Getting Life Insurance When You Have Asthma


Getting life insurance when you have asthma is not the easiest venture into the life insurance universe. While you can usually get some type of coverage, it’s very easy to pay more than you should. Some life insurance companies welcome applications from people with asthma, while others prefer to not take on the risk – and will price accordingly.

Knowing the difference between the two, and which ones are likely to work in your favor, can make all the difference in the world.

What Is Asthma?

Asthma is an inflammation of the air passages of the lungs that causes temporary narrowing of the airways that move air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Asthma symptoms can be caused by allergens or irritants that are inhaled into the lungs, resulting in inflamed, clogged and constricted airways.

The most common symptoms are difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest. Asthma can be fatal in severe cases. There is no cure for asthma, but it can be successfully managed with prevention and ongoing treatment.

Here are a few facts and statistics about asthma from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America:

  • Almost 25 million people suffer from asthma, and the prevalence has been increasing since the 1980s

  • Asthma is the most common chronic condition among children
  • Asthma is more common among adult women than adult men
  • Asthma is more common among male children than female children
  • Asthma accounts for one-quarter of all emergency room visits in the U.S. each year, with 1.75 million emergency room visits
  • Each year, asthma accounts for more than 10 million outpatient visits and 479,000 hospitalizations
  • There are more than 3,300 deaths due to asthma each year, many of which are avoidable with proper treatment and care. In addition, asthma is indicated as “contributing factor” for nearly 7,000 other deaths each year

As you can see, though asthma is generally treatable, it can still result in an unhappy ending. And it is a surprisingly common health condition.

Getting Life Insurance When You Have Asthma

As is the case with virtually all health conditions, the life insurance company will need to assess the severity of your condition. In the process, they will consider the following, among other evaluations:

  • How long you have had asthma (since childhood or more recent)
  • Is you asthma year-round or seasonal
  • The frequency of the attacks
  • Any medications that you take for the condition (including steroids)
  • Whether or not you have ever been hospitalized for asthma

Based on that information, they will assess a rating on your policy that will affect your premium amount.

Preferred + or preferred rates. If your asthma condition is well controlled, and particularly if it is seasonal, you can qualify for the best rates on your life insurance policy.

Standard + or standard rates. These rates will be available if your condition is moderate, with occasional attacks. This can be the case even if you’re on an oral steroid, like prednisone, or have been hospitalized for the condition in the not too recent past.

As is the case with people who suffer from any type of health condition, the overall state of your health will be important. If you have no other high risk health factors, your chance of approval and of getting a lower premium will be that much better.

And naturally, being proactive with a treatment for asthma, as well as for your overall health will be important. This will include proper diet, regular exercise, and following any required or recommended medical treatments.

Most this will appear in your medical records, as well as in prescription databases.  All of this information should look as good as possible before you make your application.

Making Application For Life Insurance When You Have Asthma

If you have asthma and want to apply for a life insurance policy, you will need to be extremely selective in where you apply. One of the single best pieces of advice is to avoid life insurance comparison websites that are all over the Internet. These sites generally work best for people who are young and in perfect health. If you fall outside those parameters, you’re very likely to be declined or over-charged.

Our office can help you get a good term life insurance policy if you have asthma. We may even be able to help if your condition is more severe. We work with multiple life insurance companies, and this gives us the ability to place in your application only with companies that take the most positive view of people with asthma.

Every life insurance company has its own preferences and prohibitions. You don’t want to make the mistake of applying with a company that takes a dim view of people with asthma. And that’s were we can help. There are insurance companies that specifically work with people with asthma, and we know who they are. Give us a call, and let’s see what we can work out.