Life Insurance after a heart attack

Life Insurance After a Heart Attack

By James Tobin, CFP®

Critical Takeaways

  • Impact on underwriting class: Significant
  • Standard Rates Rare But Possible Table Ratings Very Likely
  • Rate impact based on severity of Attack, Time Elapsed, Complications,
    prescription drugs & Compliance

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Expert Review Of  Life Insurance After A Heart Attack

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Reviewed by

Jim Tobin, CFP®

Why you can trust this review

At Bequest Mutual life Insurance, 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. 

Can I Be Approved For Life Insurance After a heart attack?

Yes! If you have had a heart attack you absolutely can be approved for life insurance.

However, the type of policy that can be approved, and the rates charged, will depend on the nature of your heart attack,  how long ago it happened, the severity, medication use and your overall health.

Because the underwriting standards are different for each type of policy, this review of  life insurance options after a heart attack is broken into  three sections:   (click link to go directly to section)

Best Price

Strict Underwriting

More Expensive

Easy Underwriting

Most Expensive

No Underwriting

What Information Will  Life Insurance Companies Want To Know


Insurance companies will request the following details to approve your application for term life insurance: the date when your heart attack took place, the treatments you’ve undergone, the prescription medication you’ve used, and details of follow-up appointments.

Underwriters will also evaluate your general health markers, such as your cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight, and request information regarding your treatment, including details of prior hospitalizations, procedures, prescriptions, and work disability claims.

Additionally, underwriters will also seek information regarding your history of alcohol or drug abuse, dangerous hobbies or work, and driving history (instances of reckless driving, DUI, etc.)

Final Expense

Also known as simplified issue policies, they do not require any examinations. The underwriters might ask you about medications and certain important dates but no more. Additionally, since they are relatively more expensive, they’re also more lenient in their policies.

How Much Will My Life Insurance Cost And How Exactly Are My Rates Affected By heart attack history

The rates you pay for term insurance are dependent on the underwriting class you are graded by the carrier. Depending on the severity and medication required, migraine  applications can be rated as preferred plus (the best class available), or the can be table rated. This will often depend on  the carrier chosen and how that carrier looks at the risk migraine headaches pose. 

This issue is discussed using rating guides and  pricing samples.  Sample pricing for simplified issue and  guaranteed issue policies is provided in the corresponding links.

How Accurate Are The Quotes I Get From Your Quote Tool? 

Our quote tool generates 100% authentic and accurate premium quotes, provided the right information has been entered. But you need to get your rate class right if you want an accurate result. However, most people think they’re worse off or better off than in reality when they use online tools, which causes the tool to generate inaccurate results.

If you have a history of heart attacks, we recommend filling our customized quote form. We’ll reach out to you asap.

Will I Need To Take An Exam For Life Insurance After a heart attack?

If you want to be approved for a term life insurance policy after a heart attack, you’ll have to undergo an examination. Even a mild heart attack is cause for concern and will require you to go through a medical examination.

Applicants who have had a cardiac workup complete with EKG testing recently will only have to take a paramedical exam, in which their urine and blood samples will be collected by a travelling nurse at your convenience at zero cost.

But if you haven’t had a cardiac workup test over the last six months, the underwriters will require you to undergo an EKG test. For policies with a large payout, you may also be asked to complete a stress test.

In case guaranteed or simplified issue policies are what you’re looking for, you won’t be asked to complete an exam.

How Can I Improve My Underwriting Rating And Lower My Life Insurance Cost?

When it comes to lifestyle, as long as you’re serious about your exercise, diet, alcohol intake, and quit smoking, it will be apparent in your body’s blood markers.

Heart attack patients are advised to document their compliance with their doctor’s orders and medication intake.

By doing these things, you’ll be able to improve your life insurance rating and general health dramatically.

The best way to raise your life insurance rating is by going through an agent who has access to insurance companies that are likely to give you a favorable response to your condition.

What Are The Best Life Insurance Companies For heart attack survivors?

Different insurance carriers have different risk appetites for certain conditions, which are reflected better in their underwriting and pricing terms. Simplified policy issue companies are state-dependent. The three best term insurance carriers for heart attack survivors are John Hancock, Pacific Life, and Prudential.

But risk appetite varies from company to company. The only way to bag the best possible insurance policy is by utilizing the services of an established and independent insurance agent. You can check out the case study mentioned below for a better understanding of the benefits they offer.

What Is The Application Process For Life Insurance after a heart attack

Irrespective of your condition, the insurance application process remains mostly the same for all applicants. Life insurance application happens to be an 8-step process, which includes selecting your policy terms, your insurance carrier, undergoing an examination, and signing documents (you can do this digitally too). Check out more information in the 8 step process is laid out for you here

Traditional Term Life Insurance After a Heart Attack

Although it’s possible to bag standard insurance rates if it has been years since your last mild heart attack, applicants are usually issued table rated or substandard offers. Your insurance health rating & the corresponding premiums may vary significantly.

To avoid surprises, we recommend using the services of an independent agent who knows how to handle applications of cardiac patients and can score you the best deals with receptive insurance carriers.

Seeking term life insurance after a heart attack is no different from seeking life insurance with conditions like AFib, Sleep Apnea, and other health conditions.

Terms Lengths

Term life insurance policies are available for term lengths ranging between 5 – 30 years. Policies with terms of 20 years are extremely popular. They come with a minimum face value of $50,000 with the policies terminating once the term period comes to an end. You can also renew them annually, albeit at vastly increased rates.

Likely Underwriting Classification After A Heart Attack

Life insurance applicants who have suffered from a heart attack are usually evaluated individually. Therefore, it’s important to get your story and facts right. For instance, 2 people from the same age group with the same underlying health condition may be issued different insurance quotes by the same carrier, depending on patient compliance reports and time elapsed since the last attack.

Since every case is unique, we’ve provided the following premium pricing scenarios based on what we’ve seen in our experience. Heart attack insurance applicants typically don’t qualify for the preferred and preferred plus ratings.

Standard Class – Heart attack patients should aim to bag this rating since it’s the best rating they can score. This rating is only offered to applicants who had a mild attack several years in the past (7 to 10+) and are in perfect health. But it is quite rare.

Table Rated Offers – If you don’t qualify for a standard class rating, you may be offered a table rated or substandard policy. Each table bump here increases the policy premium by over 25% over the policy’s standard price. Therefore, Table 2/B will cost you 1.5x times the policy’s standard rate. In certain extreme cases, the price may go up to as much as 4 – 16 times the standard policy rates. Although this may seem expensive, it can actually be cost-effective in certain cases.

Life insurance applicants whose last heart attack was more than three years ago will be issued a table-rated insurance offer. The table rating’s severity is going to be dependent on how severe your attack was, your overall health condition, family history, and follow-up reports.

Decline – Severe cases may be rejected outright. In such cases, you’ll have to settle for policies with a lower face value amount, which are also known as simplified issue or guaranteed issue policies. Contact us today to learn more about these options. 

Term Life Insurance Pricing After Heart Attack

We stated at the beginning of this piece that anybody could obtain life insurance at affordable rates after a heart attack. However, there’s a distinction between ‘affordable’ and ‘low-cost’ and ‘inexpensive’. It is important to note this because life insurance after a heart attack certainly won’t be cheap.

Coverage tends to be expensive when you evaluate it on a cost-to-benefit basis since benefits are often slashed to make premiums seem affordable. While that’s not ideal by any measure, we have to adjust to reality. The only method to obtain affordable life insurance after a heart attack is by slashing either the amount of the benefits or the coverage term.

Term life insurance is a straightforward deal. Provided the premiums are being paid on time and the insurance policy is in effect, the policy’s beneficiary will be issued the death benefits once the insured individual has passed away.

$500000 20 Year Term - Male



Table  B

Table D





















$200000 20 Year Term - Female



Table  B

Table D





















$100000 10 Year Term - Male



Table B

Table D





















$250000 10 Year Term Female



Table  B

Table D





















Case Study Pricing Term Life Insurance After A Heart Attack

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 after a heart attack, or any other impairment.

Gender: Male Age: 50

Tobacco: No

$250000 20 Year Term

Previous mild heart attack 7 1/2 years earlier.

Use of statin medication to control cholesterol and regular follow up with cardiologist.

Heart friendly diet, excellent build and blood pressure.

This looks like a rated case that could possibly get a standard class at a carrier depending on the insurers appetite for a heart attack. Let's take a look at the rates.

  • Standard
  • Table 2/B 
  • Table 4/D 

Life Insurance Company

Monthly Payment

$ 77.31

$ 77.32

$ 78.53


$ 94.73

Why You Should Use An Independent Agent When Shopping For Life Insurance after a heart attack

Apart from showing you how you can obtain life insurance after a heart attack, this article has also shown how insurance carriers employ different underwriting and pricing standards for certain conditions. This reflects the amount of risk that a company is willing to take for applicants with a certain condition. For instance, Prudential Financial might have a greater risk appetite for heart attack, compared to Banner.

You will find more information regarding a company’s risk appetite for a condition based on the underwriting and premium pricing terms they present you. Opting for a company-affiliated agent who only represents one carrier could mean that you’re overpaying by 30% - 40% for a policy that you could’ve gotten at much cheaper terms, had you gone with an independent insurance agent.

An independent insurance agent represents multiple insurance carriers and is aware of the fine print in their policies – thus helping you score the best possible deals at the cheapest prices. This could prove to be invaluable in the long run. 

Your Next Step

Thank you for choosing the Bequest Mutual to research life insurance after a heart attack. We are committed to a totally transparent process (we'll even share our computer screen with you if you'd like), and making the application process as painless as possible.

Should you have any question, please do not hesitate to give us a call or contact us via email.

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