Life insurance and peripheral neuropathy

The type and cause of your nerve damage plays a major role in your rates.

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Whether you’ll qualify for a medically underwritten policy or just a guaranteed-issue policy depends on your current health.

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Can I get life insurance with peripheral neuropathy?

Yes. But your ability to qualify for a medically underwritten policy, which offers the best rates, will depend on your current health and the cause of your neuropathy. If your nerve damage is caused by an underlying condition, like diabetes or cancer, that condition may affect how much you pay for life insurance or even your ability to qualify.

And if you have peripheral neuropathy that causes heart, breathing, blood pressure or other systemic problems, you may need to get a guaranteed-issue policy instead.

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How underlying conditions and treatments affect your rates

The cause of your peripheral neuropathy will affect your rates and ability to qualify for life insurance. As a general rule, the healthier you are, the more likely you are to qualify for insurance at competitive rates.

For example, if you have nerve damage with no known cause and are otherwise completely healthy, you may be able to qualify for premium rates. But if you have nerve damage from diabetes, you may find it more difficult to find insurance at affordable rates. And if you have nerve damage from chemotherapy being used to treat cancer that’s not currently in remission, your application for life insurance will likely be denied.

Any treatment you’re receiving for peripheral neuropathy can also affect your life insurance. Dangerous treatments can make you a high-risk candidate for insurers, as can refusing to take your treatments or not complying with your doctor’s orders.

How can I improve my chances of getting approved with peripheral neuropathy?

There are steps you can take to up your chances of getting approved for a life insurance policy when you have a pre-existing condition.

  • Work with an independent agent. An independent insurance agent can compare policies of many different providers, not just one insurance company. Some even specialize in working with pre-existing conditions, like peripheral neuropathy.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice. This might be the most important thing you can do when searching for an insurance policy. Take your medications as prescribed and follow up with your doctor regularly.
  • Be honest about your medical condition. If you don’t disclose any known medical issues, your provider can cancel your policy and not pay out to your beneficiaries when the time comes.
  • Improve other areas of your health. Making sure you are in good health in all other areas will help to reduce the negative impact peripheral neuropathy might have on your life insurance premiums.

What can I do if my application is denied?

Start by talking to your insurer to learn more about why you were denied. If that insurer just doesn’t cover people with your pre-existing condition, or if you were on the border of qualifying, you may have better luck if you apply with a different insurer.

But if you’re considered a high-risk candidate and likely won’t qualify with another insurer, or you’ve already been turned down by two or more insurers, you may want to consider guaranteed-issue life insurance.

It has a much lower maximum death benefit than a standard life insurance policy usually around $10,000 to $25,000. But it doesn’t take your medical history into consideration, so almost anyone can qualify.

How to choose the right life insurance policy

When comparing life insurance policies, looking for some factors in particular can help you discover a suitable policy.

  • Make sure your condition isn’t excluded. Some insurers might determine that you’re still eligible for coverage but refuse to cover any complications from the condition. Closely look at the policy to determine if it covers what you need.
  • Make sure you’re not over- or underinsured. Use a calculator to work out how much you really need.
  • Read the fine print. Find out exactly what’s covered before signing up for any policy.

    What type of medical information will I have to provide?

    The information required varies by insurer and type, but your insurer will want information about when you were diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, what the cause is and what treatments you’re taking and/or have tried.

    You’ll also need to answer common underwriting questions about your:

    • Age
    • Height
    • Weight
    • Current medical conditions
    • Current medications
    • Family medical history

    Bottom line

    It’s possible to get life insurance with a pre-existing condition like peripheral neuropathy. But you’ll want to compare life insurance providers in order to find the best policy for your needs at the best possible price.

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