Can I get a life insurance policy with high blood pressure?

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Important things to know...

  • If you have high blood pressure or hypertension, you can get covered with life insurance
  • Hypertension affects many of our organs in a negative manner if allowed to linger untreated for a longer period
  • High blood pressure has a definite effect on the heart, kidneys, the eyes, and the possibility of heart attack and stroke
  • With proper treatment, lifestyle changes, and doctor’s care, a person can receive reasonable life insurance prices depending on a person’s current health and medical history

High blood pressure, or hypertension as the condition is known in medical circles, will not usually stop a person from being covered with life insurance. There are many factors that go into life insurance underwriting which is the process of qualifying a person for coverage based on several factors.

It depends on how long a person has had hypertension, the level of the blood pressure, and any mitigating circumstances such as height and weight, any heart problems, and whether there are other medical conditions that need to be considered.

Learn more about high blood pressure below and make sure to check out our free insurance comparison tool above!

What is high blood pressure and how does it affect us?


High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the pressure or force of the blood as it passes through our arteries. It is measured with two numbers, and a normal blood pressure is at or below 120/80.

The top number is measuring the pressure when the heart beats, and blood is pumped out and away from the heart. The bottom number is when the heart is at rest, and blood is coming back into the heart.

The top number is called the systolic pressure, and the bottom number is the diastolic pressure. If a person’s blood pressure were to rise above the 120/80 levels and remain there, it would be considered “high blood pressure.

A person who has elevated blood pressure is usually not immediately aware of it because it has no outward symptom. The only way to find out is to have a doctor, nurse or yourself measure for it and discover it that way.

You can buy a cuff for your wrist at your local drug store which will measure blood pressure.

Long-term affects of High Blood Pressure

Over time, hypertension is very hard on our internal organs, as it makes the heart work harder, it can cause kidney disease, eye damage, hardening of the arteries, and stroke in the brain.

It is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of the population in America suffers from some level of hypertension. It is related to poor diet, lack of exercise, overweight, genetic reasons, a high salt diet, and tobacco and alcohol use.

How is high blood pressure treated?

Treatment for hypertension is handled by changes in lifestyle, such as losing weight, dietary changes, quitting tobacco and lessening the use of alcohol, and by getting more exercise. It is also treated with medications that lower the blood pressure internally.

How does high blood pressure affect the purchase of life insurance?


High blood pressure is a red flag for life insurance underwriters. Not only is the track record clear on how continued high blood pressure affects our bodies, the fact that it leads to other problems is also clear.

After all, the science of life insurance underwriting is based on probabilities, and when the probabilities of long-term high blood pressure are fairly visible and likely, then there are going to be ramifications.

Just because an individual does have an elevated blood pressure reading does not mean an automatic decline, but there is a good possibility that an additional premium rating will be added.

The extent of a rating will depend on how long a person has had high blood pressure and the consistent reading of the blood pressure over several different readings.

Companion Health Problems Affect the Issue of Hypertension

As mentioned, hypertension affects more than just a reading on a machine. Over time it affects lots of different organs that are vital to our health. The most important organ is our heart.

If a person suffers from hypertension over an extended period, it can result in heart issues such as cardiovascular disease, which is clogged arteries, blood clots, stroke, and heart attack.

If a person has enough problems with plaque building up in the heart arteries, a heart attack can result because the heart becomes starved when it does not receive enough oxygen and nutrients.

The damage of a heart attack can cause some of the heart muscle to die, further reducing its efficiency, and even leading to the death of the individual.

High blood pressure can affect and make worse other conditions such as diabetes, eye problems, kidney disease and circulation problems.

The constant pressure on arteries becomes more and more of a problem with these organs because they are forced to function at stress levels higher than normal.

Underwriting Life Insurance Candidates Who Have High Blood Pressure


When a person who has hypertension applies for life insurance, the life insurance underwriter in the home office wants to know a lot of information about that individual. If the candidate has a high reading when the paramedical exam takes place that is just one indication of hypertension.

A thorough history of the disease will be ordered from the person’s doctor, and all of the information will be factored in.

Many people who have their blood pressure under control with doctor care and who are taking medication can be issued policies at standard rates. \

Many who are at higher risk will have some additional rating that will be applied to the premium of a high blood pressure candidate. Just how much depends on the current readings, the candidate’s history and the lifestyle of the proposed insured.

The process is all about the degree of incidence of various factors that are judged to be “risk factors.”

If a candidate has other such risk situations such as being overweight, smoking, excess use of alcohol, other diseases, and stress factors, all that information will be considered. In effect, there are different levels of premium ratings that can occur.

Age is a factor as is the length of time a person has had hypertension. If a person is taking medication and has a good track record of consistency, that can work if favor of the candidate.

In Conclusion

Hypertension is a silent, deceptive disease that works on our bodies over a period. Our dietary habits, lack of exercise, obesity, smoking and the use of alcohol are primary problems in controlling our blood pressure.

People who have high blood pressure can get life insurance unless they have other mitigating conditions that work with the high blood pressure to undermine our health. Lifestyle changes along with medication help to lower blood pressure and it takes dedication and following doctor’s care to make it work.

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