Last Updated: September 2020
Cholesterol issues are very common in life insurance underwriting but you can still obtain affordable life insurance rates with elevated or high cholesterol.
To get approved for low life insurance rates with elevated cholesterol, you just have to know how to shop for the right company and policy for you. In this article, we’ll show you how life insurance companies view cholesterol and how you can prepare for a favorable rating.
- Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask About Your Cholesterol
- The Best Life Insurance Companies for High Cholesterol
- Burial Insurance for People with High Cholesterol
- Medical Exam Tips with High Cholesterol
- How to Apply for Life Insurance with High Cholesterol
Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask About Your Cholesterol
High cholesterol is considered high risk, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay high rates.
Life insurance companies want to make sure you’re being active in keeping your cholesterol under control. So yearly doctor’s visits showing active control of your cholesterol is a good thing and will help you obtain a better health class.
Specifically, here’s what the life insurance companies need to know to properly evaluate your cholesterol:
- Date of Diagnosis
- Total Cholesterol, LDL, HDL, Triglyceride levels
- Total Cholesterol Ratio and HDL Ration
- Family History of heart disease or stroke?
- Other Health Issues (like diabetes)
Also, your past cholesterol levels will have little effect on your life insurance if you’ve successfully lowered your levels. The life insurance company will base most of their decision on the medical exam you take for your life insurance application and your most recent results from your physician.
Each Life Insurance Company Views Your Situation Differently
Having a carrier see your situation in a more favorable light than other carriers is ideal for finding that best rate. Each life insurance company has different cholesterol underwriting guidelines.
For example, some companies give underwriting credits for high levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) when compared to LDL (the bad cholesterol).
Also, some companies have higher total cholesterol levels to get their Standard or Preferred rates.
Below is a general guide on what to expect. See our detailed chart further in the article for life insurance carrier-specific guidelines.
- Preferred rates are often available up to total cholesterol levels of 250 and a few companies go up to 300. Even if you’re taking medications and your cholesterol is under control, you can get the preferred rate.
- Standard rates are available with some companies if you have total cholesterol of up to 300. Again, some carriers are higher. Typically you’re substandard if you’re over 300.
Also, take into consideration your ratios. Preferred rates are not available for LDL/HDL ratios lower than 5.0. If your total cholesterol is over 300, but your ratios are low, some carriers will still offer standard rates even though you fall outside of their total cholesterol guidelines.
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into finding the right life insurance company if you have elevated cholesterol. There’s no way for a consumer to know all of this, so make sure you work with an experienced life insurance agent who can sort this out for you.
The Best Life Insurance Companies for High Cholesterol
If you know your cholesterol levels, use the chart below to determine what health classification you can qualify for. Keep in mind, the underwriter will factor in the results of your cholesterol on the medical exam and your most recent physician’s visit. In some cases, they’ll look at your history.
Generally speaking, there are 12 health classifications you can qualify for:
- Preferred Plus
- Standard Plus
- Tables 1-8
Note: Preferred plus is the best health classification you can qualify for. Less than 10% of consumers can qualify for preferred plus.
|Carrier||Preferred Best||Preferred||Standard Plus||Standard|
|AIG (formerly American General)||5.0 HDL ratio or less w/215 total OR 4.5 HDL ratio or less w/290 total||6.0 HDL ratio or less w/245 total OR 5.5 HDL ratio or less w/290 total||7.0 HDL ratio or less w/260 total OR 6.5 HDL ratio or less w/290 total||Not Specified|
|American National (ANICO) age 61+||5 HDL ratio or less w/300 Total||5.5 HDL ratio or less w/300 Total||6 HDL ratio or less w/300 Total||Not Specified|
|American National (ANICO) ages 0 -60||4.5 HDL ratio or less w/300 Total||5.5 HDL ratio or less w/300 Total||6 HDL ratio or less w/300 Total||Not Specified|
|Legal & General (Banner Life)||4.5 HDL ratio or less w/300 Total||5.5 HDL ratio or less w/300 Total||6.5 HDL ratio or less w/300 Total||8.0 HDL ratio or less w/300 Total|
|Foresters (NM and Full UW)||4.5 HDL ratio or less w/220 Total||5 HDL ratio or less w/230 Total||6.5 HDL ratio or less w/260 Total||Not Specified|
|Lincoln Financial (Ages 0-69)||5 HDL ratio or less||6 HDL ratio or less||Not Specified||Not Specified|
|Lincoln Financial (Ages 70 and Up)||5.5 HDL ratio or less||7 HDL ratio or less||Not Specified||Not Specified|
|Mutual of Omaha (All ages)||5 HDL ratio or less||6 HDL ratio or less||7 HDL ratio or less||Not Specified|
|Principal (Ages 20-64)||4.5 HDL ratio or less w/240 total||5.5 HDL ratio or less w/270 total||6.5 HDL ratio or less w/300 total||Not Specified|
|Principal (Ages 65-85)||5 HDL ratio or less w/260 total||6 HDL ratio or less w/280 total||7 HDL ratio or less w/300 total||Not Specified|
|Protective (Ages 18-70)||4.5 HDL ratio or less w/275 total or less||5.5 HDL ratio or less w/275 total||Not Specified||Not Specified|
|Protective (Ages 71 and up)||4.5 HDL ratio or less w/130 - 275 total||5.5 HDL ratio or less w/130 - 275 total||Not Specified||Not Specified|
|Prudential||5 HDL ratio or less||6 HDL ratio or less||7 HDL ratio or less||Insurability & ratings depend on actual cholesterol readings & other medical conditions|
|Sagicor Life (Non Med)||Treatment Not Allowed, in control||Treatment Allowed, in control total must be 220 or less 1 Script allowed||N/A||Treatment Allowed, in control total must be 220 or less 2 Scripts allowed|
|SBLI (Female)||4.5 HDL ratio or less||5 HDL ratio or less||7 HDL ratio or less||Not Specified|
|SBLI (Male)||5 HDL ratio or less||5.5 HDL ratio or less||6 HDL ratio or less||Not Specified|
2 important things to take from this chart:
1. The Company You Choose Matters
Each company views your cholesterol results differently. There is a lot more information factored into your rates such as if you’re currently being treated, how long you’ve had elevated cholesterol, other conditions, your age, and more.
That’s why it’s best not to make this decision solely on which company views your cholesterol best. It’s one of many factors. An experienced agent will be able to help.
2. Life Insurance Companies are Lenient for People with High Cholesterol
Most consumers find that life insurance companies are for the most part pretty lenient with elevated cholesterol. Sure you may not qualify for the best rates, but you can still qualify for very affordable rates.
If you find yourself qualifying for preferred or preferred best with every company, check out our guide to the best overall life insurance companies.
Burial Insurance for People with High Cholesterol
The information above is for traditionally underwritten products such as term life insurance and universal life insurance.
For small burial insurance policies with high cholesterol, it’s very easy to get approved.
If you’re looking for a small $5,000 to $35,000 whole life insurance policy and are over the age of 50 years old, you’ll get approved easily for a burial insurance policy as long as there aren’t any other severe underlying health issues.
You’ll get a decision with most burial insurance companies instantly and they won’t even ask about cholesterol on the application.
Making Healthier Lifestyle Choices Can Improve Rates
We have helped countless individuals obtain life insurance with high cholesterol and have noticed certain trends take place with life insurance companies.
The first is relatively obvious. The healthier you are and the more controlled your cholesterol is even if it does require medication, the lower your rates will ultimately be.
Following up with your primary doctor and remaining consistent with your medications also plays a vital role in ensuring that your rates remain as low as possible.
For the most favorable rates for coverage with high cholesterol, it is best to remain in a range of 150-250 for your total cholesterol.
The best advice we can give individuals in these situations is to start with a coverage amount and premium that makes sense for your budget. Especially if you still need time to get your numbers down. You can always re-apply in the future if need be.
Life Insurance Medical Exam Tips with High Cholesterol
Your medical exam could make or break a decision.
We’ve had people with no cholesterol issues get declined for life insurance because of their cholesterol levels on the exam.
Take the medical exam seriously by using these tips:
- Fast for 8 hours prior to your medical exam. Try to schedule the exam in the morning so you can get that “natural fast” while sleeping.
- Don’t eat any fatty foods 24 hours prior to your exam and drink lots of water prior to the exam.
- If you’re on medications, make sure you’re compliant with your doctor’s recommended frequency.
How to Apply for Life Insurance with High Cholesterol
The key in all of this is choosing the right life insurance agent who has experience with helping consumers with cholesterol issues.
Knowledgeable agents will know what company to use to obtain the lowest rates even if you fall into a high-risk life insurance category.
If you have decided to start shopping for life insurance with high cholesterol, use the quote box on the right or call us.