Understanding Life Insurance Options for Transgender People

Find out how you can find life insurance options as a transgender individual.

12 minute read
Originally published: February 17, 2023

Understanding Life Insurance Options for Transgender Individuals

Understanding Life Insurance Options for Transgender People

Find out how you can find life insurance options as a transgender individual.

12 minute read
Originally published: February 17, 2023

Understanding Life Insurance Options for Transgender Individuals

​​Life insurance provides financial security for your loved ones after you pass away, helping to cover expenses such as funeral costs, loss of income, debt, and college tuition. It is a crucial component of financial planning for many. Navigating  the process of getting life insurance may be more challenging for transgender, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming people than for cisgender people. Still, it’s important to know that everyone can get life insurance, no matter what their gender identity is. Discrimination based on gender identity is not permitted when applying for life insurance.

Transgender clients may worry that their gender identity will keep them from getting life insurance or that it’s too late to apply. Keep in mind that being transgender should not affect a person’s ability to obtain life insurance coverage. Insurance companies will look at the person’s risk and may take their medical history into account, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get insurance. It is important for the individual to disclose their identity to the insurance company and provide any necessary medical documentation. A common question we get is “Can I get life insurance if I am transgender?”

You can get life insurance no matter your gender identity (trans, non-binary, genderfluid)

Yes! Being trans does not disqualify you from obtaining life insurance.

Can You Still Get Life Insurance If You’re Transgender?

You can still get life insurance if you are transgender. Policies shouldn’t be denied or priced differently just because someone is transgender. On the other hand, some insurance companies may still use the gender given at birth to set policy rates and evaluate risk. This is because mortality and health risks like prostate cancer and osteoporosis are linked to the gender assigned at birth. Many life insurance companies now accept the gender that the applicant says they are. Each insurer has different requirements for underwriting, though. Some may look at the applicant’s current gender after at least three years since gender reassignment surgery, while others may see the applicant’s gender right away.

Identifying Your Gender on an Application

Transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people can find it hard to get life insurance because insurance companies base their premiums mostly on life expectancy, which is usually based on the sex assigned at birth. For example, people who are given the gender female at birth tend to live longer, which means they pay less for insurance than people who are given the gender male at birth. This makes it hard for people who don’t identify with the sex they were given at birth.

Life insurance companies may ask for either “sex” or “gender,” leading to confusion for applicants who may not know which answer to provide. Some companies say that you should answer with the sex you were given at birth to avoid technical problems that could make getting coverage take longer. Also, medical records, which are often checked by life insurance companies, may list the applicant’s assigned gender at birth instead of their lived gender. This makes the process even more complicated.

Life insurance is available to everyone, no matter what their gender identity is, despite these problems. But right now, life insurance companies only use a small amount of data about deaths, which doesn’t include the life expectancies of transgender or nonbinary people. As more data becomes available, these tables are likely to change and give a more accurate picture of life expectancy for both men and women.

As a transgender, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming person, it can be hard to get life insurance, especially if the agent you work with doesn’t fully understand the unique problems you may face.

C.P. Hoffman, a senior policy counsel at the National Center for Trans Equality, says that people in this situation should be ready to tell their life insurance agent about their identity and other things that may affect their policy. This can be done by working with a life insurance broker or agent, either online, by phone, or in person, who can help you answer questions you’re unsure about and raise topics that the insurance company may not have thought to ask.

It’s important to be open and honest about your sex assigned at birth, your gender identity, the status of your identity documents, any hormone therapy medicines, and any gender-confirmation surgery plans (if applicable). 

Keep in mind that there are no medical exam life insurance policies available with coverage sometimes capped at lower amounts, which might be a suitable option for you. A life insurance broker or agent can help you make the best choice for your situation.

If it makes you uncomfortable to talk about personal things with a life insurance company rep, you might want to get a life insurance policy with the help of an LGBTQ+ financial advisor.

To learn more about if you should get no medical life insurance, check out our blog on no medical insurance, where we go into details about this type of policy including its advantages and disadvantages.

Life Insurance Underwriting for Transgender Applicants

How Being Trans Can Affect Life Insurance Premiums

Being transgender in itself does not necessarily affect life insurance premiums. But some life insurance companies still use the person’s gender at birth to set the policy rate instead of the person’s current gender. This is because most of their underwriting is based on mortality data that is tied to gender. This can lead to higher premiums for people who were given the male gender at birth and lower premiums for people who were given the female gender at birth, even if they have changed their gender since then.

Additionally, the lack of data on the life expectancies of transgender or nonbinary people can also lead to complications in the underwriting process. Some life insurance companies may ask for medical records and information about hormone therapy, gender-confirmation surgery, and other related factors, which could result in delays in getting coverage.

Below you’ll find the factors that may and may not impact your life insurance premiums.

Factors that could influence the cost of premiums:

  • Sex assigned at birth
  • Age
  • Current health status (physical and mental)
  • Medical history (physical and mental)
  • Surgeries undergone
  • Tobacco or nicotine use
  • Use of prescription medication
  • Family medical history
  • Driving record
  • Risky hobbies (e.g., skydiving)
  • High-risk occupation (e.g., aircraft pilot)
  • Income
  • Type of life insurance policy (term life or whole life)
  • Coverage amount

Factors that cannot affect the cost of premiums: 

  • Trans identity
  • Nonbinary identity
  • Gender non-conforming identity
  • Diagnosis of gender dysphoria

What Are Some Examples of Companies in Canada That Use Assigned Gender at Birth Versus Those That Don’t?

In Canada, discrimination based on gender identity and expression is prohibited under the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. So, companies are expected to respect the gender identity of their employees and customers. It’s difficult to identify specific companies that use assigned gender at birth, as many companies have shifted towards more inclusive policies that respect the gender identity of their employees and customers. Additionally, many companies do not publicly disclose their policies on this issue. 

Some life insurance companies in Canada that are known to have gender-inclusive policies include:

It is worth noting that this list is not exhaustive and may not reflect the current policies of the companies listed. The best way to know a company’s stance on this issue is to directly contact the company or check their website for information on their policies and values.

That being said, it is important for all companies to comply with Canadian laws, which prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and expression under the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. So, even if a company may have used assigned gender at birth in the past, they may have since updated their policies to be more inclusive.

It’s best to directly contact a company or check their website for information on their policies and values regarding gender identity and expression.

What To Anticipate at a Medical Examination

The underwriting process in life insurance assesses your risk profile by examining your health history, age, and lifestyle. Depending on the type of life insurance policy you apply for and the insurance company, the questions you need to answer about your identity and health may vary.

In some cases, a medical exam may not be required. If it is, the exam typically takes place either in your home, workplace, or at an exam company office and will include a medical questionnaire, measurement of height, weight, pulse, and blood pressure, and the collection of blood and urine samples for testing.

Additional tests, such as X-rays, a treadmill stress test, and a cognitive ability test for applicants aged 70 and above, as well as an electrocardiogram for applicants aged 50 and older, may also be necessary.

Life Insurance That Does Not Require Medical Information

​​Before granting a policy, life insurance companies frequently demand a medical examination. However, this requirement might not be suitable for all transgender applicants. You still have choices in this situation, such as getting no medical life insurance. But with this type of insurance, there are some disadvantages. There may be a three-year waiting period before coverage begins, and you might not get as much coverage as you would with a traditional policy. The price is frequently significantly higher as well.

Guaranteed issue life insurance could be a fantastic choice if you do not want a life insurance policy that requires a medical exam. You won’t need to submit your medical history or undergo a medical exam in order to purchase this sort of life insurance.

Effects of Gender Confirmation Surgery on Insurance

Many life insurance firms inquire about applicants’ surgical plans for the upcoming year. Agents will inquire further if you have any type of surgery in the works, whether it is connected to gender affirmation or not. They will specifically inquire as to whether general anesthesia is necessary for the procedure, given its link to severe consequences.

If you have a planned operation that may require general anesthesia, you may be asked to delay applying until after the procedure is finished and you’ve physically recovered, depending on the risk involved.

You can also be questioned about recent operations you’ve had. A firm may advise waiting up to a year after surgery before applying.

Life Insurance Options 

  • Term Life Insurance: This is the most basic and straightforward type of life insurance policy. It provides coverage for a specified period of time, usually ranging from 10 to 30 years, and pays a death benefit if the policyholder dies during that term.
  • Whole Life Insurance: This type of life insurance provides coverage for the policyholder’s entire life and also accumulates cash value over time.
  • Universal Life Insurance: This type of policy is similar to whole life insurance, but it has more flexibility in terms of premium payments and death benefit amounts.
  • Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance: This type of policy is designed for individuals who may have difficulty obtaining traditional life insurance coverage due to health issues or other factors. It does not require a medical exam or health questionnaire.

Regardless of the type of policy, insurance companies typically require proof of identity, such as a government-issued ID, and accurate information about the policyholder’s gender identity, medical history, and other relevant factors. It is important for transgender individuals to provide accurate information and to work with an insurance company that has experience working with the LGBTQ+ community to ensure they get the coverage they need.

Tips for Applying for Life Insurance

If you are looking to apply for life insurance, it’s important to take a few steps to ensure you find the right policy for your needs. Here are some tips that may help:

Tips for applying for life insurance if you are transgender. If you are applying for life insurance, Consider Employer-Provided Plans, Consult a Life Insurance Broker, and Seek Out Resources

Consider Employer-Provided Plans: Many employers offer life insurance to their employees, which typically eliminates the need for medical exams or health questionnaires. Keep in mind that this type of coverage is linked to your employment, so you might lose it if you leave the company.

Consult a Life Insurance Broker: Working with a life insurance broker can be beneficial, as they have experience in the industry and can provide professional advice tailored to your specific needs. They can help you find the right insurance company for transgender applicants, compare policies, and find the most cost-effective option for your budget.

Seek Out Resources: If you need additional help, there are various resources available to assist with life insurance. These can help you understand your options and any state laws that may apply to your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Life Insurance as a Transgender Person


Yes, transgender people can get life insurance coverage. However, some insurance providers may ask questions about their gender identity and health history during the underwriting process.

In general, life insurance premiums are based on factors such as age, health, medical history, and habits like smoking. However, the gender identity of a transgender individual should not directly affect their life insurance premium.

This depends on the life insurance company and type of policy. Some insurance providers may require a medical exam, while others may not. It’s best to speak with a broker or check with the insurance provider directly to determine their specific requirements.

It’s not recommended to hide or falsify information during the life insurance application process. Providing accurate and truthful information ensures that your coverage and policy details are correct and up-to-date.

If you’re uncomfortable with a medical exam, you may consider guaranteed issue life insurance or final expense life insurance. These policies typically do not require a medical exam, but they may come with limitations and restrictions, such as lower coverage amounts or longer waiting periods.

In some cases, yes. Some life insurance companies cover gender-affirming surgeries, but others do not. It depends on the insurance policy and the insurance company.

It depends on the type of life insurance policy you apply for. Some policies may require a medical exam, while others may not. It’s important to understand the requirements of each policy before making a decision.

This may vary from company to company, but some companies may consider your gender identity instead of your assigned gender at birth when setting premium rates. It’s important to shop around and compare rates to find the best policy for your needs.

Yes, you can apply for life insurance while taking hormone therapy. Your medical history, including any hormone therapy, will be considered by the insurance company when determining your premium rate.

Yes, it is possible to get life insurance after gender-affirming surgery. Your medical history, including any previous surgeries, will be considered by the insurance company when determining your premium rate.

It’s possible to change your policy after starting your transition, but it’s important to understand that your premium rate may be affected. It’s recommended to consult with a life insurance broker or agent before making any changes to your policy.

Find a solution for what you’re looking for

Your ability to get life insurance shouldn’t be impacted by the fact that you identify as transgender. You can even get free professional advice from an award winning broker at Protect Your Wealth to help you identify and secure the right life insurance coverage you need to create financial stability and protect your family and assets.

 To schedule a consultation about your income protection goals, or if you have any questions about insurance in Ontario or Canada, please contact Protect Your Wealth or call us at 1-877-654-6119 to talk to an advisor today! We’re proudly based out of Hamilton, and serve clients anywhere in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta  including areas such as Kingston, Medicine Hat, and Nanaimo.

Talk to an advisor today.

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