Over 50 Life Insurance and Chronic Back Pain

For most people over age 50, buying life insurance with Chronic Back Pain will not be difficult.

Most of those individuals will be able to qualify for an affordable life insurance in their 50’s and 60’s despite their Chronic Back Pain.

This is mostly because Chronic Back Pain is so common. The majority of life insurance applicants have experienced back pain at some point.

You are not alone.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) reports that approximately 80% of the U.S. citizens will experience Back Pain at one time or another.

When it comes to your Chronic Back Pain, life insurers will want to know more about the severity, treatments, medications, surgical and hospitalization history, as well as how it has impacted your life.

Insurance companies will also ask you about the cause of your Chronic Back Pain.

Is your chronic pain from a sports injury? Or is your chronic pain really a symptom of another serious condition such as cancer or arthritis?

Each applicant will obviously have a different story to tell about their chronic pain.

However, most applicants with Chronic Back Pain end-up receiving a Standard Rating which equates to an average premium amount.

Not a bad outcome by any means!

Give me a call to discuss how your particular diagnosis will impact life insurance ratings and, ultimately, the cost for coverage.

Or read on for more facts about over 50 life insurance with Chronic Back Pain.

Life Insurance Snapshot: Chronic Back Pain

Here is a 30 second look at how many insurance companies handle applicants with Chronic Back Pain, like yourself.

  • Impact on Application: Generally Minor
  • Best Rating: Preferred (Lowest Rates)
  • Worst Rating: Substandard/Table Rating (minimum of 25% rate up)
  • Main Factors: Cause, Severity, Treatments, Impact on Quality of Life

I can’t stress enough that the final decision on your life insurance rating will be based on your entire profile…not just your Chronic Back Pain.

Other aspects of your life, including additional medical conditions and risky lifestyle choices, will each have an impact on your insurance rating.

I put together the following sample life insurance ratings and pricing for applicants with Chronic Back Pain.

What Are Typical Ratings for Chronic Back Pain?

Do you understand how life insurance ratings work? Do you know the different types of ratings a life insurance company may assign applicants?

If you don’t know the answer, don’t worry.

Most of my clients don’t really understand what an insurance rating is or how it will influence the monthly premium they pay.

That’s what I’m here for – to help you along the way!

Below is an easy-to-follow table showing each rating category, how insurance carriers decide who should receive the rating, and what it means for the applicant’s policy pricing.

RatingReason For RatingPremium Pricing
PreferredVery Healthy, Low RiskBetter than Average Pricing
StandardControlled Medical Condition(s), Average RiskAverage Pricing
Sub-Standard (aka Table Rating)Chronic Disease (Moderate to Severe)Below Average Pricing - About a 25% rate up per Table Rating

Tip #1: Substandard (aka “Table”) Ratings usually have as many as 16 different levels below the “Standard” Rating.

For each table or level assigned, the insurance company adds about a 25% premium rate up above the average or median price.

For example, if you are assigned a Table Rating of 2 then your premiums will be 50% higher than the standard or average pricing.

Of course, each company has their own special guidelines so sometimes there’s differences among insurance carriers.

That’s why it’s usually best to talk with me when trying to estimate the rate class you’ll be able to qualify for and the rate you’ll have to pay as a result.

I am very familiar with the best life insurance companies for people over 50 and how they may view your application.

Frequent Ratings for Chronic Back Pain Sufferers

The common ratings for Chronic Back Pain sufferers like yourself is pretty straightforward.

Your best possible rating will be Preferred, but most likely a Standard Rating will apply.

To earn a Standard Rating with average premiums, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  • Chronic Back Pain is under good control
  • No other serious medical conditions
  • No use or limited use of opiates (aka painkillers)
  • Limited to no impact on your lifestyle (This basically means you’re still able to move around freely, actively and independently. Your chronic pain didn’t cause you to quit your job or go on disability.)

To receive a Substandard or Table Rating with higher than average premiums, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  • Chronic Back Pain is difficult to manage or control
  • You have other chronic health conditions
  • Your Chronic Back Pain was caused by a serious illness or disease
  • Heavy reliance on opiates (aka painkillers) to manage your pain
  • Significant impact on your lifestyle (Chronic Back Pain impacts your Activities of Daily Living, caused you to quit your job, or is the reason you currently receive disability.)

Remember, no matter how your Chronic Back Pain has altered your life, I can still find you a great life insurance policy.

Tip #2: Never try to leave out critical details or avoid answering the life insurer’s questions. In the long run, being honest right from the start will make the application process a lot quicker and less stressful.

Chronic Back Pain Case Studies

Case Study 1

Male, Age 65, Non-Smoker. Chronic Back Pain caused by a car accident 16 years ago. The applicant periodically visits a chiropractor for treatment, including massages and adjustments. When pain flares up, the applicant takes aspirin and uses an over-the-counter menthol sports cream.

Standard Rating with the average premiums.

The Chronic Back Pain Questions

I put together a collection of Chronic Back Pain questions most applicants will be asked.

The below list makes it clear life insurers will cover a variety of topics. They do so to have a good idea of how risky your condition will be in the long-run.

The Simple Questions

Check out what most insurance carriers will want to know…

  • What is your full diagnosis?
  • When did you first begin having Chronic Back Pain?
  • How often do you experience an episode of Chronic Back Pain?
  • Would you say your pain is intermittent or chronic?  
  • How often does the episode last?
  • What is your average pain level (1 to 10 pain scale)?
  • Are you limited in any way by your Chronic Back Pain?
  • How does your Chronic Back Pain affect your daily life, if at all?
  • Has your Chronic Back Pain caused you to quit a job or collect disability?
  • Have you ever been hospitalized because of your Chronic Back Pain?
  • Did you have surgery to treat your pain? Or are you planning to have surgery?
  • Has your Chronic Back Pain caused you to have anxiety or depression?

Insurance companies will also want to find out more about the cause of your illness, as well as the treatments used such as medication.


There are hundreds of causes for Chronic Back Pain, from minor to severe.

Life insurers will want to know if any of these were the cause of your ailment or was it something else entirely…


Many people are able to live comfortably despite their Chronic Back Pain because of their treatment plan.

Life insurance companies will want to know if you do any of the following to help better your situation…

  • Do you have regular epidural injections?
  • Do you go for frequent massages? Physical Therapy?
  • Do you use at-home remedies like ibuprofen, heat therapy, or cold packs?
  • Do you visit a chiropractor or an orthopedic doctor for care?
  • Do you visit a pain management doctor?
  • Do you perform regular exercise to alleviate your discomfort?
  • Do you take prescribed painkillers? What type? What’s the dosage and frequency of use?

Basic Application Questions

All insurance carriers will want basic information like this as well….  

  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Marital Status
  • Height and Weight
  • Job
  • Alcohol use
  • Drug use
  • Complete medical history (including surgeries & hospital stays)
  • Family health history
  • Preferred hobbies
  • Driving record
  • Tobacco Use

Tip #3: Life insurers have a seperate set of rates for smokers. The pricing for smokers is significantly higher than non-smoker rates.

That’s because smoking increases your risk of developing critical conditions like COPD and cancer.

The good news is if you stopped smoking 12 months ago then you would qualify for non-smoker rates.

If you stop smoking in the future, you may be able to get your premiums reconsidered for a reduction.

Each life insurance company handles tobacco products differently.

There’s a lot to take into consideration when you’re a smoker looking for life coverage.

Don’t sweat it! Call me and I can walk you through everything.

Protect Those You Love Now

It’s been reported that 80% of Americans will experience back pain during their lifetime.

So listing Chronic Back Pain on a life insurance application is not unusual.

In our experience, Chronic Back Pain usually has minimal effect on life insurance ratings or pricing.

I can’t stress enough that Chronic Back Pain is simply not a good enough reason to leave your life, and your family’s future, unprotected.

Check “getting life insurance” off your to do list right now! Your family will be thrilled you did.

Finding cheap life insurance over the age of 50 is possible. You can start here by running a life insurance quote. Or give me a call for one-on-one assistance.

We’ll discuss different coverage options and I can help you get an application started today.