Getting Approved for Life Insurance with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

life insurance with irritable bowel syndromeIf you have ever been treated of diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and are shopping for life insurance, read this article first!

This article provides educate you how Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects life insurance rates overall, and how to find “go to” companies providing the fairest underwriting and lowest rates for this health consideration.

IBS and How It Differs From Other Gastro Intestinal Issues in the Eyes of An Insurance Underwriter

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, also known as Spastic Colitis, is different, and underwritten differently than Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis.

Like Ulcerative Colitis, IBS primarily affects the large intestine and involves a multitude of gastrointestinal symptoms.

The most common symptoms of IBS include mild to severe cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. For most patients, painful diarrhea, constipation, and stomach cramps are the most common symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

An estimated 15% of the population will suffer from some form of IBS during their lifetime.

Common Questions Asked By Underwriter with Considering an Applicant with IBS:

How long ago were you diagnosed with Irritable Bowel?

– Generally, life insurance companies prefer to see a diagnosis later in life, in addition, the longer you have gone without symptoms, the better.

Are you taking a medication?

The most common medications used to help manage IBS symptons include Asacol, Azulfidine, Dipentum, Pentasa, Prednisone, Remicade, and Rowasa. Life insurance underwriters consider risk for all the years you’re insured, so pay close attention to medication history of corticosteroids.

There are health risks in taking them for prolonged periods of time. Underwriters are looking to see that your physician is satisfied with medication results and the dosage is stable, and labwork including liver and kidney function tests are within proper ranges.

Prednisone, for example, can increase blood sugar. If you’re already diabetic, the combination will play into your underwriter’s risk rating.

When Was your Last Flare-Up?

Life Insurance companies prefer to see no flare-ups from IBS within 12 months of applying for coverage.

Have You Ever Had Surgery for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Life insurance companies will postpone processing an application until 6-12 months following successful IBS surgery. The good news is some top rated life insurance companies may then consider their first or second best rates if there have been no further issues and other risk factors qualify. If you fall in this category, call JRC for best options for your specific history.

When was your most recent colonoscopy?

If you’ve had IBS, most insurance companies will require a recent (within 2 years) colonoscopy, reviewed as part of your medical records. This will certainly be required when applying for anything better than their “Standard” (average) risk categories. You’ll need to prove there are no issues and no longer taking medication.

An abnormal colonoscopy will affect your rates or possibly causing your application to be postponed. If your GI has noted you may need surgery in the future, it will likely need to be completed before being approved for more than a $25,000 “Guaranteed Issue” (no questions asked) type policy.

Can I.B.S. be Treated or Cured?

There is no true “cure” for I.B.S., but there are some lifestyle changes which can help minimize symptoms and discomfort. Common forms of treatment include diet changes, corticosteroid treatments, stress reduction, and/or surgery.

Applicants taking mild to moderate IBS medications are most commonly approved as a “Standard” (average) risk class, but there are a few companies JRC works with will consider better rates.

Your JRC agent will review your treatment history with you, making recommendations best for the type and amount of life insurance you’re applying for.

If your IBS has been diagnosed as severe, incapacitating, or if you’ve ever had an abnormal colonoscopy, expect a “Standard” (average risk) or worse. Life insurance underwriting varies, and each company has their own niche…it’s why there are 1,200 fully licensed, fully reputable companies out there.

JRC is glad to share our knowledge and experience to the benefit of our clients. Rest assured, we will find the best match between life insurers and your current and past IBS treatment.


Following are comparative rates for a client we helped earlier this year. “James”, a 51-year old male living in Massachusetts. James contacted a large call center agency before calling JRC, but felt he “was being read a script” and rushed through his phone call without the opportunity to fully discuss his need for life insurance and IBS history and treatment.

JRC as the result of our offering options from more than 40 term life insurance companies.

James had “mild IBS” noted in his medical history, was otherwise fit and good medical history, but had never had a colonoscopy. (He does intend to get it done!)

James was told by the first agency he contacted that a “Standard” risk was the best he could qualify for based on the IBS notation.

This is generally true, however, JRC matched James to an A+ rated carrier whose underwriters will sometimes ignore mild IBS if there’s no treatment required, been a recent age appropriate physical, and other risk factors in proper range.

In this case, James’ labwork was excellent, so the underwriter gave him the benefit of the doubt, approving his application at their very best “Preferred Plus” risk category!


Actual Rates for a August 2015 Applicant with Irritable Bowel Syndrome ($500k, 20-Yrs)
Life Insurer “A” Life Insurer “B”
Monthly Premium: $85.88 Monthly Premium: $52.65
Total 20 Year Cost: $20,611.20 Total 20 Year Cost: $12,636.00
Total Savings with Company B: $7,975.20

By having access to over 45 companies, we were able to match our client to an A+ Rated life insurance company which saved him 40%….nearly $8,000 over the life of his policy!

Why JRC?

JRC is employee owned by life insurance underwriting veterans. We worked 5-10 years in a high volume, high pressure agency. We chose to take our knowledge and work at an appropriate pace for ourselves, and our clients.

We vow to NEVER read a sales script to our clients, or “cross sell” home, auto or other products to our clients. We can pre-qualify underwrite just about every health and lifestyle condition out there, in around 15 minutes. If we can’t save you time or money, we’ll tell you right up front!

Where Do I Begin and How Do I Apply?

Give JRC a call today and we’ll listen to your life insurance needs and goals, and work within your budget. Offering you something unaffordable won’t help you or us.

Our service is free, but many clients have told us our help was invaluable!

Give JRC a call today, toll free: 855-247-9555


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