Here’s How Your Family Medical History Really Affects Your Life Insurance

February 1, 2019

Even though life insurance is meant to provide a greater sense of security for you and your loved ones, the life insurance buying process has long been one of worries for American consumers. The biggest worries for customers are affordability, invasiveness, and being denied coverage. Some of these worries may come up if a medical exam is required, or when  answering the family medical history questions on the life insurance application. Oftentimes there really is no need to worry.

Much like the life insurance medical examination, the family medical history portion can be a determining factor, but is in general much less of an influence on premium costs and insurability than many people think. Let’s take a closer look at what family medical history really means for your life insurance coverage.

Which Health Issues Do Insurers Look For?

Every insurer is different, but in general, insurance companies will not painstakingly weigh every single cough and sneeze in your family’s long and varied history. Insurers will primarily be looking out for a family history of the following health problems:

  • Heart disease.
  • Cerebrovascular disease (stroke).
  • Coronary artery disease.
  • Cancer (in particular, cancers including lung, breast, colon, ovarian, prostate, and melanoma). Keep in mind that diseases that only affect one gender (such as ovarian or prostate cancer) will generally not be relevant if the applicant is the opposite.

Insurers will primarily be looking for occurrences of these diseases and maladies in immediate family members (such as parents and siblings). Some insurers may only ask about deaths, while others will look out for death and diagnosis.

Can I Still Qualify?

If you have a mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer, or a father with heart disease, don’t despair your chances of ever getting life insurance coverage. If you live a healthy lifestyle, you should be able to easily secure coverage for yourself. Insurers will also consider whether health problems are a result of genetics or lifestyle choices; a relative who develops lung cancer as a result of decades of smoking will not have any bearing on a nonsmoker’s insurance premiums. Age is another factor. If a relative passed away from the above-mentioned conditions after the age of 65, many insurers will not consider that a problem. Passing away from a heart attack in their 40s, however, could be a red flag. If you (the applicant) are older (above the age of 65 or 70), your insurer may not even consider family health history.

If you are concerned about your family medical history disqualifying you, remember that all companies are different. When speaking with your agent, be honest about your health. Focus on the good things. Having a healthy lifestyle will go a long way in reducing your costs.

About National Catholic Society of Foresters

At National Catholic Society of Foresters, we pride ourselves on giving back to the communities that we serve by providing quality and comprehensive insurance solutions. Sales from our financial services products help fund member benefits along with social, educational, and volunteer programs designed to respond to community needs. Our portfolio is extensive, ranging from various life insurance policies to IRA’s to support your financial needs no matter what stage of life you’re in. For more information, contact our friendly experts today at (855) 804-7424.