After receiving a cirrhosis diagnosis, there are many things that you could be wondering about. One of the things on your mind might be if there is life insurance for liver disease patients.
Can You Get Funeral Insurance With Cirrhosis Of The Liver?
Someone with cirrhosis can get final expense life insurance. Many companies will establish a waiting period before full coverage begins, but select carriers will give immediate coverage. Seniors with cirrhosis will encounter a slightly inflated rate due to the nature of this disease.
Life insurance carriers set their own guidelines for acceptance based upon risk tolerance. This is why some companies will award immediate funeral insurance coverage and others will not.
The Basics of Funeral Insurance Coverage
Funeral insurance is a type of whole life coverage, also known as burial insurance and final expense insurance. Unlike other life policies, whole life insurance never expires, no matter how long you live. Funeral insurance is commonly taken out to cover funeral expenses but is flexible in what it can cover.
This insurance policy goes through a “simplified issue” underwriting process, so you will never be asked to get a medical exam. Coverage can be taken out completely over the phone and requires a short health questionnaire to confirm that you qualify.
You must apply for plans that have no waiting period. The qualification process consists of about ten questions regarding your health history. For cirrhosis patients specifically, every application for immediate coverage will ask about liver disease, but each company will react differently.
- No Expiration
- Coverage Lock
- Price Lock
- Builds Cash Value
- No Medical Exam
- No Waiting Period Options
How To Qualify For Final Expense Insurance With Cirrhosis
Underwriting is essentially the decision-making process. This is when the company will decide whether or not it will provide coverage to its senior applicants.
Cirrhosis is late-stage scarring of the liver. The more scar tissue your liver has, the harder it is for it to function properly, with the potential of leading to additional complications.
This condition matters to insurance providers because of the risk factors leading up to your cirrhosis diagnosis and the complications that can happen because of it. Cirrhosis of the liver is the late-stage development from other pre-existing health concerns or lifestyle choices.
Common Pre-Existing Conditions
- Chronic Viral Hepatitis (Hepatitis B, C, & D)
- Chronic Alcohol Abuse
- Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
In severe cases, liver failure can occur, potentially leading to the need for an organ transplant. For these reasons, cirrhosis is considered a high-risk condition that throws up a red flag for final expense insurance companies.
It is common for applications to ask if you have ever received treatment for alcohol or drug abuse or were convicted of driving under the influence. This plays into if you have a fatty liver due to alcoholic liver disease.
3 Ways Burial Insurance Carriers Ask About Cirrhosis
On final expense insurance applications, there are three ways a carrier will ask about cirrhosis. An application may also ask about liver disease rather than specifically sighting cirrhosis.
“Have you ever been diagnosed with cirrhosis?”
This question will either rule you out of coverage with the company or place you into a restricted plan. A restricted plan could be more expensive and have a waiting period.
“In the last X years, have you been diagnosed or treated for cirrhosis?”
If your diagnosis or treatment was within the number of years that they ask about, you may not be eligible for the carrier or may not fit into their top-tier plan. The typical look-back period is 2 – 5 years.
It will not ask about Cirrhosis at all.
If they do not ask about your condition, it does not matter for obtaining coverage. Burial life insurance plans that do not ask about this fatty liver condition will enforce a waiting period.
There are different categories of burial insurance plans that seniors will qualify for.
This is the best final expense insurance coverage type because it has the lowest cost and provides immediate coverage. Some carriers divide their level plan into two categories, preferred and standard. Both have no waiting period.
Preferred: The lowest price and tightest underwriting requirements. This life insurance is unavailable to those with this fatty liver disease.
Standard: Slightly more expensive with somewhat more lenient underwriting. This is available to cirrhosis patients from select companies only.
These policies have a progressive payout structure during the 2-year waiting period. The underwriting is more lenient and has higher premiums. Commonly, 30% of the death benefit is paid if death occurs in year one, 70% in year 2, and 100% once the waiting period concludes. This is a commonly awarded option for those with liver disease.
With a 2-year waiting period, modified is also known as a “return of premium” insurance policy. If the insured dies during this time restriction, the beneficiary will get the paid premiums plus interest. For death after the waiting period, the full coverage amount is distributed. Modified is more expensive with even more relaxed qualifying standards. It is a very common policy awarded to cirrhosis patients by the best insurance companies.
With guaranteed acceptance plans, no health questions are asked. Highly rated guaranteed issue life insurance can be very competitive in price if you cannot qualify for a level or graded policy. A guaranteed insurance policy is only necessary for those that have cirrhosis and other additional pre-existing conditions.
Finding The Best Burial Insurance With Cirrhosis
It is important you understand that each company sets its own qualifying guidelines. If an application does not ask about a specific condition, the carrier will accept you. However, all burial insurance policies will ask about either cirrhosis or liver disease to get immediate coverage.
Foresters Financial funeral insurance provides immediate coverage with liver disease from its Standard plan. Applicants will still need to pass all other medical criteria to be accepted with this policy.
There are three main things to look for when getting final expense insurance.
Cost: Get the highest death benefit at the lowest premium. This will allow you to leave more to your loved ones while saving you money.
Company: A company that has a good financial rating is important. A high rating signifies the ability to manage their assets and pay claims for many years to come.
Immediate Coverage: With cirrhosis of the liver, it is possible to avoid a waiting period. Work with a company that will give you immediate coverage.
How to Buy: Captive vs. Independent Agencies
There are two types of insurance agencies a senior citizen can purchase a funeral insurance policy from.
Captive: A captive agency is contractually only able to sell products from a single company. This creates a potential issue for the consumer for a few reasons. The applicant may not medically qualify and get denied or be steered towards a guaranteed issue policy when they could qualify for a better plan. These agents are likely not going to know of other policies on the market that could be a better fit given your cirrhosis or other pre-existing conditions.
Independent: An independent agency can sell products from multiple companies. These agencies have complete flexibility in what they choose to sell. Working with an agency that represents many life insurance companies will give you the most options. Independent agencies allow the agent to shop around on behalf of the client’s specific needs.
How Willamette Life Can Help Seniors with Liver Disease
Willamette Life specializes exclusively in final expense insurance. This allows the company to focus all resources on this single area of the market.
Because our final expense insurance brokers are experts in the field, they can get to know exactly what your unique needs are for the insurance policy and place you with the best funeral expense protection.
a. Someone can get quality funeral insurance with cirrhosis of the liver and receive immediate protection.
b. The best burial insurance companies will provide immediate coverage at an affordable rate no matter when your diagnosis was. This could change if you have additional health concerns.
c. It is to your benefit to work with an independent agency that specializes in funeral insurance coverage. This is especially true for elderly seniors with high-risk health concerns.
Give Willamette Life a call at 844-576-0019
Stacie manages the content for Willamette Life by keeping it up to date and accurate. By taking the questions frequently asked by clients she has been able to assist in developing a series of blogs that will hopefully be able to help more people than just those we are able to speak with.
We would be happy to answer your specific questions if there is anything we haven’t covered yet.