When you’re living with a chronic condition or chasing risky hobbies, buying life insurance is probably the last thing on your mind because you’re at work maintaining your health or busy with thrill-seeking.
Or you’re afraid of how costly your policy might be because of your condition or lifestyle.
But everyone deserves affordable life insurance. And if you think your health or lifestyle is working against you, read on to find out how to get a policy and find peace of mind.
High risk life insurance refers to policies for folks living with medical or lifestyle risks and, as a result, the risk of passing away prematurely is reasonably higher.
Lifestyle risks include:
Medical conditions include:
If you pass away while your policy is active, your loved ones will receive a tax-free lump sum. Read more about whether life insurance is taxable here.
Here’s the bottom line: the higher the risk of premature passing, the higher the life insurance premiums. But the sticker shock may not be as scary as you think.
When applying for life insurance as a “high risk” individual, a provider might assess your eligibility for approval based on many factors:
Then they calculate your premiums using well-established industry ratings with corresponding percentage increases to your monthly life insurance cost. The ratings range from A to J or 1 to 10, with A and 1 being the lowest ratings. The higher a condition is rated as risky, the pricier the premium is.
Here’s an example of a rating range below:
When a premium is 2 to 3 times more expensive than an initial premium, then you are living with high risk conditions the insurer has taken into consideration.
We asked Erik Heiderbrecht, Life Insurance Advisor at PolicyMe, on the topic:
“You might be at higher risk, but still very much insurable,” explains Erik.
Think about how your insurability and how much life insurance you need might change over time: “You are high risk now, but you could end up paying more for a high risk life insurance policy in the future as you age or your condition progresses,” Erik adds.
At PolicyMe, we make getting a no-commitment quote for life insurance easy, because we know you have so much more on your mind.
The insurance industry has put a lot of know-how into determining when a person applying for life insurance is deemed as high risk. Here’s a snapshot:
“At the end of the day, being ‘high risk’ is just an underwriter classification,” adds Erik. “But it doesn’t take away the probability of you getting coverage and protecting your family.”
Insurers differ in how they treat a particular health condition in their underwriting process. The more life insurance quotes you get, the more likely you’ll find at least one good deal.
Look for an insurer that will let you get reassessed within a year or two of buying your policy. This way, if you manage your condition effectively and become healthier as a result, you might be able to score a lower premium in the future.
No medical life insurance coverage doesn’t require an extensive medical exam. But the provider won’t know your full medical history might assume you’re high risk to insure and charge equally high premiums.
Our advice: Do the extra leg work and consider term life insurance coverage; the type of life insurance that’s more affordable, first. Use no medical life insurance as a Plan B.
Read more about how no medical life insurance works in Canada.
Here’s our roundup of the insurance providers with your best interests and your budget in mind.
We assess your risk with an online application process that can be completed in around 20-minutes. And we'll only ask additional online health questions if a question requires more detail.
In comparison, most fully underwritten life insurance policies in Canada require an extensive application process, including a 45-minute medical interview with a nurse.
You'll get an instant decision: so you know if you're approved, declined or if we require more information right away.
Canada Protection Plan is the leading provider of no medical and simplified issue life insurance. That means no blood tests, medicals, or urine samples are required.
However, if you're just trying to avoid a nurse’s visit, this isn’t your best option. You'll end up paying a lot more, because their coverage assumes anyone who applies is “high risk”.
Whereas if you take time out to answer a few medical questions to secure term life insurance with PolicyMe first, your risk—and your premiums— may be lower than you think.
If you don’t qualify for term life insurance, a simplified issue or guaranteed issue life insurance policy from Canada Protection Plan is a great way to get coverage—up to $750,000—for your loved ones.
Sun Life Go Guaranteed Life Insurance is a no medical life insurance product much like Canada Protection Plan's simplified issue insurance, which helps high risk individuals get coverage.
It’s a fair product for someone looking for a non-medical policy, however it's much more expensive compared to insurance from CPP or term life insurance from PolicyMe.
Another downside to this policy is coverage is limited to a maximum of $25,000 for your beneficiaries. Which for the average Canadian’s life insurance coverage needs, isn’t enough to cover end-of-life services, mortgage debt and other lifestyle expenses for your loved ones.
Read our full reviews of the best life insurance companies in Canada.