Life Insurance With a Heart Murmur

Buying life insurance with a heart murmur can be a difficult and frustrating experience. Heart murmur life insurance approvals are going to depend on your underlying heart condition, if one exists, and which life insurance company you apply to.

If you have a heart murmur, you may feel as though the best life insurance at an affordable price is out of reach, but this is not the case. While a heart murmur may have an impact upon your qualifications, it may not necessarily disqualify you and could actually be less of a factor than you think.

Heart problems automatically send some life insurance companies running for the hills. You know this already if you have been declined life insurance due to your organic heart murmur.

However, this is not the story with all insurers, and it does not mean you should give up.

Our underwriting experts specialize in “high risk” cases and will help you find quality life insurance even with serious heart conditions. To manage your health class, we will frame your application in the best possible light.


When applying for life insurance with a heart murmur.

The most important steps are getting the right information up front and providing the right information to your underwriting expert.

First, do your homework on the people you want to work with.  Get the right information.  Are they independent?  Do they have access to many of the top-rated life insurance companies?  Do they understand you and are they experts in underwriting heart conditions?

Next, provide the right information. The more evidence, documentation, and information you can provide regarding your current health at the time of your application, the better. This life insurance game is all about determining risk, so the more information you can provide, the more likely they are to view your case as an acceptable risk.

This article should help you learn what factors insurance companies take into consideration when determining your eligibility, health class ranking, and premiums.

Your heart murmur might have an impact on these findings, and it might not.  The better prepared you are at the time of your application, the better your results will be.

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

Video courtesy of the American Heart Association.


A heart murmur is an abnormal sound made by your heart during its beating cycle. It is a whooshing or swishing sound made by turbulent blood flow in or near your heart. It does not necessarily require testing to detect a heart murmur, and it can usually be heard by your doctor with a stethoscope during a routine examination.

The heart murmur itself is not actually a disease, but it may be a sign of an underlying issue.

Often, a murmur is completely innocent and does not mean that there are any serious problems with the heart. These innocent heart murmurs are also referred to as “functional” heart murmurs. If there is a more serious problem causing the murmur, it is called an “organic” heart murmur.

There are some big differences between the two, and your life insurance health class depends heavily upon which type of heart murmur you have.

Innocent Heart Murmur

This is caused when blood flows more rapidly through the heart than normal. Good news!  Innocent or functional heart murmurs are not considered to be serious conditions and could have little to no effect on life insurance qualifications.

There are several conditions that could cause an innocent heart murmur such as exercise, pregnancy, fever, anemia or hyperthyroidism. These types of murmurs can also be genetic and often disappear over time.

Organic Heart Murmur

This is similar to an innocent murmur but is caused by a more serious underlying condition. Organic murmurs are common in babies and are caused by congenital heart defects such as holes in the heart or heart valve abnormalities.

The valve problems could mean the valves do not close properly and leak blood (regurgitation) or the valves do not allow enough blood through them (stenosis). Other possible causes include infections, valve calcification, endocarditis and other damage to the heart.


Your eligibility for life insurance depends heavily upon which type of heart murmur you have. If the murmur is innocent or functional, you could qualify for Preferred or Preferred Plus classification as if you had no murmur at all.

However, if you have an organic heart murmur, things could be slightly more complex, and you should not expect a class higher than Standard.


With an innocent heart murmur you can still qualify for preferred or preferred plus with most of the top life insurers. Preferred plus is less likely than preferred.

If you have an organic heart murmur – especially one caused by a valve abnormality – a standard or table rating is a realistic expectation. Approvals for life insurance with a heart murmur at substandard table ratings is normal if there is an underlying condition.

We know which life insurance companies view heart murmurs as “no big deal”, so let our underwriting expertise work for you and get the best deal. If you have a heart murmur, get a free quote today.

Every life insurance company will have different underwriting guidelines for a heart murmur.  However, there are some factors all insurers will look for.

What is the underlying cause of the heart murmur?

This is by far the most important aspect, as the underlying heart issue is more important to insurers than the murmur itself.

When were you diagnosed with your heart murmur?

A diagnosis more recently than six months could hurt your chances.

Are you properly controlling your heart murmur?

Was surgery necessary to correct the heart murmur?  If your heart murmur is properly maintained with medicine or other treatment, you could qualify for the better classes.

Any additional heart conditions?

If you are healthy aside from the heart murmur, insurance companies will look on you more favorably.  However, if you have other issues like coronary artery disease or high blood pressure, your health class will be lower.

When were your most recent tests, and what were the results?

Life Insurance companies are concerned with your health as of right now. The more recently you have had tests like an echocardiogram, stress tests, and others, the better.  Have these tests and their results ready when you speak to an underwriting expert.



With an inorganic, functional heart murmur and no other health conditions, a preferred rating is possible with a few insurers.  Preferred plus is rare, and most life insurance companies will rate that standard.

With an organic heart murmur, it really depends on the underlying cause. Standard is possible in many cases, though most will have a table rating. Pick the wrong life insurance company and you could be declined.

Even with an organic heart murmur, you can still get quality life insurance if you know where to look. It is all about gathering as much information as possible and applying with underwriting experts who specialize in your kind of case.

You are as young as you will ever be today, and life insurance will never cost less tomorrow.

We understand heart murmurs and can help, so fill out the quote form today.