Getting the Best Life Insurance Rates with Grave’s Disease-2017 Guide…Everything You need to know.

Getting the Best Life Insurance Rates with Grave’s Disease-2017 Guide…Everything You need to know.

Looking to find out how to get the best life insurance rates with Grave's disease?

If so, you have come to the right place. 

While you may know the ins and outs of managing your overactive thyroid, you may not know how thyroid disorders affect life insurance applications.

Fortunately, when managed well, Grave's disease does not pose a serious concern for life insurance underwriting.

Much like high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, insurers generally will make good offers if the condition is well controlled.  

The purpose of this article is to provide a brief background on Grave's disease and the information necessary to getting the best life insurance rates with the condition. 

If you already know more about  thyroid issues than you care to think about and simply need the life insurance info, you can use the quick navigation tool to skip around.  

Fast facts About Grave's Disease

life insurance with hyperthyroidism

Graves disease is an autoimmune disease  in which the thyroid gland is attacked by the immune system and and it then overproduces thyroid hormones. grave's is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. 

According to the National institutes of Health, More than 1 percent of the population is affected by a hyperthyroid condition and women are far more likely to suffer from the condition than men.

Some of the more famous people who suffer from Grave's disease are  television personality Oprah Winfrey, politician Hillary Clinton, celebrity trainer Jillian Micheals, and musician Rod Stewart.

life insurance with hyperthyroid

Symptoms of  Grave's Disease

The most common symptoms of Grave's disease according to the Mayo Clinic are:

  • Anxiety and irritability
  • A fine tremor of your hands or fingers
  • Heat sensitivity and an increase in perspiration or warm, moist skin
  • Weight loss, despite normal eating habits
  • Enlargement of your thyroid gland (goiter)
  • Change in menstrual cycles
  • Erectile dysfunction or reduced libido
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Bulging eyes (Graves' ophthalmopathy)
  • Thick, red skin usually on the shins or tops of the feet (Graves' dermopathy)
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)

Common Treatments for  Grave's Disease

​Treatment of grave's disease is generally broken into three categories

  • radioactive iodine  which is taken orally.
  • Anti thyroid medications including Beta blockers
  • Surgury

​Iodine is usually the first choice of practitioners followed by medication. Surgery is limited to cases where the medication is ineffective or the side effects make it impracticable.

The most common medications as listed by WebMD are :

Beta blockers

  • atenolol
  • propanolol
  • metoprolo​
Lupus-Life -insurance

Anti-thyroid drugs

  • propylthiouracil
  • Methimazole​

 Life Insurance With Hyperthyroid Disorder

With a couple of caveats, the process of obtaining life insurance is essentially the same for everyone regardless of health.


The primary caveats with Grave's are that no exam or so called “non-med” policies will only be available in very small face amounts and an attending physician's statement (APS) is guaranteed to be requested.


The APS can slow the process as doctors are in no hurry to respond to requests from life insurance companies.



  1. Date of Diagnosis

  2. Age at Diagnosis

  3. Affected Systems

  4. Treatments Undergone (list of medications)

  5. Dates of Treatments (is there regular follow up?)

  6. Severity of Symptoms

  7. Other Health Issues

Key Take Aways

  • The process for obtaining life insurance is the same with Grave's as any other condition..
  • Your doctor will most likely have to submit an attending physicians statement (APS).
  • Providing detailed & accurate information is the only way to get an accurate quote.

Possible Underwriting Ratings for Life insurance with with Grave's Disease


Because Life insurance applications are evaluated on a case by case basis, your story matters. That is to say two people with the same age and condition may get vastly different offers from the same carrier based on age of diagnosis and patient compliance.

Because each case is different, the following pricing scenarios are the best estimates based on experience.

Best Case – If grave's  is detected early, symptoms are under excellent control and complications have been prevented, many cases have a chance for preferred rating. Simply use the quoter on the right  for a preferred  quote.

Mid Case –If your Grave's is under good  control with regular follow ups, but you  occasionally have mild symptoms, you may be looking at a standard rate. You simply choose "standard" on the quote tool to your right.

Severe Case – If your Grave's as recently flared and you have complications, you may be facing a postpone or a severe substandard rate. You calculate this rate by multiplying the standard rate by 3 (Table 6/F) or 4 (table 8/H).

To learn about how table ratings work click here.

* while expensive this is still a very good outcome for the circumstances

Decline– For a severe case you may be declined for traditional coverage. If this is the case you may be eligible for a smaller face amount policy. These policies are referred to as Guaranteed issue or simplified issue. If you have been declined please contact us.

Why you Should Use an Independent Agent when Shopping for Life Insurance with Grave's 

Now you already understand that your story matters, and that two people in similar situations can get very different offers from the same carrier.


What you might not know is that different insurance companies will also treat each case differently.


For example Prudential may have more of an appetite for the risk that Grave's presents than say Banner Life. In this case the underwriting grade will reflect this increased appetite.


So, if your Agent only represented one carrier and you found out later that that you could have gotten a rate 50% or 60% better, how would you feel?


You’d probably be peeved either at the agent or yourself or both. So it’s important that your Agent represent multiple carriers.


In fact a good independent agent will have access to over 50 carriers. This ensures the best chance at a good rate.


Note that if he doesn’t, he may not be in a hurry to let you in on this info.

Key Take Aways

  • Access to more carriers will result in better pricing.
  • It may be worth paying slightly more if there is a strong permanent conversion product.
  • Only independent brokers have the freedom to offer the best deal at all times.

Case Study: Pricing Life Insurance with Grave's Disease 


So, I have been preaching about the importance of using an independent Agent and you may think that sounds a little self serving coming from an independent agent.


You are right, it is. However, it is also the undeniable ( and provable) truth.


Please see the case study below . it will show why it is in your interest to have as many options as possible available when shopping for life insurance with Grave's disease or any other impairment.


Gender: Female Age: 29

$1000000 20 Year Term

Tobacco: No

Well controlled mild Grave's Diseawse. Diagnosed Age 28

Iodine only No Other Health Concerns


This looks like a best case scenario that would be either Preferred, Standard Plus or Standard depending on the insurers appetite for a Graves disease risk.. Let’s take a look at the rates.


Preferred Rates - Standard Plus Rates - Standard Rates


CARRIERMO. PYMTCARRIERMO. PYMTCARRIERMO. PYMT
sbli express
$37.32
sbli express
49.50american general59.17
banner
37.47banner49.64
banner
59.33
american general
37.54
american general
49.65
sbli express
59.42
principal
41.78
principal
54.71
principal
68.40
prudential logo
49.95
prudential logo
59.85
prudential logo
70.65

This table which shows only a few of the major life insurance companies available illustrates the difference in rates.For Preferred  rates Prudential is 29% more expensive than SBLI.


On it’s face this seems like a pretty straight forward choice and if underwriting grades between carriers is the same, it really can be that simple. This kind of easy price shopping is particularly useful for younger folks in good health and demonstrates why you want to use an independent Agent.


For people who suffer from Grave's or any other serious diagnosis, it gets much more complicated.

Because life insurers manage their appetite for specific risks by being more lenient or more stringent with underwriting grades, you need to know which company will grade you a preferred risk and which ones will grade you as standard (or worse).


In the case above, because the grave's is well controlled and the applicant is in excellent health,  Prudential  (the most expensive standard rate)  is not a factoer. However, if her health was not quite as good as this example, Pru would likely be among the best deals because of more lenient underwriting.

That is if the more competitively priced carriers dropped her rating to standard  or standard plus Prudential would likely  be the best deal because they might still rate her as P+.


This is something you can’t know by simply looking at the lowest price. In the alternate scenario  using an independent agent could save you 17% (the difference between Prudential @ preferred and AIG @ Standard).

Your Next Step


Thank you for reading about life insurance with Grave's disease at the Life Insurance Help Desk.Now that you know the information you will need to receive the most accurate quote possible, it’s time to gather the information and speak to an independent Agent (raising my hand).

Simply give us a call or shoot an email over and we can get you started. We are committed to totally transparent pricing (we’ll even share our computer screen with you if you’d like), and making the application process as painless as possible.

If you have any questions, We’d like to hear them.

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Getting the Best Life Insurance Rates with Grave’s Disease-2017 Guide…Everything You need to know.
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Getting the Best Life Insurance Rates with Grave’s Disease-2017 Guide…Everything You need to know.
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James Tobin, CFP
 

Jim Tobin is the owner of Life Insurance Help Desk, a Fairfield County, CT. life insurance agency. You can find him on Google + and Facebook. Over the past 10 years, Jim has used his CFP-financial planning designation to help individuals with their life insurance needs. In addition to working with life insurance clients, Jim teaches ESL classes in his spare time. He resides with his beautiful wife Nicole and the 3 cats that rule their lives..