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How to Get Life Insurance after a Pulmonary Embolism

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A pulmonary embolism is a sudden and severe medical condition. It occurs when a blood clot, usually originating in the legs, travels into and blocks one or more of the arteries in the lungs.

It’s essential treatment is sought right away. When left untreated, a pulmonary embolism can cause serious damage. It can damage the lungs and cause low oxygen levels in the blood. These low oxygen levels can cause additional damage to your other organs. In the most severe causes, a pulmonary embolism can cause death.

Yet despite the severity of the condition, the vast majority of those who suffer a pulmonary embolism survive. One of the questions these survivors often have is “can I still qualify for life insurance after a pulmonary embolism?”

Yes, though it will certainly be more difficult.

We’re here to help. As an independent life insurance agent, we work with several of the top life insurance companies out there.

Getting Approved For Life Insurance after a Pulmonary Embolism

Between 300,000 and 600,000 people are affected by a pulmonary embolism every year in the United States alone.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the life expectancy of those with a pulmonary embolism is hard to pinpoint. What they can say for certain, however, is at least 30% of those left untreated will die.

The organization goes on to state there are several warning signs of a pulmonary embolism. These include shortness of breath, chest pain, and a cough. Seeking medical attention as soon as you experience a pulmonary embolism is beyond important.

Treatment for the condition starts with breaking up the blood clot. This is done with a blood thinner or through a procedure. Prompt treatment greatly reduces the risk of death.

Also of note is prevention is just as essential as treatment when it comes to a pulmonary embolism. Compression stockings should be worn by those at a high risk for the condition. A lifestyle with plenty of physical activity is likewise important.

Application Process

The application process for life insurance is relatively straightforward. You submit your application, take the required medical exam, and then wait.

We’re here to give you one very important, yet often overlooked, piece of advice: don’t apply to just any life insurance company. It’s pivotal to apply to those who insure high risk clients like those who have had a pulmonary embolism.

We know exactly which companies have a history of insuring those with a pulmonary embolism. We also know exactly what it takes to receive traditional coverage from such a company so you go into the application process prepared.

Once your application has been submitted to the right company, it goes to an insurance underwriter for review. It’s the underwriter’s job to assess the application and the medical exam to see if you’re a good fit for the carrier.

So. what’s the underwriter looking for?

Most importantly, they want clients who don’t pose too big of a risk to their company. They want clients without any major health problems which could potentially lower their life expectancy.

Simply put, the better health you’re in, the better life insurance rates you’ll receive. A few of the questions you can aspect the underwriter to ask include:

Overall Health – What is the state of your overall health? Do you have any other conditions aside from your pulmonary embolism?

Diet, Exercise, Lifestyle – What do you do to maintain your health? Do you eat well, exercise regularly, and refrain from smoking?

Date of Embolism – When did you experience your pulmonary embolism? How long has it been since?

Cause of Condition – What was the cause of your pulmonary embolism? Is the underlying condition being treated as well? An example includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Condition History – What symptoms did you experience leading up to your pulmonary embolism? Are you still dealing with any negative effects?

Treatments – What treatments were used for your pulmonary embolism? Were you hospitalized at all during the treatment?

Doctor Visits – How often do you visit your doctor for checkups related to your pulmonary embolism and otherwise?

Common Results

You do have a chance of qualifying for traditional life insurance with a pulmonary embolism. In fact, many people do.

Those who have suffered only a single pulmonary embolism will likely receive a Standard rating. The condition must have been resolved without medication and occurred several years ago.

A Sub-Standard rating is given to those who had their pulmonary embolism treated with medication.

Those who are still taking medication to prevent future blood clots will likely receive an even lower rating in the form of a Mild Sub-Standard rating. Even those who have had multiple pulmonary embolisms can often qualify for a Mild Sub-Standard rating.

In certain cases, those with a pulmonary embolism won’t qualify for traditional life insurance coverage. Generally, only those who have serious underlying issues are declined.

If you’re declined for traditional coverage, you still have options. A number of companies offer life insurance alternatives. These include a graded death benefit policy. These are often more expensive and pay out lower death benefits, but are still a good option for some.

What to Do Next

Work with an independent life insurance agent to get the best rates on life insurance after a pulmonary embolism. The process might be more difficult but we can help make it as easy as possible.


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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