

  • Arthritis
  • Shingles
  • Nerve Damage
  • Headache
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sciatica
  • Bulging Disk
  • Surgery
  • Injuries or Fractures
  • Heavy Use at Work or From Sports

Another difficult aspect of chronic back pain is it differs from person to person. Each patient will experience different sensations and a different level of pain. Chronic back pain can range from mild pain, to pain so severe, even basic movement is impossible.

Though absolutely anyone can suffer from chronic back pain, there are certain people who are at a greater risk. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke lists the most common risk factors as:

Having a job which stresses your back is another common risk factor. Jobs involving heavy lifting or whole body vibration are linked to higher rates of chronic back pain. In addition, recent research shows sitting for too long can also have long term back and neck pain catalysts.

Fortunately, comfortably living with chronic back pain is often possible. The best treatments include:

  1. Pain reduction measures (back brace, cold packs, heat therapy, physical therapy, massage)
  2. Medication (aspirin, ibuprofen, prescription medications)
  3. Epidural injection
  4. Surgery (for nerve damage or long-term chronic pain only)

Your doctor might also suggest changing your lifestyle. This can involve changing jobs or job retraining. Adopting a healthier lifestyle with more exercise to help you lose weight can also help prevent future cases of chronic back pain.

The Application Process

The life insurance application process is a long one, and can range from 3 weeks up to 8 weeks in cases where documents must be ordered from doctors and specialists. Each insurance company you apply to will carefully look over your application to see if you’re a good fit, but they want every detail they can get.

So, what are they looking for?

First and foremost, carriers want to make sure clients are low risk, or at least to gauge how much long term risk they pose.

Luckily, chronic back pain, in and of itself, isn’t considered high risk. However, there are a number of related factors life insurance companies look at, including the implications of it lasting too long or becoming too debilitating.

For example, severe chronic back pain can lead to immobility. This can, in turn, lead to a number of very serious health problems.

Life insurance companies will also consider your mental health. A startling number of people experience depression when struggling with back pain. Though an insurance carrier will insure a depressed client, a lot of importance is placed on the history of your mental health and it can cause rates to go up.

The first step to applying for life insurance is talking to an independent agent, like us. Be prepared to answer a number of questions. Topics which will be covered include:

Overall Health – Do you have any other medical conditions? You’ll be asked to take a medical test.

Diet, Exercise, and Lifestyle – Do you eat well and exercise often? A healthy lifestyle is highly valued by life insurance companies. Your use of tobacco, for instance, matters, too.

Date of Diagnosis – When were you diagnosed with chronic back pain?

Underlying Issues – What is the cause of your chronic back pain?

Condition History – Describe the history of your chronic back pain. Has it been steady since your date of diagnosis or does it come and go in waves?

Treatment and Medication – What are you doing to treat the condition? List your treatments and medications.

Preventative Care – What are you doing to prevent chronic back pain in the future?

Only work with a life insurance company who asks these questions. This helps ensure the company actually understands chronic back pain and all it entails. The more questions you answer, the better; it gives you the shot at the lowest rates based on your current state.

Common Results

Chronic back pain likely won’t affect your chances of receiving life insurance. However, chronic back pain stemming from other medical conditions could have serious repercussions.

It’s difficult to estimate the type of coverage you’ll receive. The results are vast and vary depending upon the specifics of your condition.

The majority of people with chronic back pain qualify for traditional coverage. Only a small portion need to seek out alternatives, like a graded or guaranteed type of policy.

Most people receive a Standard rating, though we have seen as high as a Preferred rating. Those with other medical conditions, complications, or no resolve will likely receive a Sub-Standard rating.

Document the history of your chronic back pain with regular doctor’s visits. As your condition improves, you can reapply for life insurance and could possibly receive a better premium. Feel free to write a cover letter to the underwriter and send it in with your application if you feel you can better represent yourself by full explaination.

What to Do Next

We can help you find the best life insurance for chronic back pain. We work with several top rated providers, totaling more than 40 different options. We know which are most likely to ensure those with this condition.

We have a full proof process, and we’re happy to work hard to earn your trust. Contact us today.


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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