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How do I get life insurance and what alternatives do I have?

how do i get life insurance

I applied for life insurance a year ago and was denied based on high liver enzyme levels in my blood tests. I went to a number of doctors, including a specialist, to determine if something was wrong, but they all concluded they could find nothing wrong with me. I changed my diet, stopped drinking, and brought the levels down to normal. I was recently denied insurance again based on "medical history" of elevated liver enzymes. My bank is demanding life insurance for a large business loan I have — how do I get life insurance and what alternatives do I have?

Herbert, Idaho

The first, and perhaps easiest, alternative if you have been denied life insurance, or if your rates have been set so high that the insurance unaffordable, is to get price quotes from several other companies.

Insurance companies use different procedures for their medical underwriting — using medical data to determine the risk of insuring someone — so you may be able to find an insurer that can offer you a better deal.

Be aware that insurance companies do have access to the results of your

previous insurance exam through the Medical Information Bureau (MIB), a clearinghouse of medical information that insurers share.

That isn't your only alternative, however. According to Dr. Robert Gleeson, a vice president and medical underwriter at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. the best way to get better insurance rates is to be your own advocate, and be sure that your doctors have sent all of the relevant tests to the insurance company.

"The tests you've taken will allow the insurer to exclude some serious diseases," says Gleeson. "Each negative result on a medical test would make me feel better and better about underwriting a case like this."

Any treatment that improves a previous medical condition is almost always considered when underwriters consider you for new insurance policies, says Gleeson, but it is up to you to make sure that the insurer has that information because, for a number of reasons, even favorable information like this can sometimes slip through the cracks.

Disclaimer: We are journalists, not financial planners or insurance brokers. Nothing we say should be interpreted as a recommendation to buy or sell any insurance product, or to provide other financial or legal advice.

Category: Insurance

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