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My Quest For More Life Insurance

life insurance riskLife is unpredictable, but we strive to live a long and fruitful life.  Well, at least I do!  I can never know what is going to happen today, tomorrow, next week, or next  year.  No one has that ability, and if you do, then please give me the lotto numbers :).  As a college student, all I wanted to worry about was what I would be doing to make money.  Money was on my mind because that is what our economy runs on.  I just wanted to get that paper in any way possible.  I was money  hungry and didn’t really think too much my future.

Life Changes

That all changed when I met and married my wife.  I had to think about another person.  I couldn’t just do what I wanted with no regard, because that wouldn’t be fair to her.  Luckily for me, my employer offered me a basic life insurance plan.  I thought I was all set.  Why would I need anything more than what they were providing me?  I was being a little naive.

My naivety increased after the birth of my son.  As any parent knows, there is just a whirl-wind of things to do.  A new routine has to be established and we have to think about everything besides ourselves.  My main focus is now my family.  I want to make sure that I provide for my family with the best of my ability and make sure they are taken care of for life.

Having said this, I am lacking in my life insurance coverage.  I have to stop making excuses and just get my new coverage.  While I don’t like having to add another bill onto my plate, I think life insurance coverage is a smart one to have, especially with a family.  This is really the only way I can make sure they will be take care of if I am not around.  I have learned quite a bit about life insurance coverage due to all of the great blogs that I read, but I need more.  There are many great resources for those in the US, but please check your local resources, like LifeBroker in Australia.

One Caveat

I have to admit there is one caveat to my plan.  It is not the zombie apocalypse that you might be thinking of, but something a little closer to home.  I have a medical condition that will never go away and that is something that I deal with each and every day.  Now, it doesn’t bother me much and I am still in good health, just not in the eyes of insurance companies.  I have looked around for life insurance and have had physicals.  Once I get the rate, I feel let down.  My rate is super high due to my medical condition that I have no control over.  I can’t change it and it won’t go away, but I have to pay much more than a person my same age who is in good health.  I am finding it quite unfair, but I have to deal.

My next goal is to figure out how I can reduce my rate based on my condition.  I want to get in better shape, so I can get the best rate I possibly can.  I think it will be smart to wait a few months until I can improve my overall health and make it the best that I can for the test.

What do you think?  With the potential of a high rate in front of me, should I wait until I can lose a little weight and make sure I am at the top of my health class?  It should only take a few months, but it will require dedication.  Do you know of an insurance broker that deals with medical conditions?  I would love some names.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About the Author Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress maintenance and support company, along with another blog, Eyes on the Dollar, which is another great personal finance blog.

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Leave a Comment:

44 comments
DC @ Young Adult Money says July 17

I have a few medical conditions that I believe would bump up my rate. I only have the life insurance offered through my employer, which is far too low. I definitely need to get more asap.

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Holly@ClubThrifty says July 17

We are getting ready to buy more life insurance for Greg. But, we are waiting a month or two so that we can buy it from Greg when he starts his new job!

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John S @ Frugal Rules says July 17

That’s a tough one. I can see it from both sides, though it would likely depend on how much you need to lose to get the potentially better rate. It could benefit you to wait, though I don’t know if that is a risk I’d want to take.

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    Grayson says July 18

    The amount that I need to lose it minimal. I can do it shortly. I do have insurance through work that would really help my wife with expenses, so that is why I have waited.

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Matt Becker says July 17

You can always lock in some insurance now and change it later if you get in better shape. That part is pretty easy. Honestly, I think that despite the cost, the medical condition likely makes life insurance even more necessary. I would definitely try talking to a few different brokers. I don’t know of any to recommend, but they’re much more likely to know which companies will be better at covering your specific situation.\

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    Michael | The Student Loan Sherpa says July 17

    This advice makes the most sense to me.

    It sounds like you don’t want to wait much longer on coverage. Getting it now does not prevent you from finding a lower rate based upon your improved condition one year from now.

    Reply
    Grayson says July 18

    I was unaware of this, but thank you for telling me. The medical condition does make the life insurance more necessary, but I just have to get off my ass and get it done.

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Edward Antrobus says July 17

Good luck with that. I’ve never actually applied for life insurance and I’m actually a little afraid. I don’t currently have any major health conditions, but there are some real killers in my family history, like heart disease and MS.

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    Grayson says July 18

    Sorry to hear about the history of disease. Good luck whenever you start your quest for life insurance.

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AverageJoe says July 17

I used to advise people to get a policy now and THEN work out to get a lower rate. That way you’re covered if something horrible happens while you’re optimizing your situation. Make sure your policy has no penalty for cancellation. You’ll only want to cover the term that you actually use.

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    funancials says July 17

    I second this advice.

    How much do you think you’ll save by waiting?

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      Grayson says July 18

      From my other requests for life insurance, it would be quite a bit per month and over the life of the term.

      Reply
    Grayson says July 18

    Thanks Joe. I appreciate your comment. I need to look into the no penalty for cancellation thing.

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Brian @ Luke1428 says July 17

If I was in your shoes I would not wait, simply for the sake of my children. As difficult as it may be, I would pay the higher rate and then change insurers later once my health improved. It would be devastating if I left my wife without the financial resources to care of our kids.

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    Grayson says July 18

    I agree with you there Brian. This is one reason why I am getting off my ass to do it. I am not leaving my family with nothing as they would get the insurance that I have through my employer, which isn’t bad, but not enough.

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My Wealth Desire says July 17

Agree with Brian, I should not wait that my health condition will improve. As you said you don’t know what will happen to tomorrow or to next days. For me, take the insurance now then after one year when your health get in shape, you can request a lower rate or look for a new insurance company.

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    Grayson says July 18

    Well, I know that my underlying health condition won’t improve, but I can improve most of my stats pretty easily.

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Rita P @ Digital Spikes says July 17

Waiting can benefit you in 2 ways 1.) loose some weight 2.) get better rate . Well it all depends what is your need , i am not sure if i can recommend any broker , but take a call wisely

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Pauline says July 17

Tough one. Having kids I think I would take the expensive one now, with a clause to opt out in a year when you are better. You never know and problems seem to be happening when you are not covered!

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Pension Retirement says July 17

Life insurance with a medical condition is rough. The best advice that I have is to take advantage of employer provided life insurance. Most of the time you can get up to about 5x salary. The other thing is to also take advantage of your wife’s insurance. Many have options for spousal life insurance. Though often it is maxed at a rate of half what your spouse has.

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    Grayson says July 18

    I will look into what I can do to maximize the employer benefit. Our enrollment is coming up next month anyway.

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Letitia says July 17

Some companies’ underwriting is more lenient than others. There are also companies specializing in higher-risk insurance. Finally, there is always the option of putting through a trial application rather than risk getting a decline or high rating on your record. I work with one of the major brokerages, and have access to a great number of companies. Please feel free to get in touch, and I’ll do my best to help you. Best regards.

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    Grayson says July 18

    The goal is to find a company that deals with the condition and has some good standards. I think I am in good health compared to many with the condition, but I could improve.

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Jake @ Common Cents Wealth says July 17

I also only have the life insurance my employer provides. It’s enough for now being that my wife would be fine if I were to pass away, but I need to get more as soon as we have children. I’m sorry, but I don’t know anyone who deals with getting life insurance to people with pre existing conditions, but I’ll let you know if I find anyone who could help. If I were you, I would wait a few months and get a lower rate when you’re more healthy, but that’s a bit riskier.

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LIFE Happens says July 17

Don’t wait to get life insurance! Get as much as you can afford right now—having coverage is what counts. Then, when you lose weight, you can get a rate review with the insurance company (check first that the company you’re buying from offers that option). At that point, your premiums should go down and you can buy more coverage. Qualified agents, especially those who specialize in high-risk cases, can help you navigate your options.

Here’s a blog post on our website written by a independent life insurance agent and high-risk life insurance specialist that you may find helpful: http://www.lifehappens.org/3-tips-for-getting-high-risk-life-insurance/

Good luck, Grayson!

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    Grayson says July 18

    Thank you for the information. I looked at the post and send in a request yesterday. Hopefully they will be able to provide me with the information that I need.

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Andrew@LivingRichCheaply says July 17

I started looking for term life insurance above what I get at work when my wife became pregnant. It wasn’t too expensive but I wanted to work on becoming a little healthier before the examination, and then I learned of a supplemental life insurance offered by my union. Still have to look into all my options, but I have to get on top of it.

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    Grayson says July 18

    That is good to hear. I am not part of a union, but I might be able to maximize the policy that I have with my employer.

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Catherine says July 17

Ugh getting life insurance has been on my to-do list forever….

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    Grayson says July 18

    I know you have a little one Catherine, so good luck in your search.

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Laurie says July 18

A friend of mine deals with the same problem – she takes super good care of herself, but has, at an early age, a hereditary form of glaucoma, which always makes her health insurance rates super high. How frustrating! Both life and health insurance companies have to find a way not to do such a blanket-type of coverage for pre-existing conditions, as they’re all such different circumstances.

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    Grayson says July 18

    I agree with you there. These companies just see the condition, then write you off. I don’t like it, but that is how they play the game, so I just play with them.

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Timothy Hider says July 18

Jeff Root says some interesting things on his blog posts, but if you want to speak with true expertise we could help too. We know some good underwriters who will help find the best rates available for high risk medical conditions. All information is held in strict confidence. We are independent agents too.

The bottom line is you should shop and compare carriers and get comfortable before making any buying decisions. It seems like you have already started that process, for which I commend you. While we know and understand the importance of peace of mind to provide financial protection for any dependents, many times procrastination gets in the way. It may be the fear of the unknown. Many consumers do not know enough about life insurance and may feel intimidated by the process.

Did you try to purchase additional coverage from your employer’s group plan? Sometimes an employer pays for a set amount of coverage; i.e. 1x your base salary. And the carrier might allow you to purchase additional coverage up to 8x your base salary. Just check to ensure it is portable if you decide the leave the company.

Sometimes getting the coverage in-force is best, then putting together a plan of action to establish better health. After the two-year contestable period, if you are in better shape you could ask the carrier for a reassessment. If it turns out to be a bad deal, you can just keep your current terms. Best of luck!

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    Grayson says July 22

    I appreciate your information Timothy. I need to compare some coverages to make sure I am getting what I am paying for.

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zimmy@moneyandpotatoes.com says July 20

I am lucky enough to have a job that offers both free and discounted life insurance. I get a small freebie policy equal to about one year of salary along with another one that I pay for. The other policy is for about 100k and only costs me a few bucks a check. If anything should happen to me the human resourced department of where I work will help my wife every step of the way to collect on the policies. I often think that the amount of money on the policies will not be nearly enough and should increase the paid one.

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    Grayson says July 22

    I believe the company that we have life insurance through with my employer offers more coverage, but I will have to still pass a medical exam. I know that I can pass it with no issues, but I will be paying more for my condition.

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Derek | MoneyAhoy.com - Money Saving, Making Money, and Investment Ideas says July 22

Since we have 2 kids now, I shoot for 6x pay for my life insurance. If I croaked, this would allow my wife to pay off the house if she needed to…

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