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Can I get life insurance with asthma history?
In today’s life insurance marketplace you can find affordable life insurance with asthma. First let’s discuss what asthma is an what information is needed to provide the absolute lowest rate in the marketplace.
According to the asthma and allergy foundation asthma affects almost 26 million Americans.
Bronchial asthma is characterized by shortness of breath and wheezing due to constriction or narrowing of the smaller airways. It is a chronic inflammatory disease that without proper treatment can develop scarring of the lung.
Symptoms of an asthmatic attack can include chest tightness, coughing, wheezing, and labored breathing. These can last several minutes or several hours depending on the severity.
What do underwriters want to know about your asthma history?
A life insurance underwriter’s job is to determine the risk that will be associated for any particular insured. That risk will then be assigned a rating of which will determine the actual premium cost. When underwriting life insurance with asthma history, the underwriter will pay particular attention to the frequency and severity of the asthma history.
Below are the typical underwriting guidelines that an insurance company might use when evaluating life insurance with asthma history:
- Mild Severity– 2 or less significant episodes per year. Therapy use could include any number of inhalers of any kind, including steroids. No injections or epinephrine/adrenaline. No aerosolized (nebulized) bronchodilator. One continuous oral medication but no steroid. Short course tapering oral steroid up to 1 per year. No hospitalization for asthma or other respiratory disease in past 2 years.
- Moderate Severity– 4 or less significant episodes per year. Therapy use could include any number of inhalers of any kind, including steroids. Injections of epinephrine/adrenaline less than 4 per year. Short course of aerosolized(nebulized) bronchodilator less than 4 per year. Any number of continuous oral medications,but no steroids. Short course tapering steroid of 2 or less per year. No hospitalizations for asthma or other respiratory disease in past 1 year.
- Moderately Severe– 5 or less significant episodes per year. Therapy use could include any number of inhalers of any kind, including steroids. Injections of adrenaline less than 5 per year. Short course of aerosolized(nebulized) bronchodilator up to 5 per year. Any number of continuous oral medications, which may include low dose oral steroid (less than 10 mg daily).Short course oral steroid boost less than 4 per year. No hospitalizations or other respiratory disease in past six months.
- Severe- 6 or more significant episodes per year. Persistent wheezing or dyspnea that limits activity. FEV 1 less than 1 liter at all times, including between episodes. Home oxygen.
Once the underwriter has gotten as much information as possible from the agent, the insured and if necessary the insured personal physician they will classify the risk into one of the classes above. This classification will then determine how much additional premium if any would be charged to the typical standard rate charged by the carrier.
As an example, an insured who falls into the mild risk classification would typically not be charged any additional premium for the asthma history. This would be considered a standard risk for the insurance company.
An insured who falls under the moderate risk classification would typically fall under what is known as a class or table B risk category. With most insurance companies this adds an additional 50% in premium to the base standard rate.
An insured who falls under the moderately severe risk classification would typically fall into the class or table D to G range of risk category. This would add an additional 100% to 175% in premium to the base standard rate.
An insured who falls under the severe risk classification would typically be a decline for life insurance. ( Guaranteed issue or other options could be available).
It is important to remember that the above scenarios are just examples and each individual is viewed differently. Other factors could come into play in regards to the overall risk class. This could include other medical history such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, etc. It is important to make sure the underwriter has the complete picture.
Initial questions to evaluate life insurance with asthma
While searching for the most affordable rate when looking for life insurance with asthma, it is important for an agent to gather some initial information up front:
- Male or Female
- Date of Birth
- Any history of tobacco use? If so, what type? If quit, when?
- Date of first diagnosis of asthma?
- Ever been hospitalized for asthma?
- How many episodes of asthma have you in the past year that required an ER or doctor visit?
- Are you currently on any medications or using an inhaler?
- Have you ever had pulmonary functions done?
- Have you ever had an abnormal chest x-ray or EKG abnormalities?
- Any other major health problems?
- Amount of protection needed?
Remember, it is important to only work with an agent that understands this specialized area of underwriting. If you speak to an agent and they immediately want to give you a rate you should politely hang up.
No agent that understands the special risk marketplace, and that is looking out for the best interest of their customer, would quote a rate without speaking to an underwriter.
An agent that understands this marketplace would gather your information, talk to several insurance company underwriters and then come back to the client with the best rates available. This allows the client to save valuable time and money.
Important– You do not want to complete applications from several different carriers and take a medical exam until you know with almost surety that an offer will be made. This can severely impact you from finding the absolute best rate.
If you are looking for life insurance with asthma, and would like to find out the most affordable rate in the industry contact us at 1-888-393-9003 or firstname.lastname@example.org