10 FAQs about High-Risk Life Insurance

When providing insurance, companies have to assess the level of risk involved. Companies use this evaluation to decide the premium and other features of the plan. Many people believe that a case is termed ‘high risk’ when an individual suffers from certain medical conditions. While this view is correct, there are some other categories of risk as well.

People, who have a job which involves performing risky activities, or individuals with habits that are detrimental for their health, are all termed high risk. Some companies do not offer life insurance plans to these individuals.

However, some companies do offer policies to people considered high-risk. These coverage options do not have stringent requirements and almost anyone can be eligible for life insurance.

If you do not know what high-risk life insurance means, here are the ten most commonly asked questions about this type of policy:

1. Which Medical Conditions Make Me A High-Risk Applicant?

Different providers have different rules and regulations. However, generally, applicants who suffer from severe health conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, HIV, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and/or cancer are termed, high-risk individuals.

2. How Many Categories Are There For High-Risk Life Insurance?

The determination of whether you are a high-risk applicant is not only dependent on your medical history. Some providers also have other categories that point towards a risky lifestyle.

These include:


People who like to live on the edge and indulge in activities that pose a higher risk are treated differently by insurance providers. Regardless of your age, you will be a high-risk applicant for the company. These hobbies include scuba diving, racing, sky diving, skiing, whitewater rafting, and bungee jumping.

All these restrictions are in place because the provider cannot put a safe bet on your protection. Since this is how the providers earn money, they offer no or limited coverage to these individuals.

Most policies for people with dangerous hobbies are extremely expensive. If you wish to make the process smoother, you can gain certification in the activity considered dangerous.


Apart from hobbies, some people hold job roles involving significant risk. In this case, you are more prone to get into an accident while at work. When this happens, the provider may not accept your application at all or offer you higher rates. These professions include firefighting, mining, or welding.


Another category that makes individuals a high-risk case is dangerous or damaging habits. People who smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco on a frequent basis are high-risk individuals.

Companies tend to avoid providing coverage for these applications or charge higher rates. However, since these are only habits, you can get rid of them in order to qualify for a better coverage option at affordable premiums.

Your History

If you have a history of substance abuse or been in rehab, your chances of receiving approval for life insurance declines. Other than that, the providers also look at the medical history of your family in order to assess the level of risk. If cancer, diabetes, or cardiovascular diseases are common amongst your family, the providers consider you a higher risk than others.

Your Record

Having a criminal record also makes you a high-risk individual. People charged with DUI or violations related to driving are not safe bets and the life insurance companies tend to charge higher premiums for their coverage. Nonetheless, if the charges against you were brought up more than 5 years ago, your case becomes stronger.

Should I Talk To An Agent About Such Insurance?

Insurance agents can help you understand the different kinds of options available to you. They can also give you ideas about the different ways in which you can present yourself as a low-risk candidate.

Whenever you apply for insurance, you must shop around to find the right provider. If you cannot do this on your own, consult an agent and he/she will help you out.

Can I Get Life Insurance If I Fall In The 50-80 Age Bracket?

Many people mistakenly assume that the age at which they become eligible for life insurance is 60. But this is not true since there are numerous providers out there that cater to a younger age group as well. This is where the role of an agent comes in. You can even find life insurance for over 80.

The agent can help you connect with providers that offer their plans to individuals aged 50 or above. However, just because you fall in a younger age bracket does not mean that you will not be treated as a high-risk case. If you are 50 with high-risk hobbies or a medical condition, you might face rejection from some of the providers.

How Long Does It Take To Get High-Risk Life Insurance?

Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance plan is available for high-risk individuals as well. You will receive approval within a few days, as the requirements for this policy are not extensive.

Usually, seniors that fall in the high-risk category are recommended to apply for Guaranteed Acceptance policy as the process is faster and more convenient. You will receive the policy within 3 weeks.

Which Policies Will Be Available To Me?

Many providers offer term as well as whole policies to high-risk cases. But keeping in mind the conditions of both, it is better to go for a whole policy, such as Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance.

This plan will not require you to undergo many medical tests and will have a cash value that your loved ones can use after your demise. The benefit payout for this insurance policy is greater and more convenient if you have dependents or considerable debts.

What If I Have A Fatal Medical Condition?

While qualifying for life insurance with a potentially fatal medical condition is difficult, it’s not impossible. In this scenario, you have to work with an agent to locate the right provider and policy. The agent will help you find a carrier that will approve your application.

Keep in mind that some providers impose a 24-month limit on the policy. If your doctors can certify that you will live for at least two more years with your condition, you are likely to receive approval.

Can Life Insurance Cover My Final Expenses As Well?

Depending on the premium you are willing to pay, you can opt for greater coverage. Usually, it is suggested that you do a thorough analysis of the needs of your loved ones before determining the amount of coverage.

You must take into account the financial support of your dependents and any debt that you may have at that particular time. You can also calculate the final expenses and come up with a figure that covers all the costs.

Most seniors seeking life insurance policies wish to extend support towards the payment of their final expenses. Hence, this is an important part of all calculations. 

Am I Eligible For Life Insurance After A Stroke?

Even though companies term a stroke a serious condition, your chances of getting life insurance do not drop to zero. The representatives will ask you questions about your health and require medical reports, but after that, you can get access to even a standard insurance policy.

You can also increase your chances of acceptance by waiting after the stroke before applying and providing all the required information.

Will There Be Limited Options for Me?

It is true that life insurance companies tend to feel reluctant when approving a high-risk individual for coverage. Even then, there are many companies that will offer a policy you require. However, you will have to gather all the information they need as well as study the different options available to you.

Different providers will offer varying options, but it is your job to assess the viability of each. You must never settle with a policy that makes you pay more for what you are getting. In order to prevent this, you should seek help from a qualified agent who can shortlist the options for you.

Bottom Line

High-risk life insurance is a popular topic and one that people need to be aware of before they apply for coverage. Having an agent by your side can significantly help you throughout the process and can guide you towards the right provider and policy.

You should not consider yourself ineligible for life insurance just because of your condition and know that you can protect the future of your loved ones.

Linda Chavez

I'm a burial & senior life insurance expert, independent agent, Founder & CEO of Seniors Life Insurance Finder. I have been working in this sector since 2004 and established my own company in 2014. I have a team of seven members, and we are trying hard to share the knowledge we've gathered. We know how difficult often it is to find an affordable policy. Hence, we are doing our best to help you.