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Life insurance companies cannot reject applicants or charge them higher premiums for being transgender – and this type of discrimination is illegal. However, there are still some nuances transgender applicants need to understand.

For starters, life insurance applications only include an option to apply as a female or a male — nonbinary is not an option. In addition, most insurers will underwrite you based on your gender, but some will underwrite you based on the gender you were assigned at birth.

Additionally, gender-affirming care can impact your life insurance rates or eligibility, like any other pending surgery or prescription history can. Read on to learn more. 

Can you get life insurance if you’re transgender?

Yes. Life insurance companies cannot reject you for being transgender and doing so would be illegal. Additionally, you can’t be charged a higher rate for being transgender. However, men are generally charged higher rates than women, so if you’re underwritten as a man, you may pay a higher premium than you would if you were underwritten as a woman. 

How life insurance companies underwrite transgender applicants

There are no universal rules or guidelines for how insurers should underwrite transgender applicants, which means each insurer’s underwriting process is a bit different. While most insurers will underwrite you based on your gender, some may only underwrite you based on the gender you were assigned at birth. For the most part, non-binary is not an option on life insurance applications. 

Additionally, the insurers who underwrite you on your actual gender may only do so under certain circumstances, such as if you have gone through hormone therapy or gender-affirming surgery. 

Again, the way each insurer underwrites transgender applicants varies, so it’s best to shop around and ask multiple insurers about their process so you can find a company that best honors your wishes during the process.     

How gender-affirming care affects your life insurance application   

During the underwriting process, insurers weigh multiple factors to determine your rates. These include your age, gender, lifestyle choices and medical profile. 

If you are receiving gender-affirming care or have plans to, this may affect how much you pay for coverage. Again, insurers cannot discriminate against you for being transgender or receiving gender-affirming care, but any pending surgeries or prescriptions can impact rates. 

Surgeries are deemed risky procedures by insurers, so most applicants who have upcoming surgeries will receive a higher rate. Some might even defer acceptance until enough time has passed after the surgery to show that there were no complications.           

Likewise, if you are taking hormone therapy, most insurance companies won’t increase your rates — but this depends on how risky they view your prescription history. 

Your mental health history is also weighed in your rate calculation and people who take prescriptions for depression or anxiety may pay more for coverage. Instances of depression and anxiety are more than double in LGBTQ people than in cisgender people, according to the American Psychiatry Association. 

Each insurer is different in its underwriting approach, so again, shopping around is the best way to get the most affordable rate and coverage that is tailored toward you.     



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Tips for transgender applicants getting life insurance 

As we’ve mentioned, the best thing you can do when you’re purchasing life insurance is to shop around and compare underwriting processes and quotes from multiple insurers. Some insurers may honor your actual gender, while others may not, and comparing multiple insurance companies is the best way to find a company that allows you to purchase a policy that aligns with you.

There are some other steps you can take to make sure you work with the right insurer.

  • Work with an agent or broker: If you don’t want to do all the time-consuming legwork yourself, work with an agent or broker who can navigate the process. This person can advise you on which companies work best for your profile and will offer you the most affordable rate.
  • If you suspect discrimination, contact your state’s insurance department: The insurance department will conduct an investigation, which will help prevent future applicants from facing the same discrimination. 
  • Get temporary life insurance if you need to: If you are getting gender-affirming care and have to postpone getting a traditional life insurance policy, purchase a short-term policy so you still have some coverage. 


The American Psychiatry Association.“Diversity & Health Equity Education: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning.” Accessed March 2023.

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