There are some companies that won’t touch someone looking for life insurance with Crohn’s Disease. Those companies don’t deserve your money anyway.
The good news is there are plenty of companies that will offer life insurance to people suffering from Crohn’s. Sometimes you can even get it at a preferred rating. (Although that’s extremely rare, it does happen.)
How to Save Money on Life Insurance with Crohn’s Disease
Since there is a good chance you will be looking at a Standard or Table rating, it’s important to do your research before you start shopping. Use these tricks to make sure you don’t overpay.
Life Insurance Needs Calculator
Don’t fall for the “general rule” of life insurance coverage. (Normally 5 to 7 times your annual income. Sometimes as low as 3x or as high as 20x.)
You aren’t everyone and everyone is not you. The way you manage your family finances could be totally different from the Jones’ down the street. Applying a blanket rule to every family in the nation is just silly. Especially when we have the tools to calculate your life insurance needs.
Figure out exactly what you should be looking for so you don’t end up overpaying.
Term Over Permanent
Term is always cheaper than permanent life insurance. If you worry about what life insurance is going to cost you, talk to your agent about if term is right for your needs.
Whether you should pick term or permanent will depend on your financial situation as well as the reason you want life insurance. Making sure your kids can afford to go to college? Term is fine. Paying off the mortgage? Term is fine. Leaving something to your heirs? Consider permanent.
Write a Letter Explaining How You Manage Your Crohn’s
Ask your agent what should be included, but we have seen miraculous results when people take the time to explain how they’re managing an illness.
Okay, we are serious about this one. We have seen cases time and again where someone wrote a letter explaining what they were doing to manage a chronic health condition. Then the underwriter turns around and improves their rating! Go figure.
Your medical records and a life insurance application won’t show the underwriter what you’re doing day-to-day. If you adjusted your diet to help manage Crohn’s symptoms, then the underwriter needs to know that. Exercising 5 times a week? Include that too.
Keep it as detailed (but on the topic) as possible. It isn’t guaranteed to help, but it won’t hurt.
Ask Your Agent to Pre-screen Your Condition
The best way to save money is to provide answers to all Crohn’s related health questions you know the underwriter will ask. (See the section on Underwriter Factors.) Then your life insurance agent can email the relevant info to their underwriter contacts.
Don’t worry, it’s all anonymous. Agents will not include names in pre-screens.The pre-screening process allows an agent to get an idea of how an underwriter will rate you before you go through all the trouble of filling out an application. It takes a little time, but it’s a great way to get an idea of who you should apply with.
How Crohn’s Disease Affects Life Insurance Rates
Crohn’s varies from person to person. Which in turn makes it difficult to assign a risk class or rating. Conditions like Crohn’s will have dramatic variances between life insurance companies.
Without known causes and an enormous variation in severity, every life insurance company will look at Crohn’s on a case by case basis.
Earlier we said the best to hope for was a Preferred rating. This is extremely rare. It’s more sensible to hope for a Standard rating. Yet there are some standard guidelines that can help you along.
If less than 6 months have passed since diagnoses, most life insurance companies will postpone the application. There just isn’t enough medical history for the underwriter to make an informed assessment of your health.
The best-case scenario is if more than 10 years have passed since any single episode or diagnosis. If this applies to you, then you should not have a rating. In case a company does try to charge you a table rating for this, just apply somewhere else. Don’t waste your time or money on them.
You should also expect a Standard health class if it’s been 3 years since your diagnosis and any Crohn’s symptoms. Many companies add a caveat to this of no hospitalizations, no surgery recommendation, and no corticosteroids.
From there much of your rating will depend on your age. If you are older than 45, you will have a less severe rating than if you are younger. This is one of the rare circumstances in life insurance where it’s better to be older.
With one episode more than 6 months past, a light table rating will apply. It will probably be one degree less if you are over 45.
If you’ve had a couple of severe episodes in the past few years you are looking at a strong table rating. Finally, daily corticosteroid use will add an additional table rating. Take the category that has the closest resemblance to your situation, then assume an additional 25%.
The worst-case scenario is a decline. We virtually only see this in cases with sclerosing cholangitis or dysplasia. A guaranteed issue policy might be the necessary option in this scenario.
Underwriting Factors for Crohn’s Disease
When you look at life insurance with Crohn’s disease, you will need to have some information handy. Underwriters at every company will need all of the following information.
- Date of diagnoses
- Related Hospitalizations & dates
- Related Surgeries & dates
- Date of your most recent colonoscopy
- Height & Weight
- List of all medications (prescriptions and non)
- Have you smoked at all in the past year?
- Any other health conditions
Fewer flare-ups, hospitalizations, and surgeries will mean better rates. The more time that has passed since the diagnoses or any flare-ups will also mean lower rates.
It’s important to be upfront with your insurance agent about this information so she can get you the most accurate quotes possible. If you decide to get quotes as someone who is perfectly healthy when you go to apply your underwriting process will take longer. You also run the risk of applying with a company that severely penalizes Crohn’s disease. If you are diagnosed with Crohn’s or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or pancreatitis, give us a call to review your options.
If You Have Frequent Flare-ups, Consider Guaranteed Issue
Guaranteed issue is something to consider if you have severe Crohn’s and want life insurance.
A guaranteed issue policy is on in which the company will issue life insurance, typically at a lower benefit amount and higher premiums. It’s a product designed for people with major health concerns.
Most guaranteed issue policies have a graded benefit scale. This means that is the insured person were to pass on within the first year or two of owning the policy, then the benefit would be a percentage of the stated amount. Each policy had a graded benefit schedule clearly listed. So how much you might get within the first couple of years should come as no surprise.
It’s a good alternative to traditional life insurance, although not ideal if you can avoid it.
Why Use Abrams Insurance Solutions?
We focus on helping people with pre-existing conditions find affordable life insurance. Just because something happened outside your control does not mean you should be paying through the nose for life insurance.
That’s why we work with over 70 of the best-rated life insurance companies in the country. As independent agents, we can go to the company that will be the most favorable for any health conditions that might impact your rates.
The Bottom Line
We work for you, not for the insurance company. If you are being treated unfairly, we will not rest until we have found you a better, lower-cost policy. Are you searching for great life insurance with Crohn’s disease at a rate you can afford? Give us a call at 858-703-6178. See what we can do for you.