What’s considered a disability?
Disability is a broad term for a range of physical or mental conditions that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities and interact with the world around them. There are many types of disabilities, including those that affect:
- Hearing, vision, or other senses
- Thinking and remembering
- Mental health
Disabilities can be mild or severe, and hidden or obvious. Still the question remains: Can you get life insurance while on disability or if you’re disabled? In general, the more of an effect the disability has on your life expectancy, the more it will impact your life insurance options.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifies that people with disabilities can’t be denied certain services. Since disabilities can affect your overall health and life expectancy, however, life insurance companies are allowed to consider your disability when determining how much life insurance to offer you, and what to charge for your premium. How you manage your disability, the severity of your disability, and your family history all affect how your disability impacts your insurance options and rates.
How does disability insurance work? There are several factors insurance companies consider when they issue life insurance for people with disabilities:
- The cause of your disability. Life insurance while on disability is generally easier to insure because an accident typically has less of an effect on overall mortality. Disabilities caused by chronic illnesses can be trickier to cover, depending on the severity of the illness and how well it’s managed.
- Medical treatments and medications. A life insurance company will assess things like any treatments, prescription drugs you take, and previous surgeries or hospitalizations.
- Whether you’re able to work or not. Some disabilities are able to be managed in a way that still allows you to work, while others might limit your ability to do daily tasks. Your life insurance company will take that into consideration, and your current job status can affect the amount of life insurance you’re able to buy.
- Your overall health, including the use of tobacco products.
Types of life insurance for people with disabilities
Does term life insurance cover disability or people who are disabled? What about other options? The products available to you will ultimately depend on how serious your disability is. If your disability is relatively mild, you may qualify for conventional term life or permanent life insurance coverage.
- Term life insurance is the most popular kind of life insurance policy, because it provides flexible terms and affordable coverage for everyday families. With term life insurance, your family will get a guaranteed payout should anything happen to you during the set term of the policy.
- Permanent life insurance, on the other hand, offers you lifelong protection with no term expiration. This type of life insurance also accumulates cash value that you can borrow against or use as collateral for a loan.
So, what kind of insurance do you get with a disability? For people with more serious pre-existing conditions, no medical exam life insurance might be a better choice. Fidelity Life offers a wide range of no-exam options, including:
- Final expense: This type of insurance is available for people 50 and older. It provides affordable coverage, and helps cover things like funeral costs and medical expenses.
- Simplified issue: This type of policy is designed to provide a limited amount of life insurance quickly, without the typical wait from traditional policies that require a medical exam. Simplified issue uses a health questionnaire rather than an exam to answer relevant health questions.
- Guaranteed issue: This type of policy offers no-questions-asked coverage, without the need for a medical exam or health questions. While coverage amounts are lower and premiums are higher than other types of life insurance, it can provide protection if you’ve been turned down for other options.
It’s important to take time to review your options carefully. Our team can help if you want to compare policies or have questions about buying life insurance with disability benefits.
Tips for people with disabilities to improve life insurance eligibility
Work on Your Wellness
When you apply for life insurance, your insurer wants to know you’re working to maximize your health and lifespan. There are plenty of ways to maintain your health while living with a disability, from scheduling regular checkups to keeping up with your prescribed medications. To help increase your overall wellness and your life insurance options, consider taking steps like these:
- Get your heart rate up for 20-45 minutes a day.
- Eat healthy and minimize fried, packaged, or sugary foods.
- Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol and work with your doctor to stay within a normal range.
- Quit smoking or using other nicotine products, like e-cigarettes or chewing tobacco.
Your life insurance needs are as unique as you are, especially when you have special considerations like a disability. That’s why life insurance comes in a variety of types, amounts, and price points to meet your needs. Every insurer has its own guidelines, so make sure to compare options and quotes before you choose. Need help? Fidelity Life makes it easy to compare prices online for a variety of policies, or you can call our team to help you find the best fit.
Explore No Exam Insurance Options
If your disability is severe or you have other health complications, don’t worry: you still have options. No exam life insurance provides coverage without a medical exam, so it can be a good choice for people who are older or have health issues. Talk to an agent about the best policies for you, or get started by exploring our no exam coverage options.
Consider life insurance riders
If you’re living with a disability, a life insurance rider can offer additional protection or benefits to your policy in case your condition worsens at any point. One common rider is the terminal illness rider, also known as an accelerated death benefit. This rider allows you to withdraw some of your death benefit if you are diagnosed as having less than a year to live, which can help your family cover medical bills or other end-of-life expenses. Explore terminal illness riders from Fidelity Life.