Denied Life Insurance What to Do?

So you or a loved one have been denied life insurance recently. First and foremost it is not uncommon to be denied life insurance on account of health history, height and weight issues and possible criminal history.

A life insurance company can be strict on who they will issue a life insurance policy for. If you have a bad health history or criminal history most life insurance companies will look at you as high risk. That is why most consumers are denied life insurance coverage.

That being said there are still life insurance companies that will approve you regardless of those factors. You just need to know where to look for the right life insurance company.

In this article we will go over why you were denied life insurance, what your options are for a life insurance policy and the steps you can take to improve your chances of getting approved.

Why your Life Insurance Application was Denied?

Your life insurance application was probably denied due to a severe underlying health condition when the insurance company did your medical exam. Typically when you apply for term life insurance or universal life insurance you will have to take a medical exam.

If the insurance company see’s anything odd on your medical exam results or health history records that indicate severe illness in the last 5 – 10 years they will deny your application. An example of this is if you have current cancer or Alzheimer’s.

If you apply for a fully underwritten life insurance policy like term or universal life with those conditions you will be denied life insurance coverage. They will deny you life insurance coverage as soon as they find those conditions on your medical records.

Difference Between Current Health Status and Past Health History

Now keep in mind that if you had cancer over 10 – 15 years ago with no ongoing medications you can be approved. That being said if you had a history of cancer the life insurance policy will most likely get rated at a standard rate or above which means the life insurance policy premium will be more expensive.

Fully underwritten life insurance coverage has what is called “Table Ratings”. Table ratings go according to your risk which means if you have a history of severe health conditions you will have to pay a higher rate on life insurance coverage.

So the higher risk you are determines if you will get life insurance or a higher life insurance rate.

What are Your Options if You were Denied Life Insurance?

If you were denied life insurance coverage you still have plenty of options. Your first option is to look into simplified issue life insurance. This type of coverage does not require a medical exam to qualify. They ask you health questions and look into your medical and prescription history. Depending on your answers to the health questions and health history check you will be approved.

Types of Simplified Issue Life Insurance

There are two different types of simplified issue life insurance:

  1. Term Life Insurance
  2. Final Expense Life Insurance

Simpliefied Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is typically used as mortgage life insurance because it is temporary coverage. Temporary coverage is meant to fill a temporary need which means if you are looking for life insurance to pay off your mortgage if you die suddenly term life insurance is your best option.

Now keep in mind that if you want to apply for a simplified issue term life insurance policy. The premium is still going to be more expensive than a fully underwritten plan. That being said if you have already been denied coverage and need to protect your mortgage this is your only option.

Final Expense Whole Life Insurance

If you are looking to make sure your burial expenses are covered or leave a legacy gift burial insurance is your best option. Burial insurance is always simplified issue coverage which means they never require you to take a medical exam.

A traditional life insurance policy will require medical exams but these plans do not. In addition to this burial insurance also offers instant decision. This means when you apply for coverage you will get a decision as soon as your application is submitted to the company.

Funeral insurance plans offer between $2,000 – $40,000 in death benefit to your beneficiary. Depending on how much coverage you buy this can pay for your end of life expenses and leave extra for your family to enjoy.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Guaranteed issue coverage is designed for consumers who get denied coverage even with the simplified plans. This means if you get a life insurance denial with the options we listed above this is your only option.

You have a serious medical condition if you could not get approved for simplified plans. These policies do not have any medical questionnaire or actual underwriting at all. That means your acceptance is guaranteed but there is a 2 year waiting period for these plans.

These plans are also considered final expense burial insurance which means coverage amounts are between $2,000 – $30,000 in coverage.

Common Reasons Why Life Insurance Applications Are Denied

Here are some common reasons you may have been denied:

  • Criminal record
  • Medical file
  • Driving Record
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Previous Denials
  • Cancer, Diabetes
  • Dangerous hobby
  • Height and weight

Fully underwritten plans will want to know a lot of information. This is due to the fact that you are applying for a lot of coverage ($100,000 or more) so the company wants to know if you are insurable.

This is why they will ask these medical questions and lifestyle questions.

What to Do if Your Life Insurance Application has been denied?

There are several things you can do if your application gets denied.

  1. If denied due to incorrect health issues get a signed letter from your doctor stating there is no such health problem
  2. Take the med exam again if the results from the exam are inaccurate
  3. Wait 5 – 10 years to apply again if you do have a history of chronic illness
  4. Work with your agent to apply with a different company that accepts your overall health
  5. Switch to a different type of coverage such as final expense or other easy underwriting options

Those are steps you can take to possibly overturn an underwriting decision. You need to work with your insurance agent or if you do not have get an insurance agent. An agent will have access to what exactly resulted in your denial. If you know the information for the denial is inaccurate communicate this to your agent.

They will advise you to get a signed letter from your doctor regarding whatever type of inaccurate medical information came up and clarify it.

Steps You Can Take to Improve Chances of Getting Approved For Life Insurance

Some simple steps you can take to improve your chances for getting approved are:

  1. Know your most up to date information on your health
  2. Work with a licensed insurance broker that represents multiple companies like us
  3. Have your doctor ready to clarify any medical information for the carrier

Being in optimal health and having your doctor on stand by is the key to improving your chance’s of getting approved for life insurance policies.

In addition to this work on your health by lowering any high blood pressure, high cholesterol, quitting smoking, and forming healthy habits. This will all improve your chances of getting approved for coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get life insurance after being denied?

Yes you can get life insurance after being denied. Try to apply with a different company or product. You can also ask your agent about steps to appeal the denial.

What Will Cause You To Be Denied Life Insurance?

Criminal record, health problems such as heart disease, a positive drug test, and driving record can all cause you to be denied life insurance. The good news is you can still get covered by applying with a different product.

What does it mean to be denied life insurance?

It means the life insurance company put you in a high risk category. This means they viewed you as uninsurable according to their underwriting guidelines.

If you are looking for simplified term insurance we recommend you work with one of our agents. One of the best companies we recommend for term insurance with no medical exam is American Amicable.

Burial Insurance Options

If you are looking for insurance for burial then work with us and we will help you apply with the following companies below.


In conclusion if you have been denied life insurance you still have options and steps you can take to get a policy to protect your family. Whether it is protecting your assets or protecting your family from the burden of funeral expenses you can get covered. You just need to work with an independent agency like ours so look at either simplified or fully underwritten options.