Life Insurance with Renal Failure

How to find life insurance with renal failure?

This article will give you helpful information on giving you the best chance to find life insurance with renal failure. Kidney disease can make finding life insurance more difficult but not impossible.

Different types of renal failure

Acute renal failure is commonly caused by trauma or surgery. Other causes such as glomerulonephritis, pyelonephritis, etc. may leave the kidney with no detectable renal damage. This type of renal failure usually results in complete recovery. From a life insurance underwriting review a complete recovery and with normal kidney function tests one year after failure should result in a standard rate.

This assumes there are no other medical conditions to consider such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, etc.

Chronic renal failure or chronic renal insufficiency can offer a more challenging situation in regards to purchasing life insurance. The onset of chronic renal failure is insidious. Biochemical abnormalities and deterioration of kidney function tests can occur long before symptoms. If an individual has a history of chronic renal failure then current kidney function tests (within 6 months of application) are an absolute necessity.

If the kidney function tests are abnormal, then it must be demonstrated that they are stable and not deteriorating.

Two of the most important kidney function tests that a life insurance underwriter will look at is the:

  • BUN or blood urea nitrogen
  • Creatinine

The normal levels for BUN and creatinine should be up to 25mg/100 ML,  serum creatinine up to 1.7mg/100 ML with creatinine clearance greater than 90 ML/

Mild impairment with BUN 26 -35 mg/100 ML, serum creatinine 1.8 to 2.5 mg / 100 ML, creatinine clearance 55-90 ML/min

Severe impairment with BUN greater than 35 mg/ 100 ML, serum creatinine 2.5 mg/ 100 ML, creatinine clearance less than 55 ML / min

Rating life insurance for chronic renal failure

Based on the information above, most life insurance companies could still offer standard rates with the normal levels of BUN and creatinine.

With the mild impairment of BUN and creatinine most carriers would rate this in the neighborhood of a class 6 range and higher. Class 6 is a 300% rating above the standard rates and insurer would offer.

With the severe impairment most life insurance companies would decline to make an offer.

What company would offer the best rates?

Finding the best carrier for kidney disease is much easier if you use an independent special risk life insurance broker.

A special risk broker will have access to several carriers that specialize in individuals with a history of pre-existing conditions. The special risk broker will also have the knowledge and experience that is needed to negotiate with the different carriers. Your broker’s job is to find the carrier that is willing to offer the best price for your particular situation.

Tip: When dealing with a pre-existing medical condition when applying for life insurance be sure to not simply apply to several carriers and hope one of them makes an offer. You do not want to apply to a carrier that will simply decline you. This will then go to your MIB file and potentially hurt your chances for a good offer. 

What if I have already been declined for coverage?

If you have already been declined for coverage, all hope is not lost. You can still work with a special risk agent to see if one of the carriers that specializes in the high risk market might still make an offer.

Even if an offer in the high risk market is not available you may still have an option for coverage:

  • Conversion coverage- do you currently have coverage that was purchased years ago? If so, that policy may offer a conversion option. This option allows you to convert your current policy to a new level premium policy without an exam or any medical questions.
  • Guaranteed Issue Coverage– In today’s market you can often find a carrier that is willing to offer a guaranteed issue policy. This means there is no medical underwriting. Guaranteed issue coverage offers an excellent alternative. The downside is typically the death benefit amount is limited to $100,000 or so. Rates can be high, but something is better than nothing.


Don’t give up on finding life insurance. Medical breakthroughs an advanced underwriting techniques now offer more opportunities than ever before to secure good qualify life insurance.

If you have a history of renal failure and are in need of life insurance, pick up the phone and call us at 678-207-8160 or email for a free consultation. We are experts.

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How can I help?

Mike Raines

I am an independent life insurance agent with over 30 years’ experience. I am an expert in finding coverage for those with past or current medical history such as heart disease, diabetes, post cancer, etc. I also specialize in those that participate in scuba diving, mountain climbing, private pilots, etc. I work with the best life insurance companies in the nation, such as Prudential, AIG, Protective Life, Transamerica to name a few. Each carrier has different opinions on rates and underwriting, and it is my job to match you with the best company. To do that, I need to ask you a few questions about your health and lifestyle to qualify you.

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We work with individuals across the nation to secure the best life insurance rates.

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