Life Insurance and COPD

Life Insurance

What is COPD? COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. This is a disease that affects the lungs. It limits airflow to and from the lungs. Generally there are two main forms of COPD, one is chronic bronchitis which involves long term cough and mucus and the other is emphysema which involves destruction of the lungs over time.

There is no cure for COPD and it is one of the leading causes of death. The symptoms can sometimes be managed by medications. Due to this, it can be difficult to get life insurance with COPD.

It doesn’t mean an automatic decline if you have COPD but it does depend on how severe it is and you being a nonsmoker.

With mild COPD you could potentially receive a standard nonsmoker rate class. Mild COPD is defined by minimal coughing and mild shortness of breath after exercise where medications are usually not needed.

With moderate COPD you most likely would receive a substandard rate class (higher premium) if you can be considered for coverage at all. Moderate COPD usually involves more coughing and shortness of breath and you most likely are on some form of medication.

Severe COPD is when you have less than 50% lung capacity. You may be on oxygen. With this type of COPD you would have a very difficult time getting approved for life insurance.

An alternative to traditional life insurance, should your health preclude you from qualifying is to consider applying with a carrier that offers guaranteed issue life insurance. This is the type of policy that asks no health questions with no exam being required. These policies may not pay a death benefit within the first two years.

About the author: Pam Fortier has been in the life insurance business for over 30 years. She also holds both a LUTCF designation and a CISR designation. Pam is adept at helping clients select the coverage they want at the price they can afford. You can contact Pam at 1-800-651-1953 or