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What to do if you’re denied life insurance

Aug 28, 2020 3 Minute Read

Have you been turned down for life insurance? A rejection is definitely disappointing, but it doesn’t have to be the last word.

There is a policy out there for nearly everyone, so even if you’re turned down for life insurance or your rate is too high, you have options. Here’s what life insurance companies consider when reviewing your application and what to do if you’re denied life insurance.

Why was my life insurance application denied?

Life insurance companies go through a process called underwriting to determine your eligibility and the price you’ll pay for your plan. Since they’re insuring your life, anything that affects your life expectancy could impact your chances of getting coverage. Some of the main reasons people get denied coverage include:

  • Health. Pre-existing conditions can make it harder to qualify for a policy. These medical conditions can include a chronic illness like heart disease or diabetes, a history of serious illness like cancer, or obesity. If you’re living with a chronic illness, it helps to show that the condition is being treated by a physician and under control, if possible.
  • Age. As you grow older, you have fewer and more expensive life insurance options. While some insurance companies will approve you for a term life policy into your 70s, it may be harder to qualify and you’ll probably end up paying much higher rates. After a certain age, your options may be limited to smaller final expense policies.
  • Lifestyle. Your job, hobbies, and lifestyle all factor into your application when you apply for life insurance. Factors like smoking, working in a risky occupation, previous DUIs, or dangerous hobbies like skydiving can all result in higher rates or a denial.

What should I do if I’m denied life insurance?

There are a few steps you can take if you are denied life insurance coverage:

  • Get the facts. Ask your insurer why the application was denied and review it carefully to make sure that errors didn’t cause an issue. Once you know why you were denied, you can find a better option for you.
  • Wait and try again. Turned down or rates too high? With some medical conditions, like cancer, you may need to wait a certain period to be eligible and apply for life insurance again. If you’re planning to quit smoking, you can get no-smoking rates after one year.
  • Try no medical exam policies. If your health is preventing you from getting coverage, you can try no medical exam life insurance. These options allow you to go through the application process and get a life insurance policy without a medical exam, even if you have serious health issues.
  • Shop around. Every insurer’s underwriting requirements are a little different. eFinancial can help you shop and compare term life plans to find one that’s right for you.

We’re here to help

Still have questions or want more info about life insurance? eFinancial works with top-rated insurance companies to help find the right coverage for you and your family. Call us or start your quote online today.


At eFinancial, our goal is to make life insurance simple, affordable, and understandable for everyday families. This content is intended for educational purposes only. Each post is carefully fact-checked, reviewed and updated regularly to ensure the information is as relevant as possible.