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How Heart Attacks Affect Life Insurance Premiums

I Have Had A Heart Attack. Now What?

Heart attack, which is also called a myocardial infraction (MI), is the leading cause of death in the United States. When a heart attack does not cause death, it usually causes irreversible damage to the heart, the extent of which depends on the severity of the heart attack. If you have had a heart attack, the life underwriter will need to see the results of extensive heart tests, such as EKG, stress tests, and all medical records, etc. in order to assess your situation. Please be prepared for an extended review time as the life insurance company inspects your medical records. Also be prepared to pay higher than normal rates for your policy. 

Heart Attack's Effect on Insurance Rates

There are many, many factors that go into assessing each heart attack case, such as the results of cardiovascular testing, notes from your doctors, post-heart attack medical follow up reports, lifestyle habits, blood pressure, cholesterol, medications, diet, and others. As a result, there is no simple guide or outline of what kind of rates to expect since each individual case is examined and assessed carefully. But you should expect, at best, to pay low Table ratings. As your conditioned is deemed worse, those ratings will increase to the point where you could be declined. 

It is very important that you work with an experienced life insurance agent or broker so that you can prepare your paperwork, test results, and cover letter (if needed) properly in a way that will help you obtain the best ratings. Remember, it never pays off just to send in an application to "see what happens" without careful preparation since this could permanently result in higher rates for life insurance. Also, it is better that you offer as much information about your condition as possible since life insurance companies never reward ambiguity and uncertainty with good ratings. 

More Information on Heart Attacks

Heart attacks happen when one or more of the blood supplies to the heart become blocked, which cuts off oxygen to the heart. When this happens, it causes irreversible damage and death to the affected portion of the heart. The severity of the heart attack will depend on how much of the heart attack is affected, and thus how much of the heart is irreversibly damaged. 

Sometimes a heart attack will only affect very small areas of the heart and may happen with only minor discomfort. These can be so minor that the person may not even realize anything has happened. Some doctors may misdiagnose this occurrence as indigestion, or something similar, thought it was actually a "silent myocardial infraction." An EKG and other cardiovascular testing will be able to detect whether this has occurred. 

When strong heart attacks occur, they are accompanied by serious electrocardiographic changes, severe chest pain, and elevations in cardiac enzymes. These heart attacks often occur as a result of blood clot breaking loose from a non-obstructive vessel and moving to a smaller coronary artery where it cuts of oxygenated blood to the heart. 

Important Things to Know for Those Who Have Had a Heart Attack

What are some of the issues that interest underwriters?

  • When did your heart attack occur?

  • How severe was it?

  • Do you currently smoke?

  • Do you exercise regularly?

  • What are the results from your cardiovascular tests? 

What can I do to help the underwriting process?

In order to assess the severity of your heart attack and the risk it poses to your health, the life insurance company will need to review all your medical records and the results from any cardiovascular tests that you have undergone. Please also include the contact information for your doctors, hospital, etc. so that the life insurance company can obtain any necessary personal health history.

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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