Declined Life Insurance? 6 Steps that can help

Posted 2 November, 2015 by Clearly
in Technical Smechnical

Its official. The insurers choose you as much as you choose them

Ah the great ole irony of life. You’re minding your business,taking good care of yourself, and one day decide to get (after solid advice and tips from us) insurance. You meet up with your favorite agent and sign up for a slew of policies enough to ensure your children, and their children get treated like financial royalty in case anything happens to you. 1 week later, you get the call.

Applications rejected. What now?

Its certainly tough news to swallow. But life insurance companies do have an obligation to defend against adverse selection (had to drag that one out of my brain). You might fall into a category of folks that are deemed higher (or a little too high) on the risk scale for the insurers. Something along the line of having diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure etc – all these are red flags for a higher risk of dying prematurely.

Obviously this is a double whammy – these are the folks that really need insurance yet will most likely be denied it (yes, its still a business consideration for the insurers at the end of the day). Don’t lose all hope, and there are still various methods available out there to get your cover.

Here are some steps to see if any insurance can still be purchased

1. Gather information.

Knowledge is power, as we like to say. Before an insurer denies an application, they collect and process data from several sources to evaluate your risk (most importantly, what you write in the proposal form). If the risk is high enough, you are either extra loaded (pay more for the insurance), or denied. In any of these circumstances, requesting more information on the reason should be one of your action points.

Upon request, the insurer should provide detailed information on why an applicant is declined, whether it was due to medical history, current medial reports,  or something else. Denials from current medical reports tend to be the most shocking, as you may not know about an illness or disease beforehand.

2. Validate the results

Mistakes happen all the time. Samples are wrongly labelled, results are misread, and since underwriters are human, there is always a good chance they might have made a mistake somewhere. So its worthwhile to re-check the information given to the insurer, or even re do the relevant health tests to see if the previous results were correct.

As part of the potential solution here, you could also try to apply for insurance from another insurance company to see if their underwriters are willing to accept the risk that was turned down. Each insurer has its own set of underwriting rules, meaning identical applications to separate companies could yield different results.

3. Engage the Agent

The next second person to be most worried other than you would be your friendly agent, so make the best out of it. Ask him to check with the underwriters what can be done, and check to see if an outright rejection of coverage could be made into one with exclusions or a loaded policy (one that costs more because of the extra risk)

While they cost more and typically come with less benefits, that can be a  viable solution.

4. Let time run its course

Certain risks and medical conditions improve with time, so there is certainly no harm in waiting for 1 or 2 years to reapply for your policies. Symptoms may pass or become stable, and insurers might be willing to reconsider what they turned down in the past.

5. Utilize Workplace insurance 

Most employers provide group insurance for their employees, can those can be sizable amounts of cover especially for some senior employees in the firm. It can provide an affordable amount of cover with less scrutiny involved if the firm size is large (>300 employees).

6. Self Insure

This is just a fancy way of saying: save up for a rainy day. If all else fails, this is always an option left behind. Watch your lifestyle like a hawk, and set aside a sum of money religiously each month to take care of yourself in case the worst does happen.


All said, there is no one-size-fits-all method to handle an insurance cover rejection. However, taking these steps could reduce the stress and annoyances that make finding coverage so daunting.

Do you have personal experience of getting cover after being declined? We would like to know – tell us in the comments below! aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.

  1. Surely

    Hi QQ, I believe most of the points are helpful to your Mum’s case. For now, you may appeal or request for some exclusions to have the shield insurance first. After lowering the cholesterol in a couple of years’ life, you can purchase one for Mum if first method doesn’t work.
    Thankfully, the all new CPF Medishield should cover for your Mum regardless of her condition.

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