Life Insurance for People with COPD

Life insurance is one of the most vital things you can do while you are alive for the sake of your family and yourself. There are many things you can provide to your children and other beneficiaries while you are alive, but life insurance offers them a better life once you are gone.

However, the fact that life insurance is so precious, it attracts a lot of seriousness. If you have COPD, you may be worried about the chances of you getting a cover. You may also be wondering if you can get one, then which one is the best and what is required.

In this article, you will get all the information you need about life insurance for people with COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

What is COPD?

COPD is a type of disease that affects your lungs and limits airflow into and out of the lungs. The condition can cause a lot of complications to the victims since breathing becomes a problem and worsens as it becomes severe.

It is associated with an action where chronic bronchitis and emphysema operate in tandem.

The cause of the infection is in some parts associated with cigarette smoking as well as exposure to asbestos, which results in degeneration and the swelling of the lungs.

The infection can be fatal in several cases. Although patients are able to control the symptoms by using certain medications, it does not have a cure. Research shows that there are millions of Americans suffering from COPD.

Will You Get Life Insurance with COPD?

Are you wondering whether you will get a life protection policy when you have COPD?

Do not worry. You can get coverage.

However, you have to understand that it will not be as easy as getting a life cover plan when you are healthy. You must be prepared for some challenges since the condition is not taken lightly. It is a lung-related condition, and insurers consider it a higher risk condition when insuring their clients.

Make sure that you find an agent to help you understand as much as possible.

Factors Affecting Life Insurance

When you have COPD, you have to agree early enough that you will not be treated like any other person. You are suffering from a high-risk infection, and as a result, you pose a higher risk to the insurer than totally healthy people.

  • Severity of COPD

When you are seeking a life protection plan from any insurance company, the severity of your condition will affect your options. COPD is a condition that exists at various levels, and it cannot be considered the same when offering a life cover.

COPD can be classified into four different categories. All the classes are handled differently by insurance companies.

Mild COPD. When you are in this stage, you get a chronic cough and shortness of breath. Most insurance companies are willing to give you a competitive cover since your FEV1 rating value is between 60% and 80%.

Moderate COPD. It is the second stage where your coughing has increased, and shortness of breath is at moderate, severe levels. It also means that your lungs’ functioning has reduced moderately. Your FEV1 will be valued at around 50%-59%. As a result, many insurance companies will still offer a life cover but at higher rates.

Severe COPD. At this point, the condition is getting worse, and you will experience breath shortness every day during your normal activities. Lung functionality is very low. You will have an FEV1 rating of 40%-49%. Very may companies will decline to cover you. For those who accept, you will have to pay high premiums.

  • Other Risks

COPD will not be the only factor that will be considered for you to get life insurance. However, if you have other factors relating to COPD, they will be considered. One of them is how you are managing the condition.

When you are managing your condition appropriately, more companies are willing to work with you providing better conditions.

Do you have any other health complications in addition to COPD?

If you are already having other serious conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, obesity, or high cholesterol, then your chances of being approved for life protection reduces further.

Is There No Medical Exam?

When you have a severe health condition and you are worried you may be rejected for the normal life protection plans; no medical exam policy is the best way to go. Can people with COPD get no medical exam life cover? Yes.

Many companies are willing to offer you a no medical exam insurance even when you have COPD.

However, one thing that will stand out is that you will have to spend more on premium rates. This is because an insurance company considers you a high-risk client that can die any time due to your underlying medical conditions that they do not know about.


  • You get insurance without undergoing any medical examinations
  • Higher chances of getting approved
  • You get insured for the rest of your life as long as you are paying premiums.


  • You will pay higher premium rates as compared to traditional whole life insurance.

Read Also: Can I Retake My Medical Exam?

Whole Life Insurance as an Option

Whole life insurance is another policy that you can take when you have COPD. This is where you get a cover for the rest of your life as long as you are paying the premiums.

For this type of insurance, it is difficult to get approval since insurance companies are very strict about their requirements. You have to pass all the tests, including a medical exam. However, if you have a mild COPD condition, it is easy to get approved for this type of policy.

Ensure that you talk to an insurance agent who specializes in high-risk conditions to get informed on what are your chances of getting approved for a whole life insurance policy.


  • You get a cover for the rest of your life
  • The benefits are high in case you die
  • The premiums are lower as compared to other options such as guaranteed issue life cover


  • You will have to undergo a medical exam.

Premium Rates

When you are suffering from COPD, you are considered a high-risk client to the insurance company. It means that you can die at any time.

As a result, do not expect any company to treat you like any other healthy person. You have to be prepared to spend more on premiums if you want life insurance. The main reason is that there is a high risk of rejection

You will end up paying more on special types of policies such as a guaranteed issue life insurance, which costs way more than others.

Even when you get lucky to secure the normal types of insurance plans, an insurance company may charge you high premiums due to your condition. COPD is a condition without a cure, and that means even a person with a mild type of COPD, it will soon grow to severe.

Life Insurance Denial

YES, it is possible.

As much as many insurance companies can offer you a cover even with COPD, there are chances that you can be rejected.

If you are at severe or extreme levels of COPD, there are high chances of rejection. This is a point where your lung functionality is below 40%. Many companies are not ready to take the risking of covering you when they know you can die at any time.

If you are not taking care of yourself, you also risk rejection. If you have serious underlying medical conditions, there are high chances of rejection as well.

Questions to Expect

Here are some of the questions that you should be prepared to answer.

  • At what time were you diagnosed with the condition?
  • What medications are you under?
  • Do you visit any hospital for your condition?
  • What treatment have you received?
  • Do you have other lung-related issues?
  • Are you a smoker?
  • How do you take care of your condition?
  • Have you received any tests related to chest X-ray or any other to ascertain your lung condition?

Bottom Line

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a serious disease that should not be taken lightly. If you have the condition, make sure that you take a life cover for the sake of your family. You will give your family a better life once you die.

There are several life cover options for people suffering from COPD. Do not wait until it’s too late. Visit and talk to an insurance agent to get guidance on the best procedures to follow when you are seeking life insurance for your condition. Also, try different companies to get the best deal.

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.