Life Insurance With Asthma

Life Insurance With Asthma Condition

By James Tobin, CFP®

Critical Takeaways

  • preferred + rates available for Seasonal asthma
  •  No exam options available depending on severity of asthma
  • Sub Standard rates are possible in severe cases
Life Insurance With Asthma
Life Insurance with Asthma- Get the Best Deal

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Life Insurance with Asthma- Get the Best Deal
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Expert Review Of  Life Insurance With Asthma Condition

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Reviewed by

Jim Tobin, CFP®

Why you can trust this review

At Life Insurance Help Desk, we value our editorial independence. We keep our reviews strictly factual so you can use them to make informed decisions. Life insurance carriers referred to on this site do not approve reviews. 

If you are seeking information about obtaining life insurance with asthma, you are in the right place. The good news is that depending on the severity of your asthma you may qualify for preferred best rates.

Insurance underwriters always look at an applicant's medical condition from the perspective of "what risk does this condition pose to the company?". How this risk is determined is a combination of your medical history and the carrier's appetite for that type of risk.

Because different carriers have different appetites for specific kinds of risks, it is important that you apply with the company that is most likely to view your type of risk most favorably.

This logic holds true whether you are  asthmatic, have high blood pressuresmoke pot, or any number of pre-existing circumstances.  

Fast Facts About asthma

According to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America  about 25 million people- or 1 in 13 - suffer asthma in the United States. Emergency room visits number over two million and hospital admission last from 3-6 days. 

Adult women are more likely to suffer than men and African American's are the most common victims. Death rates for asthma have declined over 25% since the turn of the century.

Asthma is believed to cost the economy about 56 Billion dollars a year with the majority of the expense coming from hospital stays.

How Life Insurance Companies Will View Asthma Applications

In order to assign an underwriting class or grade, life insurance underwriting will break your asthma in to one of four possible categories.

Seasonal Asthma -  This is the most common type of asthma. It tends to happen a couple of time a year as the season changes (think hay fever). This type of asthma can still qualify for Preferred Best rates,  even with  medication prescribed. 


Mild Asthma - This asthma t is more serious than simply seasonal and  often requires an oral medication or an inhaler.As long as it is well controlled, it's still possible to receive  Preferred underwriting ratings. 


Moderate Asthma - This type of asthma is more serious and can involve steroid inhalers and may require hospitalization on occasion. The ratings here are all over the place depending on the time elapsed since the last hospitalization was required. Shorter periods will be sub-standard while periods over 5 years could get preferred with the right carrier.     


Severe Asthma - Attacks that regularly require hospital stays and are treated with steroids will be substandard to outright decline dependent upon the overall health of the applicant.  

With the caveat that your mileage may vary  depending on your overall health, you can sample pricing with the quote tool. Just remember that only 12% of applicants receive preferred plus/best offers.

The Information That Will Be Required By Insurance Companies

Bear in mind that any information that is "foggy" will show up in the medical records, so be as forthcoming as possible with your agent. it's the only way,short of luck, to get an accurate quote and solid advice as to the carrier to go with.

That said, the information that the insurers will be looking for is as follows: 

  • When were you first diagnosed with asthma?

  • Is your asthma seasonal or year round?

  • How often are the attacks? How many per year?

  • When was the most recent attack?

  • What symptoms do you have?

  • Any hospitalizations because of your asthma? If so, length of stay with dates.

  • What medications do you take?

  • Do you currently smoke or did you once smoke? If so, how long ago did you quit?

  • Any other health conditions

Why It's Important To Use An Independent Agent

Because different carriers have both different pricing per underwriting class and different appetites for certain risks, it's imperative that you have multiple options available when shopping for life insurance with asthma or any other medical condition.

Getting "shoe-horned" into a certain carrier because that is all the agent can sell is is both costly and easily avoided. For an example of how dramatic different pricing of a common condition can be see the post on obtaining life insurance with high cholesterol.  

Next Steps

The next step is to gather your medical information and speak with an independent agent. If you would like to familiarize yourself with the application process for life insurance there is a "step by step" guide on the home page of this site.

Thank you for choosing the Life Insurance Help Desk to research life insurance with asthma. I hope it has been helpful and we look forward to hearing from you in the near future.  

Bonus: The most common mistakes people make buying life insurance and how to avoid them

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