Getting Life Insurance With Diverticulitis


Of all the health conditions that can affect your application for life insurance, diverticulitis is one of the most mild. Only in the most severe cases will it have an impact on your application or your premium rate, and even then not to the degree that will be the case with most other chronic health conditions.

What Is Diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is a problem relating to digestion, that occurs when the pouches that form in the wall of your large intestine become either inflamed or infected. This can sometimes cause extreme pain, that can last anywhere from few hours to few days. The condition is most common in men, and most frequently in men over the age of 60.

Diverticulitis may result in bloating, pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen, usually on the left side. It can also cause diarrhea, chills, and low-grade fever. The actual cause of the condition is not entirely known, but it’s believed that diverticula form when high-pressure areas inside the colon push against weak spots in the colon wall, most commonly in the lower part of the large intestine. Bleeding diverticulitis can occur when a hole develops between a pouch and a blood vessel. This can cause blood to appear in your stool, which will usually stop on its own. However in severe cases it can be serious enough to require surgery to correct.

Once a diverticulum forms, it becomes permanent in your colon. There is no treatment that can prevent the complications of the disease.

It is believed that diverticulitis might be caused by a low fiber diet. As such, the condition can be alleviated by adding more fiber to your diet, including whole grains, legumes, fruit, vegetables, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta. This will improve digestion and avoid the constipation that can lead to diverticulitis.

Mild abdominal pain can be treated with anti-spasmodic drugs, but for more severe pain, the patient is usually required to have a liquid diet in order to reduce the pressure on the colon. In cases of severe pain, or when the pain increases, a hospital stay with intravenous antibiotics and fasting are sometimes required.

In extreme cases, when diverticulitis doesn’t respond to normal treatment, surgery may be prescribed. That will involve draining pus and removing part of the colon containing the diverticula, particularly any bleeding diverticula.

How Life Insurance Companies See Applicants with Diverticulitis

Even though diverticulitis can be a persistent condition, it generally does not have the negative effects on a life insurance application that many other chronic health conditions do. In fact, it is possible that it will have no affect on your application whatsoever. This may be the case if you are not taking any medication to treat the condition, and evidence that at least a year has passed since your last episode.

Diverticulitis can impact life insurance if the condition has required surgery. However since it is a condition that does not generally increase your mortality, you can still get a life insurance policy at standard rates even if you have had surgery.

However if you had multiple surgeries, and you’re taking medications help manage the pain, a substandard policy rating might be the best outcome you can expect.

Applying For Life Insurance When You Have Diverticulitis

How the life insurance company will consider diverticulitis will depend upon the severity (as described above) the frequency of flare-ups, and any complications arising from the condition. As is always the case with any type of health-related condition, proper management of the illness is critical. You should get whatever treatment is necessary, including any required follow-up therapies.

Your overall health, apart from the fact that you have diverticulitis, is always a major factor. In the process of controlling your diverticulitis, you should be doing your best to maintain good overall health. That means that you ensure that you are favoring a high-fiber diet, taking any supplements that will reduce the impact of the condition (like Metamucil), drinking plenty of water on a regular basis, and getting adequate exercise.

Needless to say any conditions or habits apart from diverticulitis can have a negative impact on your application. You should avoid smoking, drug use, excess alcohol consumption, and dangerous habits and hobbies.

The better your overall health is, the better your chance will be for your life insurance application to be approved at preferred rates, even with a condition like diverticulitis.

The Right Life Insurance Company Can Make All the Difference

There isn’t as much of a concern in regard to life insurance companies to apply to for people who have diverticulitis. But it is still always worth going with the companies that have the most favorable view of the condition, at least for the sake of getting the lowest premium.

For some companies, diverticulitis will not have any impact on your insurance application whatsoever. But there may be a few that will see it as a condition that makes it necessary to charge higher premiums.

And So Can Choosing the Right Life Insurance Agent

The right life insurance agent can help guide you through the maze of the many insurance companies who provide life insurance policies. He will submit your application only to the companies that are likely to approve your policy with the lowest possible premium.

If you have diverticulitis, or any other chronic health condition, we would like to help you find that policy. Give us a call, and put our experience to work for you!