Life Insurance After Colon Polyps
Impact on Underwriting Class:
Standard Plus Rates Possible
Standard to Table Ratings likely
Rate impact based on polyp size,
time passed since removal, if polyp
tested positive for cancer, cancerous
stage, Record of follow-up
If you are seeking life insurance after colon polyps, you are in the right place.
Yes, you can get life insurance after colon polyps. However, be forewarned underwriters will have questions about your experience.
With a history that includes colon polyps, life insurance carriers will want to know as much as they can about the risk they are being asked to insure. This is no different than the carriers deal with any other pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure and hyperthyroidism or lifestyle choices like marijuana use and scuba diving.
They want to know everything possible about the applicant they are being asked to cover.
This article is intended to arm you with the knowledge to get the best offer possible. If you know exactly what info you are looking for, use the quick navigation tool to skip around.
Although colon polyps are not always cancerous, they certainly can be. Several famous people have faced colon cancer, among them are president Ronald Reagan, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, movie critic Joel Siegel and baseball player Daryl Strawberry.
Life insurance underwriters will generally be concerned with 6 general questions:
While the ouline above is general in form , the questions will require specific answers. These answers will be gathered from your application, a telephone interview, the Medical Information Bureau, and an attending physicians statement.
Lets look at the general areas of inquiry one at a time.
The reason underwriters are more comfortable with making offers when an applicant fits into the usual patterns is because if they don't fit, there as a real possibility that something else is at play. When this is the case, underwriters will try to allay their fears by taking a harder look at the file.
In the case of colon polyps, the common "risk factor range" is family history, inflammatory bowel disease related conditions, smoking, obesity, and age (over 45).
Underwriting will want to know the symptoms you had (if any) and how long you had them before the diagnosis.
While most people don't have symptoms of colon polyps, the National Institutes of Health list a bleeding rectum, blood in your stools and fatigue from low iron counts as being the most common symptoms.
Polyp diagnosis and removal is performed by a colonoscopy screening whenever possible. If the polyp is too big, it is removed with minimally invasive surgery. Once removed it is categorized asadenomatous, serrated, or inflamatory and tested for cancer cells.
While information that is "foggy" will be taken from your medical records, knowing the dates of diagnosis and treatments is necessary to get an accurate quote.
life insurance underwriters will want to see that you have been compliant with any after care follow up requirements.
as per the Mayo Clinic, this will be regular colonoscopies on a schedule determined by the size and character of the polyp(s) removed.
Key Take Aways
With a couple of caveats, the process of obtaining life insurance is essentially the same for everyone regardless of health.
The primary caveats with a colon polyp history are that no exam or so called “non-med” policies may only be available in limited face amounts and an attending physician's statement (APS) is often required.
The APS will likely slow the process as doctors are in no hurry to respond to requests from life insurance companies.
As discussed earlier, the information that you will be required to provide in order to get the most accurate quote is as follows:
Date of Diagnosis
Severity of Symptoms
Dates of Treatments
All Other Health Issues
Because Life insurance applications are evaluated on a case by case basis, your story is not unimportant.
That is to say two people with the same age and condition may get significantly different offers from the same company 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 your polyps were small,removed, and not cancerous and more than 2 years has passed, some cases have a chance for a standard or even a standard plus rating. Simply use the quoter on the left for a standard/standard plus quote.
Mid Case –If your polyps have recurred, or have been found to be cancerous (stage 0) and you are in excellent health otherwise, you will likely be standard or a mild substandard rate. You calculate this rate by multiplying the standard rate by 1.5 (Table 2/B)
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.
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 TransAmerica may have more of an appetite for the risk that colon polyps presents than say Protective. 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 35% or 45% better, how would you feel?
You’d probably be pretty 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 probably won’t be in a hurry to let you in on this information.
Key Take Aways
So, I have been droning on about the importance of using an independent Agent and that may sound to you a bit self serving coming from an independent agent.
You’re right, it is. However, it is also the (demonstrable) 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 a polyp history or any other impairment.
Gender: Male Age: 48
$250000 20 Year Term
Small non cancerous colon polyps removed 30 moths prior. No reocurrence
6'3" 220 lbs.
No Other Health Concerns
This looks like a best case scenario that would be either standard or Table 2/B or 4/D depending on the insurers appetite for a colon polyp risk. Let’s take a look at the rates.
Life Insurance Company
Life Insurance Company
Life Insurance Company
This table which shows only a few of the major life insurance companies available illustrates the difference in rates. For standard rates Prudential is 33% more expensive than Protective.
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 simple choice.
This kind of easy price shopping is particularly useful for younger applicants or people in really good health, and shows you why you should want to use an independent Agent.
For people who suffer from a history of colon polyps or any other serious diagnosis, it can get much more complex.
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 standard or table 2 risk and which ones will grade you as table 4-6.
In the case above Prudential (the second most expensive standard smoker rate) is likely to be the best deal because the more competitively priced carriers will likely rate the risk table 2-4 while Pru might well go standard.
This is something you can’t know by simply looking at the lowest price. In this case using an independent agent could save you 22% (the difference between Prudential @ standard and North American @ Table2).
That’s a really big difference when you consider that over the life of the policy it adds up to over $13,400.
Wouldn’t you rather save that money (or spend it on an great vacation) , rather than pay more than necessary for insurance because your Agent didn’t give you the option?
Dumb question, of course you would!
Now that you know the information you will need to receive the most accurate quote possible for life insurance after colon polyps, 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.
Thank you for visiting the planwithapro.wpengine.com and reading about life insurance after colon polyps. If you have any questions, We’d like to hear them.
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Jim Tobin is the owner of Life Insurance Help Desk, a Fairfield County, CT. life insurance agency. You can find him on LinkedIn 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..
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