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What if I’m declined for life insurance coverage?

Do you prefer to learn by watching? We answer this question in a video below. Click here to jump ahead.

Being denied life insurance when you weren’t expecting any issues can be shocking.

If you know you have health issues, a decline might not come as too much of a surprise. But, for some, being denied is completely unexpected. First thing, don’t panic.

When you apply for life insurance, a lot of personal information is captured in order to assess your risk to the insurance company. There are some health conditions or personal habits and hobbies that might make you a higher risk applicant.

The insurance company will thoroughly review your information. If their actuaries calculate that you’re too much risk for them to take on, you’ll be denied coverage.

What to do if you’ve been denied life insurance:

Remain calm and start gathering information

Sometimes applicants may be denied because not enough information was provided or there was a misunderstanding. Insurers collect a lot of information from different sources in order to assess your risk.

As the applicant, you have the right to request information regarding why you were denied. It could be medical history, driving record, or even your current medical exam results.

Sometimes applicants may be denied because not enough information was provided or there was a misunderstanding.

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Verify the results

You’ve received the information from the insurance company on your results and now it’s time to go through them and confirm. With all the information given to the underwriters, mistakes can be made, emails can be missed and miscommunication happens.

If your current exam results were the reason for denial, then you should see your doctor and have a physical exam. Many times, health issues can be remedied quickly and you can reapply.

Mistakes can be made in medical records as well. Talk to your doctor if you think there may be discrepancies. Notifying the insurance company of any corrections could change the outcome of your application.

In some instances, you could be denied for recreational hobbies, financial issues, or criminal records. If these records aren’t up-to-date or if enough information isn’t given to the underwriter regarding these issues, you could be denied. Sometimes all you need is to supply more information.

Apply through a multi-carrier organization

Working with an independent broker is your best bet at getting approved—and at an affordable rate. Independent brokers are contracted with multiple carriers.

Not all life insurance companies evaluate risk factors the same way. So, having many different options to shop from increases your chances of getting the right insurance policy for your situation.

If you were denied life insurance coverage, approval may be as simple as applying with another carrier or perhaps a different type of policy.

At Quotacy, we represent multiple carriers and have high-risk underwriters. Your dedicated Quotacy agent will assess your situation and work to find the best fit for you.

Start the process now by getting free term life insurance quotes. Comparison shop at your own pace without being required to give up contact information. Once you submit your online application, Quotacy goes to work for you.

We cannot guarantee that we will be able to find a carrier to offer you a traditional life insurance policy. However, we may be able to help you with other options such as guaranteed-issue life insurance or an accidental-only life insurance plan.

Should these be your only options, we also recommend that you turn to your group and voluntary life insurance plans, if your employer offers these benefits. These plans often allow you to purchase up to a certain amount of guaranteed coverage without needing to prove you’re insurable.

For individuals denied traditional life insurance, buying as much employer-sponsored life insurance as you can afford is a great back-up plan.


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Watch the Declined for Life Insurance Video

Video Transcript

Welcome to Quotacy’s Q&A Friday where we answer your life insurance questions. Quotacy is an online life insurance broker where you can get life insurance on your terms.

I’m Jeanna and I’m Natasha.

Today’s question is:
What if I’m declined when I apply for life insurance?

Whether you were denied because of health reasons or a different issue we want to make sure you know all of your options.

First things first, did you apply to an independent life insurance broker? If not, we encourage you to try applying for life insurance again but this time through a broker.

Option 1:
Apply for life insurance through an independent life insurance broker.

Quotacy is an independent life insurance broker. This means we can shop your application to multiple different life insurance companies to find out which one will approve you and give you the best price.

» Compare: Term life insurance quotes

Not all life insurance companies evaluate applicant risk factors in the same way. They all have their own guidelines that they follow.

For example, if you were denied life insurance in the past because you smoked marijuana, a broker can shop your case around to find the company that’s the most lenient with marijuana use.

If you applied with an independent life insurance broker and were still denied, don’t lose hope.

First, request from the insurance company as to why you were denied. This will help determine your next step.

For example, if you were denied based on a health issue maybe it’s something you can work on to improve and apply again down the road.

Getting life insurance sooner rather than later, however, is understandably your goal.

If you have group life insurance through your work find out if there is an option to purchase voluntary supplemental life insurance. You can typically buy a certain amount, like up to three times your salary, without needing to provide evidence of insurability or get a medical exam.

Option 2:
Add voluntary supplemental life insurance to your group policy through work.

These premiums are more expensive than traditional life insurance and the premiums are typically not fixed and increase usually every five years. But if you have loved ones to protect this option is better than having no coverage.

If your work does not offer this, next look into accidental death insurance. This is similar to a life insurance policy but would only provide coverage if your death is the direct result of an accident, like a car crash.

Option 3:
Apply for accidental death insurance.

With this type of policy, the application is very easy and you don’t need to be medically approved. But, again, it only pays out if you died due to an accident not illness.

And depending on your age, you may have another life insurance option. Final expense life insurance is typically available for individuals age 50 and older but some companies do offer it to people as young as 40.

Option 4:
Apply for final expense life insurance.

Final expense life insurance policies are also sometimes referred to as burial insurance and guaranteed whole life insurance. These policies cover all causes of death and do not require a medical exam or health questionnaires. But the premiums are quite expensive. These policies are typically only purchased if you don’t have many more years to live and want to leave behind money so your family can take care of the funeral or medical bills.

As a recap, if you’ve been denied for life insurance there are some steps you can take.

First, request why you were denied.

Next, apply through a life insurance broker if you didn’t the first time around.

Finally, look into other life insurance options such as supplemental group life insurance, accidental death life insurance, or final expense life insurance.

If you’ve been declined for life insurance coverage:

  1. Ask why you’ve been denied.
  2. Apply for life insurance through an independent broker.
  3. Apply for supplemental group life insurance, accidental life insurance, or final expense life insurance.

If you have any questions about life insurance, make sure to leave us a comment. And if you’re ready to get quotes, check out Quotacy.com. We’re here to help you find the best deal on the life insurance you want.

About the writer

Headshot of Jeanna Simonson, Life Insurance Marketing Content and Social Media at Quotacy, Inc. in Minneapolis. Holiday gift ideas.

Jeanna Simonson

Marketing Content and Social Media

Jeanna has a passion for letting her creativity shine. At Quotacy she manages social media, is a co-host of Quotacy's Q&A Friday YouTube channel, and enjoys writing here and there. When she's not at the office, you can find her hanging with her husband and rescue animals, brunching with girlfriends, or loving up on her nieces and nephews. Connect with her on LinkedIn.