Having a heart attack can turn your world upside down. It’s been said that every year, 790,000 Americans have a heart attack; it’s no surprise that this can have a major impact on your health.
With this eye-opening experience, many clients leave the hospital immediately wanting to purchase life insurance to protect their family if something were to happen to them in the future.
The good news? You can still qualify for life insurance. While your options are more limited, it is not impossible to get approved. It is especially important that you work with an independent agency like Term Life Advice, so we can compare all your options and get you the best rate possible.
In this article, we will discuss what factors insurers consider when approving a life insurance policy, how you can increase your chances of getting approved, some sample rates, and success stories of previous clients.
Quick Article Guide:
- Getting Life Insurance After a Heart Attack
- What Factors Do Insurers Consider?
- How Can I Improve My Chances of Getting Approved?
- Sample Rates for Heart Attack Victims
- What Happens if My Application Gets Denied?
- TLA Success Story
- Questions? We Can Help!
Getting Life Insurance After a Heart Attack
Like we mentioned above, YES, it is still possible to get life insurance after having a heart attack!
Now for the bad news. Unfortunately, as a heart attack victim, you will only have a limited amount of companies to choose from, and your rates are going to be higher than someone in great health.
Luckily, there are companies who specifically cater to heart attack victims on a case-by-case basis. This means that you will be quoted based on your own personal history, rather than getting clumped into a category.
What Factors Do Insurers Consider?
When applying for life insurance, companies will look at a few different factors. It is important to note that it is advised to wait three to six months after having the heart attack to apply, so you are fully (or almost fully) recovered. Here’s what life insurance companies consider:
Age is a very important factor when it comes to applying for life insurance. In general, the older you are, the higher your rates will be. However, when it comes to heart attacks, being older when the incident occurred typically benefits you. If you are in your 40s-60s when you had your heart attack, your age will most likely be in your favor. There are some companies that offer good rates to someone who had a heart attack in his or her 70s as well.
Why is higher age better when it comes to heart attacks? Unfortunately, having cardiovascular issues early on (30s or younger) typically means that there will be more ailments to come in the future, and life insurance companies don’t want to risk it.
Many heart attack victims tend to live a less-than-healthy lifestyle, therefore making heart disease to be considered a “lifestyle disease”. If you have a reasonably healthy body, you’re much more likely to get approved at a lower rate than if you were let’s say, 50 pounds overweight.
Severity of Heart Attack
It makes sense that the more severe your heart attack was, the harder it will be to get approved by a life insurance company. When you have a heart attack, there is a blockage in at least one vessel. If you were to get a blockage in the left coronary artery, it would be the most severe, as that artery provides blood flow to the rest of your body essentially. A blockage there would make you a much higher risk than if you were to get a blockage in a smaller vessel that is branched off. Having, say, four blockages versus one blockage also puts you at a much higher risk, making you less insurable.
Other Health Issues
Your health status is another very important factor when deciding your eligibility for approval. If your heart attack was the only major offense to your health, you are more likely to get insured at a more affordable rate than if you have had a multitude of health issues in the past.
Post-Heart Attack Care
One of the things life insurance companies review is your medical records, so they will know what your doctor’s instructions were after you had the heart attack. If your doctor’s orders were minimal, you are deemed more insurable to companies. Companies will also want to see your follow-up echocardiograms and stress tests to make sure that you are recovered from the heart attack, and there are no more blockages.
To go along with the follow-up care, insurers will want to see how long you are on blood thinners for, and how much medication it will take to help you fully recover. If you can recover without blood thinners, that is ideal, but if not, six months or less on blood thinners is the best case scenario.
How Can I Improve My Chances of Getting Approved?
Like we mentioned before, heart attacks are known as a “lifestyle disease”. So while you can’t change the fact that the heart attack occurred, making healthy changes in your life (such as diet and exercise) so you minimize your need for medications is a great way to increase your chances of approval. Following your doctor’s orders is also very important in this recovery process.
If you’re curious about the different types of life insurance and application process, check out our article “What’s the Difference Between Term & Permanent Life Insurance.”
Sample Rates for Heart Attack Victims
Here are some sample rates for heart attack victims that had one or two vessels blocked and treated with angioplasty or a bypass:
$100,000 Coverage – 10 Year Term
$100,000 Coverage – 20 Year Term
$250,000 Coverage – 10 Year Term
$250,000 Coverage – 20 Year Term
$500,000 Coverage – 10 Year Term
$500,000 Coverage – 20 Year Term
*Rates are for illustrative purposes only and are accurate as of 4/18/2018.
What Happens if My Application Gets Denied?
If your application gets denied, you might be better off applying for a Guaranteed Issue policy. These policies offer up to $25,000 in coverage, and do not require a medical exam for approval. Comparing your current health to what we’ve described in this article may give you a realistic idea of what your chances are to get approved.
Of course, don’t think you’re not insurable just because one company denies you. Working with an independent agency can help you to compare rates at multiple companies, and your licensed agent should give you his or her honest advice about whether or not you’d be a good fit for a certain company.
TLA Success Story
We recently worked with a client who had a heart attack at the age of 50. His home and auto insurance agent told him he couldn’t qualify for a policy with his company for at least a few years, but one of our licensed agents was able to secure a table 6 rate from Protective Life at $118.68/month after initially speaking to him.
We wanted to make sure our client got the best deal, so after speaking with our in-house underwriter, we suggested that he submit an additional application.
Four months later, he got approved at table 4 rate with Banner Life at $73.27/month, which saved him a considerable amount of money – $45.41/month to be exact! Our client thanked us, and said he’s very happy to have secured a policy through us.
At Term Life Advice, all we want is to help our clients receive the best life insurance deal possible, while finding a policy that fits their needs. We put the client first always, and that’s what creates happy stories like this one.
Questions? We Can Help!
If you’re still a little unsure on what health class you might fall into, or which companies are best for heart attack victims, we’re here to help!
At Term Life Advice, our agents do not have sales quotas to meet, they’re just genuine people who want to match you with the best life insurance company possible. We work with over 60 top-rated companies, and have no doubt that we can find the best company for you.
If you would like to receive an accurate quote based on your age and health, as well as which type of policy and amount of coverage you should choose, give us a call. Toll-free, no obligations: 855-902-6494.
Our services are completely free, and there is not cost to apply for coverage. Give us a call today, or you can request a free online quote below to compare rates from more than 60 life insurance companies in less than a minute.
Hi, Thanks for your top-notch article. Actually, The most common symptom of coronary artery disease is angina or chest pain. Angina can be described as a discomfort, heaviness, pressure, aching, burning, fullness, squeezing, or painful feeling in your chest. It can be mistaken for indigestion or heartburn.
Thanks for pointing out that while you can’t change the fact that the heart attack occurred, making healthy changes in your life so you minimize your need for medications is a great way to increase your chances of approval for life insurance. My dad recently had a heart attack and is now trying to get life insurance in case something like that happens again. I think that it would be smart for him to start living a healthier life and also get a life insurance agent that can help navigate everything and know what his options are.