Can you get life insurance with COPD?

Getting diagnosed with a lung disease could be upsetting. Several issues including pneumonia, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can affect your lungs. But here the question is: is there any chance to get life insurance with COPD? 

Securing a life insurance plan with COPD can be a daunting task, but with some good research, the right approach, and a little determination, you can get one. However, the type of your insurance plan and its rates will depend on your particular diagnosis, treatment, and your overall health. 

In this blog post, we will cover life insurance with COPD. We will talk about how COPD affects life insurance and the challenges you may have to face with this disease. We will also discuss the best insurance policies to get with COPD, but start with the basic information about COPD. Read out the blog to know more! 

What is COPD? 

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a long-term lung disease that makes breathing difficult for the suspected person. Coughing, wheezing, and mucus production are some of the common symptoms, however, there is still no cure for this disease. 

However, some treatments can help you limit the growth of your disease and also regulate the symptoms. Smoking is one of the leading causes of this disease. 

How COPD Affects Life Insurance

Having COPD doesn’t disqualify you from life insurance policies. But having a pre-existing condition, particularly a severe one like COPD, can raise your cost of insurance policy. When you apply for life insurance with COPD, the insurer will allocate your health rating according to your age, health, and family medical history. In turn, your health rating will decide your monthly premium payment. 

Can you get Life Insurance with COPD?

Yes, you can certainly get life insurance with COPD. In case you have severe COPD you can still get coverage for guaranteed issue life insurance. There is neither a medical exam nor a medical questionnaire for the applicant with this coverage. So a person even having a severe pre-existing condition can get this plan but the premiums are surely high as the insurer is at great risk. 

Life Insurance Options for Different COPD Stages 

1- Mild COPD 

If you have mild COPD and no other health issues, you may qualify for a level death benefit. You will get instant coverage meaning your policy is effective from the first day and you don’t get a waiting period of 2 or 3 years. 

Moreover, in case of your death, your aligned beneficiaries will receive 100% of the lump sum amount. 

2- Moderate COPD 

If you are suffering from moderate COPD and have health conditions not good enough to get a level death benefit plan, first-day benefits or hybrid first-day coverage could be your next choice. 

You can get this plan even if you are on oxygen but not on oxygen for 24 hours a day. Additionally, you will get first-day benefits with additional coverage provided with time. 

3- Severe COPD 

In case your COPD case is severe or at end-stage, you will qualify for guaranteed acceptance life insurance. It’s the plan you can get if you are on oxygen for 24 hours a day. 

However, if you die during the first 2 years after getting the plan, your beneficiary will receive only the premium you have paid along with interest (generally 10%). Keep in mind that these policies have graded or modified death benefits none of them offer you a level death benefit. 


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Getting the Best Life Insurance with COPD 

The best life insurance plans for COPD may depend on whether you qualify for a standard component i.e.; cash value accumulation. When you pay a monthly premium payment, a part of it goes toward building cash value and the other part covers the insurance costs. The cash value is something separated from the death benefit and you can access it anytime you need it. 

Here are some of the options available for COPD patients

1- Permanent Life Insurance 

Permanent life insurance is a type of life insurance that covers the policyholder for his entire life until and unless he pays the premiums. However, it is further divided into types:

  • Whole Life Insurance 

It comes with a guaranteed growth of cash value decided by the insurance company. The premium rate and death benefit remain the same throughout the policy, no matter what. 

  • Universal Life Insurance 

Just like whole life insurance, universal life also has a cash value component, but its growth rate depends on the current market rates. Based on the insurer, the policyholder can also change his premium payment from time to time but within certain limits. 

2- Final Expense Life Insurance 

It is a small permanent life insurance plan for individuals above 50. Unlike other types of permanent life insurance plans, it doesn’t replace lost income or come up with cash value accumulation. Instead, it offers a small death benefit to pay for the funeral and burial expenses of the insured. 

What are the factors that can affect the underwriting of life insurance with COPD? 

Typically, insurance providers consider your age, overall health, smoking history, gender, BMI, and lifestyle to determine your eligibility to get an insurance plan and your premium rates. Along with them, the insurer may also want to know some details about your COPD like: 

  • When were you first diagnosed? 
  • Have you ever experienced significant weight loss after getting diagnosed?
  • What is the severity of your symptoms such as frequency of respiratory infections? 
  • The treatment plan you are following or medications you are taking.
  • Do you smoke?
  • Are you doing work despite COPD? 
  • Do you use an oxygen cylinder? 
  • Have you ever been hospitalized? 

Furthermore, if you opt for a standard life insurance plan like whole or universal, you have to undergo a medical exam. The insurance company also accesses your medical records to thoroughly understand the severity of your disease. Based on your medical history and report, the insurer will decide whether to offer you a plan and if so, your premium payment. 

How to apply for Life Insurance with COPD? 

If you have COPD, it is recommended to work with an insurance agent who is professional and experienced. An agent will suggest the best plan according to your health condition and financial needs. Trust him and tell him all the facts about your illness so he can better understand your situation. In this way, you can secure better life insurance with COPD at reasonable rates.