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Best life insurance for high blood pressure

Updated Jun 10, 2024

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, especially if they are ages 50+.

If you wish to financially protect your family with life insurance, high blood pressure may be a concern for you. With most types of life insurance, the health of the insured plays a role in determining premium rates — and poor health may even make it difficult to get coverage. If you have high blood pressure but no other serious health concerns, however, you should be able to find affordable life insurance that suits your needs. Bankrate's insurance editorial team, which includes experienced licensed agents, reviews what you need to know if you are looking for life insurance with high blood pressure.

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This advertising widget is powered by HomeInsurance.com, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 8781838) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. The offers and clickable links that appear on this advertisement are from companies that compensate Homeinsurance.com LLC in different ways. The compensation received and other factors, such as your location, may impact what ads and links appear, and how, where, and in what order they appear. While we seek to provide a wide range of offers, we do not include every product or service that may be available to you as a consumer. We strive to keep our information accurate and up-to-date, but some information may not be current. Your actual offer terms from an advertiser may be different than the offer terms on this widget. All offers may be subject to additional terms and conditions of the advertiser.

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 (48 percent) suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension). Living with high blood pressure significantly increases the risk of 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 that 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 want to approve applicants and typically look 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. A cover letter from your licensed insurance agent can help in particularly complex situations.

Can I get life insurance with high blood pressure?

You should be able to get life insurance with high blood pressure, as long as there are no other mitigating health circumstances. You are more likely to earn a favorable rate if your general health is good and you are managing your condition under the care of a medical professional.

If your high blood pressure is a significant concern, however, and you are not managing it effectively, you may be challenged to find affordable coverage. One possibility for you to consider in this case is purchasing guaranteed issue life insurance, which may cost more but does not include a medical exam or questionnaire as part of the underwriting process.

Guaranteed issue insurance is a type of permanent insurance, and is generally available for those up to age 80, although this will vary from insurer to insurer. Unfortunately, it is usually available for relatively low payout amounts, often $25,000 or less.

Tips for getting life insurance with high blood pressure

There are strategies you can use to make it more likely you will find the best life insurance options when you have high blood pressure. Consider the following:

  • Have regular doctor checkups: Being under the care of a medical professional and faithfully taking any prescribed medicines for your condition show your insurer that you are doing everything possible to remain in good health.
  • Avoid substances that can raise your blood pressure: Especially in the days before you undergo a medical exam for your policy, avoid coffee, alcohol, smoking and any other substances that might raise your blood pressure.
  • Work with an independent agent: An independent agent or broker doesn't work for a single company and can help you look for the best options across a range of insurers. Since every carrier assesses risk factors differently, an agent or broker can help you shop your options and find the company that is most likely to write you an affordable policy.

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, as long as premiums are paid. The policy provides a guaranteed death benefit and builds cash value over time. This policy type is generally more expensive than term insurance due to the permanency of the policy and anticipated payout. For someone with high blood pressure, it may be even more costly. 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 on the severity of the insured’s blood pressure readings.

Guaranteed issue life insurance

Guaranteed issue life insurance, also known as guaranteed acceptance insurance, is another option for those with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, especially for older adults. It has no medical exam as part of the underwriting process. These policies typically offer limited death benefits, often with a maximum of $25,000.

Some guaranteed issue policies feature a graded death benefit period. This means that if the insured dies of natural causes or any other means outside of an accident within the first two years of buying the policy, the beneficiaries won’t receive the death benefit payout.

Guaranteed issue life insurance is geared toward individuals aged 50 to 80 who may have been declined for traditional coverage. Relative to the low coverage amount, it can often be on the pricey side, but you may be able to find an affordable policy by shopping around.

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Mary Van Keuren
Contributor, Insurance

Mary Van Keuren has written for insurance domains such as Bankrate, Coverage.com, and The Simple Dollar for the past five years, specializing in home and auto insurance. She has also written extensively for consumer websites including Reviews.com and Slumber Yard. Prior to that, she worked as a writer in academia for several decades.

Edited by Editor II, Insurance