Ask the Agent: Am I Disqualified for Life Insurance?

Jan 11, 2023 2 min read

People are typically denied life insurance because they fall into a high-risk category. This is often due to health challenges like diabetes and obesity, as well as non-health related life insurance disqualifiers like a dangerous job or hobby, a history of speeding tickets or using tobacco products. Here’s how to understand what might make you uninsurable for life insurance and what your options are.

Common Physical Health Issues

If you have been living with diabetes, obesity or high cholesterol, it may be more difficult to get approved for a policy. But if your conditions are well-controlled and the life insurance company can see that you’re adhering to your doctor’s recommendations for disease management, the condition may be insurable. If the diagnosis is new, you may want to wait before applying for insurance — it can take some time for you and your doctor to find the right balance to control your symptoms. 

Using Tobacco Products

Tobacco use is a proven health risk and impacts your life expectancy, which is a major cost factor that insurance companies use to set their rates. While smokers will typically need to pay nearly four times as much for a policy than non-smokers, smokeless tobacco users may be eligible for a non-tobacco rate through Farm Bureau

Hazardous Hobbies

If your downtime includes things like rock climbing, skydiving and racing cars, it may be harder to find a life insurance policy. But if you can prove your expertise by showing that you’ve had sufficient training, hold certifications and do the activity frequently, you are more likely to be insured. From the company’s point of view, the more practice you get, the more proficient you are.

Dangerous Occupations

Pilots, loggers, police, roofers and truck drivers are some of the career paths that can be harder to insure, given the inherent risk associated with the job. But if you have a proven track record of training, experience and safety, many insurance companies may be willing to provide coverage — just be prepared to possibly pay higher rates than those of your friends with desk jobs.  

Mental Health Conditions

If you have a history of attempted suicide, have been hospitalized as a result of mental illness, or struggle with drug or alcohol misuse, coverage can be hard to come by. But life insurance companies look not only at the diagnosis, but at the treatment methods you are using to control your mental illness, and whether they’re working. While most companies won’t deny you based on a mental health condition alone, they will want to see evidence that you’re managing it well, whether that’s through therapy, medication or a combination of the two. 

Being Pregnant

If you’re looking to start a family, it’s a good idea to start thinking about life insurance, but the approval process can be tricky when you are expecting. Pregnancy-related health concerns such as weight gain, elevated blood pressure or elevated blood sugar can affect your insurability and/or rate class. While some companies may allow you to apply while pregnant, it may still be best to apply for a policy before you become pregnant or after you give birth.

How to Get Life Insurance if You’re Disqualified

Even if you initially get denied coverage, it may be worth trying again in the future. Life insurance companies want to see that you are working to improve or maintain your health, and if you follow your doctor’s orders you are much more likely to qualify.

If you have any questions or are ready to apply for a life insurance policy, call your Farm Bureau agent to get started.

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.