Declined for Life Insurance – Now What?

So you were declined for life insurance – now what? Here we will cover your options and how to get a policy.

Declined for Life Insurance – Now What?

Everyone knows the importance of life insurance. Without it, there’s a very real chance that you could pass and leave your loved ones in dire financial straits, straining to take care of your final wishes and pay the bills at home. This is why people take the time to find the right life insurance for their situation.

But what happens if you are unable to get life insurance on your own? For some people, getting life insurance isn’t just a question of finding the right, affordable policy. Other factors like lifestyle and health prevent them from being able to get a policy. 

If you are one of those people, then you might think there’s nothing you can do. You’ve applied; you’ve been denied – what else can you do? The good news is that even if you’ve been turned down for life insurance, you’re not without options or hope just yet. Read on to find out more about what you should do if you find yourself in this tough predicament.

Reasons To Be Turned Down

The first thing to know is exactly why you were turned down. There are many possible reasons why this could have happened, and knowing what, exactly, the life insurance company objected to can help you fix the problem. Some of the most common reasons include:

Physical Condition

Probably the most common reason someone might be turned down for life insurance is the physical health of the applicant. Because life insurance is essentially a gamble between you and the insurance company, the company might not want to take a chance on someone it deems a “high risk” due to poor physical health. 

Poor health like this usually takes the form of a pre-existing condition such as a disease, illness, physical malady, or some other issue. If a concern like this shows up in the application process or in the physical exam, the pre-existing condition – whatever it is – can throw up enough of a red flag for the company to say no.

Mental Health

Another concern that might make an insurance company pause is the applicant’s mental health. More common conditions such as depression or PTSD can put someone into a greater risk category to begin with, and then there are more serious issues that some people have to deal with. If it means you have a higher chance of getting into danger or self-harm, the insurance company is more likely to say no.

A Dangerous or Unhealthy Lifestyle

During the application process, you might be asked about hobbies and other interests. If you engage in more dangerous activities such as rock climbing or extreme sports, then the company will be more inclined to deny you. 

In addition, unhealthy habits such as drinking or smoking – even if they haven’t led to long-term physical problems – can also be red flags for the insurance company, By themselves, they might not be enough to deny coverage. However, when red flags pile up on top of each other, it’s much more common for a denial.


A fourth common reason for insurance companies to deny a policy is the applicant’s occupation. Of course, some jobs are riskier than others. Firefighters, police officers, and others in dangerous professions are more likely to have a hard time finding their own life insurance policy. Of course, many of these jobs offer some sort of life insurance for employees – we’ll talk about that in a little bit.

Talk To your Life Insurance Agent

If you’re asking “I’m declined for life insurance policy – now what?”, there’s a very good chance you weren’t the first to know. If you’ve been working with an agent, he or she already knows and probably has more information as to why the denial occurred. 

Talk to your agent to get more information as to why you were denied. Once you know, you can make a more informed decision about what to do next.

Make Changes

The next step depends on the reason why you were denied. In some cases, you might be able to make a change that could move you out of a high-risk category. 

For example, if you are the sort of person who lives a high-risk lifestyle, then making some changes in this area can help. Stop smoking, drink less, cut down on risky activities and hobbies. These are all things that you can control.

Of course, there are other factors that you might not be able to change. Mental health, for example, can be treatable but isn’t something you can just wish away or change on a whim. Still, if the denial stems from a problem you can change, the first possible solution is to do exactly that.

declined for life insurance - now what?

Shop Around

If you’ve made all of the possible changes that you can make to your lifestyle, and the insurance company is still denying coverage, then it might be time to start looking at other companies. What one company deems high-risk might not be the same for another. 

It might not be a bad idea for you to seek a policy from a different source. Fill out a number of applications; you never know what you might find if you look at enough places.

However, I would highly recommend working with a life insurance agent in any instance because they will know the best companies to work with for certain conditions.

Consider Other Types of Policies

As long as you’re shopping around to different companies, you also owe it to yourself to consider alternative policies. What most people think of as the “traditional” life insurance policy is only one type of policy available. Even if you are denied coverage for this, that doesn’t mean there is no other insurance policy that you can consider.

In truth, there are a number of types of policies out there, and some of them are much easier to get than others. Here are some other types of policies to consider:

Guaranteed-Issue Insurance

Just as the name implies, guaranteed-issue insurance guarantees a payout for anyone who takes out a policy. And the good news is that pretty much anyone can have one. 

You don’t even need to worry about medical exams – although many companies will still require you to fill out a questionnaire with some personal questions on it. Even with this, in just about all cases, the company will approve the policy.

Of course, there are some negatives to this type of policy. The first is that guaranteed-issue policies do not come with large payouts. In most cases, they aren’t usually more than what’s needed to cover a person’s final expenses. In addition, the premium for a guaranteed-issue policy is much more than a traditional policy.

So, in short, you are paying out more and getting potentially much less than a standard policy. However, since the alternative is no life insurance at all, this sort of policy is still usually considered the better alternative.

Final Expenses Insurance

As you can probably tell, this insurance is used only to help cover someone’s final expenses. It is similar to a guaranteed-issue policy, but the difference is that the guaranteed-issue policy pays out a predetermined amount, whereas the final expenses policy only specifically covers your funeral and other costs associated with your passing.

Again, the premiums for this policy can be high, but it’s often thought to be the better choice.

Simplified-Issue Insurance

In some ways, a simplified issue is like a standard policy. However, like the other alternatives, the premiums are more and the payout is less. In addition, you can skip the medical exam – although you will still have to undergo a questionnaire and a minimal health assessment. For this reason, a simplified-issue policy is not a guarantee, and it is possible to be turned down.

Still, this sort of policy is easier to come by than a standard one, and for those struggling to get a policy in the first place, this option can be a good alternative.

In Conclusion

As you can see, even if you’ve asked “I’m declined for life insurance – now what?” in the past, it doesn’t mean you are out of options entirely. In some cases, you might need to make some lifestyle changes. 

You might need to consider a different company or even a different type of policy. Either way, you have options to consider, and knowing about those is the first step.

If you have been denied, but would like to know more about your options moving forward, contact us today so we can get you started on your way to peace of mind. Get your free quote today or call us at 646-216-4199 to get started.