How Family History Affects Your Life Insurance Rates

Your genes can determine a lot in your life, things like the color of your eyes, your height, and even whether you will develop any mental or physical health conditions. Your genes and your family history also help determine how much you will pay for life insurance, since insurers use information about your family’s medical history as one way to figure out how much of a risk you will be to insure. But have no fear, even if you have a lot of health issues in your background, you can still find a great affordable life insurance policy that will provide the coverage your family needs.

How Your Family History Is Taken Into Consideration

circle with two people in it and a small child in between them
Your family’s history plays a role in life insurance companies determining how much of a risk you are.

When you apply for a life insurance policy, you will have to go through an underwriting process, during which insurance companies will require you to undergo a physical exam, as well as give them your medical history and your family’s medical history to help determine how much of a risk you are to cover. This means that, even if you are healthy, but your family history has some serious and possibly hereditary illnesses lurking in it, you could still be charged a higher rate.

When looking at your family’s medical history, most life insurance companies will only be concerned with any major hereditary illnesses that could affect you. There is a list of illnesses or procedures that life insurance companies will look for in your family history, including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Angioplasty
  • Bypass surgery
  • Valve surgery
  • Arrhythmia

Finding A Great Plan

family of 3 under an umbrella
Life insurance is a great secure way to make sure your family is protected when you can no longer provide.

Even if your family has a history of any of the above-mentioned conditions, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find affordable life insurance. There are many different kinds of life insurance policies to choose from, which is why comparing plans is extremely important. Each life insurance company has its own guidelines of what they will look for in your medical history and in your family’s medical history, and how seriously they view each condition can differ. For example, some insurance companies might consider cardiovascular health problems more concerning than cancer, while others will not.

Your family has financial obligations that will not go away when you are gone; they will need your help more than ever with their expenses, and the last thing you want them to worry about is money while they are grieving. There are many great affordable life insurance options to choose from that will provide enough money for your family, for a low monthly price. The best way to find the right life insurance policy for you and your specific needs is by working with an agent who specializes in life insurance. We have provided the top life insurance companies in the nation below; each offers hassle-free assistance and the most competitive rates. Always check multiple sites to make sure you have bargaining power and know the advantages of each company. Make sure a hard time isn’t made harder by a financial burden, check life insurance rates today.

Common Health Conditions that Affect Life Insurance Rates

Roughly 133 million Americans – nearly half the population – suffer from at least one chronic condition, such as hypertension, heart disease, or arthritis. That’s a lot of people – so that many people can’t all get denied life insurance, right? The short answer is no, because there are so many different types of life insurance policies, even for people with health conditions, indulging terminal ones. That is one of the great things about life insurance: there’s a policy for every type of person. While this is good news, the one caveat is that policies can often be much more expensive for people with health problems: having health conditions will affect your life insurance rates, specifically the following common health conditions.

High Blood Pressureblood pressure cuff and medicine in a pill box

High blood pressure is very common: in fact, around one in three Americans suffer from it. Because of this, life insurance companies generally will not dismiss or label people as high risk just for having high blood pressure; however, because it can lead to more serious conditions, like heart disease or stroke, life insurance companies will increase your premiums if you have hypertension.  But if you can prove that you are taking the necessary steps to control or lower your pressure, you can save money on your premiums.

High Cholesterol 

This is another one of those conditions that seem like no big deal, but having high cholesterol also puts you at a higher risk of developing other conditions such as heart disease and stroke. Because of this, life insurance companies will consider you a higher risk, which means you will pay more in premiums unless you can prove you are managing your high cholesterol with medication or you’re working towards keeping it under control. If you’re doing things like making changes to your diet and losing weight to lower your bad cholesterol levels, you should be able to find affordable premiums from a reputable life insurance company. 

Diabetesdiabetes monitor with the numbers 128 on the screen

If you are diagnosed with adult onset diabetes or type 2 diabetes, you are at a higher risk for developing other serious conditions, like heart disease, renal failure, and even blindness. If you can prove that you are keeping your diabetes under control, your life insurance company will consider you less of a risk and offer you lower premiums. 


Roughly 36.5% of American adults are considered obese, with that number most likely rising due to the pandemic. Obesity can lead to health problems like heart disease, cancer, stroke, or diabetes, meaning if you are obese, you will be at a higher risk for life insurance companies to cover, and you’ll get charged higher premiums. But if you can get your weight down by making some lifestyle changes, you can save money on life insurance premiums. 

Mental Health Conditions

If you suffer from a mental health condition, you can still qualify for life insurance. For example, if you suffer from depression, you can still get an affordable life insurance policy as long as you can provide documentation that your condition is well managed. However, for more severe cases or those that are not well managed, it can be harder to get a policy. This includes people who:

  • Have dementia or Alzheimer’s
  • Reside in a hospital or nursing home
  • Have recently been rehabilitated for drug or alcohol use


illustration of a woman sitting in a chair with an IV stand next to her
Life insurance approval and premiums will depend on what stage the cancer is in.

Most people think that having cancer means an automatic denial for life insurance, but you can get life insurance even if you have been diagnosed with cancer. There are different stages of this disease, which can determine how much you will pay for premiums: the more advanced the stage, the more expensive your premiums will be. The way life insurance companies will view your case will also depend on the type of cancer you have been diagnosed with: for example, prostate cancer has a lower survival rate than other cancers, so your premiums will be higher because you are a higher risk for them to cover.

Need Help Finding An Affordable Life Insurance Policy?

If something were to happen to you, your family would be facing emotional hardships, as well as financial ones. Life insurance is a great way to help your loved ones with those financial hardships: the money they receive will help pay for expenses related to your death, and any other debts or bills they have. There are many different kinds of life insurance policies to choose from, including whole life insurance, term life insurance, and final expense insurance, so if you’re not sure where to begin, consider using online tools, or speaking with an agent. The right policy for you is out there! We have provided the top insurance companies that offer life insurance policies below; each can give you hassle-free assistance and the most competitive rates in the nation. Always check multiple sites to make sure you have bargaining power and know the advantages of each company. Make sure a hard time isn’t made harder by a financial burden, check life insurance rates today.