I’ve always carried a large life insurance policy for the last 20+ years. I think it’s good that my family is taken care of if something happens to me. This morning I had to do an update because my original term was for twenty years. I was apprehensive about how the insurance company will perceive me as a risk.
According to Quotacy, life insurance companies’ responses vary to transgender applicants.
We recently worked with an applicant who had surgically transitioned from male to female. We completed an underwriting study—which is when we go to the different life insurance companies and ask what they think they could offer our applicant—and the responses varied.
Some carrier responses included the following:
Please note the statements are the unedited responses of underwriters at some of our life insurance companies and do not reflect the views of Quotacy as a company.
- We may issue Standard male rates assuming no history ofdepression, anxiety or other issues.
- We may issue Preferred male rates pending on medical history.
- We may issue Preferred female rates pending medical records and that applicant is following post-surgery requirements such as counseling and hormone therapy.
- We cannot issue until 3 years post-surgery and would rate as female then.
- We would generally issue male rates but will consider female if applicant feels it’s more appropriate.
- Whatever gender the applicant applies as is the one we will use.
- We always underwrite as the gender they were born with.
As you can see, no two life insurance companies are alike. Each life insurance company follows their own set of underwriting guidelines and works on a case-by-case basis.
I haven’t heard back from my life insurance company yet.
However, this morning I had my physical. This brought so many questions into my head. I think the biggest issue I had was how was I gone to be perceived? I mean the nurse was coming to see a guy and she would see me instead. I heard her come in and I went to greet her. I said hi, she said, “I’m looking for Dr. White.” Yes, she was looking for male Dr. White. I said, “That’s me.” She cocked her head sideways a little as she said, “I thought I was meeting a guy.” I side stepped the response and said, “Come on back.”
That was the only mention of my gender the whole time she was with me. We did the usual physical stuff, height, blood pressure, history and the dreaded scale. Everything went very well, I think. My blood pressure was 118/68, it’s like that or lower usually. The history took a while but luckily everything seems to be good with me. She asked about my drugs. I told her Estradiol and progesterone. She didn’t blink an eye, just simply wrote it down. We briefly talked about my Endocrinologist and my Orthopedic surgeon.
This went I guess better than I expected. My being transgender never came up in the exam. Nor did she perceive me as anything but female. As she left it hit me hard, my emotions that is. I wanted to cry as so many emotions flooded my senses. I was seen as who I see myself, but for many reasons I was never able to be. I have been living fulltime as a female for two years but I’m not sure my head believes it to be true. Also, I guess I’ve assimilated well into the role, but not sure my dysphoria believes me. I still wait for that other shoe to drop so to speak all the time.
The next step will be what will the insurance do/say about me being transgender? I guess it’s one step at a time. What has been your experience with insurance? I hear car insurance may also go down. You can always reach me at. As always love, light, and peace. Phee
Sophie Marie White, married with three kids, is a native of South Louisiana. She draws from her varied experiences as a writer, filmmaker, producer, Director of Photography, Chiropractor, EMT, firefighter, race car driver, and boxing promoter to inspire her acting and writing. She has been active in the film industry for the past 18 plus years.
Sophie began acting a little over a year ago. Since then she has been cast in several feature films, including Hummingbird and We All Think We Are Special. Sophie was also cast in several TV series including Tell Me Your Secrets and top of show, guest-starring role, on Chicago Med. In her first year and a half of acting, she has been cast in 3 television series, 14 movies, and 1 play.
She is also a syndicated writer, who writes on transgender issues in and outside the film industry. Her screenplays have won the ISA New Orleans Writers Award 2017 and have placed at Table Read My Screenplay (New Orleans, London, and Sundance), Final Draft Fellowship, ISA Fast-track Fellowship, and New York International Fright Fest.
Films she has produced from her screenplays have won or placed at numerous film festivals including AMFM, London Independent Awards, Imagination Lunchbox, and New Zealand Film Awards, just to name a few. She has even watched one of her produced films in the White House.
Sophie is a transgender female, and with her family, she’s making her way through the complicated transition process. She brings a unique voice that is extremely under-represented in the film and television industry. Her desire to share her journey will hopefully show others that there is hope, and they are not alone. Sophie tries to live up to her motto of love, light, and peace.