Purchasing Life Insurance with a Pulmonary Embolism

Purchasing life insurance can seem like a daunting process, especially if you have health issues such. But when you work with an experienced independent agent, finding the best rates for life insurance can be a breeze.

Every life insurance company has its own rates and guidelines for approving an applicant who has had a history of pulmonary emboli. What you might not know is that some insurance companies are more lenient with approvals than others. At JRC, our goal is to simplify the process of purchasing life insurance and to find each of our clients a policy that fits their needs at a price they can afford.

In this article we’ll provide some sample rates for applicants that have a history of pulmonary emboli, along with insider’s tips to save money.

Quick Article Guide:

1. What is a Pulmonary Embolism?
2. Pulmonary Embolism Causes and Risk Factors
3. Life Insurance Rates for an Applicant with a History of Pulmonary Emboli
4. Questions Your Agent Will Ask
5. How to Find the Best Rates on Life Insurance

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What is a Pulmonary Embolism?

A pulmonary embolism is a blockage of one of the arteries in your lungs. In most cases, an embolism is the result of a blood clot in the deep veins of your leg, arm, or pelvis, (also known as deep vein thrombosis) that breaks off and travels to your lungs. There are occasions in which the pulmonary embolism can also be caused by a broken bone, part of a tumor, or a gas bubble.

A pulmonary embolism from DVT (deep vein thrombosis) can be a life threatening condition, and about one third of patients do not survive if the condition is left undiagnosed and untreated. However, the survival rates are much higher for those who receive treatment in a timely matter. Common signs of a pulmonary embolism include chest pain, shortness of breath, leg pain or swelling, fever, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and coughing.

Despite the severity of a pulmonary embolism, purchasing affordable life insurance may still be possible. Each life insurance company will view health issues like pulmonary emboli differently, so it pays to shop the market. Anytime you purchase life insurance with a health problem, it’s always best to work with a reputable independent agency that represents multiple top-rated life insurance carriers.

Pulmonary Embolism Causes and Risk Factors

One of the best ways to avoid getting a pulmonary embolism is to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that even a young and healthy person can experience a pulmonary embolism. Below are some of the causes or risk factors that are commonly associated with a pulmonary embolism.

Pregnancy – The weight of your baby can cause your blood flow to slow down by pressing on the veins in your pelvis. For this reason, most doctors do not recommend traveling for long periods of time during the latter part of your pregnancy.

Immobility – Sitting in a small confined seat, or being sedentary for extended periods of time may also slow blood flow which can cause blood clots to form. Those who are put on bed rest for a long period of time are also vulnerable to blood clots because the lower half of the body is in a horizontal position, causing blood to pool in your legs.

Heart Disease – The hardening or narrowing of your veins can significantly increase your risk of developing blood clots, especially if you are overweight or a tobacco user.

Cancer – There are certain cancers such as ovarian and lung cancer that increase the body’s levels of procoagulants, which cause the blood to clot. Chemotherapy also reduces the body’s natural defense against blood clots, furthering the risk of a pulmonary embolism. Women who are currently taking Tamoxifen or Raloxifene for breast cancer also have a higher risk of developing blood clots.

Surgery – This is by far the leading cause of blood clots, especially for those who receive joint replacements. In addition to being immobile after surgery, there are instances where debris from the artificial joint can enter the bloodstream. The risk of a blood clot further increases if you are sedated for a long period of time.

Smoking or Tobacco Use – Nicotine causes your blood pressure to increase when ingested, and this causes an increase to your blood flow. Nicotine has also been associated with the hardening or narrowing of arteries, which increases blood clot formation and the risk of having a pulmonary embolism. In addition, inhaling carbon monoxide will reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood stream.

Birth Control Pills or Supplemental Estrogen – The excess estrogen found in birth control pills can increase the risk of developing blood clots, especially for those who are overweight or use tobacco. According to Women’s Health, supplemental estrogen may also increase the risk of having a blood clot by two to four times.

Life Insurance Rates for an Applicant with a History of Pulmonary Emboli

Below are some sample life insurance rates by age for an applicant in excellent overall health. We included rates for applicants who have had a single episode and multiple episodes of pulmonary emboli. The rates below are for an applicant who has had one episode of pulmonary embolism, more than 6 months ago, and is not currently taking any blood thinning medications.

The rates below are for an applicant who has had more than one episode of pulmonary embolism, but no flare-ups within the last two years. The rates are for an applicant who is not currently taking any blood thinning medications like Plavix, Coumadin, Warfarin, or Heparin.

Please note that these are best-case scenario rates for an applicant in overall good health. Feel free to call us to obtain an accurate quote based on your age and lifestyle. Our number is toll-free at 855-247-9555.

Questions Your Agent Will Ask

If you have had a pulmonary embolism in the past and are currently shopping for life insurance, your agent will need to ask you a few questions to match you with the right provider. Every life insurance company views pulmonary emboli differently, and some companies are a better fit for specific situations than others.

Here are a few questions that you should be prepared to answer when talking to your agent:

How long has it been since your last pulmonary embolism?

Life insurance companies will need to know how much time has passed since your initial diagnosis of a pulmonary embolism. Most life insurance companies like to see that at least six months have passed since your last pulmonary embolism.

How many pulmonary emboli have you had?

Applicants who have only had a single pulmonary embolism more than six months ago may qualify for “preferred best” rates with a handful of companies. Applicants who have had multiple episodes may qualify for standard rates if more than 2 years have passed since your last pulmonary embolism.

*If you are currently being treated for an embolism or DVT (blood clots), or if you have had multiple pulmonary emboli within the last 2 years, your application will likely be approved at a substandard rate.

Are you currently taking any medications?

If you are prescribed an anticoagulant or blood thinner such as; Coumadin, Heparin, Warfarin, or Plavix, a substandard table 2 rating is possible as long as there is no signs of pain or inflammation. Some people require an ongoing prescription of blood thinners to manage their blood clots. In this scenario, a substandard table 2 rating is usually the best-case scenario.

Please note: If you are taking an antiplatelet medication or an over the counter medication like Aspirin or Tylenol to manage your blood clots, “preferred best” rates may be available.

Are you a smoker or a tobacco user?

Underwriters see this as a big red flag since the nicotine in tobacco products causes your veins to harden, which is one of the biggest contributors to DVT. If you are a cigar smoker, electronic cigarette user, or chewing tobacco user, but do not smoke cigarettes, a handful of life insurance companies may offer you a non-tobacco rate saving you up to 50%.

Have you experienced any symptoms in the past 6 months?

Symptoms such as pain and inflammation in the legs are signs of blood clot. If you have recently been diagnosed with blood clots or a pulmonary embolism, you will need to wait 6 months before applying for a traditional term insurance policy. If you apply for life insurance within 6 months of a diagnoses, the insurance company will postpone your application. This is known as a “waiting period”.

Do you have any other medical issues?

Certain conditions such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes are frequent contributors to blood clots and emboli. In this situation, it’s best to call us directly to speak with an agent who specializes in high risk cases in order to receive an accurate quote. We can be reached toll-free at 855-247-9555.

How to Find the Best Rates on Life Insurance

Most local life insurance agents represent only one life insurance carrier. These agents are known as “captive agents” because companies like State Farm or Farmers Insurance only allow their agents to sell their insurance products. The problem is that oftentimes, the companies that specialize in home and auto insurance are not the best companies for life insurance. In fact, most home and auto insurance companies are extremely expensive for applicants who are not in perfect health. For this reason, we often sell life insurance to agents from these companies, and we typically save them 35% or more.

State Farm Life Insurance vs Prudential

Take a look at how State Farm’s guidelines compared to just one of the top-rated life insurance companies we represent, Prudential.

Prudential is an A+ rated company by AM Best, and they have been in the life insurance industry since 1875. State Farm was founded in 1922, and despite their enormous advertising budget, they actually sold less life insurance in 2015 than Prudential. In addition, Prudential is a much more welcoming provider for individuals who have had a few health issues, especially after the age of 60.

How We Can Help You Save Money on Life Insurance

If you have had issues with blood clots or pulmonary emboli in the past, don’t let that stop you from picking up the phone and talking to an experienced life insurance agent who cares. JRC Insurance Group works with more than 40 top-rated life insurance companies, and our agents are experts at matching our clients with the best life insurance options available.

By working with so many life insurance companies, we are able to save our clients up to 73%, especially for applicants aged 50-75. We also specialize with “high risk” applicants who may have had a hard time finding affordable coverage before.

Give us a call toll-free call today at 855-247-9555 or request a free quote online. We are here to help you find the most affordable option available.

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Cliff Pendell

VP of Marketing at JRC Insurance Group
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.
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