Last Updated: July 2020
Trying to find the best-rated life insurance companies for applicants with COPD? You’re in the right place.
In this article, we will help you find the most affordable rates, even if you’ve been declined in the past.
We’ll explain what information is needed to give you an accurate life insurance rate with COPD and what kind of rates to expect.
- Can You Get Life Insurance with COPD?
- Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask About Your COPD
- COPD and No Medical Exam Whole Life Insurance Options
- How to Apply for Life Insurance with COPD
Can You Get Life Insurance with COPD?
Yes! But to obtain an accurate rate, we would have to know detailed information about your COPD.
This is common with nearly any form of high-risk life insurance.
One of the main indicators the life insurance company is looking for is your “Forced Expired Volume in 1 Second” or FEV1 which is included in your Pulmonary Function Tests. The higher the percentage, the better your life insurance rates will be. Normal values are around 80%. Those with COPD have a ratio of less than 70%.
If you know this value or can get this from your doctor, it will be much easier to find the most affordable life insurance rates. If you don’t know these, we can assess your COPD by gathering other details.
COPD is often classified into 4 categories: Mild, Moderate, Severe, and Extreme COPD.
Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask About Your COPD
There are 4 classifications of COPD that underwriters will look at and consider when you apply for coverage.
Mild COPD: Mild chronic cough is okay as well as shortness of breath after moderate exertion. Your pulmonary function tests should be near normal with no x-ray abnormalities. Your FEV1 value should be between 60%-80%. You must be a non-smoker and not be receiving any treatment. Mild COPD will receive a Standard Table 2 rating with the most competitive companies.
Moderate COPD: Increased coughing and shortness of breath at moderate exertion levels. Pulmonary function tests show moderately decreased levels of lung functioning. X-ray studies can show abnormalities. Inhaler used on occasion. Your FEV1 will typically be between 50%-59%. Moderate COPD will receive Standard Table 4 life insurance rates with certain companies, others will rate you higher or even decline.
Severe COPD: Shortness of breath occurs with everyday activities. Pulmonary functions show decreases. Treatment includes inhaler, steroids, or other medications. Your FEV1 will be 40%-49%. You are looking at Table 6 – Table 8 rating with some companies and most companies will decline to offer you coverage.
Extreme COPD: If you’re unable to complete normal activities and shortness of breath happens either at rest or with minimal exertion, you’re considered extreme. Treatment usually requires an oxygen tank or treatment at home. Anything below a FEV1 or 40% is considered severe. You will only be able to qualify for a graded death benefit policy. A traditionally underwritten company won’t accept this risk.
You will need to Answer Health Questions
The key is to know your FEV1 percentage from your Pulmonary Function Tests, but if those aren’t available we can assess your risk by asking you these questions:
- Date of Diagnosis?
- Type of Lung Disease associated with COPD? (Asthma? Chronic Bronchitis? Emphysema?)
- Have you ever been hospitalized for COPD? (dates, details)
- Are you taking medications? (details)
- Has a chest x-ray been done? (date, results)
- Has an ECG been completed? (date, results)
- Any other medical conditions?
After gathering this information we would do what’s called a “trial application”.
In other words, we would submit an anonymous application detailing your risk to all of our life insurance carriers.
They would respond with a tentative offer in writing. This will be the rate as long as your labs or medical records don’t show anything different from what you described. From there you can decide if you want to formally apply.
COPD and No Medical Exam Whole Life Insurance Options
If you’re looking for no medical exam term life insurance with COPD, it doesn’t exist.
However, if you’re looking for no medical exam whole life insurance with COPD, we can help you out.
Depending on your treatment and severity of COPD, we can get you coverage up to $25,000. We know of one company actively taking people with COPD and they offer “first-day coverage”. This means coverage starts immediately.
There are a lot of choices for “Graded Death Benefit”.
In this case, there’s a 2-year waiting period until life insurance benefits are paid out. We know very well you’re not going anywhere in the next 2 years, so this is a great option for many who can’t get approved for traditional coverage.
In this situation, we would shop the best-graded death benefit rates for you (more on this shortly).
Experience and knowledge matter, not who has the biggest advertising budget. If your agent doesn’t ask you what your Pulmonary Function Tests were or the questions above, then they are just taking guesses.
We have turned COPD life insurance declines into affordable offers and continue to do this on a regular basis.
Sometimes Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Is Your Only Option With COPD
If you have severe COPD or require the use of oxygen, it can become tricky to get approved for life insurance coverage through traditional methods.
When this occurs, you will find yourself with limited options such as guaranteed issue life insurance.
The good news is that this coverage is still a completely viable path you can choose to take and to provide protection for your family.
This coverage will often extend up to 35,000 in coverage and is still available with top-rated life insurance companies such as the following:
- Gerber Life
- Great Western Life
How to Apply for Life Insurance with COPD
Working with an independent life insurance agent and comparing multiple quotes before purchasing a policy are the two best ways to find the lowest rates.
Instead of going with one of those second-rate companies, give us a shot. We’re independent and experienced agents. How does this help you? Independent means we won’t sell you one plan versus another because it benefits us.
The worst thing you can do is not get any coverage.
It may be more expensive than you’d like, but some coverage is better than nothing. You’re here to protect someone you care greatly about. Don’t let the price deter you from doing just that. We can secure anyone’s life insurance with COPD or any other respiratory issues, even if it’s a small amount of coverage.