Life Insurance with a Bundle Branch Block
Have you been diagnosed with a bundle branch block and want to find out if you can still purchase affordable term insurance? Don’t worry, affordable life insurance is still within reach.
Purchasing life insurance with a bundle branch block may be easier than you think, but it pays to shop the market. Some life insurance companies are much more lenient with applicants that have been diagnosed with a bundle branch block than others.
In fact, a handful of top-rated life insurance companies may be able to offer you a preferred best rate class.
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with a right bundle branch block (RBBB), or a left bundle branch block (LBBB), we can help. Continue reading to find out what information life insurance companies will take into consideration when approving your policy. We've also provided some sample rates based on age and gender.
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
Quick Article Guide
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
What is a Bundle Branch Block?
A bundle branch block occurs when there is an obstruction or delay in the pathway of the heart where the electrical impulses are responsible for making your heartbeat travel.
A bundle branch block occurs in the bottom chambers of your heart within the left or right ventricles. Despite the name, no arteries are involved in a bundle branch block, only the heart’s electrical system that regulates the heart’s beating.
The majority of people with bundle branch blocks have no symptoms from their condition, but some people may experience fainting or a slow heart rate. For the most part, people with a right or left bundle branch block can still live normal active and healthy lives.
Bundle branch blocks can be caused by a number of issues including a heart attack, heart disease, or cardiac surgery. Although rare, some patients are actually born with a bundle branch block.
Because the majority of bundle branch blocks are asymptomatic, they are usually unnoticed until they are identified on a patient’s echocardiogram or ECG. Bundle branch blocks become much more common as we age and are more common in men.
About 1% of the male population will experience some form of a bundle branch block by the age of 50, and by the time they reach the age of 80, their chances jump to 17%. On average, bundle branch blocks typically affect about 200,000 Americans each year.
Life insurance companies tend to be more lenient with applicants who are experiencing a branch block on the right side of their heart rather than the left.
Right Bundle Branch Block Underwriting Guidelines and Rates
Right bundle branch blocks are common in otherwise healthy individuals, but they can also be the result of an underlying health issue. Common causes of RBBB include pulmonary embolisms, high blood pressure, rheumatic heart disease, an atrial septic defect, heart disease, myocarditis, or cardiomyopathy.
In general, life insurance companies tend to be more lenient with applicants that have been diagnosed with a right bundle branch block than applicants with a left bundle branch block. When evaluating a right bundle branch block, your cardiologist will usually classify your RBBB as “incomplete” or “complete.”
In some cases, provided no underlying heart disease is found, incomplete and complete RBBB’s may be eligible for preferred best rates with a handful of life insurance companies.
When applying for life insurance, the insurance company you apply with will likely consider the type of RBBB you have been diagnosed with, the cause, and the age of your diagnosis.
In addition, the company’s underwriter will prefer to see that you have had regular follow ups and ECGs/EKGs, or echocardiograms, performed by your doctor or cardiologist. An ECG/EKG documents your heart’s function and rhythms, and the insurance companies prefer to see that there have been no noticeable changes over the last two years.
If changes are indicated on your echocardiogram, it may complicate the approval of the policy, but it should not prevent your application from being approved.
Left Bundle Branch Block Underwriting Guidelines and Rates
Left bundle branch blocks, or LBBB’s, are usually found by a cardiologist or primary care doctor when evaluating the results of an echocardiogram. A LBBB is diagnosed when the left ventricle of the heart is delayed and contracts after the right ventricle.
Left bundle branch blocks can be the result of a number of health conditions, but the most common are aortic stenosis, systolic heart failure, myocardial infarction, aortic root dilation, coronary artery disease, Lyme disease, and/or as the result of cardiac surgeries.
Like RBBBs, LBBBs are usually diagnosed as “complete” or “incomplete,” however, they are more of a concern to life insurance companies. The septum is normally activated from right to left, but with a LBBB, this pattern is reversed.
Studies have shown that left bundle branch blocks are more commonly associated with the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), aortic valve stenosis, and heart failure. Because of the greater “risk” associated with a left bundle branch block than a right bundle branch block, most life insurance companies will require a complete cardiac work-up or echocardiogram before approving your policy.If you have been diagnosed with a LBBB more than a few years ago, the insurance company you apply with will evaluate the history of your echocardiograms to see if your left bundle branch blocks have progressed. Below are some example rates for an applicant that has been diagnosed with a left bundle branch block for more than 5 years.
Most life insurance companies tend to be especially lenient with applicants that have been for diagnosed with a LBBB for more than 5 years.
In general, the more time that has passed since you were initially diagnosed with a left bundle branch block, generally the better. All life insurance companies will want to see that you have been compliant with the recommendations of your primary care provider or cardiologist and that you have had annual cardiac work-ups or ECGs/EKGs completed.
LBBBs tend to be more common after the age of 50, and because of this, life insurance companies tend to be the most lenient with applicants who were diagnosed with a LBBB between the ages of 51 and 75.
Common Treatments for Bundle Branch Blocks
The majority of people who have a bundle branch block have no symptoms and do not require treatment; however, if an underlying health issue is causing your branch bundle block, your primary care provider or cardiologist will recommend treating the underlying issue to alleviate your bundle branch block.
With a right bundle branch block, treatment may be as simple as taking a medication to control your blood pressure or an antibiotic to clear up your myocarditis. With a RBBB, symptoms often subside once the underlying health issue has been resolved.
Left bundle branch block is more commonly associated with severe heart issues and because of this, treatment is often more involved. If myocarditis is causing your LBBB, a course of antibiotics may be sufficient; however, if systolic heart failure is the cause of your LBBB, your cardiologist will probably recommend a pacemaker to help synchronize your heart ventricles back into a normal rhythm.
Left bundle branch block treatment may also include having a coronary angioplasty performed to increase the blood flow from the artery leading to your heart.
Anytime a major heart surgery is performed or recommended, including heart bypass surgery, we suggest having the surgery completed before applying for life insurance. The life insurance company that you apply with will postpone your application until you have the surgery completed and have recovered successfully.
How JRC Can Help you Find the Most Affordable Insurance Options
JRC Insurance Group works with 63 top-rated life insurance companies. By having access to so many companies and their guidelines, we’re able to compare your health profile to each company’s guidelines and determine which carrier will provide you with the lowest rates.
If you have compounding serious health issues, we can also determine which top-rated life insurance company is most likely to approve your policy, especially if you have been declined for coverage before. All of the companies we work with are “A” or better rated by AM Best and majority have been offering life insurance for at least 100 years.JRC is unlike any other agency you’ll find. We are employee owned and operated and offer decades of collective experience. All of our licensed agents have at least ten years of experience and we’ve worked with thousands of clients.
Our agents do not have daily sales goals or shareholder quotas to meet, so you’ll never feel rushed or pressured to make a decision. We take our time with each client to ensure they receive excellent customer service and the most affordable life insurance policy available.
Give us a call today and with just a few health questions we will be able to provide you accurate quotes over the phone, toll-free at 855-247-9555. You can also request a free quote below to compare dozens of companies in just a few seconds. Our services are free and we are licensed to sell life insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Managing Partner and Co-founder
Cliff is a licensed life insurance agent and one of the owners of JRC Insurance Group. He has helped thousands of families of businesses with their life insurance needs since 2012 and specializes with applicants who are less than perfect health. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and the great outdoors.