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A Guide to Life Insurance for People Who Are Transgender

May 30, 2023
Our goal is to educate and advise on life insurance options, so you can feel confident in making the right choice, whether that’s through Quotacy or somewhere else. To ensure we provide accurate and trustworthy information, our writers follow strict editorial standards.

​If you have someone that depends on you, life insurance is essential. Life insurance companies determine premiums using various factors such as age, gender, and health. The fact that life insurance companies determine rates based on gender can be confusing for people who do not identify with their gender assigned at birth. 

Depending on what carrier you choose, you may find it easy to get affordable life insurance. But unfortunately, there are some carriers where it is more difficult to obtain low-cost coverage for trans people. The easiest way to know what carrier will be your best match is to work with one of our licensed agents. 

Our agents are unbiased, experienced, and they will be able to recommend the best carrier to you for your individual needs. No judgment, just help. If you want more information before applying, this guide will explain how being transgender affects buying life insurance and provide guidance for those seeking coverage. 

Table of Contents

Challenges People Who Are Transgender May Face When Applying for Life Insurance

Life insurance companies focus on risk assessment. The higher the risk of insuring you, the more expensive your premiums will be. Factors like your age, health, and lifestyle are all taken into account by the insurance company when determining your premiums.

Anything from an adverse driving record to a parent who died of cancer prior to age 50 can impact your coverage. However, people who are trans may face unique challenges, such as:

  • Gender classification differences by insurance carriers
  • Underwriting processes for hormone therapies and gender-affirming surgeries
  • Potential postponement of applications due to upcoming surgeries

Gender Classification

Life insurance companies underwrite gender identity differently from one to the next. Some carriers only accept your gender assigned at birth, while others accept your identity. Fortunately, many life insurance companies understand that gender isn’t black and white, and have adjusted their underwriting policies to reflect that.

At Quotacy, we want to remove as many barriers to getting life insurance as possible. And we know getting misgendered is a barrier. Which is why our agents can help you apply to a carrier that accepts your identity and will make the process as easy as possible.

So how do different carriers approach gender classification? We’ll give you an example Because insurance companies constantly update their guidelines, we have kept their names anonymous.

CompanyGender Evaluation
Insurer AUses gender assigned at birth
Insurer BUses your gender identity (can be different
than gender assigned at birth)
Insurer CUses gender assigned at birth; if
gender-affirming surgery has taken place, coverage is postponed for 3 years.
After that, your gender identity is affirmed.
Insurer DUses your gender identity
Insurer ECase-by-case decision; if gender-affirming
surgery has taken place, coverage is postponed for 3 years. After that, your
gender identity is affirmed.
Insurer FCase-by-case decision
Insurer GUses your gender identity
Insurer HUses birth gender
Insurer IUses gender identity
Insurer JGender is determined by sex organs and
compliance with hormonal therapies
Insurer KUses your gender identity
Insurer LUses your gender identity
Insurer MUses gender assigned at birth

Some states don’t allow a gender change on official documents, so IDs, such as your driver’s license, may not match your application. In cases like this, a cover letter from your agent can be very beneficial. In this letter, your agent provides an underwriter more information specific to you and your story.

Underwriting Therapies and Surgeries

The underwriting process is when the insurance company reviews your full application to determine if you can be approved and, if so, your appropriate premium and coverage amount.

When a person undergoes (or has undergone) hormone therapy treatment and/or gender-affirming surgeries, it can affect not only the premium rates for their life insurance policy but also the requirements during the underwriting process.

  • Hormone therapy: Undergoing hormone therapy can introduce potential health risks and side effects that the insurance company may need to take into account. These could include increased risk of blood clots, stroke, or certain types of cancer. The insurance company will likely assess the type, duration, and dosage of hormone therapy, as well as any associated health issues that have arisen due to the treatment.
  • Gender-affirming surgeries: As with any surgical procedure, gender-affirming surgeries carry inherent risks and potential complications, such as infection, bleeding, or anesthesia-related issues. The underwriter may review the type of surgery, the date it was performed, any complications that occurred, and the applicant’s recovery progress.

In addition to the standard factors such as age, occupation, and hobbies, these considerations are taken into account when determining an individual’s risk class. Insurance companies often order and review medical records of applicants, so this is not unique to the trans community, but it’s important to be aware that this is a part of the application process.

Postponement for Upcoming Surgeries

If you have a gender-affirming surgery scheduled, most life insurance companies will postpone your application until the surgery is complete. This is because surgical procedures, regardless of their nature, carry inherent risks and potential complications which can impact the individual’s overall health status.

By waiting until after the surgery and recovery period, insurance companies can more accurately assess your health status and, therefore, determine the appropriate premium for your life insurance policy.

See what you’d pay for life insurance

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How to Apply for Life Insurance as a Transgender Person

If you’re trans, you can apply for life insurance the same way as anyone else. You can apply for coverage through a variety of channels, such as brokers, agents, or directly with an insurance company. However, we recommend that you apply through an independent broker for several reasons, the top reason being that it will often save you the grief of having to work with a company that does not recognize your identity.

Independent brokers, like Quotacy, have access to a wide range of insurance carriers, allowing them to shop around and find the best policy that caters to your specific needs. This is especially important for individuals who are transgender since underwriting practices can vary significantly among different insurance companies.

Here are some benefits of using an independent broker:

  • Customized Options: Independent brokers can compare policies from multiple carriers, helping you find a plan that matches your needs and budget. This ensures that you receive the most suitable coverage at the best price possible.
  • Expertise and Support: Independent brokers have specialized knowledge and experience in the life insurance industry. We’ll guide you through the application process, answer questions, and help you navigate any potential challenges or complications.
  • Advocacy: An independent broker represents your interests, not those of a particular insurance company. This means that we work on your behalf to find the best coverage and negotiate the most favorable terms for your situation.
  • Time and Effort Savings: Applying for life insurance can be time-consuming and complex. Get quotes in seconds on Quotacy.com and apply online in just a few minutes. Your agent then goes to work behind the scenes ensuring you’re matched with the best insurance company for you.
  • Inclusivity and Understanding: We’re familiar with the unique challenges faced by transgender individuals in obtaining life insurance. We can help identify insurance carriers that have inclusive policies and practices, ensuring that you’re treated fairly and with respect during the application process.

The Cost of a Life Insurance Policy for Transgender Applicants

Gender is just one factor that plays into determining premiums. Health is a significant factor that is evaluated. And with trans applicants specifically, medical impairments take precedence over gender.

Statistically, the trans community faces a higher risk of mental health issues, like depression and anxiety, which can impact life insurance rates. Carriers can’t legally discriminate based on gender identity, but they can use medical history to justify higher premiums.

Pre-existing conditions like anxiety or depression are just one more reason to work with an experienced broker. Life insurance companies assess medical conditions differently, so by working with a broker like Quotacy, you’ll have an advocate on your side to ensure you get the best rate available.

For example, one insurer may approve a person taking three anxiety medications at a Preferred Plus rate class, while another insurer may only offer Table B for the same individual. The table below shows how these different rate classes impact your pricing.

Policy: $500,000 Term Policy with 20 Years of Coverage
Applicant: Healthy, Non-Smoking 30-Year-Old Who Identifies as Male
Rate ClassMonthly Premium
Preferred Plus$19.05
Standard Plus$29.35
Table A$40.70
Table B$46.63
Table C$52.56
Table D$58.50

Your Quotacy agent will play matchmaker to ensure the company you apply to will offer you the best possible rate.

What Are Your Life Insurance Options?

The two types of life insurance are term and permanent life insurance.

Term life insurance is the most common type because of its affordability. It provides coverage for a specific period of time, typically ranging from 10-40 years.

  • Affordable: Term life insurance premiums are usually lower than permanent life insurance, making it more accessible for most people.
  • Simple: Term life policies are easy to understand and manage, as they offer coverage for a set period with fixed premiums.
  • Flexible: You can choose the term length that best suits your needs, whether it’s 10, 20, or 30 years, or another duration.

Permanent life insurance offers coverage for your entire lifetime, but at a cost. It can also accumulate cash value, like a savings account you can access while alive through policy loans. The most common types of permanent life insurance are whole and universal life insurance.

  • Lifetime coverage: As long as the premiums are paid, permanent life insurance provides coverage throughout your entire life.
  • Cash value accumulation: A portion of your premium payments contributes to a cash value account, which can grow on a tax-deferred basis over time.
  • Financial flexibility: You can use the accumulated cash value to cover emergency expenses, supplement retirement income, or fund other financial goals.

Permanent life insurance policies offer more features compared to term policies, but they can be 10-20 times more expensive.

While permanent policies can be advantageous in specific situations, the majority of our clients opt for term life insurance to protect their families due to its simplicity and affordability over the long term.

Unsure if you need term or permanent life insurance? Learn more about their pros and cons: Do I Need Term or Whole Life Insurance? Differences, Pros & Cons

Find a Carrier That Affirms Your Gender Through Quotacy

Click through to our life insurance quotes tool and answer a few questions such as your age, zip code, smoking status, and how much coverage you’d like to apply for. No need to enter any contact information. You’ll see a range of quotes instantly. Move on further through the quoting tool and you can apply online in just a few minutes.

That’s it. Easy and painless.

At Quotacy, we believe in inclusion, and not just during Pride Month. We do our best to match all of our clients with the best possible term life insurance plan for their needs. We will go to bat for you to get your family the protection that they deserve.


  1. Savvy

    I’m a trans women but have not undergone GRS. And don’t think I am. I’ve been on hormone therapy for about 5 years now and also have done breast implants and had the court legally change my name & gender marker to female including my Driver license. Do I still have to disclose that I’m transgender?? Is there a way to know if PACIFIC LIFE INSURANCE will underwrite Me and provide life insurance even term life insurance for me? I live in California in Los Angeles county.

    • Natasha Cornelius

      Hi Savvy! Your medical records will inform the insurance companies of your treatments so they will find out that you are a trans woman. It’s better to be upfront about it versus them finding out for themselves.

      Life insurance companies look at many factors when underwriting someone, whether you’re transgender or not. Without looking at your full application, we don’t have enough information to confidently say how Pacific Life will underwrite you. We recommend that you apply with a broker who can shop your case around to many different life insurance companies, including Pacific Life. Some life insurance carriers will treat hormone therapy/medication differently than others. And some carriers will underwrite you as the gender you were born with versus the gender you are. It all depends on the carrier. You can apply online through us here at Quotacy and we’ll shop around for you.

      Your agent will let you know all your options and set realistic expectations. We’ll help find the best policy for you. But, there’s no obligation to buy if you end up not being satisfied with any carrier offers.

  2. Jay/Jill

    I have been with my insurance company for nearly 30 years. I have auto and homeowners policies with them. The denied me life insurance because I have been taking estrogen–as prescribed by a medical professional–to treat gender dysphoria. I do not plan to transition with any sort of GRS. I am quite happy with the effects of the estrogen. My money has been good to them all of these years and now they see me as less than and unworthy? It stinks. I am crazy fit–10-15 miles on the bike daily, followed up by 2-3 miles on the treadmill. I have never smoked and I don’t do illicit drugs of any sort. I pay my bills on time, have a credit score of nearly 800, and I bring home a nice paycheck. Could you please recommend a reputable, LGBTQ-friendly insurance provider for me to gladly take ALL of my insurance needs to?

    • Natasha Cornelius

      I am sorry you’ve been having problems with your current insurer. I reached out to our underwriting expert and asked about your situation and he’s surprised you were denied based solely on the estrogen for gender dysphoria. In his experience, most insurance carriers wouldn’t normally have concerns with your case. He suggested that you look at Prudential. Good luck!

  3. Joseph

    Just wanted to make a comment about why you would pay according to the gender you identify as:

    When you start hormone therapy your life expectancy and health risks begin to align with the hormone you are taking. If you are a trans man and are taking testosterone your life expectancy will begin to mirror a male’s life expectancy. The inverse is also true if you are a trans woman taking estrogen. In addition, you would have needed to legally change genders and this requires in most states a medical transition. It is not about feelings, it is about measurable risk.

  4. J. Walsh

    My wife and I are the same age. We have had a term life insurance policy for a couple of decades now. Our policies’ face value is the same. We are both non-smokers, in excellent health. Her monthly premium as a female is 40% less than mine.

    According to some of the company responses given above, a biological male (aka, a “man”) can walk into some insurance companies, attest that he is a female (“woman”), and on that criteria alone, some companies will charge HIM the lower premium rate.

    If I discover that my life insurance company has this practice, why would I not have grounds for a discrimination lawsuit? And, why would I not be entitled to a refund, with interest, for ALL the increased premium payments I have made over the last two decades?

    Trust me: I’m going to check into this. Meanwhile, we all would be well advised to recognize that Insurance companies, like medical professionals, can’t afford to be in the business of treating customers/patients according to their subjective “identity” games.

    If you “identify” as a non-smoker and receive a lower premium rate, once your insurer discovers that you are, in fact, a smoker, your policy will likely be cancelled. As it should be.

    • Natasha Cornelius


      Thank you for your comment. Life insurance is an underwritten contract which means the insurance companies ultimately do discriminate risk and then price according to mortality rates. Short way of saying that men pay more than women, smokers pay more than non-smokers, and people with health challenges tend to pay more than people who are given a clean bill of health by their doctor.

      It is important to clarify that the example we referred to in the blog is based on an individual who had surgery to transition from male to female, not someone identifying as a different gender whom has not gone through the gender-affirming surgery. That would be underwritten entirely differently and most insurance companies would underwrite their gender based on their birth certificate.

      Gender transitioning is a very complicated process, financially, legally, physically and emotionally, so there are many factors in play when underwriting an individual for life insurance. Many individuals participate in counseling, hormone therapy, and are on a number of prescribed medications, and all of these factors are likely to affect how they are underwritten and therefore affect what premiums they would be required to pay. So while someone who transitioned from male to female may be able to be underwritten as female with some companies, and ergo receive female prices, their premiums likely will be raised based on the other factors. So, insurance companies do balance out the risk they take by insuring transgender applicants.

  5. Paula Wiles

    This amazes me, do these people realise it’s the 21st Century! As a fit & healthy Trans Woman who has yet to undergo GRS (I do gym/PT sessions 4x/week and also do MMA) I am finding it almost impossible to find an accepting Underwriting Co. Wake up folks!!

    • Natasha Cornelius

      Hi Paula,

      When was the last time you tried applying for life insurance? If it has been awhile I encourage you to try it again. Life insurance carriers will look at your medical history, current medications, family history and a variety of other factors and then underwrite you based on risk alone. You being fit and healthy definitely helps!

      We work with multiple life insurance carriers and will do everything we can to help you get coverage if you would like to try again with us this time around. You can start by running a term quote or contact us directly if you have more questions.


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