The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus and more than 16,000 new cases are reported annually across the country.
Unfortunately, there is not yet a cure for lupus. Treatments focus on improving quality of life through controlling symptoms and minimizing flare-ups.
If you have lupus, you may be wondering if you can still get life insurance to provide for your loved ones after you’re gone. Let’s unpack your options and the challenges you may face in the buying process.
Table of Contents
- Can You Get Life Insurance with Lupus?
- How Does a Lupus Diagnosis Impact Life Insurance Rates?
- Underwriting Applicants Who Have Lupus
Can You Get Life Insurance with Lupus?
The good news for individuals with lupus is that it doesn’t mean automatic coverage denial. But, the disease is commonly chronic and relapsing, so rates will be higher than average.
If you have lupus, your best chances of getting affordable life insurance is to apply through a broker, like Quotacy.
As an independent broker, we’re not beholden to any of our partnered insurers. Instead, it’s our responsibility to act in your best interest. Our agents don’t earn commission, so you’ll never get a sales pitch, just unbiased advice to help you get the right policy at the best price.
Our agents know how each insurer evaluates risk and which will give you the most favorable price.
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 lupus.
Try our term life insurance calculator to understand how much coverage you should have and how long it should last.
See what you’d pay for life insurance
How Does a Lupus Diagnosis Impact Life Insurance Rates?
Life insurance companies decide whether or not to approve an applicant based on their risk of premature death. Your health isn’t the only factor taken into account, others include:
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use
- Drug use
- Driving record
- Height and Weight (BMI)
- Avocations (hobbies)
- Family’s medical history
- Criminal history
After evaluating an applicant through a process called underwriting, they’re assigned a risk class, which determines costs. Higher risk means more expensive rates, unless your risk level is too high, then you may be denied coverage.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes a person’s immune system to fight healthy tissues and organs in their body, which creates inflammation, swelling, and pain. It can cause severe complications regarding major organs like the lungs, heart, kidneys, or brain, so insurers may be hesitant to offer approval.
Risk Class Assignment
Life insurance risk classes range from Preferred Plus (the best possible offer) to Standard. If you have risk factors that place you outside of these risk classifications, you will be table rated.
Companies want to insure as many people as possible and table ratings are used to help offset the costs of insuring someone who is considered risky.
See the tables below for reference.
|Risk Classes for Non-Tobacco Users|
|Table Rating (alphabetical)||Table Rating (numerical)||Pricing|
|A||1||Standard + 25%|
|B||2||Standard + 50%|
|C||3||Standard + 75%|
|D||4||Standard + 100%|
|E||5||Standard + 125%|
|F||6||Standard + 150%|
|G||7||Standard + 175%|
|H||8||Standard + 200%|
|I||9||Standard + 225%|
|J||10||Standard + 250%|
Learn about other pre-existing conditions, how they impact rates, and what your alternatives are.
Underwriting Applicants Who Have Lupus
When life insurance underwriters are evaluating the application of an individual with lupus, they take the following into consideration:
- Disease duration
- Duration in remission
- Medication history
- Response to therapy
- If there is any renal or cerebral involvement
- If there is any presence of cardiovascular or respiratory impairment
Let’s take a look at some examples.
Jane Smith is 30 years old and was diagnosed with lupus four years ago. No serious organs have been affected and she currently takes a small prednisone dose daily as treatment.
Jane applies for a 20-year $500,000 term life insurance policy. She is table rated at Table D.
The cost of this policy at a Standard rate is $29 per month, but because she is rated Table D, the life insurance company adds 100% to her monthly premium. Therefore, she pays $58 per month.
Liz Jones is 40 years old and was diagnosed with lupus five years ago, but currently has no symptoms and it has been over three years since she has had to partake in any treatment plan.
Liz applies for a 25-year $250,000 term life insurance policy. She is given the Standard risk classification. The cost of her policy is approximately $37 per month.
Teresa Johnson is 35 years old and was diagnosed with lupus over ten years ago. She currently is being treated with an immunosuppressant and her lab tests show signs of kidney disease.
Unfortunately, Teresa would likely be declined for life insurance.
With certain medical conditions, like lupus, it’s advisable to apply for life insurance sooner rather than later.
With situations like Jane Smith, she was able to be approved at Table D. While her premiums may be higher than Standard, at least she has coverage in place in case her condition gets worse. However, if her condition improves, like it did with Liz Jones, Jane can opt to apply for a new policy later in life and see if she can lower her premiums.
Compare Term Life Insurance Quotes & Apply Today
We work with multiple A-rated life insurance companies, which means we can shop cases around to different companies to try our best to get an applicant approved.
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.
Note: Life insurance quotes used in this article are accurate as of August 9, 2023. These are only estimates and your life insurance costs may be higher or lower.