High Cholesterol: Life Insurance Approved at the Best Rates

High cholesterol life insurance approvals, are they affordable?  If you have high cholesterol, applying for life insurance can be a daunting task. Many people feel as though affordable life insurance with high triglycerides or high cholesterol is out of reach.

Some have even been denied life insurance because of blood work, and others have been quoted outrageous rates that they cannot afford.

High cholesterol can impact your eligibility for life insurance. However, it does not automatically disqualify you.

There are steps that you can take to improve your chances and get quality, affordable term life insurance even with high cholesterol.

Apply for life insurance when you are young.  Live a healthy lifestyle.

Aside from that, applying with an independent underwriting expert is the best thing you can do. Someone who knows which companies are best for high cholesterol life insurance cases.


Not every life insurance company will give you their best health classes with cholesterol problems.

Therefore at Heart Life Insurance we will your application with multiple life insurance companies, giving you more options and the ability to choose your best policy.

Here is a handy guide to this article, feel free to head directly to the section you need.

This article is designed to help you understand what insurance companies look for and what you can do to improve your chances of getting affordable life insurance with cholesterol problems.

We will go over what cholesterol is first because there is confusion about good cholesterol, bad cholesterol and what they mean to your health. Then we will explain how it relates to your life insurance qualifications and what you should do to improve your chances when applying.

By the time we are done, you should have all the information and tools you need to find quality life insurance that you can afford, even with high cholesterol.


While high cholesterol itself often has no noticeable symptoms, having high cholesterol leads to heart disease which is the leading cause of death in the United States.  Your body actually needs a certain level of cholesterol to function properly and produces it naturally.  However unhealthy levels can lead to atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attacks, and other major problems.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in the fats (lipids) in your blood. When you have high cholesterol, this fat can start to build up in the walls of your arteries that carry blood throughout the body.

This buildup can cause the arteries to harden and stiffen (a condition called atherosclerosis), or cause the arteries to narrow, making it harder for blood to flow through them.

This is often the starting point for many heart and blood flow issues and can eventually lead to serious health problems.

Not All Cholesterol Is Bad

These lipids in your blood perform crucial functions, and some of the cholesterol attached to them is good to have at high levels. There are two important types of cholesterol:

  • Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL): This is commonly referred to as the “bad” cholesterol. It is the type that causes plaque buildup in the arteries and raises the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
  • High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL): This is thought of as the “good” good cholesterol because it absorbs cholesterol and carries it back through the liver, where it is flushed from the body. High levels of HDL lowers your risk of heart disease and other issues.

When your doctor does blood work, he or she will check the levels of LDL, HDL, total triglycerides, and total cholesterol. All of these numbers affect your health in one way or another, and all will be taken into consideration when applying for life insurance.

What affects your cholesterol levels?

  • The foods you eat; eating too much saturated or trans fats will raise your cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Weight; being overweight can lower your HDL (good cholesterol) levels
  • Lack of activity or exercise; this can also lower HDL
  • Age; cholesterol starts to rise around age 20
  • Family history; genetics play a large role in cholesterol levels, and high cholesterol could be inherited.

Alarming Cholesterol Statistics from the CDC

  • High cholesterol affects nearly one-third of adults in the United States.
  • According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), People with high cholesterol have twice the risk of heart disease than those with normal cholesterol levels.
  • 73.5 million adults in the United States have high LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. That is 31.7 percent of the American population.
  • Less than one third (29.5%) of those with high LDL cholesterol actually have the condition under control.
  • Less than half (48.1%) of those with high LDL are even getting treatment to lower their levels.

Those are some harrowing facts! However, you are not alone if you have been denied life insurance because of high cholesterol.


With such a large portion of Americans affected by high cholesterol, life insurance companies will insure this condition.

So yes you can get life insurance with high cholesterol. The health class and eventual rates depend on the company you apply with.


One of the first requirements of applying for life insurance is the completion of a medical exam. During this, the administrator of the exam will measure your height, weight, blood pressure, pulse, and other factors.

He or she will also ask several questions about your lifestyle such as smoking, alcohol usage, eating habits, family history, and others. A blood sample will also be taken during the exam, and this is what will measure your cholesterol levels.

All of these factors will be taken into consideration when life insurance companies review your application and determine the level of risk involved with possibly insuring you.

If your blood test results show that you have high cholesterol, it will not automatically disqualify you. You may qualify for preferred ratings if you live a healthy lifestyle and have no other conditions aside from the cholesterol problems.

High Cholesterol Life Insurance: Underwriting Questions

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When were you diagnosed with high cholesterol?

As a general rule, the younger you were when diagnosed, the more likely you are to have complications in the future.


Age is on your side here, and if you are over 66, some life insurance companies do not increase your rates for high cholesterol at all.

What are your cholesterol readings or lipid numbers?

Total cholesterol, the total HDL ratio, and to a lesser extent your LDL numbers are all reviewed in underwriting. Check out this handy guide from Harvard health on how to read your cholesterol numbers and go over this information with your doctor.


If the total cholesterol is over 300, that will trigger higher rates.

If your total cholesterol to HDL ratio is over 4.5, you can also expect higher rates. Between 4.5 and 6 puts you right on the bubble.

If you are borderline on any of these numbers, work with an underwriting expert and pick to pick the right company.  With high cholesterol or borderline numbers, you will pay more for life insurance if you pick the wrong company.

Do you have a family history of high cholesterol or heart problems?

Any relatives who have died at a relatively young age from heart problems could negatively impact your chances for the best rates.

Do you have any additional health issues?

Additional problems like diabetes, being overweight or heart conditions will increase your risk to life insurance companies. You can still qualify for the best health classes and rates if you are in good health other than the cholesterol.

Is your high cholesterol under control?

A common myth is that taking medication for high cholesterol will hurt your chances with life insurance. This is absolutely false and possibly dangerous.

You can qualify for the best health classes and lower rates if you are taking cholesterol medication at certain life insurance companies.

Life insurance companies wish to see that you are living a healthy lifestyle. If you smoke and do not exercise regularly, this will negatively impact your chances of affordable life insurance.

However, if you are able to show that you have your condition under control and are healthy aside from the cholesterol problems, you may be able to qualify for the same ratings as someone without high cholesterol.


What can you expect to pay for life insurance with high cholesterol?  Here are some actual case studies from our files:


Nicholas is 38. He’s looking for a $2 Million policy / 20 year term and was not given the best rate class by his auto insurance company (Nationwide).

His blood work had slightly elevated total cholesterol of 247 and his HDL was 55.

Nicholas doesn’t smoke, he has no other health conditions to speak of and no familial history of heart disease.


Nationwide has strict underwriting guidelines for cholesterol and Nicholas was right there on the bubble.  This is how he went from Preferred Plus down to Preferred.

The other agent could solve this problem with a letter to the underwriter, extra evidence from Nicholas’s doctor, or with another blood test.  However, we earned the case because that agent did not do the extra work.

With a ratio of 4.5 and total cholesterol under 300, we were able to get Nicholas preferred best and multiple offers with a big insurer, saving him money every month.

20-year term, A+ rated company for Nicholas V.

20 Year TermPrefPref+Savings!
Monthly Rate$122.68$85.93$36.75

That’s almost $9,000 in savings over the life of the policy and Nicholas was pleased.


Preferred Plus – Here the total cholesterol is less than 240.  Also, the cholesterol ratio is less than 4.5 and there are no other health complications.

Preferred rates are available for total cholesterol less than 300 and with cholesterol ratios less than 5.5.

Standard – cholesterol ratios up to 7 and total cholesterol under 300.

Sub-Standard – Cholesterol ratios over 8 and total cholesterol over 300.

For applicants, over the age of 60, these numbers are usually more forgiving.


Aside from living healthy, the best thing you can do to get life insurance applies to an expert in underwriting high cholesterol.

A qualified, independent underwriting expert who knows the life insurance cholesterol thresholds is a must.  If you have borderline cholesterol numbers and pick the wrong insurer, it will cost you thousands more over the life of your policy.

Why take the risk?  Work with our underwriting experts, for free, today.