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High Risk Life Insurance Information

Updated on June 7, 2013

It is of course preferable if you can avoid the necessity of purchasing high risk life insurance. Obviously, the premiums will be higher and it may be difficult to track down a insurance carrier who will insure you. But there comes a time in many people’s lives when the need for high risk life insurance cannot be avoided. This may occur after a serious health complication, surgical procedure, or diagnosis. In this case, knowing what to look for and where to go for high risk life insurance is paramount.

High Risk Life? High Risk Life Insurance!
High Risk Life? High Risk Life Insurance!

What Is High Risk Life Insurance?

Before we go any further, it might be helpful to discuss exactly what high risk life insurance is. In a nutshell, it is life insurance underwritten for an individual who has a greater likelihood of meeting an untimely death than other persons in their age and gender categories. This assessment of high risk relative to other people is made through use of mortality tables, which assign likelihood of untimely death based on probabilities spread out over a large population. When your probability is designated as high, life insurance companies are more reluctant to insure you.

Finding High Risk Life Insurance

If you’ve been determined to require this type of insurance, you may have to look around to find a carrier who meets your needs. First, you may want to check out a few national insurers that specialize in high risk insurance. A few of these include Mutual of Omaha and CNA. Some companies specialize in high risk life insurance for particular classes of people or people with specific diseases.

You may also want to get a hold of the publication, Who Writes What, published by National Underwriter. This publication contains a list of those insurance carriers who offer high risk life insurance. Another option is to call the groups Underwriting Specialists or Impaired Risk Specialists. These groups will be helpful in finding the type of life insurance you need.

In any case, you will need to find an agent who will work with you, who knows the ins and outs of high risk insurance, and will find the best policy for you at the best price. Some agents are not under contract with insurance companies that provide this type of high risk coverage.

High Risk Life Insurance Pools

Some people will not be able to find a life insurance company that will cover them and their particular risk or will be unable to afford the high premiums they will face in purchasing this type of insurance. People in this situation may need to join a high risk life insurance pool.

These high risk insurance pools are developed by state legislators to provide a safety net to people who cannot find or afford life insurance. Of course, each state’s insurance pool is somewhat unique, so you will have to locate the details for whichever state you currently live in. At present, 35 states now operate these high risk pools.

The Common Wealth Fund has stated that 8% of Americans are uninsurable because of their risks, and these are the people most served by high risk insurance pools. These state pools still operate through private insurance companies but are given caps by the state for the insurance premiums they can charge. Insurance companies are given incentive to lower their premiums by allowing them to qualify for federally funded grants if they stay under a certain dollar value. These insurance costs are often state subsidized as well.

Joining a High Risk Pool

Not every person who is uninsured or “uninsurable” is qualified to join a state high risk pool. If coverage is available through such federal programs as COBRA, Medicaid, or Medicare, you will likely be ineligible to join a high risk life insurance pool. Also, because the number of people without life insurance is high, there may be waiting periods for people with preexisting conditions. There may also be waiting lists to join these pools in some states, and these waiting lists can delay joining by several months.

A Problem with a Solution

It may seem that the problem of finding high risk life insurance is an insurmountable one. But there are people and groups to help you sort out the details of finding insurance. Quotes for insurance premiums can be obtained by calling a private insurer and speaking with a specialist on high risk insurance. Contact your local or state insurance regulatory office; most states have a help line for people who are without insurance. And, most importantly, get the facts on your particular situation so that you may find a solution to your health insurance needs.


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    • Pinney Insurance profile image

      Pinney Insurance 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

      Great Hub discussing high risk life insurance and what makes sense for someone looking for coverage. Giving specifics about the coverage and where to look when beginning the process can certainly make things easier for people that fall into this category.