Term Life Insurance with Blood Clots

Blood clots and emboli can lead to serious and even life threatening situations, such as strokes, heart attacks or even death.  In simple terms, a blood clot is a clump that forms in your veins or arteries when blood hardens to a solid from a liquid.  An embolus is a clot that forms from air, gases or blood that dislodges and travels throughout arteries and blood vessels.

Blood clots and emboli can be caused by any number of reasons, some of which include:

  • Long-term bed rest
  • During and after pregnancy
  • Taking birth control pills
  • Using estrogen hormones
  • Sitting for long periods in a car or a plane
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Surgery
  • High cholesterol
  • Atrial fibrillation

Because there are many possible permutations and complications that can come about as a result of blood clots or emboli, life insurance companies will decide whether to underwrite a term life insurance policy or not based on the individual details of each case.

There are many health issues that result from blood clots and emboli

Blood clots and emboli can have numerous and devastating effects on the body.

Thrombus – Is a stationary blood clot that develops along the wall of a blood vessel or in the chamber of a heart.  It frequently causes a vascular obstruction.  When the vessel becomes completely blocked, the name is changed to thrombosis.  Coronary thrombosis is also known as myocardial infarction or it’s most common name, heart attack.

Embolism – When a thrombus breaks away from the lining of a blood vessel and causes a blockage, it becomes an embolism.  An embolism can be made of blood, formed by an air bubble, a fat globule or any other foreign matter in the blood stream.

Deep vein thrombosis – Also known as DVT, deep vein thrombosis takes place when a blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, most times in the legs.  DVT can take place when a person does not move for an extended amount of time, such as when they are confined to a bed following surgery, laid up after an illness or accident, or when they are confined to a bed in a nursing home.  DVT presents some serious health issues, because clots in your veins can detach and travel in your bloodstream to your lungs, creating a pulmonary embolism, that blocks blood flow.  DVT is characterized by redness and swelling the affected leg.  It may also feel warmer to the touch and may be tender when you touch or squeeze it.

Stroke – Also known as a cerebrovascular accident, the most common stroke is an ischemic stroke, caused when a blood vessel is obstructed due to plaque building up on blood vessel walls, staying in one place in the brain and growing larger (known as thrombosis), or the clot breaks free and travels in the bloodstream to the brain (known as embolism).  The severity of the stroke is very important to an insurance company.  A mini stroke will produce minimal symptoms and in most all cases, allow you to resume normal activities.  A full stroke is much more serious, and will cause an insurance company to put your policy request on hold for a sufficient amount of time to make sure it was a one-time event.  If you have had more than one stroke, it is more likely that you will be declined to be issued a policy.

Factors that will influence term life insurance coverage

While you still stand a good chance of getting term life insurance if you’ve had blood clots or emboli, insurance companies will take a look at many factors before deciding to issue a policy.

When were you diagnosed – If clots or emboli were discovered some time ago and there have been no repeat problems, that will work in your favor.  However, if these episodes took place recently, and you are still undergoing treatment, this could be a cause for concern.  Generally, anyone with more than three episodes in the past three years will require additional evaluation.

Medications – To combat blood clots and emboli, doctors will often prescribe blood thinners such as Coumadin, Eliquis or Pradaxa.  In many cases, the clots will dissolve after a matter of months.  However, if you are still taking medications for any pain, then there’s a good chance your application will be put on hold for the time being.

Do you smoke? – Another reason why smoking is bad for you is that it increases the likelihood of blood clots and definitely decreases the likelihood of you being approved for a life insurance policy.  Nicotine has been shown to harden blood vessels, making it easier for clots to form.

Number of events – If you show an ongoing problem with blood clots, this will flag your application.  Too many events in too short of a period will likely lead to being turned down for life insurance.

Health history – If you have had a history of blood clots, an insurance company will want to see that you are working to keep your blood pressure in check and that your cholesterol levels are within an acceptable range.  Also, if you’ve only had one instance of blood clots or emboli, and can show that you are no longer experiencing any symptoms, you may be able to qualify for standard rates.

Current lifestyle – You will be rated as a much better prospect for term life insurance if you can demonstrate that you are currently living a healthy lifestyle.  This will encompass regular exercise, a moderate diet, a reduction in obesity and that you do not smoke.

It pays to shop around

Blood clots and emboli are serious health risks if not managed properly.  Because of this, certain life insurance companies will tend to shy away from writing term life insurance policies for those people who have had a history of those conditions.  Others will gladly write a policy, but it is best to do your due diligence when it comes to attempting to obtain insurance, because terms and conditions can vary widely from company to company.