By Stephen Lilley
Choosing quality life insurance can be a difficult process, to say nothing of how difficult it can be for someone with less-than-perfect health. There are many different policies, providers and rates out there to consider, even for a sick person.
Life insurance rates are calculated in a very specific way. An insurance provider will use your age, health and gender to calculate your rate. The provider uses your actual, detailed medical records, which you might think could spell trouble if you aren’t a picture of health. In reality, the process of finding life insurance for sick people is not that much more difficult than for healthy people.
All the companies that sell life insurance, called “providers,” are a bit different from each other. Some are much more willing to accept risks that other providers aren’t. You should not be deterred from contacting providers just because you assume they won’t provide coverage for you. Make no mistake, they’ll find some kind of policy that fits you. Also, consider that certain providers specialize in covering certain types of people. When searching for a provider, it is helpful to find one that generally carries people who are of similar ages and health status.
A common misconception about life insurance is that a person with a less-than-perfect medical history will be unable to get any coverage at all. As it turns out, many insurance companies offer special policies for people who have established medical conditions or problems that make them “higher risk” for the insurance companies. These policies will cost more than for a perfectly healthy person, but they do exist.
Depending on specific elements of your medical history, your rates can differ greatly from other people. This goes beyond a person with a long-term illness versus someone without. Due to the nature of the industry, even something like being an occasional smoker or having a dangerous profession can cause you to be labeled as a risk and increase your insurance rate. Even two people with, say, diabetes might pay differently depending on their specific medical histories.
As a result, it is very difficult to get an accurate idea of what you’ll be paying unless you contact providers that you’re interested in doing business with. Many will set you up with rough estimates free of charge. It is recommended that you shop around with a few different providers to see which will provide the best coverage for you.
If you choose to purchase life insurance over the Internet, be mindful of any online companies that offer “discounts” on coverage, since it is a practice that is not necessarily possible due to the nature of how rates are calculated. Also, when buying life insurance in general, understand that the agent selling you coverage must be a licensed insurance agent in your state of residence. Your state will have an Insurance Commissioner’s office that you can contact with any questions about specific providers you may encounter.