Ask the Readers: Alternatives to term life insurance?

Today’s question is from Julie:

My husband has a medical condition that disqualifies him from purchasing a term life insurance plan. Are there any other options for us to consider? -Julie

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  1. says

    It would help to know a bit more about what medical condition he has. There are advocacy groups and special plans for certain conditions.

    My husband has Cerebral Palsy. While it doesn’t disqualify him from life insurance, it does make buying health insurance rather complicated as CP is an “uninsurable” condition.

    • Julie says

      He has something called Spontaneous Cerebro-Spinal Fluid Leak Syndrome (SCSFLS). It is very rare, and as a result, no insurance company will touch him simply because they don’t even know what it is. I will check into CSF Leak groups to see if there is anything like what you mentioned. Thank you!

  2. says

    I wish I had some advice that could help immediately, but the only suggestion I have is to set aside a set amount of money each month (at least equivalent to what you would have paid as an insurance premium). Put it into an interest bearing savings account. As you reach the amounts that a CD can be purchased, buy them, but try to have it so that you only have 1 maturing per month. As they “expire”, let them rollover. Eventually, you will have 1 CD maturing every month for 1 year. Also, be working on funding a savings account with enough money to cover any immediate needs should the need arise. I know it is not ideal, especially since there is no immediate comfort, but it beats not having anything should you need it. This is what we are working on doing so that we can stop paying for life insurance all together.

  3. DeAnna says

    my grandparents set up a plan with a local funeral home in which they went ahead and made arrangements for their services (funeral,casket,burial,etc) and paid payments while they were alive. Everything was already planned out (down to what songs to play!) so when my grandpa died of cancer five years after setting things up, my grandmother didn’t have to worry with anything. The funeral home arranged everything for her and took care of everything. Additionally, they had signed some sort of protection plan that covered the fact that my g-pa died before the funeral was paid off- g-ma didn’t have to pay a cent to give him the funeral he wanted, and all she had to do was show up. Cars, his burial clothing, minister,etc…all taken care of. It’s a wonderful plan and one we intend to use (even though we have life insurance- we are the weirdos who got insurance at 20 and 21 ;) ) because of how low stress it is during such a time of worry and pain.

    • Grace says

      thats fantastic the only thing is I have heard tons of scams involving this as well like when the person passes, the funeral home suddenly has “no record” of payment, goes out of business etc and people have lost thousands of dollars. So a check with the bbb or another organization should help as well.

    • Sarah :) says

      That’s such a great idea. My father-in-law did that over 10 years before he ended up dying. Paid 6K-ish for everything instead of the 20K it would have cost his widow when he died. We want to do that someday….

    • says

      This is such a great thing to do! When my MIL died 3 years ago, it was a nightmare! My poor FIL was shocked and grief stricken and they had never made plans or even discussed what they wanted to do (mind you, she was in her mid-60s and they were already retired!)! They were living in FL when she died, but were both born and raised in NY so it was just chaos. We ended missing the funeral b/c by the the time he finally decided what to do, the plane tickets were too much. It was just a mess. So yes, DO THIS! :-)

      • Kassie says

        Sorry to be a downer…Besides scams prepaid funeral plans are a bad idea. Given that if you had invested that money when you made the plans and got say 8-10%, invest the money over a number of years, you still come out with more at any given time than you would paying ahead even with inflation over those years, Dave Ramsey taught me that.

        • Andrea Q says

          Sometimes the peace of mind is worth it, plus the 8 to 10 percent isn’t guaranteed.

  4. BB says

    Look into smaller policies that don’t require medical info. I’m not sure if banks offer any. Employers sometimes offer policies that are portable when you leave the company. If you work and your employer offers spouse life insurance that might also not require a medical review. Good luck.

    • Lana says

      I am not insurable either because of my severe asthma and this is how we insured me. We were able to get $50K of insurance through a plan that required no physical with my husband’s past employer for only $5 a month. When he lost his job to overseas we were able to keep it for about $14 a month. I am not the primary breadwinner so this amount is ample for me as our kids are all grown.

  5. Traci says

    Does he work for a job that offers life insurance as a benefit? Depending on your state, they cannot exclude a medical condition on a group life policy. You might want to still consider getting a term policy for yourself if you have children. 10-20-30 yr terms are good. Also for the readers that feel confident that their employers or husband/wife’s employer’s insurance is sufficient, keep in mind that these policies don’t go with you if you switch jobs, get laid off, or fired. It is ideal to have a seperate personal policy.

    • says

      All of our term life insurance is through my husband’s employer and there was no medical exam for him (as he is the employee). It may be worth looking for a new job if you want the coverage.

      Our term insurance is portable (it goes with us as we bought more than the employer provided free).

  6. Julie says

    My husband is a financial advisor. He says, “If you have a lump sum of money there are several variable annuities that will increase the death benefit by 5% per year. I particularly recommend the Met Life Enhanced Death Benefit rider because it allows you to draw an income if necessary without diminishing the death benefit. Everyone’s situation is different. This might work for you because there is no medical examination. It is an investment. Your financial advisor should be able to help you.”

    • Carrie says

      Jackson National Life also has a great annuity with an enhanced death benefit as well. Look into several options and companies and by all means, find a good financial advisor to help you!

    • Julie says

      Thank you for this info! I know his work has MetLife dental insurance, so they might have life insurance as well.

  7. Chrys says

    It’s hard to answer this with such minimal information. If it were just the two of you and both of you are working, the answer would be different than if only one of you works and there are children involved. What’s your reasoning for wanting life insurance? I’m single, no dependents and have enough for a funeral, so I don’t have insurance. I guess I would encourage paying off all debts that you have, and making your outgoing money as low as possible. If both of you work, gradually try to live off of one income, so in the event one of you dies, you’ve already been living on one income anyway. And of course, save, so eventually you’ve self insured yourself anyway.

  8. says

    It really depends on what you need the insurance for. If it’s just for the burial, have him check at work for inexpensive group insurance. Often (not always) these are “guaranteed issue” which means you don’t have to qualify based on health. There are also accident only policies that you can look into–these are very cheap, but they only pay if the death is due to an accident.

    If your primary goal is income replacement, that is a bit trickier. I would just take advantage of every savings vehicle you have available: 401k, IRA, etc. But you may need to be prepared to go back to work in the unlikely event of his early death. I know that I have loads of life insurance coverage but I still expect my husband to get a “real job” if I am one day unable to work. (He is currently an artist and writer while I bring home the steady paycheck.)

    I am an actuary (ie, math geek) and work for an insurance company. My specialty is supplemental health benefits, not life insurance, but I have studied this some. I would be happy to answer any questions I can for readers of this site; I have learned quite a bit here myself.

    • Heather says

      Amen to “be prepared to go back to work”. And that is good advice for anyone, even if the working spouse has insurance. Get education and training!

      We have term life on my husband, with the plan that it would enough to get the kids to school age at least before I would have to work full-time, plus giving me time to get my master’s/update certifications. And we have a smaller amount on me, even though I do not currently bring in an income so that day care costs for 4 kids would be covered.

      • Shauna says

        My husband has a heart condition and unfortunately they do not offer life insurance through his employer and purchasing it on our own is not in the budget.
        We knew this would be a possibility when we got married and so our “Life Insurance” is my degree and knowing that if I needed too I could support my family someday.

        • says

          Shauna, I hate to say it, but if you don’t have a job right now, please don’t rely on instantly finding a job if you need to. I have a degree as well and it’s taken me forever to find a job. Make sure that if you’re relying on your degree as your “life insurance” that you have at LEAST six months to a year of your husband’s income saved up so that in the hopefully many, many, many years when your husband does pass, you have the money to support your family while you find a job.

          • Jessica says

            Also, if you have a degree and have NEVER worked in the field it pertains to, it unfortunately becomes “dated”. Job applications ask what you’ve been doing the past 5 years or since your last employment. Potential interviewers are not so keen on, well I got it just incase but didn’t try to get a job. If you got it and then started a family, that’s different. Just be prepared to answer this question in interviews, on applications, even on cover letters. I’d actually suggest looking for temporary work in the field now and then, covering maternity leave or short term leave of absences. It’s a marketable thing

    • Elizabeth says

      I totally agree with this– you have to be prepared to take care of your self and your kids, and not rely completely on any one (even your spouse, or a big life insurance payment) to do so. That’s why I never totally came out of the workforce. Bad things do happen, and we have to be prepared to stand on our own two feet!

      That having been said, I would suggest that she meet with a lawyer and/or at least 3 insurance agents and find out what the possibilities are. She needs to decide if she needs burial coverage, or support for her and the kids after he dies. A good agent is going to be able to navigate her thorough the process, but there is a lot of money to be made off of these “alternative” investment vehicles, so she needs to be very clear about what the costs/benefits are.

    • Julie says

      We have three very young kids and I’m a stay-at-home mom who teaches piano in the evenings. While replacing his income would be ideal, mostly what I’d need is enough to cover funeral costs and give me time to build up my teaching studio to full-time income. I would definitely have to go back to work if something were to happen. :/

  9. Janice says

    To me, life insurance is not to pay for a funeral, but to pay for the living of the dependents if the bread-winner is gone. In my family’s situation, I stay at home with the kids while my husband works full-time. We have a large policy on him and a medium-sized policy on me (since I care for the children, he would need some money to pay someone to care for the kids while he was working if I was gone). My parents no longer have life insurance, since they are living on retirement income anyway. Clark Howard always says life insurance should just be a cushion for you to grieve and adjust your living to a new situation – not necessarily set you up for life. That perspective made me feel better about the quantity of insurance we bought, and knowing that our emergency fund would count for a lot in such a situation. I know this doesn’t answer the question exactly, but maybe help re-evaluate what you think you might need?

  10. Meg says

    Life insurance is one (very important) way of hedging risk, but I’m going to leave other financially savvier minds to explain what savings vehicles you can use.

    But if you are going to face significant financial hardship in the event of the loss of your husband, it is imperative that you hedge your risk in other ways. Are you close to your family? Do they understand your situation? I am very close to mine, and this has huge advantages. I know that should something happen to me and my husband, my parents will help step up and provide for our children, even if only by providing free childcare and cheap housing while I ramp up my career. Are you active in a religious community? Are these people who could step in to help you get back on your feet in the event of a tragedy? Social connections are absolutely vital to surviving any crisis, especially a death in the family.

    How are your finances otherwise? Perhaps it makes sense for you to reduce expenses in the long term by aggressively paying off your mortgage or putting enough in savings to buy another car in cash, both of which should make your life easier in the event of a death by lowering your expenses.

    These don’t replace life insurance, but they are a good way to mitigate your risk and become partially self insured.

  11. Dreya says

    I’m a former insurance agent. In certain states, there are (well, used to be… It’s been over five years since I worked in the industry …) options that allow someone who is typically uninsurable to purchase life insurance. But, it definitely depends on the condition (as well as your state). I would recommend contacting several agents in your area and checking. The agents who are not affiliated exclusively with one company are often a better resource for this because they can check several insurers and are often more familiar with these options. But, I will say that in every case I saw, the policies tended to be quite pricey (I can only remember one of them actually being purchased.)

    On another note, I would also highly recommend all parents look into having a small whole life policy on each of their children. Reason being, the biggest benefit to juvenile life insurance policies is the guaranteed purchase option, which allows your child to purchase additional insurance at certain ages or milestones (for example, age 25 or the birth of a child) in his or her lifetime. In other words, you are making sure that your child can purchase life insurance as an adult, even if the child develops a condition that would make them uninsurable. For our kids, we have Gerber policies. These policies even “jump” in value automatically when the kids reach adulthood (without premium increase) and they are very inexpensive (a few bucks a month if started when the child is a baby.) Just my opinion on the subject. Obviously, every family has to do what they can afford and what they feel comfortable with.

    • TeamBonk says

      Unfortunately, two of my four children are already considered “uninusurable” … or at least not at basic children’s rates … because one child has Down syndrome and the other has cerebral palsy.

    • Teresa says

      We have a term policy which includes each of our children. It has this same guarantee and also jumps in value but without being a whole life policy. When we bought ours before our first child was born, as long as that first child was healthy each additional child could be added for free without having to qualify. As long as they lived something like 5 days. I love the fact that I could have a baby with Downs and it would be covered.

    • Jessica says

      I agree with this. My parents did this for my sister and I early in my dad’s insurance agent carear for the same purpose. It’s so much cheaper for the young, and we didn’t have to do a physical or anything. Now, I’m not easily insured or even uninsured, but they bought the extra clause where they cant deny my increase regardless of my health. It’s also such a benefit becausee I wouldn’t have thought of getting this until I had kids of my own. And at that time, my outgoing expenses would have already been higher.

  12. Yoshi's mom says

    Are you sure he is uninsurable? He may be able to get a policy with a rating (meaning he’ll pay more for the coverage). Many insurance agents are appointed with multiple companies and know which ones will underwrite certain conditions. If you are serious about wanting life insurance you should shop around. Make sure to check company ratings, Moody’s and Standard and Poors are some of the rating companies. Group coverage is also a great alternative. Good luck!

  13. Heather Finnegan says

    I see that you mentioned “term” plans. Can you afford whole life plans? They do cost more, and have some requirements for health status. Not sure if it helps. Thankfully we have life insurance, my husband lost his job and he can’t get health insurance .

        • AnnMarie Johnson says

          My parents bought me one when I was a kid. It’s only 10k, plus I get about $100 in dividends. Not nearly enough to provide for anything should I die. At least not income replacement for very long.

      • Jessica says

        I think whole or term is in the eye of the person. Yes, I agree it is not right for everyone. Yes, the benefit of term is you can change it to match the season of your life; you need v when it’s just you, w when your married, x with young kids, y with kids in college, and z with moved out carear children.
        However, that man also boasts savings. if you’re careful about it, you don’t ever pay the same amount into that you get out. If your great with finances (a stock trader perhasp), you can actually make it pay itself. And just imagine if your parents left you even 1 grand. the things the financial savy could do with it, even if it’s just to cushion your retirement fund. And now imagine doing that for your children.
        Imagine if your the grandma that babysits her grandchildren all the time. even if that’s because you enjoy it, it saves your children money. and now your gone.
        While I’ve seen “Dave Ramsey doesn’t recommend permanent life insurance”, I think we should also respect that it’s a personal choice.

  14. Jennifer B says

    Yes, I second getting term life through a job. I know that some jobs are better than others- My BIL was also insurable due to an ultimately fatal condition. He was lucky to get a job through the state and got insurance through there.
    Do you have children? they would qualify for social security payments until they’re 18 if that helps. try social security.gov for more info.

  15. Rebecca says

    My husband is a State Farm Agent and suggests your husband buy all the group life insurance through his employer that he can purchase and ask the HR department if any of the policies are convertible or portable and can be taken with him should he choose to leave the job or retire.

  16. says

    We own a home, so we got term mortgage insurance. We pay for insurance about 25,000 dollars more than what we bought our house for, and the value of the insurance goes down with the house as we pay it off. It’s good if you own a home because it ensures that your house will be paid off.

    • Sarah says

      My husband also has a condition that labels him as “uninsurable” for any kind of life insurance. We tried to get the term mortgage insurance for him, but even though there was no medical exam, just a list of basic questions, he was denied based on the list of medications he takes. They wanted to do further research into his health status and wanted us to sign a form giving them rights to all of his medical information. We knew that he would be denied if they got more info, so we stopped the process then.

      We just try to keep our bills as low as possible and have a goal to be debt free rather than have as much as everyone else who is in more typical life circumstances. Ultimately, I know God is in control of our future and when I worry about possibilities, I know that if we are faithful to Him, should a tragedy occur, He would lead us to other means of provision, such as a job for me, etc.

      Also, we did work with a financial counselor who advised us to try again in a few years. Being a few years out from the onset of a medical condition can sometimes make a difference. Not only can the survival rate increase the longer it’s been since the person was sick (depending upon the type of condition), but medical treatment improves and so makes some conditions less dangerous than they would have been 5 or 10 years before.

  17. says

    We’re in the same boat. My husband has Crohn’s Disease and can’t get more life insurance. Luckily, we were able to get a policy before his major hospitalization and surgery a few years ago, and he has a policy through his employer. It’s a good amount but definitely nowhere near the recommended amount for the number of dependents and plans we have for our family. We have tried to get more, but he continues to be denied due to his illness. Our plan– self-insure as best we can and prepare for me to return to work if necessary.

    • melissa f says

      My dh also has Crohn’s Disease and CP. We were able to get life insurance for him before his recent (last year) major surgery (his bowel perforated). We were able to get term-life thru State Farm even though he had those dx.

  18. Chantelle says

    Sometimes mortgage companies and other lenders will offer you credit life insurance, which would be enough to pay off that debt, without proof of insurability. If you have a mortgage or car loan check into this. Also, sometimes certain credit cards or bank accounts offer benefits such as $10,000 of life insurance as a benefit and there is generally no proof of insurability with these either. It might not be much but if you could know your mortgage would be paid off, that could be a huge help!

  19. says

    You could look into a VUL (Variable Universal Life) which is more of an investment that can be used as life insurance or can even be pulled out early if need be to be used for something else (like college). Talk to a financial advisor. Our VUL is through Ameriprise.

  20. HeatherS says

    My father is not able to get life insurance at any reasonable cost due to his heart and other health conditions. He has a life insurance policy with the mortgage of their home. This is not normally the way I think one should do this but it was a great option for them due to his health. It will pay off the balance of the mortgage in the event of his death so that my mother will be debt free. She is very healthy and still works (he is retired with only social security) so with having no debt and savings for a funeral she would be fine financially.

    • Jule says

      I’ve never heard of this type of insurance before, but it’s definitely worth looking into! Thanks for the advice.

  21. Megan says

    I agree with HeatherS…What about a policy on your house that if you die, you mortgage is paid off? That would be a substantial portion of our monthly expenses. My mom had one of these when we were younger but has dropped it since.

  22. Amy says

    I was also going to recommend mortgage insurance if he can get it and if you have a house with less than 50% equity. They do ask a few questions for mortgage insurance, like if you’ve ever had an organ transplant, but most people will qualify.

    Employer insurance is also good. Usually it’s only a small amount you can qualify for without a health history, but then when he quits that job, sometimes he can continue that policy (at a very increased price, but expensive insurance is sometimes better than no insurance). It may not be a lot of money with the first policy, but if he gets $50K at one job, quits in a few years and takes it with him, and then gets $60K at the next job, you can see how it could add up to a good amount over time.

    I’ve never looked into them, but there is insurance that covers only certain types of events–for example, people who die in accidents. If something like that isn’t too expensive, you may want to consider it.

  23. Amy says

    When estimating how much you would need if he were to die, don’t forget that you will receive social security benefits. It will tell you the amount on your annual statement. This is assuming you pay into the system.

  24. Carrie says

    I work at a financial planning firm and I would suggest that if his employer offers life insurance then it’s usually automatically issued without the need for underwriting – that would be one option. Also, a good idea on your bigger bills like mortgages and vehicles is to take out the insurance on those so that in case of him passing they would be automatically paid off. And last, some banks will send offers in the mail to you for life insurance that is automatically issued without having to go through underwriting. My boss has actually just taken out a life insurance policy through Bank of America that has free premiums for a year as part of their offer!
    Hope these ideas help!

  25. Mrs S. says

    Check with any organizations that are specific for his condition first (is there a support group for this condition in you area that might be able to make suggestions?) Also check with any clubs or organizations that you belong to. My husband is Combat wounded and does still have some life insurance from the military, but because of his health, he is not eligible for term life. However, we have multiple smaller policies (about $1000. each) through different clubs and organizations we belong to. Are you a credit union member? Member of a grange? Do you belong to a rifle or gun club? motorcycle club? You might be surprised what kind of groups offer benefits like life insurance, shopping discounts, etc… Never hurts to ask!!

  26. Kristy says

    My husband has a genetic heart defect but is otherwise healthy and we were able to get a policy! Our agent found a company that only checks the last seven years of medical history. We have a 30 year term for $150k and pay about $40 a month.

  27. Danna says

    If insurance through employment is an option..it is a good one to take. When I was working as an HR Director, we merged with another co and went on their benefits plan. Their plan provided life insurance for 1x salary with a buy up to 3x’s salary (Guaranteed issue) with no medical exam or qualifiers. I had an employee on staff who had lymphoma. He was in remission, but it had been a tough fight. He had a $100K term policy that he bought at 20 year old. He was 40 then and was the 1st person at my office door to sign up for the 3x salary buy up. That got him another $375K in life insurance (Jon, that was his name, was married and had 3 young children). Jon passed away 4 months later when the cancer came back. I worked with his widow extensively to get their life insurance paid out, 401K transfered over and COBRA health insurance benefits set up. The additional insurance was a HUGE blessing to her.

  28. says

    My husband is also uninsurable because he has kidney disease. He has a life insurance policy through his work, but we’ve also purchased 2 additional policies through our mortgage. It’s not ideal, but it’s something. I didn’t worry much about it before because we have no children, my teaching certification is for life, and I’ve kept up professionally through annual tutoring through a local middle school. But now we’re expecting a baby, so it’s a little more important to me, as I would like to receive enough that I could stay home with him until he’s of school age.

  29. Jessica says

    Meet with various insurance agents (various meaning different companies) and explain. My cousin was in a similar situation, disqualified due to a medical condition, however he had 4 kids, his ex wife is a deadbeat, and he wanted to atleast be able to leave them something, even if it just covered the final costs or whatever medical bills came up in the end.
    So my suggestion from this is skip term, and go to permanent life insurance.
    Sure, to start with, it’s a higher monthly cost. But if you keep all the money in low risk quadrant, once you meet that deductible, you dont have to keep paying. And with some medical conditions, you are not eligible to increase the value of the life insurance.
    For my cousin to get in, he had to bring in a certain number of other people. Now I don’t know if he had to meet a certain value (have 10 people get 100k in life insurance) or if it was just x amount of people.
    He has brain cancer, and has been operated on atleast 3 times (3 head surgeries) over a decade and still going. He works as much as he can when he’s able. He’s easy going and care free, but was in the military and wont take no, he’ll find a way. And he did with life insurance. It will eventaully carry a death sentence, and he was able to get it.
    you also need to seriously think about a) how much you need as a bare minimum, and b) how much you can spend on this monthly, your maximum.
    It wasn’t just that he had to work for it, he had to pay for it. He bought life insurance for a young single parent cousin and her children as well. He did this out of his own compassion, but I gather there was also soliciation of bringing in others for the policy.

    Also, don’t give up. Underwriting policys change on an irregular basis. Start at the top of a list. State farm, farmers, prudental, ect, when you get to the bottom of that list, if you haven’t had success and it’s been a few months, start at the top of the list all over again. Also, if you have a bad experience with one agent, don’t rule out the company, try another agent.
    The agents should ask you the same stuff I mentioned earlier, how much do you need, and how much can you spare. Hopefully a good agent will also suggest short term plans. See what your employer offers for short term disability (some offer the chance to “buy up” and increase your life insurance or short term disability pay outs), long term disability, and life insurance. maybe you can find a pair (work and private) that will supplement each other. Be prepared to share your financials. I’ve been told my emergency fund can be my short term disability plan, but as the season of my life changes, that may not always be the case

  30. Jessica says

    also, consider what the life insurance is needed FOR. if you need it to cover medical costs, consider hsa accounts. HSA accounts can be done through an employer (which then means your work hsa can cover your spouse) as well as banks. Careful though, some employer hsas expire every calendar year. Work HSAs can skirt around tax, and Bank HSAs often offer interest rates, so those can help counter the preexisting condition clauses.
    I do suggest life insurance where they do the background physical that rates your score and risk.
    Also, consider getting a small parcel of something for yourself (disability coverage, even life insurance)

    • Jessica says

      Okay I thought I posted a long one before this…
      Regarding employers, I recommend seeing if there are “buy up” options to increase the amount of life insurance or disability pay outs. My work sometimes runs specials where you can buy up without a health screen.
      I also recommend skipping term life and trying for permanent life insurance. Permanent life insurance costs more, but one you have it payed up, if the funds are in a low risk bucket, you dont have to keep making payments because it pays itself.
      I recommend making a list of insurance agents in your area. If one agent isn’t helpful or doesnt try, don’t rule out that company. start at the top of the list and work down. If some time has passed since you started, start at the top again. Underwriting rules change irregularly.
      Also, before you meet with an agent you need to consider a few things. a) what does this money need to cover? funeral, medical, future living costs? yes life insurance will cover all of that. However, there are other options that can cover different portions of that. b) estimate how much you will need to cover the above. c) estimate the max you can pay out to a policy.
      When you meet with agents, know what your and your husband benefits are. This means everything. What do the medical plans cover so you can estimate how much is left for you. HSA mentioned above. short term and long term disability. Do you get bereavement pay?
      Besides insurance and mortgage places, also consider meeting with financial planners such as fidelity, and see what they can suggest.
      My cousin has brain cancer. Has for decades. After two brain surgeries (parts of the cancer are inoperable), he wanted to get life insurance. he has 4 kids, the exwife is a deadbeat and left after the first surgery, he needs to be able to cover final expenses, medical costs he could incur, as well as hopefully leaving something behind for his children. This was 5 years ago. Now things have spread, but he works as much as his disability coverage allows. He’s easy going and hard working. he was in the military and has the can do attitude, keep going until you get the desired results.
      He’s from MI and had statefarm, but like I said, underwriting policies change all the time. To get permanent life insurance with his bad risk level, he had to bring in a group of other people. I’m not sure if a number of people or an insurable value was provided. it’s like creating your own group plan. I also couldn’t tell you if he was able to get the insurable value he wanted. So he had to solicit and get others to come in with him, but he also went a compassionate route and paid for a cousin of ours, a young single mother and her children were suprised with life insurance courtesy of him.
      So figure out those items I mentioned above, and think outside of the box.

  31. Amanda Y. says

    For those who are members of USAA, they have run some specials for no physical $100k policies–that’s how I got covered despite my high weight

  32. Megscole64 says

    My question is – what do you want the term insurance for? The purpose of life insurance is to help those left behind replace the income or cover the expenses left by the person who dies. So if the only reason you want to get it is to pay for funeral expenses start saving now.

    Also, I have a medical condition that makes it harder for me to get life insurance, but it’s not impossible. You have to find a reputable company. I work for aflac and I can’t even qualify for my own company’s offering because of my condition but I was able to work with my edward jones provider who found a company who will insure me. It’s a little more expensive but they did issue a policy for me. Now if I died my husband and son would be able to pay off the mortgage and possibly move or hire help for my son.

    There are ways to get help. Good luck!

  33. Rachel Warner says

    My husband used to sell life insurance and he said to contact an insurance company that specializes in senior citizens. Then ask about a graded benefit whole life plan. Depending on the medical condition, it may be easier for him to get that.

  34. Jan says

    My husband has been a diabetic since childhood, he too cannot buy life insurance. He does have a small whole life policy that his parents started when he was a child- it’s only $10K or something. I had one of those too but I cashed it in when I graduated to buy a car- I could kick myself now. We buy every little “no medical exam” policy that comes along- through work, the bank, the credit union, even Triple AAA. We ahve also been able to purchase some low cost accident insurnace that only pays if he is in a car accident or something. My daughter has CP and will be in the same boat some day. Other than that we are depending on our 401k’s.

  35. Andrea says

    I would recomend looking at accidental death policies. We jumped through hoops to get my husband life insurance and we got some at a very high premium…, however I felt it wasn’t enough with five kids 6 and under. So I got the accidental death policy that I believe is about $300,000 worth of coverage in an accident. Unless it’s an airline accident than it’s $1,000,000-not anticipating that since we don’t fly often…But I got it for $25 a month.

  36. Jessica says

    Also, if your employer benefits aren’t great, consider changing jobs. As long as the uninsurable condition still allows him to work, sometimes health benefits are reason to stay or change jobs.

  37. Matthew says

    Lots of great suggestions here, I’m not sure if this was mentioned but many employers have optional life programs that cover spouses as an option. It’s typically a smaller amount of coverage – 50% of what an employee purchases up to a maximum of say $50k, but often times these are available with limited or no underwriting. I’m not sure what your situation is, but if you were hired at a firm that offered this you could possibly insure your otherwise uninsurable spouse under a program like this.

    Also, I’m a fan of working with a local independent insurance broker but if you do a search for ‘impaired risk life insurance’ you’ll find a variety of companies that may be able to work with depending on your husband’s specific health history and condition. As was previously mentioned, a declined application from one company may be an approval from another depending on how they underwrite a specific condition.

    Something else to consider – see if an insurance broker has the capability to do an ‘informal application’ with a variety of carriers. Much like your credit report, applying through multiple carriers and having them decline to insure you has a negative impact on future applications you might choose to make. An informal app allows companies to take a l0ok and if it fits their guidelines proceed with the regular application process.

  38. Jule says

    Thank you all for the suggestions! I really appreciate the time you all took to respond. We’ll look into the many ideas offered. I feel so encouraged!