Last Updated: March 2021
Do you have Cardiomyopathy and wonder how it affects your life insurance rates?
If so, it’s important that you apply with the right life insurance company the first time because it could significantly increase your chances of getting a good plan in the future.
In this article, we’ll cover the following topics related to purchasing life insurance if you have cardiomyopathy:
- Can You Get Life Insurance With Cardiomyopathy?
- What is Cardiomyopathy?
- Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask About Your Cardiomyopathy
- Possible Life Insurance Table Ratings with Cardiomyopathy
- How to Apply for Life Insurance with Cardiomyopathy
Can You Get Life Insurance With Cardiomyopathy?
First and most importantly, we want to answer the most common question that arises with any individual applying for life insurance with a heart condition: Can you get life insurance with cardiomyopathy?
Yes, you can still get life insurance with cardiomyopathy, but several things will need to be completed and you will need to understand the process a bit beforehand. Cardiopyopathy is considered a high risk condition. High risk life insurance can be more pricey, but if you shop around, compare carriers, and find the one that views your risk the most favorably, affordable rates can be possible!
With cardiomyopathy, one of the most significant items the life insurance company will want to inquire about is your latest echocardiogram test.
While this may seem easy in theory to provide, it is important that you are able to relay this information to your life insurance agent in an organized way (more on this later).
Other factors such as a family history of heart conditions and other outside factors such as smoking, weight, and blood pressure are also going to be factored into your application.
However, the important thing for the moment to understand is that life insurance with cardiomyopathy is 100% possible.
What is Cardiomyopathy?
Let’s get to the heart of it by first discussing cardiomyopathy, and then we’ll discuss how it affects life insurance rates.
Someone with cardiomyopathy has a heart that has become thickened or enlarged, which in turn makes it harder for blood to be pumped to the rest of their body, and ultimately making it harder to maintain a regular electric rhythm.
Over time, the weakened heart can lead to complications such as arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and heart valve problems. Cardiomyopathy can also lead to other conditions such as congestive heart failure.
Symptoms of cardiomyopathy include shortness of breath, fatigue, and limitation of activity. It may become chronic and stable or may become progressive, leading to an early death.
What are the Causes of Cardiomyopathy?
Often times it is unknown what has caused cardiomyopathy, as is the case when children are diagnosed. In some cases, cardiomyopathy is inherited, and in other instances, the disease is acquired, or rather the result of another health condition.
Common health conditions that may lead to cardiomyopathy include, but are not limited to:
- Long-term alcohol abuse
- Long-term drug abuse, particularly drugs considered “uppers”
- Long-term high blood pressure
- Other heart conditions
What are the Main Types of Cardiomyopathy?
The main types of cardiomyopathy include:
- Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD)
- Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
- Restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM)
- Transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM)
- Unclassified cardiomyopathy (including “broken-heart syndrome”)
What Medications are Used to Treat Cardiomyopathy?
If you have cardiomyopathy, chances are you’re taking one of, or a combination of, the following commonly used medications:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers
- Digoxin (aka Digitalis)
Given the sometimes fatal nature of cardiomyopathy, it’s no wonder the life insurance underwriters want to know all of the details of an individual’s heart disease.
All of these factors come into play when determining your life insurance health classification, which ultimately determines whether or not you qualify for preferred life insurance rates.
Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask About Your Cardiomyopathy
Given the individuality and complexity of each case, we’ll need to know the following information in order to secure the best possible life insurance rates available:
- When were you first diagnosed?
- Have you experienced fainting or dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath, or chest pains?
- What were the results of your most recent echocardiogram?
- Are you on any medication? If so, which one(s)?
- Have you undergone any heart surgery, pacemaker, or defibrillator procedures?
- Have you smoked cigarettes in the last three years?
- Are there any other underlying health issues?
The more detailed you can be with us about your cardiomyopathy, the more accurate your rates will be.
Please know that we’re on your side, and it’s in our best interest to secure you the lowest possible rates. We have contracts with more than sixty life insurance carriers and aren’t married to any specific one.
Whichever life insurance carrier provides the best rates is who we’ll offer to you, and the only way we can do that is if you’re 100% upfront and honest with us.
In other words, please don’t hide or sugarcoat anything with us – underwriters will be combing through your medical records, and anything and everything will come up.
Trust us on this!
Possible Life Insurance Table Ratings with Cardiomyopathy
If you’ve fully recovered from your cardiomyopathy or have remained stable for at least six months with a normal echocardiogram, it’s rare but possible to obtain a “Standard” health classification if there are no other conditions or lifestyle factors, such as smoking.
Most likely, you’ll get a “Table 2” offer. If you’re not sure what that means, please give us a call and we’ll explain.
If you don’t fall within the description above, you’ll be rated based on the residual effects on your heart and lifestyle choices.
Obviously, the more severe your condition, the higher your life insurance premiums will be.
Consider Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance With Cardiomyopathy
You have something else you always need to remember when applying for life insurance in situations such as having cardiomyopathy.
You have other options.
Depending on how much coverage you need, it may be a wise choice to consider guaranteed issue life insurance.
These policies will not require any health information to be approved.
The downfall is that coverage does not kick into force for two years.
During this time you will only be provided your premiums returned plus 10% interest if something did god forbid happens to you.
However, with coverage amounts available up to $35,000 with reputable companies such as Gerber Life Insurance and AIG, it is certainly an option I would be considering if you have struggled getting approved for traditional life insurance coverage.
Some protection for your family is always going to be better than nothing at all.
How to Apply for Life Insurance with Cardiomyopathy
Each and every life insurance company will view your individual situation in a different way. It’s important to make sure you are working with one who has experience dealing with applicants who have cardiomyopathy and can offer you a good rate due to their experience with your condition.
Finding out which companies that are on your own is tough.
We know exactly which companies are ideal for you to work with, so if you want to get the lowest rate on your life insurance even though you have cardiomyopathy, get in contact with us and we’ll be happy to help you out.
The Next Steps for Purchasing Life Insurance With Cardiomyopathy
If you’d like to purchase life insurance, there are several ways in which an independent, licensed agent can help you enroll:
- Over the phone
- With a paper application, face to face, or through the mail
Also, be sure to check out our other guides below to learn more about how different types of heart conditions can affect life insurance approval and rates:
- Life Insurance with Bundle Branch Block
- Life Insurance with Atrial Fibrillation
- Mitral Valve Prolapse and Life Insurance
- Life Insurance for People with a Heart Condition