Disqualifications from Life Insurance

Getting approved for life insurance isn’t a guarantee, especially with more substantial amounts of coverage. Even life insurance policies that do not require a medical exam can be denied. The following are the most common disqualifications from life insurance although not all of these factors guarantee a denial from every company.

Income Limitations

Insurance companies may deny policies to applicants with an income level below a specific threshold. Most cap coverage between 10 and 30 times an applicant’s or a spouse’s annual income.

High-Risk Activities

Most insurance companies maintain a list of activities that are considered hazardous with a higher risk of premature death. Insurance companies consider a variety of activities or hobbies to be unacceptably dangerous such as skydiving, scuba diving, recreational flying with a pilot’s license, or some forms of international travel.

DUI, Alcoholism, or Drug Use

It’s common for insurance companies to deny life insurance if there is evidence of drug or alcohol abuse, including just one or two DUIs over the last decade. Individuals who have abused alcohol or drugs may still get approved for insurance by remaining alcohol or drug-free for at least three years.

Chronic Health Conditions

The most common disqualification for life insurance is poor health or the diagnosis of a chronic health condition, even if it’s well managed. While this can depend on the insurance company, the list may include:

  • Hepatitis or liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • COPD
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Kidney disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Lupus
  • Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

Not all health conditions bar approval for insurance, but it can be much more difficult to get approved if there are two or more health risks, such as kidney disease along with alcohol use.

History of Cancer

Cancer is considered very high-risk. It can be challenging to get approved for life insurance with a current cancer diagnosis depending on the stage, grade, and type of cancer. A personal history of cancer, even successfully treated and in remission, can also increase the likelihood of a denied insurance application. A family history of cancer will also be considered by the insurance company.