Life Insurance with High Lipids and High Cholesterol

You have high cholesterol. Or maybe you have high triglyceride/lipid levels. And you’re worried. Really worried, concerned for your own health and stressing over your life insurance rates.

Perhaps you haven’t even tried to get life insurance coverage because you think high lipids will reject you. Will any life insurance company give you coverage with high triglycerides?

Don’t panic! Heart Life Insurance is here to help you get high lipid life insurance for a fraction of the cost.


Life insurance companies take high lipid levels seriously.  You know by now that high lipids are an indicator of future artery clogs and arteriosclerosis.  You’re riskier than the average applicant.

The leading cause of death in the world is heart disease, so they’re certainly going to check you very closely before deciding whether to provide you life insurance coverage.

Good news is work with over 60 “A-rated” life insurance companies, and we approve high lipid or high cholesterol life insurance policies every single day.

Read more to find out about high lipid life insurance underwriting, or fill out our quote request form to get an underwriting expert to do the work for you!

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


If you have been diagnosed with lipid disorder, you have high blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or high levels of fat (triglycerides). There are no symptoms of high cholesterol, and people could live their whole lives and not know their lipid levels are dangerously high.

This bad cholesterol will combine with other fats and start to clump up on your artery walls. Imagine that you had a garden hose spraying water, then had a bunch of marbles stuck in the garden hose. The garden hose is the artery, the water is your blood, and the marbles are the plaque buildup.

The plaque hinders the flow of blood in the arteries causing multiple complications.

Angina – also known as chest pain, happens if your coronary arteries are blocked. This is usually the most observable symptom of coronary artery disease.

Mini Stroke or Strokeif blood flow is reduced to any part of your brain due to a clot, the depletion of oxygen might cause a stroke or mini-stroke.

Heart Attack (MI – Myocardial Infarction) – Plaque stops the blood flow to the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. This causes damage to the most important muscle in your body – not good.

In short, the lipid profile in your blood work is a big deal to life insurance companies because high lipids lead to deadly serious health conditions down the road.


The life insurance industry has stringent, very specific underwriting guidelines for high lipid levels.

The typical application process will ask standard heart questions to assess the health of your cardiovascular system.

What are the results of your most current blood test with a full lipid panel?

This will measure high-density lipoprotein (HDL-the good cholesterol), low-density lipoprotein (LDL-the bad cholesterol), very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), total cholesterol and total triglycerides.

Do you have any other heart issues?

Is there a history of chest pain, diabetes, transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke, peripheral artery disease, heart attack, coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, heart bypass, or any stents?

If so, please read the related articles about those heart conditions and life insurance underwriting here. The heart condition itself will drive the rates up or down more than the lipid profile.

What is your family history with heart disease?

Specifically concerning your mother, father or a sibling, is there any cardiovascular disease before age 60?  Any deaths from heart disease before age 70?

Some life insurance companies are very strict on these familial guidelines, and others are not. If you have a negative family history with heart disease, it is best to let our underwriting experts know at the beginning of your application.

What are your diet, exercise and lifestyle choices?

Are you a smoker? Do you exercise regularly?  Do you have a proper body mass index (BMI) or are you a little overweight?

Are you taking any medications related to cholesterol or your heart?

Statins come in many names, however, they are all designed to lower cholesterol. These drugs do not eliminate cardiovascular disease, and there may be an adverse effect on HDL levels.  So a life insurance company will want to know what statin you are taking and for how long.

Underwriters will also want to know if you’re taking any nitrates for chest pain, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers or thrombolytics (clot dissolvers like warfarin).

Application dishonesty leads to denial.

It’s best to answer all questions honestly and in a detailed manner.  When you work with our experts, let us know every detail even if you feel it is insignificant.

Underwriting will eventually check your medical records anyway, pull a pharmacy report of all prescriptions, and measure the values themselves by ordering blood and urine tests.

It is important, to be honest right out of the gate. The last thing you want is for your application to appear incomplete or evasive. You could be denied coverage just for that.


Life insurance companies use lipid ranges as a basis for their rating guidelines and quotes. Companies really use the LDL/HDL ratio (a.k.a. cholesterol ratio) more than any other value because the balance between these two numbers is more significant than either individual value.

For example, with an LDL of 200 and an HDL of 50, your ratio is 200/50 or a 4.0


What is a good cholesterol ratio for life insurance?

For underwriting purposes a ratio of 3.5 or below will qualify for the best rates. 11 or higher could be denied, and anywhere in between will be rated accordingly.

Each insurance company does have its own unique rating guidelines, but there are a few general rules of thumb.  First off, if high lipids are usually compounded by heart problems or other cardiovascular issues. Often we will have to underwrite the more serious heart issue and the lipids are not a concern.

In a vacuum, if we deal with the high lipids alone, here are the health classes we can expect:

Preferred Plus Ratings

It should come as no surprise that lower lipid levels get the best life insurance rates and greatest discounts. At most life insurance companies, the best health class looks something like this.

  • Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dl
  • LDL is less than 100 mg/dl
  • HDL is greater than 40
  • Triglycerides are less than 150 mg/dl
  • The total cholesterol ratio is less than 3.5

These levels signify you are in great health, and you will receive the best possible (preferred plus) rating.

What does a preferred plus rating mean for a female, 50 years old with a 20-year term policy?

Benefit Amount$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
Monthly Premium$30.70$55.30$100.36

This is an “A+ rated” life insurance company.

Preferred Life Insurance Rates

You’ll still get great rates even if your total cholesterol is less than 200 mg/dl or one of your other lipid levels is slightly out of range.

Once again, if that same 50-year-old female applied at preferred, this is what she would pay for a 20-year term policy.

Benefit Amount$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
Monthly Premium$37.80$69.08$128.84

This is an “A+ rated,” big-name life insurance company.

Standard Life Insurance Rates

We can expect a standard rating if your lipid levels are not in the normal range and/or if you have other heart disease risk factors like a family history of cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure.

Most people will qualify for standard rates.  So if our 50-year-old female example applied at standard rates for a 20-year term policy, this is what that would cost.

Benefit Amount$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
Monthly Premium$58.36$110.67$207.94

This is a very financially strong, huge, “A+ rated” life insurance company.

Substandard Life Insurance Rates, or Table Ratings

Don’t let this terminology confuse you. A “substandard rating” or a “table rated policy” doesn’t mean your life insurance will cost an arm and a leg. It just means your rates will be slightly higher than standard rates and it is no big deal.

Your rating will be all part of the same insurance quote, and you will know these rates ahead of time as long as you work with a professional. Many, many people have life insurance policies with substandard rate classes and these policies still take care of their families. They still stay locked in with level payments, the benefits never go down, and they still cut a check to the family at death.

With most instances of heart disease, you can expect a substandard rating. In regards to lipid levels, substandard ratings would come into play if:

  • HDL was less than 25, or
  • Triglycerides were over 1000 mg/dl, or
  • Total cholesterol was over 300 mg/dl and/or cholesterol ratio 8.0

These values indicate a rated policy, and also include other heart disease risk factors. The younger you are with these kinds of values, the worse rating you will get.

So for our female friend who is 50 years old again, her 20-year term would cost the following:

Benefit Amount$250,000$500,000$1,000,000
Monthly Premium$94.63$181.40$337.70

Once again, this is an “A+ rated” insurance company with billions of life insurance already in force.

As you can see, even at substandard rates term life insurance is still very affordable.


If you’re over 65, high triglyceride levels are more common, so they matter less for life insurance underwriting. In fact, if you’re 66-75, ratings for lipids are reduced at least one health class.

If you are over age 75, lipid ratings are not a concern when considering coverage.


Life insurance rates are usually 25% – 40% more expensive for men depending on age.  You can use the female rate examples above to “ballpark,” however it’s probably best to run your own free quote.


For traditional term coverage, a life insurance company can reject people with an abnormally high cholesterol ratio. Usually, a cholesterol ratio greater than 11 is a sure indicator of present or future high-risk heart disease.  If that is your case, call us so that we can go over your options and prepare a specialized quote.


Some people submit their data and are surprised that their lipid levels are out of range and affecting their coverage rating. Your insurance company might recommend that you do another testing like a stress test to prove that your heart is in good health despite your slightly elevated lipid levels.

You can also improve your lifestyle choices by quitting smoking or starting a healthy diet and exercise, and ask your doctor to write a note showing you’ve made those efforts.

In the life insurance world, we call these “lifestyle credits” or a table shave program. And they are a secret highway to savings town.  Basically, if you have blood work with high lipid levels, we can negate those findings with other positive findings like:

  • A1C test results less than 5.5 percent
  • Wonderful family history with no cardiovascular issues before age 60
  • Height / Weight or BMI within guidelines for preferred or standard rates
  • Favorable blood pressure readings less than 130 / 80
  • Higher-income levels, higher net worth or a college degree
  • Documented doctor follow up and preventative medical care
  • Choosing a permanent life insurance policy instead of a term policy

Often this will bump you up on the rating scale, maybe into the Preferred category instead of Standard. Or it could bump you out of Substandard rates and into Standard rates, saving you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the policy.

However, you will never know about these programs unless you work with our underwriting experts.


If you have high lipids and need life insurance, now you know the facts.  Here is something else to consider – life insurance will be more expensive for you tomorrow.  We are only getting older.

Today is your day, so make the most of it!

Submit your request for a free online quote and let’s get to work.