Life Insurance for High Blood Pressure

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Written by
Bob Phillips
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If you have hypertension, or high blood pressure, and are thinking about your options for life insurance, we’re here to help. The world of insurance can be confusing, that’s true.  But don’t worry, this article should help you acquire a better understanding of the subject.

We have spent many hours researching the subject of life insurance and how it affects various health conditions, such as high blood pressure. This means that we can provide you with valuable information and data about how having high blood pressure impacts your insurability for life insurance.

The life insurance landscape as it applies to those with high blood pressure has been changed by medical advancements that have furnished a better understanding of this condition, along with its treatment. Let’s start by looking at your life insurance options, coverage details, qualifying for life insurance and more, to help you secure a policy that suits your particular needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Underwriting for life insurance if you have High Blood Pressure may be more of a longer, more complicated process

  • Life insurance for those with High Blood Pressure is available

  • Life insurance premiums are typically higher if you have High Blood Pressure

Can I Get Life Insurance If I Have High Blood Pressure?

The answer is yes, you can get life insurance if you have High Blood Pressure, or hypertension. While this wasn’t always the case, medical advancements and a better understanding of High Blood Pressure has altered the insurance industry’s position with time.

Many leading insurance providers, as shown in this article, provide  term as well as whole life insurance options for those living with a diagnosis of High Blood Pressure.

While it is heartening that life insurance options exist for people with High Blood Pressure, bear in mind that not all life insurance providers offer this coverage. Some may even  deny it. But you shouldn’t become discouraged, because this doesn’t mean that  you can’t get life insurance.

Numerous insurance carriers have responded to a need for people with High Blood Pressure to have life insurance, and are offering policies designed specifically for people who live with this condition.

Important: Life insurance for High Blood Pressure is available, though the coverage might be limited and potentially more expensive.

How Does Having High Blood Pressure Affect My Life Insurance Eligibility?

Traditional life insurance coverage may not be available to you if you have High Blood Pressure, but there are insurance providers that offer special coverage. These insurers offer standard life insurance coverage for those with High Blood Pressure, especially if they’re managing their condition well. In addition, those with High Blood Pressure may meet the requirements for group life insurance, or guaranteed issue, as well.

If you have High Blood Pressure, researching to gain a better understanding of what to look for when you’re searching for life insurance coverage would be a worthwhile endeavor. Said research might be challenging, but the financial protection you’ll gain from a life insurance policy is invaluable.

One key thing to note: If you’re diagnosed with High Blood Pressure after you have purchased and are maintaining a life insurance policy, a company can’t cancel your policy because of this diagnosis. There are only two reasons a life insurance provider can cancel a policy:

  • Failure to pay premiums
  • Fraudulent statements on an application

An insurance company can’t raise your premiums if you are diagnosed with High Blood Pressure after purchasing coverage, either.

Note: A life insurance policy can’t be rescinded or have the rates raised if you’re diagnosed with High Blood Pressure after the policy has been issued.

Life Insurance Underwriting Process For Individuals With High Blood Pressure

If you have High Blood Pressure, it will help you to have at least a working knowledge of the underwriting process involved in getting life insurance. Below are five key steps involved in the underwriting process for applicants with High Blood Pressure and who want to get life insurance:

  1. Medical Exam: This is the first step in the process of underwriting for life insurance. A medical exam will be necessary so that the insurance company can assess your physical condition. The focus, of course, will be on how you are managing your condition.
  2. Review of Medical History: The insurer will require access to your medical history and records. They will be especially interested in how quickly or slowly your condition is progressing, as well as how well controlled it is
  3. Lifestyle Evaluation: The insurance provider will consider your lifestyle habits, including drug use, smoking, how much and often you consume alcohol, how much physical exercise you get and more along these lines. A healthy lifestyle may help your application being accepted.
  4. Risk Assessment: Based on the data and information obtained, the insurance carrier will determine the risk level of insuring your life. The cost of your premiums will be much affected by this assessment.
  5. Policy Issuance: The insurer will provide coverage if you make it through their underwriting. However, your policy might have  higher premiums or even exclusions, depending on your risk classification.

What Do Life Insurance Companies Consider When You’re Applying With High Blood Pressure?

When you make an application for life insurance and have been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure, you should understand that insurance providers will pay close attention to the information you provide.

Rest assured that a key point considered by an insurance carrier is how you’re managing your High Blood Pressure. They will probably request access to your medical records so as to look them over thoroughly. If they see that you’re taking an active part in managing your health, it might net you a significant savings on the cost of your life insurance, providing you’re approved.

Lifestyle is also a possible deal breaker in whether or not you’re issued coverage.

Here are some things that will play an important part in an insurance provider’s decision about issuing a life insurance policy to a person with High Blood Pressure:

  • What is your current blood pressure and when was it last taken?
  • Have you had any complications because of your blood pressure?
  • When were you first diagnosed with High Blood Pressure?
  • What medications are you taking for your blood pressure, if any?
  •  If you have been prescribed medication to treat your High Blood Pressure, what is the dosage?
  • How often do you take your blood pressure?

Best Type Of Life Insurance For People With High Blood Pressure

You will have quite a few options available for life insurance if you have High Blood Pressure. Each of these options comes complete with its own set of pluses and minuses. You’ll need to decide which will best serve your needs.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is written to provide coverage for a specific period of time, usually ten to twenty-five years. Term life insurance is less costly than whole life insurance. If Term life may be a better choice for you than whole life insurance, especially if you have High Blood Pressure and need a hefty amount of life insurance at the lowest possible premium.

Whole Life Insurance

You get life long coverage with whole life insurance. Another plus is that it provides a cash benefit that builds over time. Coverage for whole life insurance never expires as term life insurance does, and your death benefits are guaranteed. As a rule of thumb, you can count on paying higher premiums for whole life than term life.

Group Life Insurance

Group life insurance is usually obtained through your work place, union or other type of organization in which there are multiple members. Anyone who has been diagnosed as having High Blood Pressure and is eligible for group life insurance should definitely consider it. Normally, there is no lengthy questionnaire to complete or a physical examination when applying for group life insurance.

Since the advent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), no one can be denied or excused for coverage due to a pre-existing condition with group life insurance. So underwriting won’t be a problem if you have High Blood Pressure.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

The name of this type of life insurance is self-explanatory: It’s guaranteed. Guaranteed Issue life insurance will provide coverage to almost anybody, with any health condition. For those with High Blood Pressure, this type of life insurance might be an attractive option. The down-side is that Guaranteed Issue life insurance usually has higher rates and lesser coverage than other types.

Final Expense Life Insurance

Final Expense life insurance covers costs such as end of life expenses, burial and/or funeral costs, for example. Final Expense policies normally have more lenient underwriting stipulations compared to other types of life insurance. If you have High Blood Pressure, this could be acceptable to you, especially if you’re having a hard time qualifying for a more standard type of life insurance.

Important: Living benefit riders can also be a lifeline for individuals living with High Blood Pressure. These optional additions to your policy can allow you to access a portion of your death benefit while still alive to help cover treatment expenses.

How To Buy Life Insurance If You Have High Blood Pressure

You can simplify the process of purchasing life insurance for High Blood Pressure by following these 4 steps.

Research Your Options

Your first step should be researching life insurance companies that offer coverage to those with High Blood Pressure. Many providers provide both term and whole life insurance coverage, so it’s important for you to know the differences between the two types, along with which best seems to suit your needs.


Understand the Underwriting Process

You should know that most life insurance applications will ask questions that reveal your diagnosis of High Blood Pressure. Therefore, the underwriting process will probably be more intensive. It could also cause your premiums to be higher.


Consider Employer or Group Coverage

Consider getting a life insurance policy through your workplace or other group, if available. In most cases, group life insurance policies will provide coverage regardless of your health problems, including High Blood Pressure. Rates are generally considerably lower than private, individual life insurance.


Apply for Coverage

Once you have chosen an life insurance carrier with the policy you need, it’s time to complete the application for coverage. This may involve responding to various health questions,along with a required medical examination.


How Much Does Life Insurance Cost If You Have High Blood Pressure?

Some companies require a doctor ordered treatment plan in order to give you their lowest rates. Other companies don’t, depending on your resting blood pressure numbers. Age also plays a big part in the determination of your rates. Usually, the older you are, the higher your blood pressure reading can be without excluding you from getting the lowest rates.

For example, if you are in your 60s, you’ll be eligible for the lowest rates with some providers, as long as your blood pressure reading is below 140/85.

This table shows possible average rates for a $250,000 term life insurance policy, on a male diagnosed with High Blood Pressure less than 10 years ago.

Age Gender Non-Smoker Smoker
25 Male $38.50 $101.15
35 Male $46.34 $131.20
45 Male $96.95 $306.00
55 Male $241.37 $705.67
65 Male $779.00 $1,675.80

How To Qualify For Life Insurance With High Blood Pressure

Qualifying for life insurance if you have a diagnosis of High Blood Pressure typically means that you provide proof of managing your condition. Managing your High Blood Pressure consists of regular visits with your doctor, taking your prescription medications as ordered, and lifestyle measures like exercise and diet that are known to be beneficial to those living with hypertension.

Life insurance providers will also take other criteria into consideration, including:

  • Family medical history
  • Comorbidity
  • Your weight or BMI
  • Your systolic and diastolic blood pressure reading
  • Your kidney function
  • Vision problems, if any
  • Heart problems
  • Age
  • Controlled or uncontrolled blood pressure

The chart below shows the four classifications of High Blood Pressure. Your rate will be partially determined by where your blood pressure readings fall on this table.

Blood Pressure Systolic Blood Pressure Diastolic Blood Pressure
Classification mmHg mmHg
Normal <120 <80
Pre-Hypertension (elevated) 120-139 80-89
Stage 1 Hypertension 140-159 90-99
Stage 2 Hypertension >160 or above >100 or above

When filling out an application for life insurance coverage, be sure to illustrate that you are proactive about your High Blood Pressure. This means exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, no recreational drug use, no excessive alcohol, enough sleep, no daredevil hobbies, etc. Emphasize your efforts to live a healthy lifestyle. This could get you a better rate on your life insurance coverage.

Can Insurance Companies Deny You Coverage For Having High Blood Pressure?

Yes, you can be denied coverage for life insurance if you have High Blood Pressure. As this is something of a gray area, though, it would be wise to check with an insurance agent and ensure that you know what you have, or don’t have.

Numerous life insurance providers will issue a policy if you have hypertension. However, your rates might be significantly higher than average. A lot of insurers base your insurability on the level of your High Blood Pressure. If your condition is out of control and considered too risky, a company could deny coverage and decline your application.

Modern advancements in medicine have improved treatment for High Blood Pressure with greater longevity and a change in how insurance carriers view insurability for people with this condition.

What Will Insurers Ask About Your Condition?

If you’re applying for life insurance coverage and have High Blood Pressure, it’s smart to be completely honest about it as well as any other health problems you have, if any. Failure to disclose health information is fraud, and your policy could be canceled once you were found out.

Here are some questions you might be asked if you have High Blood Pressure, when you apply for life insurance coverage:

  • Are you taking meds for High Blood Pressure?
  • Do you smoke now, or have you ever smoked?
  • Has there been any improvement in your High Blood Pressure?
  • Do you have a history of drug abuse?
  • Are you following a low sodium, healthy diet?
  • Do you have a problem with retaining fluid and edema?
  • Do you have regular check-ups with your doctor?
  • Do you get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day?
  • Do you get at least 7 hours of sleep at night?
  • What is your height and weight?
  • What is your age?

How you answer these and other questions will have a direct bearing on your life insurance coverage.

Life Insurance Options If You Are Denied Coverage

If you have been denied life insurance coverage due to High Blood Pressure, you aren’t out of options. You might consider a guaranteed issue policy. There is no medical examination required or in most cases, no health questions. A graded death benefit that raises payouts over time is another option if you were declined for traditional life insurance.

Group life insurance through an employer could be a choice for you if you have access to a plan. Group policies normally have insurance coverage regardless of health conditions, High Blood Pressure included. Services like Insuranceopedia can help you find life insurance providers that offer coverage, as well as obtain quotes from various companies, also.

If you have been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure, a Living Benefit Rider as an add-on to existing life insurance might be a viable option for you. This add-on to your life insurance policy offers access to part of your life insurance death benefit while you’re still alive, depending on you meeting particular criteria.

Many insurance carriers offer an accelerated death benefit rider if you have a terminal illness, at no extra charge. Different companies have their own requirements as to when this rider may be activated.

Important: Guaranteed issue policies are an excellent option if other companies have denied your application for whole, universal, or term life insurance policies.

Tips for choosing the right policy

Here Are 3 Simple Tips That Can Shorten Your Search:

  1. Know Your Needs: Calculate your financial needs when deciding how much life insurance coverage you need. Include such expenses as your debt, how much it will take to replace your income, plus expenses like tuition for your children, and more.
  2. Explore Policy Types: Consider a graded death benefit policy, as well as guaranteed issue insurance. These policies have been specially designed for people with illnesses like High Blood Pressure. Another option is group life insurance that often covers you regardless of your health conditions.
  3. Use Specialized Services: Take advantage of free services like Insuranceopedia, which provides quotes from various insurance carriers to help you with rate comparisons, and locate a policy you can afford that’s suitable for your needs.

What Is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, presents with no symptoms. It has the potential to be dangerous if left untreated. Hypertension puts you at increased risk for heart attack,  stroke, and other health problems. Almost half of all adults with hypertension don’t realize they have it. So, checkups are critical. Medicine, dietary changes and exercise  can help you keep your blood pressure normal and where it should be.

Blood pressure (BP) is a measurement of the pressure, or force of blood, pushing against the walls of your blood vessels. Your blood pressure reading has two numbers:

  1. Systolic: Normal is 120 mmHg
  2. Diastolic: Normal is 80 mmHg

High blood pressure is when the force of blood that is pushing against the walls of your arteries is continuously too high. This will damage your arteries over time and can lead to very serious complications such as stroke and heart attack. “Hypertension” is another word for this common condition.

Unfortunately, high blood pressure is common. It affects about 47% of adults in the U.S. This means approximately 116 million people. Of those 116 million, 37 million have a blood pressure of at least 140/90 mmHg. High blood pressure contributed, or outright caused, the deaths of over 670,000 people in the United States in 2020.

Other Health Concerns That Can Affect Your Life Insurance

Insurance carriers will conduct an evaluation of your health condition to calculate how much of a risk they’ll be taking if they insure your life. This usually involves an application as well as a medical examination. Here is a list of 17 common health conditions that can impact your life insurance policy:

  • Obesity: Higher BMI, or Body Mass Index, might mean you’ll  have higher premium costs
  • Heart Disease: This is a common condition that can cause higher insurance rates or denial of coverage, based on severity
  • HIV: With advancements in medical treatment, numerous insurance carriers now offer policies to those with HIV
  • Asthma: Asthma might affect your life insurance premiums, dependent on how severe your symptoms are
  • Cancer: Cancer can have a big impact on insurability, depending on the type and stage
  • Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes will nearly always cause higher premium rates
  • High Blood Pressure: Hypertension might not have an effect on your life insurance policy if it’s managed well
  • High Cholesterol: Can mean higher insurance premiums if not kept well controlled
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia: Both of these health conditions can play a part in insurability for life insurance
  • Kidney Disease: Chronic kidney disease, or CKD, might mean you’ll pay higher insurance premiums
  • Depression: Mental health conditions like depression may affect life insurance coverage
  • Lung Disease: Chronic conditions like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, might mean higher insurance premiums
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: A chronic autoimmune condition, this might lead to more costly premiums
  • Stroke: History of stroke could elevate insurance rates
  • Lung Disease: Chronic conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, usually raise insurance premiums
  • Liver Disease: Conditions like cirrhosis or fatty liver can impact your life insurance policy cost
  • Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea, if not well managed, might cause your insurance premiums to go up
  • Substance Use Disorders: A history of drug/alcohol abuse may affect insurability


Do People With High Blood Pressure Qualify For Life Insurance?

Basically, this largely depends on the insurance company. Some life insurance companies will issue policies to individuals who have High Blood Pressure, and some won’t. The stage you’re in of the disease usually influences the cost of your policy.

What Insurance Is Best For High Blood Pressure?

If you have applied for traditional life insurance and been declined due to a diagnosis of High Blood Pressure, you might give some thought to a guaranteed issue policy that requires no medical examination or questions about your health.

Is High Blood Pressure Classed As a Critical Illness In Insurance?

No, it isn’t. While High Blood Pressure can cause various symptoms, it isn’t considered a critical illness.


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