What Happens When Insurance is Denied?

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Understanding Insurance Denial and MIB

When an application for insurance, particularly life insurance, is denied, this event can have broader implications than just a single rejection. One significant consequence is the inclusion of the applicant’s information in a national database known as the Medical Information Bureau (MIB).

The Role of the MIB

The MIB plays a critical role in the insurance industry. It is a database that contains medical and other relevant information on individuals who have applied for life, health, disability income, long-term care, and critical illness insurances in the past. Insurance companies use this information to assess the risk and eligibility of applicants.

Consequences of Being in the MIB

  1. Shared Information: If you are denied insurance, the reasons for this denial, including any medical conditions or risk factors identified during the underwriting process, are shared with the MIB.
  2. Impact on Future Applications: When you apply for insurance with another company, they may access your MIB record. The information in the database can influence their decision, possibly leading to another denial or higher premiums.

The Importance of Pre-Screening

Pre-screening with an agent before applying can be a crucial step in avoiding denial and subsequent reporting to the MIB. An agent can:

  • Evaluate your situation,
  • Identify potential issues,
  • Recommend steps to mitigate those issues, and
  • Choose insurance companies that are more likely to accept your application.

How to Handle Insurance Denial

  1. Understand the Reason: Obtain a detailed explanation for the denial. Insurance companies are required to provide this information upon request.
  2. Correct Errors: If the denial is based on incorrect information, provide the correct details to the insurer.
  3. Consider Alternative Insurers: Some companies specialize in high-risk applicants or have different underwriting criteria.
  4. Improve Your Health: If possible, take steps to improve your health and reapply at a later date.
  5. Appeal the Decision: If you believe the denial was unjustified, consider appealing the decision with the insurance company.

Steps to Take Following Insurance Denial

1Understand DenialGet a detailed reason for the denial from the insurer.
2Correct ErrorsProvide accurate information if the denial was based on inaccuracies.
3Explore AlternativesLook for insurance companies with different underwriting criteria.
4Improve HealthMake lifestyle changes to address any health-related issues.
5AppealConsider appealing the insurance company’s decision.


Being denied insurance and included in the MIB database can affect future insurance applications. However, by understanding the process, correcting inaccuracies, improving health, and appealing unjustified decisions, applicants can enhance their chances of approval. It’s also beneficial to work with an agent for pre-screening to avoid potential denials. Understanding these steps provides a path forward for those facing insurance denial.

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Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Shawn Plummer is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, 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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