How does diverticulitis affect life insurance rates?
Diverticulitis is a condition that involves the lining of the colon. Small pouches called diverticula form in the intestine and become inflamed or infected. This often due to naturally weak places in your colon that give way under pressure and protrude through the colon wall.
Most often diverticulitis starts after the age of 40, but can can affect people of any age. It is estimated that over 200,000 new cases of diverticulitis occur each year.
Although the condition can be very painful and can affect your lifestyle, it typically is insurable from a life Insurance standpoint. But, it is important to remember that all life insurance companies view health conditions differently. To get the absolute lowest rates on life insurance you need to use an insurance company that underwrites diverticulitis the best.
When evaluating a risk involving diverticulitis it is important that the underwriting company get the full picture of the applicants health as it pertains to diverticulitis.
Although the symptoms of diverticulitis can be similar to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis does not appear to cause Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis.
Symptoms of diverticulitis typically include pain, nausea and vomiting, fever, abdominal tenderness, constipation and or diarrhea.
The risk factors for diverticulitis include age, obesity and tobacco use, lack of exercise, high animal fat diet, low fiber diet and certain medications.
About 25 percent of people with diverticulitis develop complications, which may include:
- An abcess, which occurs when pus collects in the pouch.
- A blockage in your colon or small intestine caused by scarring
- An abnormal fistula between sections of bowel and bladder
- Peritionitis, which can occur if the infected or inflamed area of the pouch ruptures spilling contents into your abdomen.
- Exercise regularly
- Eat more fiber
- Drink plenty of fluids
An underwriter will look at all of the above factors when assessing the risk of someone with diverticulitis.
Examples rating for diverticulitis applicants
Most cases of diverticulitis are considered into one of three classes, these include:
- Present, un-operated Mild to Moderate with no more than 2 episodes
- Present, un-operated Severe with 3 or more episodes
- Not Present, operated single episode
Now, let’s take a look at each class and see how an insurance company that specializes in this particular diagnosis might rate each of these:
Class 1 within 0-1 year of last episode could be a standard offer of coverage up to a 50% rate up.
Class 2 between 0-6 months since last episode up to a 100% rate up.
Class 2 between 6 months and 1 year since last episode up to 75% rate up.
Class 2 one year or longer since last episode standard to 50% rate up.
Class 3 0-1 year year since surgery standard rates plus $5.00 per thousand of coverage for 1 additional year.
Class 3 after 1 year no rate up, should be standard.
Important- If applicant has add multiple resection after 1 year and no complications standard to 50% rate up.
How to find the right carrier?
Now, this is where the rubber meets the road. The above information is all good, but what does standard offer mean or 50% rate up really mean in regards to exact premium dollars?
Life insurance companies all use a rating system to determine the actual premiums. For example, most carriers use the same system as far as the names of the risk class that each individual is placed into. It looks something like this:
Preferred Best, Preferred, Standard Plus, Standard, Table 1, Table 2, Table 3, Table 4, Table 5, Table 6, Table 7, Table 8
Anything above the standard risk class gets assigned a table rating. Table ratings generally charge 25% per table. So, for example if you were assigned a Table 2 class rating you would have a rate that is 50% above the standard class. A table 4 rating would be 100% above the standard class.
So, the secret to getting the best price is to find the insurance carrier that will offer you the best risk class. If Company A offers you a Table 4 rating and Company B offers you a Table 2 rating, then obviously Company B will have the lower premium rate.
Finding the carrier that will offer you the best rate class is the job of your agent. An agent who is experienced and has knowledge in the special risk life insurance market will know which carriers to shop.
Using a captive agent or an in-experienced agent will not only cost you time, but potentially hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your policy.
BEST TIP- ONLY USE AN AGENT WITH MANY YEARS IN THE SPECIAL RISK LIFE INSURANCE MARKETPLACE
How your agent will save you time and money?
Shopping for life insurance coverage is not fun. But, having your agent shop for coverage is fun. You provide some information and put your agent on the hunt to find you the best rates.
An experienced special risk life insurance will ask you questions regarding your history of diverticulitis and any other medical history you may have. They will then present your case to several life insurance carriers that specialize in underwriting diverticulitis.
You don’t initially need to do an insurance exam or medical exam. Once your agent shops your coverage, they will then come back and provide you with the hard numbers on what you should qualify for.
If you like the tentative quote, then you will proceed with full underwriting. It’s as simple as that. Put your agent to work.
Questions to answer
When you first speak to your agent, here are some of the questions they will need answered in order to begin your search for the lowest rates for coverage:
- Date of Birth
- Male or Female
- Any tobacco use in last 10 years?
- When were you first diagnosed with diverticulitis?
- How many episodes have you had?
- How were you treated? Surgery or non-surgical?
- Any complications?
- Current medications?
- Any other medical history such as diabetes, heart disease, etc.
- Amount of Protection needed?
If you are in the market for life insurance and have a history of diverticulitis and would like a free analysis of your protection options, please contact us at 1-888-393-9003 or [email protected]
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