Peripheral Vascular Disease and Life Insurance Approvals

Peripheral vascular disease life insurance underwriting is not like a normal life insurance application. Can you even get life insurance with PVD or with a similar condition known as peripheral artery disease (PAD)?


PVD is a medical issue that can affect your ability to get quality life insurance.  PVD / PAD may also raise your life insurance premiums. The focus of this article is to answer some questions regarding how to get a policy after you receive your diagnosis.

No matter who you are or where you are in life, it’s always a good idea to get life insurance. This way, you provide for your family when you die. Your life insurance policy benefit can help your family replace your income, pay bills and keep a roof over their heads.

The point is to keep your loved ones from struggling with finances after you die.

We will break down your options from an insurance underwriter’s perspective. After you spend a few minutes with us, you have a complete picture of buying life insurance with PVD / PAD.

If you would rather skip to the life insurance quotes, just fill out our quote form here and one of our life insurance underwriting experts will start on your case.

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


Life insurance companies are paying more attention to PVD than they did in the past. The reason for this stems from more research coming out about PVD.

Medical studies show that PVD might have life-threatening consequences. Therefore, life insurance companies will approach this disease with caution though coronary artery disease (CAD) is the far bigger health risk.

What’s important to remember here, though, is that each insurance company is different. Just having a cardiovascular problem doesn’t preclude you from getting life insurance with peripheral vascular disease.

To get the best and most accurate information possible, consult an independent underwriting expert, like the people here at Heart Life insurance.  We will point out what life insurance underwriting says regarding PVD/PAD.

We will tell you what to do to help your chances of obtaining lower-rate life insurance with PAD. Plus, it’s always better to get a free quote so that you know what to expect before you start to worry.

You have several situations to consider for getting life insurance with PVD. Results depend on individual circumstances. Use your situation as a guideline rather than a definitive ruling. Again, different companies have various rules.

Don’t assume that you cannot receive coverage until you talk with us.


You might worry that your PVD could impact your ability to get life insurance. It’s more important to think about the different factors that go into your insurer’s decision.

Let’s take a look at what underwriters consider before issuing or denying a policy. As always, keep in mind that these are just guidelines and every case will be unique.

Current Age

If your PVD is severe and you are under 40, then it can present a much higher risk to the life insurance company.  Cardiovascular problems at an early age are usually an indicator of major cardiovascular problems later in life.

When you have mild PVD and are over 60, then a life insurance company may perceive your risk as much lower. As you age some atherosclerosis is expected, even normal.  Hence, these factors can impact your policy and rates less and less.

How old were you when you were diagnosed with PVD?

Doctors and life insurance companies like to see how long you have lived with PVD. They also determine how your disease has changed over time.

For example, say you received a PVD diagnosis three years ago. Then you showed improvement. Your level of risk is much lower than if a doctor diagnosed you three months ago. A recent diagnosis means it’s much harder to assess risk until you have more time to see what happens to your body.

With a longer period between diagnosis and risk assessment, underwriters have a much better sense of how your body is reacting to peripheral vascular disease and how you are managing it.  If your health improves over time, your policy can reflect that.

However, life insurance companies must have enough data (i.e. “time”) to make that conclusion.

Peripheral Vascular Disease Medication or Treatment

Taking medication and following a treatment regimen will create a better health outlook.  Longer lives mean lower life insurance premiums, and treatment successes will improve your health over time.

There are several effective treatments for PVD depending on the extent of the disease.  Your doctor could recommend lifestyle changes, medication, aggressive treatment of existing conditions that could worsen the PAD, vascular surgery or angioplasty.

What’s most important is how your body reacts to the prescribed treatment. If you have surgery, underwriters want to see how well you recovering.  If you are on medication, underwriters want to see if it is working or not.

Do you smoke?

Smoking can be a significant factor in determining your level of risk, and life insurance rates for smoking are 200% – 300% higher than non smoking rates.

In some cases, being a smoker with PVD could prohibit you from getting traditional life insurance.

If you smoke, fill out a quote form so we can customize a plan for you.

Are you following your doctors’ orders for medical treatment?

A life insurance underwriter looks into whether you maintain your treatment plan and follow doctor’s orders over time. If you neglect your medication you present a higher risk to insurers.

PVD is serious business and medical follow up is crucial.  Sticking to a successful treatment plan will reduce your risk level and lower what you will pay for life insurance.

Any other heart problems or health conditions like CAD, Diabetes, Hypertension?

Human beings do not experience a disease in a vacuum. This means we usually suffer from multiple conditions at once and each illness or impairment can affect the other.

Life insurance companies will specifically watch for coronary artery disease, diabetes or high blood pressure as each of these conditions can make your PVD worse.

What is your Ankle/Brachial Index (ABI)

The ankle/brachial index is a common test that doctors use to determine the severity of your PVD. The test compares the blood pressure in the arm (brachial) with the blood pressure in the legs.

An ABI above 0.90 is normal. A figure from 0.70-0.90 indicates mild peripheral vascular disease. Having numbers between 0.50-0.70 indicates moderate disease.

When the number is less than 0.50, you may have severe peripheral vascular disease.

Good news? Your ABI score can change over time depending on treatment and other life factors. Listen to your doctor and you may be able to turn it around, improve your level of risk and lower your life insurance rates.


You have the potential to reverse the symptoms of PVD. Consider a combination of treatment, medication and lifestyle changes.

Treatment Options

Your doctor may prescribe medications for you, such as anticoagulants or antiplatelet agents. It’s imperative that you take them according to your prescription.

Don’t stop taking medications unless your doctor says so, because ceasing your medications can make your condition worse over time.

Insurers will pay close attention to how well you follow your doctor’s orders by examining pharmacy reports, so stay on track for the best rates.

Medical Procedures

In some cases, your doctor may decide that you need a medical procedure to lessen the blood clot. Angioplasty or putting a stent into your arteries can improve blood flow.

Usually, doctors reserve surgery for severe cases, but his may keep the leg or arm from shutting down.

What’s important with these procedures is to see how your body reacts over time. The longer that you have improved results, the less risk you have in the eyes of a life insurance company.

Diet and Exercise

You can reduce the symptoms of PVD and even reverse the damage caused by this disease. Start by improving your eating habits and exercising more.

You may experience pain at first because of your lack of activity. However, regular exercise should help remove a mild blockage. Removing the blockage enables better blood flow through your system. The key is to take it easy at first and then increase your activity levels as your condition gets better.

A major risk factor for developing PVD is a sedentary lifestyle. Start an exercise routine while your condition is mild and this will keep the disease from getting worse.

Removing sugary foods from your diet can help improve your cholesterol.  As you know by now, lower cholesterol numbers means less plaque in your arteries.

Take the positive steps of eating healthier and exercising more and life insurers will pay attention.


Preferred Plus or Preferred

The top health classes at a life insurance company are reserved for the healthiest applicants. Clients with peripheral artery disease will not qualify for either of these best health classes.


This would be the best case scenario for an applicant in great health with high activity and low body mass index (BMI of height vs. weight). For these clients, PVD is very mild overall and there are no other health complications like diabetes or heart problems.

There are only a few life insurance companies that will underwrite mild PVD or PAD cases at standard rates.  If this is your case and if you are healthy, start the process with our underwriting experts to get these lower rates.

Mild Substandard Rates

This is the likely scenario for clients with PVD.  Take a look at some underwriting guidelines below from one of our “A+ rated” life insurance partners:

peripheral artery disease life insurance underwriting life insurance with peripheral vascular disease Peripheral artery disease PAD peripheral vascular disease PVD life insurance

As you can see, a typical case will come in in Table 2-4, which means rates are 25% to 100% higher than standard rates.

PVD is usually combined with another impairment like cardiovascular disease.  Depending on the severity of the other health condition, sometimes the PVD is a secondary issue.

Due to the seriousness of the disease and the accompanying risk factors, most PVD life insurance is approved at substandard rates. The good news is that life insurance is still extremely affordable, even at substandard rates.

Take the example below of a 50 year old female.  A 20 year term policy, even at substandard rates will still fit in her budget.

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

Moderate Substandard Rates / Decline

PVD that is out of control, or applicants who are not following their treatment plan may have moderate substandard rates.  In rare cases, their policy may be declined traditional life insurance.

If this is your case, call us directly or fill out a quote form and we will design a custom plan for you.


If you need life insurance to protect your family, do not let PVD get in the way. No matter what your condition or circumstances, we can design a policy that you can afford.

You will never find the life insurance companies who will give you the best rates on your own, so get one of our underwriting experts involved.

We handle the work for you, the process is easy, and it’s free.

Do not let this wait another day. Get a free quote below, or give us a call in the office and we will get started immediately.