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Image of a man getting his blood pressure read for Quotacy blog Life Insurance and Hypertension: Buyer's Guide

Life Insurance and Hypertension: Buyer’s Guide

June 01, 2016
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.

Hypertension is more commonly known as high blood pressure. Your blood pressure can change throughout the day. It’s usually higher when you first wake up, after you exercise, or when you’re under stress.

Having higher blood pressure for short amounts of time is normal. However, when your blood pressure stays high for most of the time, it can cause serious health problems. Hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer”.

Buying Life Insurance with Hypertension

If you have hypertension (high blood pressure), your best chances of getting affordable life insurance is to apply through a broker, like Quotacy. Brokers are not tied to one life insurance company and are able to shop the market.

We want you to get approved and will work hard to help you get coverage. Start the process by getting a free term life insurance quote or keep reading for more in-depth information about life insurance and hypertension.

» Compare: Term life insurance quotes for high blood pressure

Why is hypertension so concerning?

If the heart is pushing blood too forcefully into the walls of your arteries too often, this will put undue strain and stress on the heart and the blood vessel walls. Over time, this causes injury to the heart, arteries, and to the organs they supply.

Sustained high blood pressure is associated with the following complications:

  • Heart failure, heart attack, left ventricular hypertrophy, and arrhythmias.
  • Peripheral vascular disease and aneurysms.
  • Stroke, transient ischemic attack, and dementia.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Eye disease with vision loss.

Lowering your blood pressure decreases your chance of a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and other health issues. About 7 million people die each year in the U.S. from conditions caused by high blood pressure.

Life insurance companies are all about risk. So the risk associated with hypertension is something the company will pay attention to when underwriting an applicant diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Underwriting Hypertension

When assessing an applicant with high blood pressure, life insurance underwriters will also take note of the following key factors:

  • Age and gender
  • Height and weight
  • Degree and duration of blood pressure elevation
  • Presence of other cardiovascular risk factors
  • Existence of end-organ damage
  • Family health history

If an applicant has been diagnosed with hypertension, but has well-controlled blood pressure, good family history, a normal stress electrocardiogram completed within the past year, or a normal echocardiogram, then chances of not being rated are good. Being “rated” means that the underwriters classify you below Standard life insurance risk classes. A table rating will equal higher premium costs to offset the risks the life insurance company is taking by insuring you.

See what you’d pay for life insurance

Comparison shop prices on custom coverage amounts from the nation’s top carriers with Quotacy.

Case Studies*

Case Study #1

Applicant 1 applies for a 20-year term policy with $250,000 in coverage. Applicant is a healthy 48-year-old executive who had her insurance exam performed towards the end of an unusually busy day. Her blood pressure was noted to be elevated at 150/100. Follow-up with her doctor showed a repeat blood pressure of 116/72 which is consistent with blood pressure measurements on multiple prior visits.

She can qualify for Preferred Plus ratings and pay monthly premiums as low as $35 per month.

Case Study #2

Applicant 2 also applies for a 20-year term policy with $250,000 in coverage. Applicant is a 56-year-old truck driver who has been treated for hypertension for the past 10 years. His blood pressure during his life insurance medical exam was 154/94. After reviewing his medical records, it was discovered that those measurements are consistent with those of past doctor physicals. Compliance with his medication has not always been ideal, but the applicant has never smoked nor been treated for any other medical conditions.

He can qualify for Standard ratings and pay monthly premiums as low as $141 per month.

Case Study #3

Applicant 3 also applies for a 20-year term policy with $250,000 in coverage. Applicant is a 25-year-old office worker who is slightly overweight and uses an inhaler about 3 times per week for asthma. He had surgery in the past to clear his esophagus because of dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). His blood pressure is 125/85 on average.

He can qualify for a Table 2 rating and pay monthly premiums as low as $35 per month.
(Table 2 rating price is calculated as 50% on top of the Standard pricing.)

Case Study #4

Applicant 4 is a 62-year-old retiree who smokes one pack of cigarettes per day. She has not seen a physician in many years, but her exam notes that she has been treated for hypertension and a stroke in the remote past. Her exam blood pressure was 180/120, her ekg showed left ventricular hypertrophy, and her insurance labs revealed elevated blood glucose, HGA1C, cholesterol, creatinine, and nt-proBNP levels.

She would likely be declined for life insurance.

*The examples shown are for illustrative purpose only.

Each life insurance company has a different set of guidelines they follow when underwriting an applicant. Because of these different guidelines, when one company may deem an applicant a Table 2, another company may decide that applicant can qualify for Standard Plus rates.

A benefit to working with Quotacy is that we work with multiple A-rated life insurance companies. If you have a health issue, we’ll comparison shop your case across the companies we work with to make sure you’re getting the best price possible. 

Quotacy has years of experience getting clients life insurance coverage, including those with hypertension. Our in-house underwriter has worked in many carrier home offices, knows how to navigate each individual’s health history, and knows which life insurance company would be the best option for your individual case. If you are ready to buy life insurance coverage, get a term life insurance quote now and let’s start the process.

If you are looking to get an idea on the cost of life insurance if you have hypertension, it costs nothing to run a quote and apply online. You will have a dedicated Quotacy agent shop your case with our top-rated life insurance companies to ensure you receive the best possible price.

» Calculate: Life insurance needs calculator

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