Uninsurable?

Lisa wants to know what to do if your husband is unable to get life insurance for various reasons. Dave says if your spouse is uninsurable, you're probably stuck.

QUESTION: Lisa from MyTotalMoneyMakeover.com wants to know what to do if your husband is unable to get life insurance for various reasons. Dave says if your spouse is uninsurable, you’re probably stuck.

ANSWER: If they’re uninsurable, you’re stuck. About the only thing you can do is look into what’s called “guaranteed issue” insurance plans. One of them is often a mortgage insurance plan. You’ll pay 10–20 times more for that than you would the same amount of term life insurance, but you can’t get term life insurance. At least you could make sure your house got paid off; that’s mortgage life insurance. It typically comes in the mail from your mortgage company, and they will guarantee the issue on that.

You can get other guaranteed issue amounts like $10,000 or $20,000 through your checking account at your bank or something like that. They’re basically junk offerings for the rest of us, but if you’re uninsurable, it’s all you can get. You don’t want too much of it, but you can at least take the edge off of not having insurance.

I don’t know of a job that makes you uninsurable. It might make you rated, but it doesn’t make you uninsurable. A high-rise window washer can get insurance. You’re insurable. The question is where you’re going to be after that—how much they’re going to charge you or how they’re going to rate you.

Lifestyle is something you can choose to change. For instance, if you smoke, your life insurance costs twice as much as a non-smoker. Quit. Yet another reason that this is stupid. It’s very, very, very expensive, and you smell bad and your health insurance is going to cost you more. Your healthcare costs are going to be astronomical—all the things associated with smoking like death and those little ideas. And your life insurance is twice as much.

Maybe you weigh too much. If your height-weight ratio is too high, they’re going to rate you and maybe not be willing to insure you. Again, that’s a choice you can choose to change. These are things you can change for a lot of reasons, not to mention the life insurance issue.