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Bundle Branch Blocks

I Have a Bundle Branch Block. Now What?

While most conditions affecting the heart are a serious concern to life insurance companies, bundle branch blocks, which are also known as heart blocks, are not necessarily a cause for worry. Individuals with bundle branch blocks are often issued standard, and sometimes even preferred, ratings. Underwriters generally evaluate this condition based on your age at diagnosis, your current age, the underlying cause, and the stability of the bundle branch block. Generally speaking it is worse to have a bundle branch block to the left heart chambers given the importance of this side of the heart. Note that if the bundle branch block is due to an underlying heart problem, you will be evaluated on the basis of that particular problem. Because the life insurance company will want to review your medical records, you will need to allow extra time for your application process. You should also expect higher rates than a perfectly healthy individual would pay.

Bundle Branch Block's Effect on Insurance Rates
This table outlines expected ratings for some of the more common variances of bundle branch block.

Type of BBB

Rating; diagnosis at age 39 or less

Rating; diagnosis at age 40 or greater

Incomplete Right BBB

Standard

Standard

Complete Right BBB

Standard through Table 2

Standard

Incomplete Left Anterior Hemiblock

Standard

Standard

Incomplete Left Posterior Hemiblock

Standard

Standard

Complete Left BBB

Standard through Table 4

Standard through Table 3

Complete Right BBB w/ left Hemiblock

Standard through Table 3

Standard through Table 2

Blockage has been documented to be stable over several years

Standard

Standard

Recent diagnosis; underlying heart condition

Varied Table Ratings

Varied Table Ratings

 
More Information on Bundle Branch Block
The heartbeat is controlled by electrical impulses that originate at the sino-atrial node and travel through special fibers at exactly timed intervals. A bundle branch block interrupts the transmission of these electrical impulses, causing heartbeat abnormalities. Approximately 1% of the population is affected by bundle branch blocks. Different block-types cause different problems. For example, sometimes both ventricles will not contract at the same time, or there might be completely missed ventricular contractions

These blocks are easily detectible using an EKG. These blocks can be caused by a number of problems, the most common being coronary artery disease. Other causes include high blood pressure, tumors, rheumatic fever, congenital lesions, hypertension, and others. Severe cases of bundle branch block may require a pacemaker to be installed, though many minor cases require no treatment.

 
Important Things to Know for Those with Bundle Branch Blocks

What are some of the issues that interest underwriters?

  • On which side of your heart is the block located, the left or right?

  • How was the block first diagnosed?

  • At what age was it first diagnosed?

  • Is the cause of your bundle branch block known?

  • What tests have been done to evaluate your block, and what were the results? This should include a recent cardiac test.

 

What can I do to help the underwriting process?

The life insurance company will want to contact all your treating physicians and medical facilities, so please provide that contact information. Also include any medical records, diagnoses, and/or results of most recent cardiac test if you have them.

Complete the following form, or call us toll-free at 888-854-7526 if you would like to speak with someone or get more information.

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