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What to Do if You’re Denied Life Insurance

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Buying life insurance is a great way to protect the people you care about the most. If you put a policy into place, you’ll give your spouse, children, or other loved ones the peace of mind that comes with knowing they’ll be covered financially (at least to some degree) in the event of your passing.

But what if you apply for life insurance only to have that request denied? If so, here are your next steps.

It’s all about digging deeper

You’d think life insurance would be a sure thing, right? After all, you’re buying a service — and a potentially expensive one at that.

But while life insurance companies do enjoy making money by collecting premiums, they also don’t tend to enjoy taking on undue risk. If an insurer has reason to believe it’s more likely to end up disbursing your death benefit compared to the typical applicant’s death benefit, it may reject your application.

You don’t have to take that rejection lying down, though. If you’re denied insurance, you should absolutely contact the company in question and request an explanation.

Insurance companies consider a lot of factors when determining policy approvals and premium rates. Those factors include things like your health, your lifestyle, your line of work, and your hobbies.

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It may be that your application was denied based on incorrect information related to your medical history. If that’s the case, correcting that information could change your outcome. For example, if you’re listed as having diabetes when, in fact, you don’t have that condition, that’s the sort of detail you’ll want to iron out.

Now if you find your life insurance application was denied for a legitimate reason, then you may need to make health-related and lifestyle changes to qualify for insurance down the line. Say you’re a smoker who’s extremely overweight. Unfortunately, that’s a formula for a rejected life insurance application. But if you work on losing weight and manage to quit smoking over the course of the next year, you can then apply for insurance again and potentially get approved once your health picture improves and makes you a less risky insurance candidate.

Keep in mind there are some life insurance plans that don’t require a medical exam. But those might cost you more in the way of inflated premiums or offer a limited death benefit. Plus, no-exam plans can include a review of your medical history. If your medical history renders you ineligible for coverage unless you make significant changes, then you’ll end up in the same boat.

Don’t give up on getting life insurance

Securing life insurance is an important step to take when there are people in your life who depend on you financially. If your efforts to put a policy in place prove fruitless, don’t give up hope. Instead, figure out why your application was denied and then, if possible, work on making changes that put you in a better position to lock in the coverage you’re after.

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We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.



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