Burial Insurance When Blind: Are you struggling to obtain a burial or final expense insurance policy due to visual impairment? While on the surface, it might not seem like blindness should be a roadblock to taking out a burial insurance policy. Still, many individuals with visual disabilities are considered too high of a risk to insure, by some companies.
That doesn’t mean that you cannot get the policy you need; in fact, YOU CAN !! It just means there might be some complications along the way.
We are confident we can help you find the best burial insurance plans from top-rated insurers.
How blindness makes purchasing burial insurance more challenging
As an individual with blindness, you are all too familiar with how frustrating it can be to deal with companies that don’t understand accessibility.
The world is designed for the sighted, and that means many insurance companies are not readily able to help you with tasks like filling out forms or reading contracts.
This is par for the course, though. While upsetting, it isn’t the biggest roadblock you are likely to come across as an individual with blindness. Many insurance companies penalize those with visual disabilities during the underwriting process.
Understanding the underwriting process
Underwriting, to put it simply, is how insurance companies evaluate risk. With each applicant, they look at the information submitted, the level of overage requested, and the amount the applicant would pay.
Taking all of this information into account, the insurer determines if they are more likely than not to profit from the transaction.
The underwriting process for burial insurance typically has three steps.
- Evaluate the overall health of the applicant.
- Look at the prescription history of the applicant.
- Check the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) for records from the applicant.
Technically, neither your prescription history nor your MIB records should factor into a decision on burial insurance for individuals who are blind unless there are other underlying health issues.
Blindness and the burial insurance application process
The health questionnaire for your burial insurance application should not directly ask if you are blind. But that doesn’t mean that blindness won’t result in the application being denied.
On the health questionnaire, expect questions such as, “Do you need assistance with daily activities?” or, “Do you rely on a home health care provider?”
For some individuals with blindness, the honest answer is no; they do not. But for many, there is a need for assistance with daily activities or home health care, if only to a small degree. Based on your answers to these questions, you will fall into one of two categories:
- Blind and fully independent: This means you do not rely on anyone else to help you with day-to-day tasks or those related to healthcare carried out within the home. Insurance companies, baring any other complicating factors, will classify you as low risk and be likely to offer you the coverage you seek at an affordable rate.
- Blind and needing assistance: Whether you need assistance throughout each day or just a few times a week, if you answered yes to the health questions, you will fall into this category. Insurance companies consider those in this category to be high risk, or more likely to result in a loss than a profit. In general, this means you will be denied coverage. To work around this, you could apply to a company that doesn’t ask about assistance needs or opt to take out a guaranteed issue policy.
Level benefit vs. guaranteed issue burial insurance
While not as common, some insurance companies offer a type of policy called guaranteed issue, also known as guaranteed acceptance. This policy is considered a last resort when an applicant is unable to obtain a level benefit plan.
With a level benefit burial insurance plan, your premiums remain level throughout your lifetime, and you are covered under the policy for death resulting from natural causes and accidents from the day the policy is issued. As with a whole life insurance policy, this plan includes:
- Lifetime coverage that the insurer cannot cancel so long as you pay your premiums on time.
- Monthly premiums that the insurer cannot increase.
- Cash value that builds over time and that the insured can access through loans and withdrawals, or through a policy surrender.
If you answer no on all health questions and your MIB and prescription reports are clean, you should qualify for a level benefit plan with first-day coverage and the lowest rates.
Guaranteed issue burial insurance is not just a version of the level benefit plan with guaranteed acceptance. Designed for those who fail to qualify for other plans due to their medical status and history, these policies come with a two to three-year waiting period.
Once the policy is active, it comes with high monthly premiums and typically a lower death benefit. However, a death that is the result of an accident will be covered on the day the policy issued.
The structure of this type of policy is similar to a graded benefit plan in that, should the insured die from natural causes during the waiting period, the death benefit will be equal to the sum of the premiums paid to date plus an additional percentage of those premiums, typically 10 percent.
While most insurance companies do not offer guaranteed issue policies, those that do will not take your health into account. Meaning virtually anyone who is alive can purchase guaranteed issue life insurance.
What’s the price difference between Level Benefit and Guaranteed Issue?
As was mentioned earlier, there are considerable differences between level benefit burial insurance and guaranteed issue burial insurance. If an applicant cannot qualify for a level benefit or graded benefit plan, the only alternative is guaranteed issue coverage which comes with the following caveats:
- The maximum death benefit is generally substantially lower
- The monthly premiums are substantially higer
- There is a two-year waiting period when the death benefit is reduced to 110% of the premiums paid if death is a result of natural causes. The benefit is available from the first day if death is due to an accident.
Here are actual rates for a $10,000 Burial Insurance Policy for a Male non-smoker for both level benefit and guaranteed issue policies:
|Age of Applicant||Level Benefit $10,000||Guaranteed Issue $10,000|
Burial Insurance Companies we Recommend
Although every life insurance company we represent are highly-rated and offer outstanding customer service, depending on the applicant’s needs, some will be a better fit than others. Here is a short list of the burial insurance companies we recommend (in no particular order):
Many types of preexisting conditions can impact your life insurance rates, death benefit, or when and how much of the death benefit will be paid to your beneficiary.
Health issues like being blind will not, however, prevent you from achieving the peace of mind that comes with an affordable burial insurance policy.