Imagine having repeated episodes where you stop breathing while asleep. Or suddenly fall asleep without warning, such as when you're driving a motor vehicle.
These life-threatening health conditions, known as sleep apnea and narcolepsy, respectively, will almost certainly serve as a wakeup call for a life insurance underwriter.
Goldstein says these conditions concern insurers on two fronts.
"It's certainly the issue of daytime somnolence and motor vehicle accidents or operating any other kind of vehicle or machinery where you can endanger yourself because of the somnolence. But actually, severe sleep apnea can be associated with high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, et cetera, so it's more those associated issues that make it a risk classification matter."
That said, she has good news as well for sufferers of this rare condition.
"I don't want to say that it never affects the risk class, but even if it is a severe degree of sleep apnea, if it is well-controlled and well-managed, they can get very favorable underwriting. It's only when it is severe and untreated that it becomes a risk classification issue," she says.