National Peanut Lover’s Month - Getting Life Insurance Early

Having a Baby

It's National Peanut Lover's Month - what does this have to do with life insurance? More than you think!I want to share a story with you about a girl named Cecilia. Luckily Cecilia’s parents had already purchased life insurance on her. She was age 3 when she had first peanut butter cookie. She had eaten plenty of different nuts in breads and cereals before then with minor blushing and rosy cheeks popping up occasionally shortly after ingestion. Her parents thought little of the “reddening” as she was diagnosed with eczema a year or so before that.

Two minutes after that simple peanut butter cookie, Cecilia’s life and those around her took a sudden and detrimental change. Profuse vomiting, entire body rash, increased heart rate and body temperature were all obvious signs that these reactions were for from normal everyday ailments.

Benadryl was given to help reduce the allergic reaction and did help on this occasion. Her doctors later stated that this was a mild first time reaction and that if it happened again it could be life threatening. Seriously, the permanent lifetime avoidance of peanut butter could be the difference between this child living or dying? No one else in the family had any allergic reactions to food. What a hassle this is going to be to worry about!

Cecilia’s dad had purchased a life insurance policy on her before and after this diagnosis. The first life application, applied at 15 days old with no apparent health issues was issued with flying colors. It even had a disability waiver and a guaranteed purchase option (GPO) to lock in the availability for future policies to be purchased without proving insurability. Another policy taken out after the peanut allergy diagnosis resulted in a standard rate (which was unexpected), but with no availability of a disability rider or GPO.

So there is hope for those with severe allergies to at least get some type of coverage without being rated. Underwriting decisions will be based on the true severity of the allergy, how well it is being treated, and if there are other health factors that might affect a person’s judgment in complying with their doctor’s precautionary directives.

If eating peanut butter will cause you to break out in a rash, you aren't likely to see a premium increase, rating or even a decline of the waiver of premium or GPO riders. If however, the last time you walked past someone eating a peanut butter sandwich on a park bench 100 feet away you, fell into convulsions and needed emergency treatment, then let's just say your life insurance underwriters are going to pay special attention to that fact. Under “most” cases, your insurance company will be willing to offer you a policy no matter your allergy. The only question is whether or not you will want to pay the higher premium they are going to offer due to a higher rating.

Even though we have to read every label on all food items bought in a store, or cannot just go out to dinner anywhere without verifying if any cross-contamination is possible, we can enjoy the fact that Cecilia is protected. We have peace of mind knowing she will have the option for further life insurance protection in the future regardless of any other medical issues that may pop up.

In short, life insurance should not to be put on a back burner as something to purchase whenever there is nothing else to do. In my opinion, your child needs you, as a parent, to secure them a life insurance policy when they are young. Just because allergies do not seem to run in your family, is no reason to assume they won’t start with someone sometime, and that someone could be your child so get them insured right away!

About the author: Kyle McDonald holds FIC, FICF, FSCP® & CLTC designations. His viewpoint on life insurance is simple, “Anyone with a family must have life insurance. In the end, life insurance is for others you care about, not you.” He is ready to help you and your family get the best option available. Contact Kyle today at   1-800-651-1953 or KMcDonald@Pivot.com.