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What is Athlete’s heart?
Athlete’s heart life insurance can often times be misunderstood. Athlete’s heart is a physiologic adaption of the heart to vigorous physical training. It has not been shown to cause increased mortality, but life insurance companies must be careful to distinguish from true heart disease.
Often life insurance companies will review medical records from a prospect’s doctor indicating the term “athlete’s heart”. This can often be used to describe an enlarged heart. The underwriter of the life insurance company must determine if this is truly benign athlete’s heart syndrome.
Life insurance underwriter’s look for the distinguishing features of the person to see if they are a competitive-level athlete who is undergoing vigorous physical training. The weekend warrior or occasional jogger should not have an enlarged heart, and if present would indicate the presence of heart disease.
The sport that the athlete competes in is also important. Whereas competitive rowers or swimmers may have increased heart muscle, the likelihood of a weight lifter or bodybuilder should not.
A typical athlete with athlete’s heart should by asymptotic and have no history of chest pains, fainting, shortness of breath or irregular heart beats. \
Any of these symptoms present in someone with an athlete’s heart would be a sign of potential underlying heart disease.
Typically, an echo cardiogram is the best tool to use to distinguish between true athlete’s heart or heart disease.
Some of the normal findings of to indicate true athlete’s heart consist of:
- Some enlargement of the left ventricle cavity(the main pumping chamber)
- Mild, uniform increase in thickness of the heart muscle
- overall increase in left ventricular mass
- normal systolic and diastolic function of the left ventricle
In the case of true athlete’s heart with no underlying heart disease or other significant impairment companies will typically not rate for this.
Heart enlargement not due to athlete’s heart
For a life insurance company to properly underwrite an assign a risk classification for someone with an enlarged heart that is not true athlete’s heart, the carrier most know the cause of the enlargement.
The cause of enlargement can range from something that is idiopathic(primary cause unknown) to underlying coronary artery disease, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, infectious cardiomyopathy, etc.
In addition to the cause, it is important to also know the degree of enlargement and the diagnosis of cardiac risk. This often times can be classified as mild, moderate or severe. As mentioned, the echo-cardiogram or a cardiac catheterization will sometimes give the best clues to the degree of severity.
When trying to locate the best life insurance companies for true athlete’s heart or non athlete’s heart you must work with an expert in the special risk life insurance marketplace.
The life insurance arena for pre-existing medical conditions is relatively small. With nearly 1,000 life insurance companies to choose from it is sometimes hard to know where to start.
Fortunately, you have landed on this page. We are experts in the special risk life insurance marketplace. We know the carriers to go to based on the medical condition. We know how to negotiate and present the case to the underwriter to get the lowest rates.
You see, many life insurance companies paint with a broad brush. In other words they put all diabetics, all heart cases, etc. into the same classification or simply may decline an application because this is not there type of risk.
It is important to go thru the process with an experienced independent agent that represents all of the companies that specialize in high risk life insurance.
Information needed for best offer on athlete’s heart
When looking for the absolute best offer on life insurance for someone with a true athlete’s heart or not, it is best to get all the information up front then present your case to the carriers. You see, most agents go about it the wrong way. They simply tell their customer to apply to several insurance companies and hope one will stick.
These is not only a long and expensive process, but actually can hurt your chances of finding an affordable offer. No one wants to fill out application after application, take exams and be poked by a nurse multiple times.
The experienced agent will ask questions and get medical information up front. This can then be presented to the different carriers and a tentative quote for coverage can be offered. You see, most of the information that underwrites use to evaluate risk comes from the insured and their personal physician. Why not get this information up front to see if the carrier is even interested?
By applying to multiple insurance companies without any way of knowing if they are even interested is the wrong way. This information goes to the medical information bureau. The MIB is a clearinghouse for the insurance industry. Once you apply for coverage your MIB report gets a hit. If you get declined from multiple insurance companies it will show up on your MIB report.
This can hurt you. Once a carrier sees that you have applied and been declined by multiple carriers, they may be less inclined to make an offer or just be scared away. Don’t risk it.
Here are some of the questions your agent and insurance carriers will need in order to see if they would be interested in making an offer based on your history of an enlarged or athlete’s heart.
- Date of diagnoses of athlete’s heart
- Any history of chest discomfort, dizziness, shortness of breath or heart palpitations
- Results from Treadmill or Thallium exercise test? Results from resting or exercise echo-cardiogram
- Any history of heart disease (valves, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, etc.)
- Currently taking any medications
- Used any tobacco in last 5 years
- Any other major health problems
Other information needed would be date of birth, male or female and amount of protection needed.
We are experts at finding the lowest rates in the industry for individuals with athlete’s heart, coronary artery disease, diabetes, etc. If we can help you with your life insurance needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-888-393-9003 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for reviewing this blog.