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
Life Insurance is Boring. Let’s Get To The Root Of It! Here are the key takeaways…
It is possible to obtain life insurance with COPD and will be determined based on the severity of your COPD and other underlying health factors. It is also possible that guaranteed issue life insurance is your only option for coverage 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).
We’ve had a lot of people get declined from the big agencies like SelectQuote, AIG Direct, and Zander and we were able to find affordable rates.
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.
Trying to find life insurance for my mother, she does have , I would say moderate copd , and recently been put on oxygen ONLY, for at night, if you could please contact me thanks april
HI April, we’ve sent you an email.
Amanda E McCoy
My dad has severe COPD and let his insurance lapse. We are looking for a replacement policy but can’t find anything that seems to be available in WA. Can you help?
Hi Amanda: That’s unfortunate. We do have options and we’ll shoot you an email as we need some more details to provide those options. Call us if you want some immediate help.
How is it possible for companies to advertise that you can not be turned down and no medical questions and then turn you down because of your medical condition (COPD)?
Chuck, You’re likely referring to a guaranteed issue company. They will not turn you down. It’s likely you just used a different company. Most companies will take COPD depending on the severity. Consider calling us and we’ll get you some options based on your unique situation. Good luck.
NEED POLICY FOR A FRIEND MODERATE COPD, HE IS 42 PLEASE CONTACT ME VIA E MAIL
Hi Shawn. We’ve emailed you. Thanks for reaching out.
My mother is 68 years old with mild COPD. She only has chronic bronchitis and uses an inhaler only when she is sick. Other than that, she takes no medication and doesn’t get short of breath climbing stairs etc. She is looking to get life insurance but has had no luck so far.
You likely just used the wrong company. Most companies won’t take COPD, but there a bunch that will. Some carriers won’t even require an exam.
Fill out the form on the side and someone will get in touch.
hello I need life insurance please I have moderate copd not smoked for past 6 months
Hi Mark – We can help. Just complete a quote form on this page and an expert will reach out.
I am looking for life insurance for my daughter. She has moderated copd. Please email me some information we are having a hard time finding insurance. Thank you.
Hi Michelle, We emailed you and will let you know your options. Thanks for reaching out.
Interested in life insurance on my father/ Moderate COPD . 72 years of age.
Several options available, but we would need to learn more. He can qualify for final expense life insurance with first day coverage as long he’s not taking any oxygen.
I am looking for life insurance for my husband who has COPD hypertension. I filled your form and said there was none available. this is what I have been dealing with. Can you help
One of our agents will be in touch. As long as he’s under the age of 80, there will be options.
Hello Jeff. I have many questions and am very interested to getting some information about buying a policy for my 74 year old father. He has COPD/emphysema. Please email me at your earliest convenience.
Hi Lisa, fill out the form on this page and we’ll be in touch. There are plenty of options for your husband.
Shana A Hunnicutt
Hi my name is Shana Hunnicutt. I was diagnosed with emphysema last year. Prior to the diagnosis I was told I have Copd. I recently applied for global life insurance. I was denied after the phone interview. I am not promised today or tomorrow I need to ensure my husband and children and not stuck with burial bills or bills in general. Can you help me find an affordable life insurance. I’m on a fixed income as well.
Absolutely, we can help. You just need to use the right life insurance company. If you haven’t filled out a form on our site already, please do so and we’ll go over your options.
I am 64 years young, and have what would be considered moderate COPD. I have been doing extensive research on whole life insurance for myself. I happened upon your post and thought I would give you a shoutout. Hopefully you can help me. Do you charge a fee. I am on a very tight budget. Thank you.
No we don’t charge a fee and help many with COPD every week. Happy to help. Fill out the quote form on this page and someone will be in touch.