Getting life insurance after a heart attack can be a daunting task for many, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Yet many people let public perception of the issue influence them when searching for their life insurance.
We are here to make it simpler for you.
Though most heart patients, including those recovering from a heart attack, are considered high risk clients by underwriters, there’s few reasons you won’t qualify for some type of life insurance coverage.
With our knowledge and industry know how, we can help you find the best life insurance for your particular heart condition.
How To Get Life Insurance After A Heart Attack
Heart conditions like a heart attack, heart disease, and stroke are serious medical problems. It should come as no surprise insurance underwriters look at these as some of the highest risk issues.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, around 12% of Americans suffer from heart disease. The disease itself, and issues stemming from it, is the number one leading cause of death in the country. More than 600,000 people, both men and women, die from it every year.
The Heart Foundation adds roughly 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. For the vast majority of these people, around 535,000, it’s their first heart attack.
Simply put, a heart attack can come out of anywhere. This is why it’s so important to understand the warning signs and symptoms. A better understanding of heart attacks and heart disease can help you prepare for the worst.
Coronary heart disease (CHD), the medical condition most commonly leading to a heart attack, has several risk factors. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, these include:
- Unhealthy Diet
- Lack of Regular Exercise
- High Blood Pressure
- High Blood Cholesterol
- High Blood Sugar (because of insulin resistance or diabetes)
All of these heart disease risk factors can be controlled, at least in part. Putting in the effort to live a healthier lifestyle (better diet, regular exercise, no smoking) can have a huge positive impact on your risk for a heart attack.
Unfortunately, there are a handful of other heart disease risk factors which can’t be effectively mitigated.
- Family History of Heart Disease
- Over The Age of 45 for Men, 55 (or post-menopause) for Women
- The Pre-existing Medical Condition Preeclampsia
To decrease your risk of a heart attack or improve your chances of receiving the best life insurance, it’s best to lead a lifestyle which helps prevent heart disease.
The top ways to reduce your risk of heart disease include:
- Visit doctor regularly to check blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Refrain from smoking
- Use prescribed methods to control diabetes if diagnosed with it
While these steps won’t completely eliminate your risk for a heart attack, they’ll greatly diminish it. They’re also considered favorable to life insurance companies thinking about insuring those with heart disease or past heart attacks.
The All Important Application Process
Heart patients are considered higher risk applicants by underwriters, period. These patients are likely to have medical issues in the future and insurance companies become wary of long term risks. This is especially true because heart disease is often accompanied by other health issues, either before or after.
It’s important to know what to expect when talking with a life insurance agent for the first time. The following topics will be discussed:
Overall Health – Your overall health is the first thing an underwriter will ask about. This relates to both your heart problems and any other medical issues you’re dealing with.
Diet and Exercise – A healthy diet and regular exercise are top ways to reduce risk of heart attack, or other heart related risks in the future. Show your underwriter you do both of these to increase your chance at a better rating.
Lifestyle – Smoking is a leading cause of heart attack. Being very clear on your use is key; even if you have stopped, it matters how long you smoked, and how long ago you ceased. Other lifestyle factors like driving record, bankruptcies, and more can also become hurdles.
Date of Diagnosis – Your underwriter will want to know the date of your heart disease diagnosis as well as the specifics of your problem(s).
Underlying Issues – What were the issues causing your heart disease? Do they mainly stem from family history or an unhealthy lifestyle? What persistent concerns do you still have?
Treatments and Medications – What heart disease treatments and medications are you currently taking and are you taking them as prescribed?
Condition History – Give your insurance agent a detailed history of your heart condition. The specifics will help the underwriter access your risk. Medications, surgeries, replacements and installations, or any other information is very helpful, even before applying.
Doctor Visits – Do you visit the doctor or cardiologist regularly? Regular doctor visits and heart checkups instill a sense of confidence in life insurance companies.
Another major factor an underwriter will look at is whether or not you’ve already suffered multiple heart attacks. As you might imagine, those who have had more than one heart attack in the past will have a more difficult time finding life insurance coverage, if they can at all.
It’s difficult to assess your chances at life insurance without knowing your specific situation. There are so many variables involved. This is why you need to be as open as possible from the start.
For instance, the longer ago your heart attack occurred without a recurring episode, the greater the chance you’ll receive a lower premium.
On the other hand, an older patient with multiple heart attacks under their belt will have a much more difficult time finding coverage at all.
Results To Expect
Underwriting for a heart attack is very complicated. Your best bet is to contact us today so we can start communicating with life insurance companies about your specific issue.
Unfortunately, there’s a slim chance you’ll receive a Preferred rating with a history of heart disease and/or a heart attack. Yet there’s a chance you’ll receive as high as a Standard rate. High risk patients will often receive a Sub-Standard rating, however.
Sub-Standard rates mean table ratings, where each table adds 25% to the base premium.
It’s likely you’ll receive some kind of life insurance coverage despite your history of heart attack. However, those who are at very high risk might need to look into alternative forms of coverage.
Use an agent who specializes in life insurance for heart risks, like us. We can help you take the proper steps to find the best life insurance coverage for you.