What to Do If You’ve Been Denied Life Insurance

A man turns to SelectQuote to learn his life insurance options after being denied a life insurance policy somewhere else

It can be quite frustrating to put in the time and effort to shop and apply for life insurance, only to find out that your application has been denied. However, if you have been denied life insurance, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get coverage. Here’s what you can do if your life insurance application has been rejected.

1. Figure Out Why You Were Denied Life Insurance

You could be denied traditional life insurance for several reasons, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get coverage. Below are some reasons you could potentially be denied life insurance.

Pre-Existing Condition

If you suffer from a preexisting condition or chronic illness, there’s a chance a life insurance company will decline your traditional life insurance application. However, your chances of being accepted increase when you can show that your illness is being treated. 

Health Condition Discovered During Your Medical Exam

When applying for life insurance coverage, you will be asked various medical-related questions. Therefore, it’s important to be both truthful and accurate when completing this information. Additionally, you may be required to take a blood or urine test (as part of the medical exam) to further understand your health and risk factors. 

Here are some of the chronic medical conditions that may make it difficult to obtain life insurance coverage:

  • Anxiety or Depression
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • HIV
  • Obesity
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Smoking

Poor Driving Record

Speeding tickets, DUIs, and other citations may indicate risky behavior to a life insurance company. This can imply that you’re a potential risk to cover, leading to the denial of your application.

Inaccurate Information

Avoid providing any inaccurate, misleading, or false information when filling out and submitting your life insurance application. Doing so can cause your application to be rejected based on moral risk. In all cases, your application will be denied.

Don’t lie about or omit truthful, complete answers on your life insurance application related to possessing a criminal record, health issues, a history of mental illness, suicide attempts, risky hobbies, age, finances (FICO score), a poor driving record, and more. Insurance companies will verify all the information you provide, so it’s important to be as accurate and honest as possible.


The older you get, the more difficult and expensive it becomes to get insured. Many life insurance policies have an age restriction. Although your insurance agent should not put you through an application for a policy that doesn’t meet the age requirement, this could be a potential hang up and lead to application denial.

2. Confirm Your Life Insurance Application Information

You’ll want to make sure your application has the most accurate information. If something looks off or needs to be updated, now is the time to do so. Suppose you find the reason you were denied life insurance was because of insufficient or incorrect medical information. In that case, you have the right to contest their denial and provide the most up-to-date information.

3. Talk to Your Life Insurance Agent

Sometimes the first life insurance company you apply to isn’t always the best fit for you. Your life insurance agent fully comprehends the underwriting process and can help you better understand why you were denied and find a way to work around it.

4. Consider Other Life Insurance Policy Options for You

If the first type of life insurance you apply for doesn’t end up working out, there are a number of other types of life insurance options you can consider.

Group Life Insurance Through Your Work

Group life insurance is a popular benefit offered by many employers that works similarly to an individual policy. Group life insurance plans are often limited in coverage options but are typically easy to qualify for.

Simplified Issue Life Insurance

Simplified issue life insurance is a good option for seniors and individuals with health problems. Although approval isn’t guaranteed, your coverage will be based on a questionnaire about your health and lifestyle rather than a medical exam.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

If you are between the ages of 45-85, you can’t be turned down for guaranteed issue whole life insurance. This type of life insurance is often a promising option for seniors or individuals with health concerns.

Final Expense Life Insurance

Final expense life insurance helps cover end-of-life costs, including funeral expenses, credit card debt, medical bills, and any other debt you don’t want to pass on to your family. Final expense does not require a medical exam, only a health questionnaire to help determine your coverage plan and premium.

No Medical Exam Life Insurance

No medical exam life insurance policies can be useful for individuals who aren’t interested in taking a medical exam, are concerned about their health, or have been turned down for traditional life insurance before.

5. Focus On What You Can Control

If you are denied and want to reapply or improve your chances of being approved for life insurance coverage, there are some things that you can control.

Here are just a few ways you can take control and improve your chances for approval:

  • Exercise. Consider adopting a healthy routine of activities like walking, running, hiking, swimming, weightlifting, cycling, etc., to help improve conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and more. Always consult a physician before taking up a new physical routine. 
  • Lose Weight. Through diet and exercise, you can lose weight and improve your health. Obesity can lead to chronic health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even sleep issues. 
  • Smoking Cessation. Quitting smoking can significantly improve your chances of approval. As always, consult your doctor before embarking on any major health decision. 
  • Avoid Risky Behaviors. If you were denied coverage due to a risky hobby, consider taking up a new and safer hobby to help improve your chances of getting life insurance coverage.
  • Improve Your Driving. If you have a checkered driving record and moving violations, make an effort to drive more prudently and try to take care of any outstanding tickets. 
  • Improve Your Mental Health. Address and seek the necessary treatment for any mental health issues. This can help you when reapplying or seeking coverage from a different carrier.

By taking charge of the things that are under your control, you can improve the odds that you will be improved after reapplying. Of course, there’s no guarantee that every insurer will want to insure you or that you won’t pay more than an otherwise healthier and younger individual, but it can increase your odds. 

Re-Evaluate the Life Insurance Coverage You Need

How much life insurance do you really need? How much can you truly afford?

By using SelectQuote’s life insurance calculator, you can get a much better idea on how much coverage you need and determine how much you can afford. 

SelectQuote Can Help Navigate Your Life Insurance Options

At SelectQuote, we simplify the life insurance shopping process by comparing coverage and rates from some of the most trusted life insurance companies in just minutes. We can also answer any questions you have, match you with the life insurance company suited for your lifestyle or health condition, and find opportunities to try and save you money.

We do the shopping. You do the saving.