Can You Be Turned Down for Life Insurance?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Reasons for Being Denied Life Insurance

  1. Health Conditions: Severe or chronic health issues like cancer, heart disease, or uncontrolled diabetes.
  2. Age: Being too old, as most insurers have age limits.
  3. Lifestyle Choices: High-risk hobbies (skydiving, scuba diving) or occupations (firefighting, mining).
  4. Substance Abuse: History of alcohol or drug abuse.
  5. Criminal Record: A criminal background, especially involving felonies.
  6. Financial Instability: Poor credit history or bankruptcy.
  7. Travel Plans: Traveling to high-risk countries.
  8. Policy Application Errors: Inaccuracies or lies on the application form.
  9. Previous Insurance Denials: Being turned down by other insurers.
  10. Mental Health Issues: Severe mental health disorders.
  11. Risky Behavior: Reckless driving record or DUIs.
  12. Family Medical History: Genetic diseases or family history of severe health conditions.
  13. Smoking Status: Being a smoker or using tobacco products.
  14. Poor Driving Record: Numerous accidents or traffic violations.
  15. Military Service: Active military duty in conflict zones.
  16. High Body Mass Index (BMI): Obesity or extremely high BMI.
  17. Limited Life Expectancy: Terminal illnesses or very poor health prognosis.
  18. Lack of Financial Justification: Insufficient economic reason for the insurance.
  19. Insurance Fraud History: Previous attempts to defraud insurance companies.
  20. High-risk Travel or Residence: Living in areas with high mortality rates or constant travel to dangerous locations.

Related Reading: Can I be denied life insurance for anxiety

Reasons for Life Insurance Denial

Health ConditionsChronic or severe illnessesCancer, heart disease
AgeInaccuracies in the applicationOver 80 years old
Lifestyle ChoicesEngaging in dangerous hobbies or jobsSkydiving, firefighting
Substance AbuseHistory of drug or alcohol misuseChronic alcoholism
Criminal RecordHaving a felony or serious criminal pastConvicted felon
Financial InstabilityPoor credit or bankruptcy historyMultiple bankruptcies
Travel PlansPlans to visit high-risk countriesTravel to war zones
Application ErrorsGenetic diseases in the familyFalse health information
Previous DenialsRejected by other insurersMultiple insurance rejections
Mental HealthSevere mental disordersChronic depression
Risky BehaviorHistory of reckless behaviorDUI records
Family Medical HistoryLiving in high-mortality areasHereditary cancer
Smoking StatusUse of tobacco productsRegular smoker
Poor Driving RecordMultiple accidents or violationsFrequent traffic tickets
Military ServiceActive duty in conflict zonesDeployment in war-torn areas
High BMIObesity or very high BMIBMI over 40
Limited Life ExpectancyTerminal illnessesEnd-stage diseases
Financial JustificationInsufficient economic reasonNo dependents or debts
Insurance FraudPast fraudulent activitiesFalsifying claims
High-risk ResidenceLiving in high mortality areasResiding in conflict zones


Understanding the various reasons for being denied life insurance is crucial for applicants. It ranges from health and lifestyle choices to financial and legal factors. By being aware of these factors, you can better prepare for a successful application. If you’re considering applying for life insurance and need guidance, contact us today for a free quote

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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