Can I buy Life Insurance for a sick parent?

Life Insurance for Parents

If you work with an agent who represents many different insurance companies, you should be able to find your parent coverage for almost any illness.  How easy it is to qualify for depends on if you’re looking for a small burial Life Insurance policy or a larger from a  traditional policy.  If all fails, there is also “Guarantee issue life insurance” that covers any illness, after a 2 year waiting period.  Read Below to find out more.


When contemplating buying life insurance for a sick parent, you might be overwhelmed with the amount of information out there.  Considering that most people look for life insurance after a traumatic experience, this may seem like a daunting task. We hope that this guide will make this process a lot easier.

The first question you would have to ask yourself is what is the reason for buying life insurance on your parents?  We have found that most people purchasing insurance on their senior parents do it for 2 reasons: Either to cover final expenses or to protect certain assets or debts such as a mortgage or medical bills.  Each of these reasons require 2 different types of life insurance.


(Burial Insurance is also known as Final Expense Life Insurance or FE for short.)

For Funeral costs, and post funeral services, small debts left by parents, final medical and other related expenses.

These policies require a much smaller death benefit ($50,000 or less) and are easier to qualify for.


To cover the cost of remaining mortgage on a house, and other major debts.  To quickly liquidate assets amongst the surviving children.

These policies typically start at higher death benefits from $50,000 to millions of dollars.  A Guaranteed Universal life insurance can also be used for these same reasons.


The short answer is Yes. Even if your parent is sick, he or she  will most likely qualify for a type of life insurance policy out there.  Though some insurers might decline them, others won’t.

This is where we come in.  At Boston LIfe Group, we specialize in finding affordable insurance rates for people with pre-existing conditions.  This could be a medical or lifestyle condition. We are familiar with the underwriting guidelines of over 50 insurance companies out there.

But how do you know if we’ll be able to find a policy for your parent?

Well, it’s funny you’d ask because below, we have a quick guide for you depending on the policy you’re looking for.


Burial Insurance is the most lenient type of life insurance policy.  Because the death benefit is low, life insurance companies are willing to take more chances with people with moderate to severe health conditions.


Mild conditions are health conditions that Final Expense companies do not care much about.  They might matter for a traditional life insurance companies, but burial insurance companies pay them no mind.  These conditions include but are not limited to

  • High Cholesterol
  • Overweight and mild obesity
  • High Blood Pressure with no medications
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Crohn’s disease & Ulcerative Colitis
  • Anxiety
  • Type 2 Diabetes (no insulin shots)
  • Other non life threatening conditions..

In order to get a price for mild conditions, all you need to do is a run a burial insurance quote.  Chances are any of the insurance companies will accept your application as long as they are allowed to do business in your state.  Keep in mind that quite a few of these companies are not available in Massachusetts. Please give us a call for more details

Important note: these conditions are considered mild only if they’re stable.  Regardless of how mild your condition is, the insurance company will still consider a hospitalization as a negative and they will have a waiting period before they can issue you a policy.


For the purpose of this article, moderate condition is described as a health conditions that is serious but many of the burial insurance companies are willing to accept.  A number of the burial insurance companies will refuse to extend an offer but there are multiple others who are willing to.

This is why it’s important to work with an independent life insurance agency like Boston Life Group.  Instead of applying to one insurance product with one carrier who may or may not accept your conditions, we have a slew of companies willing to extend your parents an offer even with moderate conditions.

Here is a list of conditions we would consider moderate


Diabetes (depending on meds)

HIstory of heart attack (over 2 years)

HIstory of Cancer (over 2 years)

History of Stroke (over 2 years)

Sickle Cell Disease

Controlled Hepatitis

Kidney Disease (no dialysis)





Here is how you should apply life insurance for your parents if they have a moderate pre-existing condition.

  1. Run a burial insurance quote.  This will give you an idea of what you should pay.
  2. Call us or your independent life insurance agent and find out which one of the companies will accept your parent given the conditions.  Be as detailed and as honest as possible.

It’s that simple.  Keep in mind that this is Burial Insurance and it’s always easier to get coverage for this type of life insurance.  Later in this article, you will find that Term or traditional whole life is harder to qualify for.


Chronic conditions are life threatening conditions that are hard to insure.  With these conditions, your parent will most likely get declined for standard burial insurance policies.  They will only qualify for a Modified Life Insurance or Guarantee Issue life insurance policy.

Before we dive deep on these types of life insurance policies, here is a list of what we would consider chronic Conditions

Current Cancer (except some types of skin cancer)

COPD with Oxygen use


Recent Heart Attack

Alzheimer’s / Dementia

Liver Failure

Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Current or Recent)

Bedridden for any reason

Recent open heart Surgery

Cystic Fibrosis

Kidney Dialysis (Current)

It’s important to note that this is for current conditions only.  If your parent has been cured or no longer needs a procedure above, they will qualify for standard burial coverage after a waiting period (2 years for most conditions)

Otherwise, your parents will only qualify for either of the following

  1. Graded LIfe Insurance policy
  2. Guarantee issue policy

Unlike regular burial insurance, both Graded and guaranteed have a waiting period before the insured can receive the death benefit.

Graded Benefit Life Insurance Policy

Graded Insurance is a type of life insurance where the death benefit gradually increases during a waiting period.  Once the waiting period is over, the insured is eligible to receive the full death benefit. A typical graded schedule looks like this is 50% the 1st year, 75% the 2nd and the full death benefit during the 3rd year.

This is how it works.  Your mother applies for a graded life insurance policy at the age of 75.  She pays $80/month for a $15,000 death benefit. If she were to pass that same year, her death benefit would only be $7500.  The next year, 75% of the death benefit at $11250 and she would only receive the full death benefit during the 3rd year.

Other than death benefit, Graded Insurance policy still has an approval process.  Not everyone qualifies for death benefit. It’s pretty easy to qualify for but there are some exceptions.  Typically, people who are bedridden, have cancer, are on dialysis or have AIDS, will not qualify.

Guarantee Insurance Life Insurance Policy

Unlike Graded Life Insurance policies, any eligible applicant will qualify for Guarantee Issue life insurance.  It’s important to note that most guarantee issue policies have an age range. Typically 50-80 year old only.

In addition to the approval process, the main difference between the two is the way the death benefit is issued.  Unlike Graded policies, the death benefit does not have an increasing schedule. Instead, if your parents were to pass away during the first 2 year policy, you would only receive the amounts of premium paid plus interest.  After the first 2 years, you will be eligible for the full death benefit.


Below is an example of a female price table.  This reflects non smoker pricing.  If your loved ones are current smokers, their price will be significantly higher.  Keep in mind that they are considered non-smokers if they have stopped smoking for over a year.  

Males also will tend to pay more, though the difference is not as significant.  Please use our quoter on this page to get specific quotes for your own situation.

Female $7500$10000$15000$20000
Age 55$23$30$40$55
Age 65$34$40$60$80
Age 75$55$75$110$145
Age 85$102$135$215$275