Life Insurance for Seniors with Grave Disease

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  • Post last modified:October 28, 2019

Life insurance with grave disease is quite uncommon; however, few plans are available.

The grave disease refers to a disorder of the immune system. The disorder results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones. As a result, the victim develops hyperthyroidism.

Note that other than the grave disease, there are many other causes of hyperthyroidism. The grave disease causes the disorder alright but it does not have long term adverse effects.

However, it increases risks if it is not managed.

How Underwriters Look at Grave Diseases

On its own, the grave disease does not have long term adverse effects. So, the victim may easily overlook the condition. But, the insurance companies and underwriters may not overlook the condition.

The reason for this is that when the condition is not treated, it leads to medical complications. In some cases, it can even lead to death.

Seniors with a Grave Disease

Seniors with the grave disease have no exam policies to choose from. Even though, the seniors can still get a traditional cover under special circumstances.

To get the cover, they must furnish the underwriter with medical statements. Such statements must show that they are receiving a physician’s attention. So essentially, the applicant must provide the APS (attending physician statement) records.

Unfortunately, getting the APS statement may take time. Physicians are always slow in responding to requests from the underwriters.

The details the underwriter may be interested in:

  • The date the grave diseases were diagnosed.
  • The senior’s age at the point it was diagnosed.
  • The systems affected.
  • The list of medications or treatments undergone.
  • Treatment dates and follows up.
  • severity of the symptoms.
  • Other health issues are likely to crop up as a result of the disease.
  • The senior’s story at the point of submitting their life insurance application matters. If the underwriters buy the story, it means that the applicant may get an offer. Their age and compliance with medical instructions play a critical role. ​

Other factors that underwriters may be interested in:

  • The time it was detected: If medical was sought early, it may control the symptoms. It also means that at least some efforts have been put in place to prevent complications. If this is the case, the victim stands a better chance to receive the best rating
  • Control: If the follow-up is regular, the disease can be put under control
  • Severe case: If the senior is experiencing complications like flare-ups, they may only qualify for substandard rates.

The Circumstance When the Insurer May Refuse Application


The grave disease is caused by the malfunction of the immune system. If it is severe, the insurer may refuse to give traditional coverage. In such a case, the patient may qualify for the simplified issue or guaranteed issue.

If the Gland is Removed

If the patient takes the prescribed medications, it controls the production of the thyroid gland. It may in a way increase the chances of qualifying. But, if the doctor chooses to remove the gland it reduces the chances of qualifying for traditional life insurance term coverage.


If the applicant is diagnosed with thyroid they may not receive the best rates. However, if they are on medication they can get the best rates. Also if the symptoms are controlled, they can be eligible for preferred rates.

However, if one has been diagnosed with the grave disease, and has had the thyroid removed it may be different. If they are experiencing grave’s disease, they may not qualify for the preferred rates.

Life Insurance with Grave Disease Rates

Standard Rates

Applicants may receive the standard rates if the condition is well controlled. Also, the insurer will check the existence of contributory secondary conditions. In some cases, a medical report from a GP may be needed.

Seniors who have had a surgery or taking certain medications may need a report on the overall health. The impact of additional disclosure may determine the rates they receive.

Normal Terms

The insurer can give a life insurance cover with normal terms to a senior with a grave disease. This is possible only if the condition is controlled. Also, there should be no additional medical disclosure where strong treatments are used. The underwriters will be keen, to check if the secondary conditions have affected the eyes or not.

Things to note,

A person with a medical condition may find it difficult to qualify for a life insurance policy. The reasoning is that a medical condition shortens life expectancy. So, the risk is high and the premium cost will be high.

The good news is that seniors with grave disease can get life insurance coverage if they know where to source for the cover. Here are some of the questions the insurer will ask:

Important Questions To The Insurer

When were you diagnosed with the grave disease?

The question intends to inform the underwriter whether all symptoms are properly managed or not. If the symptoms are well managed and controlled, complications can be prevented. In such a situation, the applicant is considered less risky. If it is the case, the standard rates may be applied.

Have you experienced an upsurge of hyperthyroidism?

The question informs the underwriter of the effects of the medication being used. If you are taking medication the policy may be rated as standard. If there have been complications, you will be rated as mild substandard.

How often do you see a doctor?

The underwriter is interested in knowing how regular you visit the doctor. They may also want to know more about your T4, TSH, and T3, levels. Information on this tells them that hyperthyroidism is properly managed.

Do you have any other medical conditions?

Here the underwriter wants to establish whether you have any other medical condition that increases risks. Remember medical conditions may intensify the grave disease. Issues such as diabetes and heart condition may make the situation worse.

How to Improve Your Chance to Get Approved

It can be done by making a few changes in your lifestyle.

Here are the things you should do.

Quit Smoking a Year Before Applying

If you already have grave diseases quitting smoking may be necessary if you want to qualify for a cover. Smoking increases the chances of heart attack and cancer. Besides, it increases the risks to the insurer.

As a result, they may want to charge higher monthly premiums. Typically, smokers pay twice as much compared to nonsmokers.

Drive Slowly

Most insurance companies will look at speeding tickets you accumulate every month. They also look at your accident records. If you have been involved in more accidents and you have grave diseases, you will be charged more.

The insurer will pull your DMV record to determine whether you are a high-risk applicant or not.


Although the grave disease may not stop you from obtaining a life insurance cover, it can make you pay more. So, shopping around for a good policy may be necessary. Thus, obtain policy information from several companies. This way, you will choose a company with better terms and charges less.

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.