Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Life Insurance

Written by Life-Wealth-Win

You may think you cannot get chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) life insurance if you have been diagnosed with this disease. Although having COPD complicates your ability to qualify for life insurance, it does not rule out getting the life insurance protection you need and deserve.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (also known as COPD) affects over 11 million people in the United States. Millions of other individuals have this disease but do not even know it. COPD can lead to serious long-term disabilities and even death. There is no cure for COPD.

The good news is that my agents and I at Life-Wealth-Win can help you get life insurance if you have COPD!

What is COPD?

COPD is a lung disease that limits airflow both in and out of the lungs. Past or current cigarette smoking and exposure to asbestos are the two primary ways most people end up with a COPD diagnosis. Because the airflow is limited both in and out of the lungs, COPD involves both emphysema symptoms and chronic bronchitis symptoms.

Can COPD symptoms be controlled?

COPD is not curable. However, its symptoms can be controlled and managed with medications.

Does life insurance cover COPD?

Yes, life insurance policies can be obtained by people with COPD, seniors with COPD, and all other people with this condition. Your options will, however, be more limited than a healthier person.

How does having COPD affect my ability to get life insurance?

Just because you have COPD does not mean you cannot get affordable Life insurance rates. COPD symptoms range from slight breathing impairment to debilitating and life-threatening symptoms.

COPD life insurance underwriting will often require a few more questions about your medications and physician’s treatment plan.

The GOLD Spirometric Criteria for COPD Severity is often used to determine your FEV1.

The insurance companies will look at your Forced Expired Volume in 1 Second (FEV1) test results to determine which insurance rate class you fall into.

The higher the FEV1 percentage you can achieve, the better life insurance rates you will receive!

Mild COPD – Mild COPD cases have an FEV1 around 80%. With mild COPD, you probably would not be aware your lung function was declining.

If you have been diagnosed with mild COPD, a standard rating class is achievable through many insurance companies. Your symptoms with mild COPD would range from mild shortness of breath, while exercising, and occasional coughing. Medication would typically not be needed.

Moderate COPD – Moderate COPD cases have an FEV1 around 50-80%. Your symptoms with moderate COPD would include shortness of breath during physical activity.

If you have been diagnosed with moderate COPD, you will experience significant shortness of breath and coughing. With a moderate diagnosis, you will typically be prescribed medication to help you breathe better and have better lung function.
Not all insurance companies will accept you if you have moderate COPD.

When seeking life insurance coverage with moderate COPD, we will help you locate life insurance companies that will look more favorably on your COPD diagnosis.

Severe COPD – Severe COPD cases have an FEV1 around 30-50%. You symptoms with severe COPD would be shortness of breath and more extreme shortness of breath during physical activity.

This diagnosis is classified as high-risk life insurance. Your best option with this diagnosis is to go for graded coverage or guaranteed issue life insurance. These policies provide accidental death coverage for the first 2 to 3 years and then guaranteed life insurance coverage for any death for the remainder of the policy.

If you have been diagnosed with severe COPD, you may have difficulty getting any life insurance other than guaranteed issue policies.

Your best option with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is to apply for a graded life insurance policy or guaranteed issue life insurance. These policies provide accidental death coverage for the first 2 to 3 years and then provide guaranteed life insurance coverage for any death for the remainder of the policy.

Very Severe COPD – Very severe COPD cases have an FEV1 of 30% or less. Your symptoms with very severe COPD can be life-threatening. If you have been diagnosed with very severe COPD, your quality of life is greatly impaired. You will have difficulty breathing and may have to use an oxygen tank.

COPD life insurance coverage is often more expensive and has lower guaranteed coverage amounts than other life insurance products.

When is the best time to get life insurance if I have COPD?

Before you show any signs of the disease is always the best time to get life insurance. If you have been a heavy smoker in the past, have quit smoking, and have no symptoms of COPD, now would be the best time to get life insurance coverage!

After you receive a COPD diagnosis, it will make getting an affordable life insurance policy and affordable premiums much more challenging. Get your life insurance before you are diagnosed with COPD!

Do you have any medical conditions besides COPD?

If you have other medical conditions on top of a COPD diagnosis, it will affect your ability to get the best life insurance rates.

If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, are overweight or obese, have had heart disease, any history of cancer, or other significant health problems, it will greatly affect your ability to get affordable life insurance rates.

Insurance companies are all about risk and managing risk. The more health complications you have, the greater insurance risk you will be to them and the more they will charge you in life insurance premiums.

How can my insurance agent help me get the best life insurance policy with COPD?

Be completely honest about your COPD condition and any past and current health issues or medical complications. The insurance company will check your prescription history and past medical records, so do not be dishonest with them on your application.

Any conflicting information between your records and your statements on your application will lengthen the application process or lead to a life insurance decline.

What will the insurance companies want to know about my COPD?

  • The date you were diagnosed
  • The type of lung disease associated with your Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (chronic, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, etc.)
  • The dates you have been hospitalized due to COPD
  • The medications prescribed by your doctor
  • Any chest x-ray records
  • Any other contributing medical conditions or medical complications

What kind of life insurance can I get if I have COPD?

You cannot get a simplified issue (no medical exam) term life insurance policy if you have COPD. You should be able to qualify for a simplified issue graded policy.

If you want a simplified issue (no medical exam) graded whole life insurance policy, we can help you with this. Many insurance products like this are available in the marketplace.

There are many “graded life insurance policies” available if you have COPD. These policies provide two years of accidental death initially. After that, the guaranteed death coverage begins and continues for the remainder of the life insurance policy.

Many of the larger insurance companies will automatically decline you if you have a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. This is where selecting the right life insurance agent is a huge advantage. You do not want to have your application get declined based on your medical records; this will just make it harder to get a life insurance policy in the future.

What should my life insurance agent do for me if I have COPD?

Getting life insurance for someone with COPD takes a little bit more time and knowledge from your life insurance agent.

Your life insurance agent should ask you lots of questions about your health, talk with the underwriters at many insurance companies about your case, and may even need to submit a prequalification document for tentative approval before submitting your life insurance application.


Life-Wealth-Win Life Insurance and Wealth Services would love to help you get your loved ones, family, and business protected! Call us or get your free life insurance estimate by clicking the link below.

About Life-Wealth-Win
About Life-Wealth-Win

We work with individuals across the nation to secure the best life insurance rates.

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