Many people have high cholesterol levels, which can increase their risk for heart disease and strokes. Life insurance underwriters have traditionally been unwilling to consider offering the best rates to people with high cholesterol readings.
I have had numerous clients with total cholesterol readings well above 220 (the highest acceptable level for many carriers). Many of these clients were advised by their doctors or healthcare practioners to lower their cholesterol by diet and exercise. They were cautioned about the potential negative side effects of cholesterol lowering medication in many cases. However, the life insurance carriers would not look favorably on total readings above 220, even if the applicant was seeing great results with their “alternative” regimen.
The total cholesterol reading is not the only factor underwriters consider. Traditionally, underwriters have focused on two specific measures with respect to cholesterol: total cholesterol and the cholesterol/HDL ratio. Having a high reading for either measure would often result in the client receiving a higher rate.
There are now two carriers who will look at only one measure: the cholesterol/HDL ratio, regardless of the total cholesterol number.
Individuals with cholesterol/HDL ratios up to 5.0 can potentially qualify for Preferred Best rates. Those with ratios up to 7.0 can qualify for Preferred rates – even if they are on medication!
Even if one’s total cholesterol reading is 300, it is still possible to qualify for the Preferred Best rate!
Carriers are now more willing to look at the “entire picture” when considering applicants. I had a client — 9 years ago — who was forced to accept a Standard Plus offer because his total cholesterol was 290. His doctor told him it was a hereditary issue and not to worry. This client was extremely active and healthy. His father (French Canandian) and his grandfather had a history of high total cholesterol, but they were very healthy and never had heart disease. Despite these facts, the life insurance underwriters wouldn’t budge from their guidelines.
Today, this client would receive a much better rate class and would save over 25% on his premium.
Greg Sanders Peachtree Insurance Advisors 678-236-1600 www.insuranceADV.com