Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insur...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: May 10, 2021

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The Brief

  • You cannot purchase traditionally underwritten life insurance for the terminally ill
  • The only coverage option for critical sicknesses is guaranteed issue life insurance
  • Guaranteed issue life insurance is a permanent policy with no medical exam but higher premium rates

Securing life insurance for the terminally ill is limited but not impossible.

Below, learn how to buy life insurance for the terminally ill and compare sample life insurance rates.

When you’re ready, enter your ZIP code into our free tool above to compare life insurance quotes for the terminally ill.

Can you purchase life insurance if you’re terminally ill?

If you’re critically sick, your only life insurance coverage option is guaranteed issue life insurance.

You won’t find a life insurance company for the terminally ill willing to underwrite whole or term life insurance. Your health risk is too high.

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a permanent policy with no medical exam required. However, this coverage is not the same as no exam life insurance.

It usually comes with higher than average rates and a small death benefit, only about $25,000.

Usually, this type of insurance policy has a graded death benefit or a waiting period lasting two to three years.

If you pass away before the waiting period ends, your beneficiary receives all premiums paid plus interest instead of the life insurance death benefit.

Insurance providers consider the following to be critical sicknesses:

  • Advanced HIV
  • Advanced-stage cancers
  • Alzheimer’s or dementia
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Stroke

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, followed by cancer.

If you’re critically sick, you should purchase life insurance coverage if someone is financially dependent on you.

If you already had life insurance before your diagnosis, your current policy will cover you.

Depending on the policy, you may have access to an accelerated death benefit rider or living benefits rider to access the funds to help with medical costs.

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What are the average life insurance rates for the terminally ill?

It’s challenging to secure affordable life insurance for the terminally ill. Guaranteed issue life insurance policies tend to be expensive.

Below, compare monthly rates from AIG for a guaranteed issue policy with a $25,000 death benefit organized by age:

  • 50-years-old: $106.69
  • 55-years-old: $117.44
  • 60-years-old: $132.38
  • 65-years-old: $156.50
  • 70-year-old: $201.44
  • 75-years-old: $272.39
  • 80-years-old: $384.84
  • 85-years-old: $625.84

Some of the leading providers that offer this type of policy include Family Benefit Life Insurance Company, AIG, and Vantis Life.

Compare rates from multiple guaranteed issue life insurance companies to find the right provider for you.

Life Insurance for the Terminally Ill: The Bottom Line

Ultimately, the only life insurance coverage available to the critically sick is a guaranteed issue policy.

However, the benefits of life insurance might outweigh the higher policy costs if someone is financially dependent on you.

Compare life insurance rates for the terminally ill by entering your ZIP code into our free quote tool below.