Life Insurance and IBD: Breaking down walls and understanding coverage

Have a pre-existing condition? Do you have medical insurance? What about life insurance? Today—a look into the process of getting life insurance and the importance of getting it, as it relates to inflammatory bowel disease.

Mike Raines Mike headshothas worked in the life insurance special risk marketplace for more than 30 years. He specializes in helping those with pre-existing conditions, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. While he’s not able to represent everyone, he works closely with companies who underwrite conditions such as IBD the most favorably.

First off, you may be reading this wondering if you need life insurance protection. Mike tells me those with pre-existing conditions should be aware that life insurance should be purchased at the earliest age possible, since future mortality costs are typically higher on those with pre-existing medical conditions. That cost will only increase with age.

“Anyone, (not just those with pre-existing conditions or Crohn’s), who provides financial needs for their family or business probably has a need for life insurance protection. Life insurance can provide a large sum of cash within days to help provide time to for those who need it to adjust. Some of the planning needs for life insurance can include personal need such as: replacement of income, mortgage protection, pay for future college expenses, pay for outstanding debts including funeral expenses, spousal needs, future retirement account losses,” explained Mike.

calculator-385506_1920Insurance can be confusing—no matter what type you’re dealing with. Some of the most common misconceptions with life insurance protection are that it’s too expensive, too complicated and that conditions such as IBD are not insurable. This is simply not the case.

“The number one secret to finding the lowest rates on life insurance if you have Crohn’s disease or any pre-existing condition is to work with an independent agent/agency who has experience in the special risk arena. An independent agent will typically offer many carriers to choose from. Also, an independent agent/agency who specializes in pre-existing medical conditions will also offer those carriers that underwrite not only preferred risks, but those risks that may be higher risk such as Crohn’s disease, diabetes, etc. Experience and knowledge matters. Your agent is your best advocate. Put him to work to find you the protection you need,” said Mike.

At Special Risk Term, each individual case is treated as such. Mike and his team individually underwrite each applicant, based on personal medical history. For example, let’s say one person has Crohn’s disease, but also smokes, is overweight and doesn’t follow doctor’s instructions. While another with Crohn’s disease is very compliant, exercises every day, does not use tobacco and meets the height/weight chart. The person who is “doctor compliant,” will most likely be given a much better rate class for life insurance.

“Throughout my career, I’ve found it was easy to find coverage for someone in “perfect” health. I found it was much harder to find, negotiate and bind coverage for those with pre-existing medical conditions. I also found that those individuals who we found protection for were so much more grateful and happy that someone would fight to find them coverage. Many had been declined multiple times or had almost given up on finding any coverage, so for them to be able to protect their families was very gratifying. Obviously, sometimes not everyone is insurable or insurable at an affordable rate, but I like the challenge of helping find coverage for those who don’t know where to turn.”

Click here to learn more about IBD as it relates to life insurance protection.


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