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How to Appeal a Life Insurance Application Denial

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Life insurance companies require medical and lifestyle backgrounds to determine if you are insurable. Those with severe pre-existing medical conditions may be denied because the risk is deemed too high by the insurance company. While smoking and drinking usually increase premium costs, they also can be grounds for application denial as can extreme lifestyle activities such as sky diving. If you have been denied life insurance, you may be able to appeal the decision or move on to another insurance carrier willing to assume the risk of insuring you.

Request from the company in writing the reason for life insurance denial. This may be provided to you in the denial letter; if it isn't, you have a legal right to have a written summary of why you were denied insurance.

Review the reason objectively to determine if it is accurate. Insurance underwriters are human and do make mistakes. If your denial is based on inaccurate information, contact the insurance company immediately to find out where the error occurred and ask the insurance company to reconsider your application.

Obtain at least one doctor's explanation about any medical condition you have that caused a denial of insurance. Some conditions may seem grave, but in reality are not as serious as they sound. Get expert opinions in writing and submit them to the insurance company with a letter requesting reconsideration of your application.

Ask the insurance company if the policy can be issued if certain exclusions are written into the policy. For example, if you were denied because you are an avid sky diver or pilot, ask if death due to these types of activities can be excluded from the policy. This protects your family from accidental death in other areas, such as a car accident, but reduces the risk for the insurance company.

Apply at another insurance company. Each insurance company has its own standards for underwriting. Just because one company denied you doesn't mean that every one will.


Be honest in your applications. If you are denied, do not alter your application at another company to increase your chances of being insured. If you do, and the insurance company finds out you lied, death benefits can be denied even after all premiums were paid.


Kimberlee Leonard has trained more hundreds of professionals in telemarketing, sales and promotional events over the past 20 years. She brings humor and simplicity to her writing whether writing for small local brands such as Hawaii's or major marketing sites such as Kimberlee is a proud fourth generation Hawaii local.

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