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Ask the Life Insurance Expert

I am a 39-year-old diabetic with asthma and hypertension, and a candidate for gastric bypass surgery. I am interested in life and disability insurance. Could you recommend any insurance companies?

Your best bet is to work with an independent insurance agent who specializes in helping people with medical problems find insurance. Impaired-risk specialists know which companies offer insurance for certain risks at the most competitive prices. Some insurance companies, for instance, quote better life insurance rates for people with diabetes or asthma than other companies.

Having a medical condition or engaging in a risky hobby that raises red flags for insurers is known as impaired risk. Ask your insurance agency if it has an in-house specialist who deals with impaired risk. If not, your local broker may be able to work with a larger brokerage that specializes in placing impaired-risk applications with insurance companies.

If you don't have a broker, then look for an agent who has at least 10 years of experience in the industry and a solid background of finding life insurance for people with medical conditions. Former underwriters and former insurance company managers who oversaw underwriters are usually well equipped to help people in your situation.

Most people with medical conditions can get some type of life insurance, but don't expect to get preferred or super preferred rates. Given your medical conditions you will pay a higher premium than someone your age with a perfectly clean bill of health.

For more, see how impaired-risk specialists find life insurance for people with medical problems.


Last updated: Jul. 5, 2011