How liver disease affects your life insurance rates
Finding the most affordable life insurance with liver disease is possible if you know the secret. This article will give you the tips on how to locate the companies that specialize in this niche market.
The extent of the liver disease will determine what the final rates will be. But, it is important to remember that all life insurance companies evaluate health and lifestyle differently. There are life insurance companies that specialize in offering lower rates for those with liver disease.
Life insurance companies typically have prospects for coverage complete a mini-exam along with urine and blood test. It is this blood tests that often finding the history of liver disease.
One common test that life insurance companies run is the liver function test. The liver function test will oftentimes show an elevation of the liver enzymes.
This elevation of liver enzymes can often mean liver disease. What type of liver disease and the severity must be determined.
Elevated liver enzymes
The liver tests most commonly encountered by a life insurance underwriter include:
- SGOT which stands for serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase. This is also known as the AST
- SGPT which stands for serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase. This is also known as the ALT
- GGTP which stands for gamma-glutamyl transferase or transpeptidase
Elevations of the SGOT and the SGPT are usually caused by some type of liver damage that allows enzymes to “leak out” of cells.
The degree of elevation roughly parallels the extent of liver cell damage. SGPT is the most specific enzyme, being produced primarily by the liver. SGOT is produced by the liver but commonly rises from simple muscle trauma.
GGTP is a very sensitive enzyme for the detection of early liver disease or damage. It is also an inducible enzyme, meaning that it will rise when the liver is actively metabolizing some types of drugs or toxins like alcohol.
Many impairments can cause elevations in one or more of the liver enzymes:
- Hepatitis, especially viral hepatitis
- Fatty Liver, often associated with diabetes, obesity, elevated blood fats, or excess alcohol
- Liver cancer or metastases
- Alcohol use
- Some medications, such as dilantin, phenobarbital, allopurinol, and many others
- Bilary obstruction, including gallstones, primary biliary cirrhosis, cancer and cholangitis
In summary, when faced with a situation of abnormal liver enzymes, underwriters will consider the degree of elevation, results from other blood tests, clinical history, and current physical findings.
Many of the above mentioned impairments can be quite serious. But, it is also important to not that elevated liver enzymes could be attributed to something such as a current viral illness or even a recent history of using advil or other medications.
Finding the best carriers for liver disease
Okay, so now we know what life insurance underwriters are looking for when evaluating those with a possible history of liver disease. But, how does someone looking for life insurance know what carriers underwriter the best.
Fortunately, you have landed on the right page. We are experts in special risk life insurance underwriting. Through years of experience in dealing with all kinds of special risk prospects we know the best carriers.
You see the special risk life insurance market is really a very small niche of carriers. With over 1,000 life insurance carriers in the United States it would be impossible for the everyday person to know who to go to.
In fact, many people make the mistake of applying for life insurance with the wrong carrier. They often think they can just go to their long time home and auto carrier for this type of coverage.
In fact, most of the companies that specialize in liver disease are smaller less known companies.
Your special risk agent will guide you thru the process of comparing the companies that do the best job.
Questions to answer before applying for life insurance
If someone has a history of elevated liver enzymes or a history of liver disease then it is best to do some preliminary underwriting. Below you will find some of the questions your agent will need in order to submit your request for coverage:
- How long have you had elevated liver enzymes?
- What are the most recent liver function test results? I.E. SGOT, SGPT, GGTP, Bilirubin
- Have your results been increasing, decreasing or stable?
- Do you drink alcohol? If yes, frequency and amount?
- Are you taking any prescription medications?
- Have you been evaluated for the following? Hepatitis A,B or C? Iron Studies, Liver ultrasound or CT? Liver biopsy?
- Do you have any other major health problems such as diabetes, cancer, etc.?
- Date of Birth?
- Male or Female?
- Tobacco use in last 5 years?
In addition to the answers to these questions, it will also be important to know the amount of protection you need and what type of coverage you would like? (TERM or PERMANENT)
Once this information is gathered your special risk agent will then contact several of the companies that specialize in liver disease and speak to them personally about your situation.
Your agent will then negotiate the best rates between the carriers and provide you with the lowest offer.
If the offer is agreeable to you then and only then will you formally apply for coverage and complete any medical exam and blood tests.
This ability to shop the carriers will save you time and money.
If you have a history of liver disease or elevated liver function tests and are in the market for life insurance contact us for a free consultation.
You can reach us at 1-888-393-9003 or email@example.com