Traditional vs. Graded Death Benefit Life Insurance

In all of our articles, we tell you what type of health classification you may be able to qualify for, either “traditional life insurance” or “graded death benefit life insurance.”

Here are a few differences:

Traditional Life Insurance

  • Individuals with Mild or controlled health conditions can usually qualify.
  • Usually requires a medical exam.
  • Less Expensive
  • 100% of death benefit available immediately after policy issue.
  • Types of Insurance available – Term, Whole Life, Universal Life

Graded Death Benefit Life Insurance

  • For individuals with More severe or uncontrolled conditions.
  • Does not require a medical exam.
  • More expensive.
  • Death benefit is reduced during first 2-3 years after policy issue.
  • Types of Policies available – Term, Whole Life

We refer to the following health classifications on our site.  These are ALL health ratings that refer to traditional coverage:

  • “Standard Rating or Better” or “Not Rated”
  • “Mild Substandard” Rating
  • “Medium Substandard” Rating
  • “Severe Substandard” Rating

Traditional                                                                       Graded

Coronary Artery Disease with Stints                        Heart Transplant

Chronic Controlled Nephritis                                       Stage III Kidney Disease

Prostate, Colon or Breast Cancer Survivor             Pancreatic Cancer

Bipolar Disorder (currently working, stable)         Bipolar (multiple meds, disabled)

Diabetes (good control, no complications)            Diabetes (insulin dependent, a1c > 10)

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