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Best life insurance for those with high blood pressure

Updated Aug 10, 2023
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Key takeaways

  • High blood pressure might make it more difficult to find affordable life insurance, but shopping around may help you get the coverage you need.
  • Demonstrating that you are actively managing your high blood pressure may improve your chances of finding affordable coverage.
  • Guaranteed issue life insurance may be a good option for those with high blood pressure who have difficulty getting approved for life insurance.

If you have high blood pressure, you may be wondering if you can still get life insurance. The answer is yes, but your rates may be higher than someone with normal blood pressure. This is because high blood pressure can lead to health complications like heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. However, there are still many life insurers who will provide coverage for those with high blood pressure. And if you have other factors in your favor, like good overall health, you may be able to get a policy with rates comparable to someone without high blood pressure. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of life insurance available to those with high blood pressure, how rates are determined and what you can do to get the best rate possible.

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This advertising widget is powered by HomeInsurance.com, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 8781838) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. HomeInsurance.com LLC services are only available in states where it is licensed and insurance coverage through HomeInsurance.com may not be available in all states. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

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High blood pressure and life insurance

The Center for Disease Control indicates that almost one-half of all adults in the United States (45 percent) suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension). Living with high blood pressure significantly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, which makes those with this condition a greater risk to insure. However, as long as you’re managing your condition with medication and diet, you will likely be able to find life insurance coverage.

How does high blood pressure impact life insurance?

To purchase life insurance, high blood pressure must be taken into account. Although each case is unique, there are certain patterns which are evident in the ways in which life insurance companies deal with different types of high blood pressure conditions. These consistencies can help people with high blood pressure better predict and prepare for questions about their underlying health conditions in the application process.

  • Blood pressure ranges: Important new medical guidelines issued by the American College of Cardiology in 2017 dramatically reduced the definition of high blood pressure from 140/90 to 130/80. In life insurance underwriting, the closer your blood pressure is to the 120/80 range, the less you’ll likely pay for coverage.
  • Influence of age: Older insurance applicants – those in their 50s and 60s or above – may see more leniency in rates associated with higher blood pressure numbers. Many life insurers will issue regular policies to this group even if their blood pressures are elevated. Keep in mind that, the older you are, the more you will pay for life insurance in general, though.
  • General health matters: Life insurance companies will consider high blood pressure in the broader context of your overall health. Lifestyle factors such as exercise, diet and weight will be assessed, and good results can mitigate against the risk of your high blood pressure. Non-smoking, in particular, will generally be a very significant factor in determining risk.

Life insurance companies are typically looking for any positive reasons to write a policy. Before applying, take the time to list in detail all of your healthy habits and positive medical conditions.

Best life insurance for those with high blood pressure

For the most part, those with high blood pressure — particularly when coupled with otherwise good health — can purchase the same policies as others. The primary difference between a high-blood-pressure policyholder and one with normal readings would be reflected in the rates. Life insurance with high blood pressure may be pricier than coverage purchased without any health challenges, but by shopping around, you should be able to find a reasonably priced policy. 

Whole life insurance

Whole life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance, with the insured person covered for the duration of their entire life. The policy provides a guaranteed death benefit and builds cash value over time. This policy type is more expensive than term insurance due to the permanency of the policy and anticipated payout, and may be even more costly for a person with high blood pressure. For the assurance of financial protections throughout your lifetime, however, the cost may be worth it for your circumstances.

Term life insurance

Term life insurance is not permanent, but rather covers an insured for a defined period (typically between 10 and 30 years), usually during the period of life when the need for financial protection for dependents is highest. Term life may be a good option for those with high blood pressure when the primary goal is to leave some fixed amount for loved ones to cover unexpected funeral expenses or outstanding debts like student loans. As with other life insurance policies, premiums may be higher depending upon the severity of the insured’s blood pressure readings.

Guaranteed issue life insurance

Also known as guaranteed acceptance life insurance, guaranteed issue insurance may be available for most individuals without a medical exam. For some individuals with high blood pressure, it may be the best life insurance option. It may also be a good option for older adults or anyone who has had difficulty getting approved traditional life coverage. Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of permanent policy, meaning that there is no expiration date and as long as you pay your premiums, the coverage can stay with you for life. The biggest drawback to guaranteed issue life insurance may be the lower limits that are common with this type of policy.

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Rick Hoel
Insurance Contributor

Rick Hoel is an international business attorney and legal and insurance writer for Bankrate as well as Reviews.com and Accessibility.com. Over the last several years, he has covered topics dealing with personal and commercial insurance and technology and the law. Rick is General Counsel and Director of Risk Management and sits on the Board of Power Stow Americas Inc., a subsidiary of Power Stow A/S in Denmark, the world leader in the supply of tracked conveyor systems to the airline industry.

Edited by Editor, Insurance