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Life Insurance and Ulcerative Colitis: Buyer’s Guide

September 28, 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.

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that impacts many people.

While it can be challenging to find life insurance coverage if you have a pre-existing condition, it’s not impossible. In this guide, you’ll learn how life insurance underwriters evaluate ulcerative colitis, your coverage options, and how to find the best price.

Table of Contents

Life Insurance and Ulcerative Colitis: How It’s Underwritten

If you’ve been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, this can have an impact on your options for life insurance. Here’s how the evaluation process usually works.

Insurance underwriters will review your application closely. They’ll look at several factors related to your ulcerative colitis and overall health:

  • Current Health Status: How well is your condition managed?
  • Extent of Colon Involvement: Which areas of your colon are affected?
  • Time Since Diagnosis: How long have you been living with ulcerative colitis?
  • Prescribed Treatments: What medications or therapies are you on?
  • Complications: Have you experienced any issues like bleeding or inflammation?
  • Colonoscopy Results: What did your latest colonoscopy reveal?

In addition to your medical history, underwriters also take into account other risk factors like age, gender, and lifestyle habits, such as your alcohol and tobacco use.

Once they’ve assessed all these factors, the underwriter will decide what type of coverage you can get and how much it will cost you. In some instances, they might postpone your application for further review, or even deny it.

If you’re approved, you’ll be placed into a “risk class.” This class determines the cost of your insurance policy.

Cost of Life Insurance and Case Studies

Risk classes range from Preferred Plus to Substandard.

  • Preferred classes are reserved for the healthiest individuals and offer the best pricing.
  • Standard risk classes are for people with average health and life expectancy.
  • Substandard classes are for high-risk individuals.

Substandard applicants are often “table rated”. If you receive a table rating, your premium will generally be the Standard rate plus an additional 25% for each step you move down the table, either Tables A-J or 1-10, depending on the insurance company’s format.

Table Rating (alphabetical)Table Rating (numerical)Pricing
A1Standard + 25%
B2Standard + 50%
C3Standard + 75%
D4Standard + 100%
E5Standard + 125%
F6Standard + 150%
G7Standard + 175%
H8Standard + 200%
I9Standard + 225%
J10Standard + 250%

If you’re a user of cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, or even marijuana, you’ll likely be placed in the “Tobacco” risk class. This category usually has higher premiums compared to non-tobacco categories.

Example 1: John, Age 45, Applying for a $250,000 20-Year Term Policy

John was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis five years ago. His disease is limited to the proctosigmoid area. For the past three years, he has required no treatment, and a recent colonoscopy came back normal.

Life Insurance Company X determines John qualifies for Standard Plus, putting his monthly premiums at approximately $41.

Example 2: Jane, Age 50, Applying for a $250,000 15-Year Term Policy

Jane has had pancolitis for fifteen years. She also has associated arthritis and is currently on azathioprine medication. A recent colonoscopy showed benign results with biopsies.

Life Insurance Company Y determines Jane would be rated Table 3, putting her monthly premiums at approximately $60.

Example 3: Jim, Age 55, Considering a $250,000 10-Year Term Policy

Jim has had ulcerative colitis for ten years. A recent colonoscopy revealed three areas of dysplasia, and doctors recommend the complete removal of his colon, which Jim is considering.

Given that the dysplasia is premalignant, no offer for life insurance can be made at this time. If Jim decides to remove his colon, the insurance company could reconsider his application based on the pathology report.

Jim would be declined as of now.

h It’s important to understand that not all life insurance companies underwrite the same. For example, while one company may categorize you under the “Table 2” risk class, another might offer you a “Standard” rating.

Because of these differing assessments, your cost of coverage can vary significantly depending on which insurance company you apply to.

As an independent broker, Quotacy has access to the policy and pricing of many different top-rated insurance companies. This means if you have a health issue, such as ulcerative colitis, we won’t just look at one option. We’ll comparison shop across our network to make sure you’re getting matched with the insurer that will treat you most favorably.

In addition, as a broker, we have a fiduciary responsibility to you, the client, before the insurance company. We’re in your corner, doing all we can to find you the best coverage possible.

See what you’d pay for life insurance

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

Best Life Insurance for Those With Ulcerative Colitis

If you have an inflammatory bowel disease, like ulcerative colitis, finding coverage isn’t impossible. While the cost may be slightly higher, the options available to you are generally the same as for those with normal levels. Let’s explore your options.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is the most popular choice for families due to its simplicity and affordability.

  • Duration: You can select a specific term length, usually between 10-40 years. This timeline ideally should align with the period when financial support for your dependents is most needed.
  • Purpose: Primarily designed for income replacement, this policy doesn’t offer lifelong coverage, making it a cost-effective option.

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance offers lifelong coverage and can include additional features that might increase the cost. Here’s a breakdown of the different types:

  • Whole Life Insurance: This offers guaranteed death benefits, cash value growth, and fixed rates, making it one of the pricier options. Participating whole life policies may even earn dividends.
  • Universal Life Insurance (UL): UL offers flexibility, allowing adjustments to both death benefits and premiums to accommodate life changes. While it may have fewer guarantees, this adaptability can be attractive to many.
  • Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance (GUL): For those seeking lifelong coverage without the extra features and associated costs, GUL is an appealing choice. It provides essential permanent coverage at a more budget-friendly price point.

What to Do if You’re Denied Coverage

If you’ve been denied coverage, you may still have some options. Don’t get discouraged.

Try Other Life Insurance Options

If you applied for traditional life insurance, like term or whole life, and were denied due to your medical condition, you may still have coverage options, such as guaranteed issue life insurance or accidental death insurance.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

If you’re between 50 and 80, final expense life insurance (also referred to as guaranteed issue life insurance) may be available. Final expense insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that will last your entire life.

If you were declined due to a health issue, look into final expense life insurance because no medical underwriting is involved.

It’s important to know that final expense life insurance has lower coverage amounts than traditional life insurance. The premiums are also higher.

The Cost of Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance - Male Applicant
Coverage AmountMonthly Premium
(Age 50)
Monthly Premium
(Age 60)
Monthly Premium
(Age 70)

Consider Accidental Death Insurance

Accidental death insurance is likely an option if you can’t get traditional life insurance. This policy provides a death benefit if you die due to an accident.

This policy doesn’t provide complete protection. If you die due to illness, such as a heart attack or cancer, it won’t pay a death benefit. But it still provides some peace of mind and is very affordable.

Consider Life Insurance Through Your Employer

Many employers offer a small amount of group life insurance for very cheap or free. Take advantage of this.

Typically, you can buy additional life insurance coverage on top of the free group insurance without going through any underwriting. This is called voluntary life insurance; you can often buy up to 3-5 times your salary.

If you were denied traditional life insurance, we recommend accepting the group life insurance coverage and buying as much voluntary supplement coverage as you can comfortably afford.

Try Applying Again Through a Broker

If you applied through a captive agent, it might benefit you to apply to a broker. Captive agents only have access to the life insurance company that employs them, while independent brokers have access to many.

Not all life insurance companies underwrite the same way. The reason for your denial at one company may not necessarily result in a denial at another. Working with a broker is the best way to determine if you can get approved for life insurance.

Discover how agents and brokers differ and which is best for you.

Are you ready to take the next step? Get a term life insurance quote now and begin the process.

After you apply online, a dedicated Quotacy agent will take over, shopping your case with our top-rated life insurance companies to ensure you receive the best possible price. Don’t leave your future to chance. Let us help you find the right coverage today.

Note: Life insurance quotes used in this article are accurate as of September 28, 2023. These are only estimates and your life insurance costs may be higher or lower.


  1. Larry K

    What was the date of your first diagnosis?
    Which type of disease is present: Chronic Ulcerative Colitis or Chronic Proctitis?
    Are you on any medications? If yes, please describe.
    Have you been hospitalized for this disease? (List dates)
    Have you had surgery for this disease? (List dates)
    Have you had colonoscopies? (List dates of most recent)
    What is your height and weight?
    Have you smoked cigarettes in the last 12 months?
    Do you have any other major health problems (ex: heart disease)?

    seeking 10-year term with payment under $6,000 annually

    • Natasha Cornelius

      Hi Larry,

      Thank you for inquiring. I hid your private information from your comment, but wanted to let you know that a Quotacy agent has emailed you.

  2. David Dolkart

    Looking for a term life quote.

    • Natasha Cornelius

      Hi David,

      You can run as many term quotes as you would like using our quoting tool here.


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