If you’re living with kidney problems, you may be worried about qualifying for life insurance. It’s an understandable concern. Depending on what sort of condition you have and what stage it’s at, you could be deemed uninsurable.
That’s not the news you want to hear, but it’s an unfortunate truth. However, many factors affect whether you will qualify for life insurance, and some of them are within your control. Trying to get life insurance when you have kidney problems is a complex process, but it’s worth attempting for your family’s sake.
Why Life Insurance Matters
No one wants to think about dying, but sometimes you have to if you want to plan for the future. As uncomfortable as you might be when you consider your own mortality, it’s worth it if that’s what motivates you to purchase life insurance. Life insurance helps ensure that your family will be taken care of after you’re gone.
Funerals are expensive. The average funeral can cost between 7,000 and 12,000 dollars, and that’s without taking into account a grave marker or flowers. Cremation is a little cheaper, but only marginally.
You may be thinking that funeral expenses won’t be your problem after you’ve passed away, so why worry about them? However, they are something your family will have to deal with, and life insurance can help cover them. When you purchase life insurance, you’re purchasing peace of mind for the future.
Funeral costs might not be your only concern. If you’re the primary breadwinner in your family and something happens to you, do you know what will happen to your loved ones? Life insurance can help your family cover expenses and maintain their standard of living while they figure out what to do.
If you’re in debt, whether it’s student loans, credit card debt, a mortgage, or something else, a life insurance policy might be beneficial. Life insurance can go toward paying off any debts you have that might otherwise shift to your spouse or another loved one, so they’re not struggling with a financial burden in addition to grieving.
Purchasing life insurance can ease your concerns about your loved ones should anything unexpected happen to you. It’s always better to have life insurance and not need it than it is to not have it and wish you did.
What if Your Request for Life Insurance Is Denied?
If your request for life insurance is denied, don’t lose hope. It’s easy to become discouraged, but every life insurance company operates under a different set of underwriting guidelines. Just because one company denied your application doesn’t mean another will.
Underwriting is the process by which an insurance company decides how much your insurance premium will be—if they insure you in the first place. Life insurance companies make money by betting you’ll outlive the term for which you bought insurance. If you take out a ten-year life insurance policy and live, it doesn’t cost the company anything and they’ve made money from the premium you paid.
Preexisting conditions like kidney problems, being a smoker, and a variety of other factors determine how risky of a bet an insurance company thinks you are. It can be upsetting to think about a company gambling with your life, but the benefits of life insurance outweigh the downsides.
If you’ve been denied life insurance from several companies due to a health issue, you may still qualify for a policy that doesn’t require a medical exam. Keep in mind that the amount of life insurance you will get will likely be lower than you’d like without a medical exam, and rates may be higher. Consider working with an insurance broker as well, because they have experience and contacts that may help you.
Common Kidney Problems
Kidney problems rarely occur in a vacuum; often, they’re related to another health condition. That’s part of what makes getting life insurance with a kidney problem so complicated. When you apply for life insurance, they look at every aspect of your life and health, not just your kidneys.
Diabetes and high blood pressure often occur with kidney disease, as do heart disease and lung disease. Neurological problems and congestive heart failure may also be present. Even without another condition, the presence of a kidney problem may make an insurance company hesitate to approve your life insurance application.
Your kidneys are essential to keeping your body functioning normally. They filter waste from your body, help control your blood pressure, keep the delicate chemistry of your blood in balance, make red blood cells, and even help keep your bones healthy. The negative health consequences of a kidney problem can be extensive.
If you have a kidney problem, you’re not alone. Chronic kidney disease is just one potential problem, and it affects as many as 37 million Americans.
In addition to chronic kidney disease, other kidney problems that you may worry will affect your ability to get life insurance include:
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Kidney stones
Life Insurance With Chronic Kidney Disease
If you have chronic kidney disease, your kidneys are slowly losing their ability to function. There are five stages of chronic kidney disease ranging from the first stage, which is mild, to the fifth stage, in which your kidneys fail completely. Early stages of chronic kidney disease can be treated with lifestyle changes and medication, while later stages require dialysis or a transplant.
Your likelihood of getting life insurance decreases the higher the stage of kidney disease you have. If you’re receiving dialysis, you’re unlikely to find life insurance coverage. If you’ve had a kidney transplant, many insurance companies will want you to undergo a waiting period to ensure your body doesn’t reject the transplant.
Your odds increase if you can show that you’re taking steps to manage your condition. Managing chronic kidney disease may involve changing your diet, controlling diabetes and hypertension, and exercising.
Life Insurance With Polycystic Kidney Disease
Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited disorder in which cysts grow on your kidneys. While the cysts aren’t cancerous, they can grow very large and impede the function of your kidneys. Cyst removal and managing your blood pressure help treat polycystic kidney disease.
Like chronic kidney disease, your likelihood of receiving life insurance depends on the severity of your condition. When polycystic kidney disease has severely damaged your kidneys, it is often treated with a kidney transplant, so the same waiting period will likely apply.
Life Insurance With Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals that occur in your kidneys. They hurt, but are they a severe enough kidney problem to affect your odds of getting life insurance? Thankfully, they usually aren’t.
Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones and that may influence your chances of getting life insurance and how high your premiums are. However, even if you have a family history of kidney stones or have had them several times in the past, the stones themselves should not be a factor in getting life insurance.
Life Insurance With a History of UTIs
What does a urinary tract infection have to do with your kidneys? UTIs usually affect your bladder or urethra, and, because they’re caused by bacteria and respond well to antibiotics, they’re fairly easy to treat. If left untreated, the infection can spread to your kidneys and cause serious problems.
However, the infection rarely makes it to your kidneys, and UTIs are otherwise low risk, so they don’t usually influence whether or not you receive life insurance. Your premium may be slightly higher than someone without any health conditions if you have UTIs frequently, but not by a significant amount.
Life Insurance With Glomerulonephritis
Unless you have had glomerulonephritis or know someone who did, you probably haven’t heard of it. As the name implies, it’s the inflammation of your glomeruli. Which are the tiny structures in your kidneys that filter your blood.
Glomerulonephritis can be acute or chronic, and it’s often caused by an infection or a condition like lupus or diabetes. If you have the acute version, it may go away on its own without treatment. In most cases, treating the underlying cause of glomerulonephritis is enough to treat the condition itself.
If the inflammation is severe or lasts an inordinately long time, it can cause kidney damage. If you suspect something is wrong, it’s important to seek treatment to protect your kidneys sooner rather than later.
Because it’s so variable in duration, cause, and severity, determining how glomerulonephritis will affect your rates. Or likelihood of getting life insurance is complicated. In general, it depends on what the underlying cause is. If it’s something like strep throat, your premium probably won’t be affected. While if it’s caused by diabetes or an autoimmune disorder, it might be.
Do You Want Help Finding Life Insurance?
NextGen Life Insurance operates as a broker. This means we work with many of the best life insurance companies across the country to find the best coverage. This is for your unique circumstances and at reasonable rates. Get your free quote today or call us at 646-216-4199 to get started.