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Life Insurance For People With Heart Disease

Written by Cody Marchant

Heart disease is the leading cause of American deaths. It takes the lives of men and women of all ethnicities and ages.

It comes in different forms and various diagnosis. Or sometimes there isn’t even time for a diagnosis. An individual may have sudden chest pain that results in a fatal heart attack or cardiac arrest.

Many Americans with heart disease may shy away from buying life insurance because they assume the application will be denied.

Or they may believe the premium will be super expensive because of their heart disease. And there are still others that will simply wait because they don’t want to think about their own mortality.

Life insurance for people with heart disease can be found, and usually at affordable rates also.

Life Insurance For People With Heart Disease – An Overview

Life insurance underwriters are aware of the CDC statistics. Underwriters know individuals, like yourself, are at a higher risk of dying because of their heart disease.

As you may know, not all heart disease is the same and so life insurers may have different underwriting guidelines according to the specific diagnosis.

There are nearly 30 different health conditions that affect the heart and fall under the general term “heart disease”.

Some of these diagnoses include the following:

  • Angina
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Aortic Valve Disorders
  • Arrhythmias
  • Atrial Fibrillation (aka AFib)
  • Blood Clots
  • Coronary Artery Disease CAD
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Heart Murmur
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Previous Heart Attack or Stroke

If you suffer from any of the above (or another) heart disease diagnosis then you may be worried about shopping for life insurance.

An independent life insurance agent will be your best tool for finding an affordable, high-quality life insurance plan. An experienced agent will be able to discuss your personal situation and then determine the best life insurance company for your needs.

They will not waste your time with an insurance carrier that never covers someone like yourself or charges triple the rate of another company.

The Life Insurance Application Process

The first rule of thumb for life insurance applications is to tell the whole truth. It never benefits you to gloss over important information or completely withhold other details. Always be forthcoming on your life insurance application.

Life insurance underwriters will find out all your secrets anyway. Underwriters review the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) reports, driving records, prescription history, and your medical records. It is the Underwriters job to do as much researching and reviewing as is necessary to accurately assess your overall risk.

Many insurance agents will advise you that including medical test results, doctor contact information, and a letter explaining anything questionable within your file will help to secure approval at a decent premium.

In fact, if the information you provide shows how you’ve recently lost weight, are complying with medication, or have lowered your blood pressure since the initial diagnosis then you’ll improve your chances of getting a good rate.

This is because you are demonstrating to the Underwriter that you are taking the heart disease diagnosis seriously and working to minimize your health risks.

What Do Underwriters Look for in Applicants with Heart Disease?

During the Underwriters review of your life insurance application, he/she may request additional information regarding your heart disease. This is not uncommon so don’t panic. It does not mean your application will be rejected or your premiums will skyrocket.

Typically, underwriters will want to clarify the following questions:

  • What age were you when diagnosed with heart disease?
  • What is the name of the medication and the dosage you take to control your heart disease?
  • What symptoms led to your diagnosis?
  • What other health issues lead to your diagnosis (such as diabetes or obesity)?
  • Is there a family history of heart disease?
  • Has anyone in your immediate family died from heart disease?
  • Have you already suffered a heart attack, had angioplasty or heart bypass?
  • What were the results of various heart function tests like Thallium Stress Test, Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), Electrocardiogram (EKG), Ultrafast CT, and/or Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

As part of the medical underwriting process for life insurance, you will also be subject to a “para-med” examination. This is a standard requirement of all applicants.

As part of this examination, a nurse will visit your home at your convenience to collect urine and blood samples, as well as record height and weight. The nurse will also discuss with you the medical history provided to the life insurance company. The medical examination usually takes less than 30 minutes.

Since you have heart disease, the life insurance company will look closely at your cholesterol levels, especially the ratio of HDL (good cholesterol) to LDL (bad cholesterol). In addition, the insurer will look into your triglyceride level.

The reason for this is triglycerides increase an individual’s chance of heart attack. Plus, high triglycerides can indicate Type II diabetes, alcoholism, and obesity.

Underwriters will be looking to see if you have other illnesses such as diabetes or obesity. All of these influences can make high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other heart diseases much worse.

For example, the American Heart Association advises that adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease than their peers without diabetes.

In fact, additional health problems can increase your risk of premature death which will factor into your life insurance approval and premiums. You may not be able to fix all these issues right now but it’s always best to work on doing so.

In the future, you can certainly submit a reconsideration request to the insurance company in order to secure a lower premium. Or your insurance agent will have you apply for a different life insurance policy so that you will have a better chance of improving your premiums.

Smokers With Heart Disease

Overall smokers will pay more for life insurance than their peers even if they have zero health concerns. In fact, smokers usually pay double the life insurance premiums because smoking increases one’s overall risk for disease and death.

WebMD reports that individuals who smoke are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease. WebMD goes on to say that about 1 out of 5 deaths from heart disease is directly linked to smoking.

Life insurance Underwriters know the statistics and, therefore, will want to know if you have smoked a cigarette in the last 12 months. If you have smoked even one cigarette then you are considered a smoker. To be totally honest, it is not worth trying to get around this fact.

There are multiple ways to take part in nicotine use besides smoking cigarettes. You may smoke a cigar or pipe, use e-cigarettes or chew tobacco, even use of nicotine patches and gums. We recommend you disclose the use of any nicotine products.

Your life insurance agent will know best which life insurance companies will even want to know about alternative tobacco use (outside of smoking cigarettes) and how the different life insurance companies will rate those types of nicotine activities.

Term Life Insurance Rates

The question every applicant asks is “what will this life insurance cost me”? We’re sure you are no different. Let’s face it, the policy has to meet your needs but the premium must fit your budget.

We put together some estimated premiums to give you a better idea of what some individuals with heart disease pay.

The estimated premiums below are for term life insurance and whole life insurance. Term life has a set amount of time you will be covered such as 10, 20, or 30 years.

Once the policy comes to the end of the term, you will need to find different life insurance coverage. Typically the premium is lower than a whole life insurance plan.


The following life insurance rates are for a male, non-smoker, with heart disease, looking for a 20 Year term life insurance policy.

Age $250,000 Face Amount $500,000 Face Amount
25 $22/mo. $37/mo.
35 $23/mo. $39/mo.
45 $51/mo. $93/mo.
55 $122/mo. $233/mo.
65 $382/mo. $748/mo.


The following life insurance rates are for a female, non-smoker, with heart disease, looking for a 20 Year term life insurance policy.

Age $250,000 Face Amount $500,000 Face Amount
25 $19/mo. $31/mo.
35 $21/mo. $36/mo.
45 $40/mo. $73/mo.
55 $85/mo. $160/mo.
65 $247/mo. $476/mo.

Whole Life Insurance Rates

Whole life insurance has some of the highest premiums but there are additional perks to a whole life plan. The main benefit of a whole life insurance policy is that it gains cash value over time.

You can then borrow money against that cash value for various reasons. This makes a whole life an excellent financial tool.


The following life insurance rates are for a male, non-smoker, with heart disease, looking for whole life insurance coverage.

Age $250,000 Face Amount $500,000 Face Amount
25 $92/mo. $183/mo.
35 $132/mo. $263/mo.
45 $207/mo. $413/mo.
55 $315/mo. $630/mo.
65 $533/mo. $1,066/mo.


The following life insurance rates are for a femmale, non-smoker, with heart disease, looking for whole life insurance coverage.

Age $250,000 Face Amount $500,000 Face Amount
25 $88/mo. $176/mo.
35 $125/mo. $249/mo.
45 $165/mo. $329/mo.
55 $255/mo. $510/mo.
65 $433/mo. $866/mo.

If your life insurance application for a term or whole policy is rejected. Don’t worry! Your life insurance agent will still be able to find coverage.

Other Types of Life Insurance Coverage for People with Heart Disease

Most likely you will be encouraged to apply for a “guaranteed issue” or “simplified issue” life insurance policy. This type of life coverage is exactly what it sounds like.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance 

For guaranteed issue, you will not be required to go through medical underwriting.

Simplified Issue Life Insurance 

For simplified issue, you will usually only have to answer a few basic “knock out” underwriting applications on the application.

Keep in mind a guaranteed-issue and simplified issue life insurance policies cost more than a term life or permanent whole life.

This is because you are skipping medical underwriting and the life insurer assumes you’ll be a high risk insured. To cover the anticipated risk, the life insurance company will charge higher rates.

Best Life Insurance Companies

The majority of quality life insurance companies will insure an individual with heart disease. Please don’t think that your heart disease diagnosis means you will have to go with a dubious carrier.

In fact, many of the most famous life insurance companies offer insurance to those with heart disease. Below are a few examples:

Company A.M. Best Rating Customer Reviews
AIG A 4.1 / 5
American National A 4.0 / 5
Mutual of Omaha A+ 4.2 / 5
Transamerica A+ 4.3 / 5
Lincoln National A+ 4.0 / 5

Your life insurance agent will be able to point you in the right direction.

Agents typically know which of the top dozen or so insurance companies will be glad to have you as an insured. Our agents will also have a general idea of the premium you may be offered.

Finding the Best Life Insurance

The bottom line is that there are plenty of life insurance coverage available for those with heart disease.

The hard part is finding exactly what policy, company, and rates are right for you and your family.

By working with an experienced life insurance agent, you should have no problem finding the right policy for you and your loved ones.

Give our agents a call today to begin your search for the best life insurance policy for you.

Or, get started now using our online quoting engine to get lightning fast life insurance quotes for people with heart disease.

Compare the Best Life Insurance Rates for People with Heart Disease

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About Growth 360, LLC
About Growth 360, LLC

We work with individuals across the nation to secure the best life insurance rates.

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