Can You Get a Final Expense Policy With a Pre-Existing Condition?

you don't need perfect health to buy a final expense plan
Kim Wilhelm CEO of Final Expense Direct Life Insurance
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Written by Kim Wilhelm

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Last Updated 30 Nov 2021

The older you get, the more likely you are to have a pre-existing condition. At Final Expense Direct, we speak with people daily who have some health issues and are looking for life insurance. 

It may surprise you to find out what it means to have a pre-existing condition when you want to buy life insurance as a senior.


What is a Pre-Existing Condition?

A pre-existing condition is a health issue you had before you applied for a life insurance policy. Some pre-existing conditions could be something that has come with age, while others happened at birth or at some point during your lifetime. While some pre-existing conditions are treatable and can resolve, others are terminal, or will be around until you die.

About 75% of seniors in the United States have a chronic condition, which is a health issue that lasts longer than three months. 

Almost half have more than two chronic conditions.

Some of the most common chronic conditions in seniors that are also considered pre-existing conditions are:

With those figures and conditions in mind, how does having a pre-existing condition affect getting life insurance as a senior?

How Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Life Insurance

When you buy life insurance, there are several options to choose from. The traditional way to buy life insurance has always been:

  1. Fill out the application
  2. Complete a health interview
  3. Complete a medical exam
  4. Underwriting makes a decision
  5. You are approved, denied, or offered coverage at a nonstandard rating (more money than what you got quoted)

Life insurance, just like other forms of insurance, is based on risk. The more at risk you are to die before your estimated mortality age, the MORE YOU PAY for life insurance.

That’s why people who are really healthy and don’t have pre-existing conditions get the best deal on life insurance.

But what if you’re looking for senior life insurance, with a pre-existing condition or two, and don’t want to go through the traditional life insurance process?

Luckily, you have other options.

Best Life Insurance Options for Pre-Existing Conditions

Life insurance for seniors isn’t always as easy to get as life insurance for other groups. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get affordable life insurance coverage to take care of your loved ones when you pass away.

What if we told you there are life insurance options specifically created for seniors, even those with pre-existing conditions?

Yes, you can not only qualify, but get approved for senior life insurance that offers:

  • Same day approval
  • Coverage the first day you apply
  • Rates that NEVER increase
  • Coverage that NEVER decreases
  • Cash value savings account
  • Coverage up to age 121

But...how?

When seniors are looking for life insurance, they usually don’t need a whole lot of coverage. The kids are grown, most debts are paid off, and you’re living your golden years in retirement, often on a fixed income.

The best option seniors can choose for life insurance with pre-existing conditions is final expense life insurance. Final expense insurance is easy to get approved for and it takes a lot less time between the application process and getting approved.

There are a few simple health questions, but NO invasive telephone interview or medical exam to complete.

If you’re a senior looking for life insurance but you’re worried about qualifying because of a pre-existing condition, final expense life insurance is the right choice for you.

These are the two best options for final expense life insurance for seniors with pre-existing conditions.


Simplified Issue Final Expense Life Insurance 

The first final expense life insurance option is a simplified issue policy. With this policy, you have to answer a few basic health questions, like:

  • Are you currently on oxygen for a lung or respiratory illness?
  • Are you currently hospitalized, confined to a bed, in a nursing home, or on hospice care?
  • Do you need assistance with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, feeding, transferring, toileting, or continence?
  • Have you been diagnosed with a terminal illness that could be fatal within 24 months?
  • Have you been diagnosed or treated for AIDS or HIV?
  • Have you been diagnosed, treated by a doctor, or had surgery for any of the following conditions in the last 24 months: heart attack or blockage, heart valve disorder, stroke or transient ischemic attack?


The questions may be worded differently depending on the company, and the length of time could also vary. If you can answer NO to all of these questions, you should get approved for a simplified issue final expense life insurance policy for seniors.

If you can’t answer No to all the questions, don’t worry, because you have another option.

Free Final Expense Quote

Guaranteed Issue Final Expense Life Insurance

For those seniors with serious pre-existing conditions, there is a final expense life insurance policy, especially for you.

Guaranteed issue final expense life insurance is exactly what the name suggests – a life insurance policy that is guaranteed to be issued.

This type of life insurance is ONLY for seniors, no other age group can even get this type of life insurance policy.

With a guaranteed issue final expense life insurance policy, there are NO health questions and NO medical exam. You apply for the policy and as long as you can afford the payments, you’re approved for coverage.

This option is more expensive than the simplified issue option, but if you can’t qualify for simplified issue, guaranteed issue is the best option for you because you can’t be turned down.


If I Have a Pre-Existing Condition, Do I Need a Medical Exam to Qualify for Final Expense Life Insurance?

No, you don’t need a medical exam to qualify for final expense life insurance if you have a pre-existing condition. Depending on the pre-existing condition, you might get approved for life insurance with a medical exam for a cheaper price.

But, if you have a pre-existing condition, you don’t have to take a medical exam to qualify for final expense life insurance. You can choose a simplified issue or guaranteed issue final expense life insurance instead. 

And you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at just how affordable final expense life insurance without a medical exam is.

The best part about simplified or guaranteed issue final expense life insurance? 

You can get approved in just one phone call!

Yup, you read that right. Instead of having to wait weeks after applying and completing the interview and medical exam, you can get approved in just a few minutes.

At Final Expense Direct, final expense life insurance is ALL WE DO!

Our simple, 4-step process makes it as easy as possible for you to get final expense life insurance coverage in just one phone call.

  1. Call us at 1-877-674-0236
  2. Speak with one of our licensed agents
  3. Answer a few questions so we can help you decide which life insurance plan is best for your needs and health
  4. Get approved in just a few minutes.


Yes, it really is that easy. We have over 35 years of experience working with the best final expense life insurance companies to offer the top rated life insurance for seniors.

You’ve worked hard your entire life, and while you may have the time to spend on the phone now that you’re retired, WHY would you? 

The traditional life insurance process takes hours of your time you’ll never get back. And as a senior, who knows how much time you actually have?

Let Final Expense Direct give you those hours back, so you can spend them doing something you enjoy, like playing with your grandkids, hunting, or fishing. 

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need if I Have a Pre-Existing Condition?

The amount of life insurance you need will vary based on your personal and financial needs. Final expense life insurance is often called burial insurance or funeral insurance because the coverage is usually bought to pay for your funeral costs and other end-of-life expenses.

Right now, the average funeral with burial and viewing costs about $8,515. The cost for a cremation with burial and viewing is cheaper, around $6,515. Of course, the costs can vary greatly depending on where you live and what services and items you want at your funeral.

Other end-of-life expenses you might have covered by final expense insurance are medical bills, living expenses for your spouse, and paying off other debts like a car loan or credit cards.

If you’re still unsure how much life insurance you need, call us at 1-877-674-0236. Our experienced and knowledgeable team can help you get life insurance coverage in place to pay for your needs when you pass away.

Final Expense Life Insurance Underwriting if You Have a Pre-Existing Condition

If you want final expense life insurance but are worried about the underwriting process because of your pre-existing condition, stop holding your breath.

The underwriting process is much easier and far less intrusive for final expense life insurance than traditional life insurance. With the traditional process, the life insurance underwriting department will require: 

  • A completed application
  • A telephone interview with more in-depth health, financial, and lifestyle questions
  • A medical exam, including blood draw and urine sample
  • Reports from the DMV about your driving and claims history
  • Medical Information Bureau (MIB) check to verify the medical information you provided in your application and phone interview


There could also be more checks and balances required by the life insurance company before they decide whether to approve your application. This process is not only cumbersome and invasive, it can also take several weeks to complete.

The final expense life insurance underwriting process is much faster and easier:

  • Answer a few health questions
  • Complete the application
  • Get a decision from the life insurance company


Remember, if you can’t answer No to the health questions asked, you can still get approved for guaranteed issue final expense life insurance.

At Final Expense Direct, we make this process as easy for you as possible. We complete the application with you on the phone, submit it to the life insurance company, and get a response in just a few minutes. 

Final expense life insurance for seniors = approval in ONE phone call.

Pre-Existing Condition and Final Expense Life Insurance Riders

A life insurance rider is supplemental coverage you can add to the policy to customize it. Some are free while others have a small cost to add to your final expense life insurance.

Even if you have a pre-existing condition, you can still qualify for riders on your final expense life insurance policy.

The type of rider and cost varies by life insurance company. Some valuable riders you should consider for your final expense life insurance are accelerated death benefit riders, also called living benefits. These riders can give you access to your life insurance death benefit while you’re still alive to help with expenses when living with a qualifying illness.

  • Chronic illness rider: If you are diagnosed with a chronic illness and cannot perform at least two of the six activities of daily living (ADLs).
  • Critical illness rider: If you are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness (cancer, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, etc.).
  • Terminal illness rider: If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness and given less than a year to live.

The amount of living benefit you get will reduce the death benefit your beneficiary receives when you die. But the great thing about these riders is that you get a lump sum amount to do whatever you want with it, whether that’s paying for medical bills or going on a vacation with your loved ones.

If an accidental death benefit rider is offered, this is another one to consider. This rider provides an additional death benefit amount if you die in an accident. Depending on your pre-existing condition, you still might have a greater chance of dying accidentally than because of a health issue.

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Benefits of Final Expense Life Insurance if You Have a Pre-Existing Condition

There are LOTS of benefits to getting final expense life insurance, even if you have a pre-existing condition. 

  • No invasive telephone interview
  • No medical exam
  • Easy issued policy
  • Level premiums that never increase
  • Fixed death benefit that never decreases (unless you use a living benefit rider)
  • Permanent protection for your entire life
  • Cash value that grows over time
  • Tax-free death benefit

Other Common Uses for Final Expense Life Insurance With a Pre-Existing Condition

While final expense life insurance for seniors is usually purchased to cover end-of-life expenses, this isn’t the only common use for this type of life insurance:

  • Burial life insurance plan with pre-existing condition
  • Cremation life insurance plan with pre-existing condition
  • Debt payment payoff life insurance plan with pre-existing condition
  • Deceased spouse income replacement life insurance plan with pre-existing condition
  • Funeral life insurance plan with pre-existing condition
  • Legacy life insurance gift plan for family and loved ones with pre-existing condition
  • Medical or doctor bill expense life insurance plan with pre-existing condition
  • Mortgage payment protection life insurance plan with pre-existing condition
  • Mortgage payment payoff life insurance plan with pre-existing condition
  • Prepaid funeral life insurance plan with pre-existing condition


At Final Expense Direct, we can help you with any of these plans, plus more. How much you pay for final expense life insurance plans is based on your age, answers to health questions, and how much coverage you need to cover the plan.

What to Do if You’ve Been Denied Life Insurance for a Pre-Existing Condition

If you’ve already applied for life insurance and been denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, you can still get coverage.

Sometimes, the life insurance company just isn’t the right fit. There are dozens of life insurance companies, and all of them have different criteria to meet to be approved for coverage. It could just be that you simply didn’t find the right life insurance company for you.

While you may have been denied life insurance coverage for seniors, that doesn’t mean you’re uninsurable. At Final Expense Direct, we only work with the best final expense life insurance companies around. That means we can find you a quality final expense life insurance policy that was made for you and your pre-existing condition.

When you work with Final Expense Direct, you don’t have to worry about getting denied for life insurance with a pre-existing condition. Based on your answers to a few simple health questions, our agents can find a top-rated life insurance company that will approve you despite your pre-existing condition.

Finding the right life insurance agent can make all the difference in the world when trying to get approved with a pre-existing condition.

When you call Final Expense Direct, you don’t have to worry about denied life insurance applications. Our goal is to provide you and your loved one’s peace of mind, and for many, we can do that in just one phone call.

Remember, Final Expense Direct provides life insurance for seniors, even with pre-existing conditions. That’s all we do, and we’re very good at it.

Whether you’re looking for funeral life insurance, burial life insurance, or just need life insurance as a senior, call Final Expense Direct. 

Your pre-existing condition isn’t stopping you from living your life. Why let it stop you from getting approved for life insurance?

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