Life insurance with pre-existing conditions
In this brief blog post, we will cover if you can get life insurance with a pre-existing medical condition and under what circumstances this is possible.
If you are looking to get life insurance and you have a pre-existing condition then you may find that getting life insurance is much harder than usual. When life insurance providers decide if they are going to provide you with cover the must first decide how much risk you post to them.
If you have a pre-existing condition then the insurer will want to know the status of the condition to know if it fits their risk profile and if they can provide you with life insurance or not.
The life insurance provider will take into account your current health, whether you have a terminal pre-existing condition or not, your medical history, your age and the status of the pre-existing condition before deciding if they will provide you with life insurance or not.
The life insurance provider will use this information to decide if they can offer you insurance with pre-existing conditions and at what premium to charge you for the life insurance product.
Having a pre-existing condition doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get life insurance. Most life insurance providers may offer you life insurance with pre-existing conditions but they may require you to go for a medical assessment before they decide how much your premium will cost.
There are also life insurance providers that will offer you life insurance with pre-existing conditions without requiring you to undergo a medical assessment.
A medical assessment does not necessarily mean that your premiums will be higher, in some cases the life insurance provider simply wants to know what your current condition is for their records.
Most people also wonder if having a mental illness will affect the life insurance premium you pay. As of yet, we haven’t found any evidence of such.If you are suffering from mental health issues and are under 18 then you may be able to get help from the governments CAMHS service.
Pre-existing medical conditions in the UK
There are now an estimated 15 million people in the Uk living with at least one long term medical condition. They also estimate that this may rise to over 18 million people in 10 years.
What types of pre-existing conditions do life insurance providers consider?
Different life insurance providers may have different criteria for the type of life insurance with pre-existing conditions they will offer. This will be based on their risk appetite as a business and the segment of the market they target.
What medical conditions affect life insurance?
Some of the pre-existing conditions life insurance providers will consider include:
- Bowel cancer
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- kidney disease
- Crohn’s disease
- liver disease
- muscular dystrophy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Coronary heart disease
- raised cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- stroke and weight problems.
- Acid reflux
What is a pre-existing medical condition?
A pre-existing medical condition is a medical condition which currently exists and you will with it on an ongoing basis. Pre-existing medical conditions are medical conditions that exist before or at the time of you taking an insurance policy. Pre-existing medical conditions can be a disease, injury or illness which you currently live with. Different insurance providers will have their own criteria for what sort of pre-existing conditions they accept and which ones they do not accept.
The list of pre-existing conditions an insurer may want to know include:
- Heart attacks
- Any heart disease
- Any type of cancer
what is life insurance?
Life insurance is insurance that pays out upon your death. It helps your family cover any costs which you may have covered when you were alive. Life insurance costs will be based around your past medical history and if you have any pre-existing conditions. If you have a terminal illness then you may find it harder to get life insurance with pre-existing conditions.
Some life insurance providers will pay you out when you are alive if you have a terminal illness but this will be based on the clauses in your life insurance and the terminal illness you have.
When underwriting a life insurance policy there are usually two methods which life insurance providers use to underwrite a life insurance policy, they include:
If you are seeking life insurance with pre-existing conditions then most life insurance providers may underwrite your health insurance with a Moratorium underwriting. This means they will exclude any conditions which you have suffered, suffered symptoms, received treatments and declare to them. These will be conditions going back 5 years before your life insurance policy starts. Some life insurance providers may also agree to cover you for those conditions if you go two years without any symptoms, treatment or medical advice once you have taken the life insurance.
Full medical cover underwriting
If you mentioned that you want life insurance with pre-existing conditions then your life insurance provider may require your full medical records to properly assess your situation. Your life insurance provider will not be able to do this without your full permission.
Your life insurance provider will then use this to determine which conditions are excluded from your policy.
Can you get life insurance with pre-existing conditions?
Yes, you can get life insurance with pre-existing conditions but you must disclose all your pre-existing conditions to the life insurance provider if not your insurance may be voided when it is claimed on.
Disclosing a pre-existing condition to a life insurance provider doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be declined life insurance or that your life insurance premium will be much higher.
The life insurance provider may simply want to know the details around your pre-existing condition to determine if it is a risk to them or not.
If you can prove to the insurer that the pre-existing condition can be managed then you may find that they will offer you with life insurance with pre-existing conditions on a standard premium. As outlined by the Equality Act 2010, if you have a condition that’s considered curable or manageable it may be against the law to charge you more for life insurance because of it.
If your pre-existing condition is much more serious then the life insurance provider may change the terms of your life insurance policy, the price and may even include premium loading to account for the increased risk.
You may be able to get life insurance without any exclusions. This means your family will still receive funds from the life insurance provider if you die from a condition which you declared to the insurer. You may have to pay a much higher premium if you want to get life insurance with pre-existing conditions which have no exclusions.
Serious pre-existing condition
If your pre-existing condition is much more serious such as a terminal illness(cancer) then you may not find any life insurance providers who are willing to provide you with life insurance with pre-existing conditions.
If your condition is very serious but you are not in any danger of dying soon then you may have some life insurance providers who are willing to offer you life insurance with pre-existing conditions but you may have to pay an additional premium.
When assessing if they will be able to offer you life insurance with pre-existing conditions which are serious, the life insurance provider will want to know the below things.
- What was the diagnosis?
- Is the diagnosis being managed by any current treatments and drugs?
- Are the treatments for the diagnosis working?
- How long has the condition persisted?
- How severe is the condition?
- What types of treatments and medications are available for the condition?
- How long ago the diagnosis was?
- Has the diagnosis returned and when?
- Does any of your family members have this condition?
The insurer may require your medical history from your GP with a GP note accompanying this.
Can I get low-cost life insurance with pre-existing conditions?
Yes, you may be able to get low-cost life insurance with pre-existing conditions if you are able to prove to the life insurance provider that it is unlikely that your symptoms will return. If you can also prove to the life insurance provider that you have been taking your treatment regularly and it is working or that you have now changed your lifestyle to a healthy one.
This could be doing things such as exercising regularly, avoiding unhealthy food, not smoking or drinking in very small amounts.
Can you get life insurance if you have diabetes?
If you have had diabetes and this is your only pre-existing condition then you may find some insurance providers who may offer you life insurance with a pre-existing condition.
If the type of diabetes you have is type 2 then you may find it harder to get insurance but you may still be able to get life insurance with pre-existing conditions from a specialist life insurance broker. You can expect to pay a higher life insurance premium for type 2 diabetes as it is harder to manage and may lead to other health complications down the line.
If the type of diabetes you have is type 1 and you have been dealing with it for a long period then getting life insurance with pre-existing conditions may be much easier as life insurers will be satisfied that you are able to manage your existing condition.
What can you spend a life insurance payout on?
You can spend a life insurance payout on anything you want to. There is no restriction on what you can spend your life insurance payout on.
Most people will spend their life insurance payout on the below things.
Your mortgage or rent: You could use the life insurance payout to pay off your mortgage or manage your monthly mortgage repayments. You could even use it to buy more equity in your home and secure a good remortgage. You can also use it to cover your rent payments.
School fees: You can use the payout from a life insurance policy to train your kids at the best schools possible so they can stand a good chance of finding good jobs.
Holiday: You can use the payout from life insurance to go on the holiday you had always dreamt of.
Debts: You can use the life insurance payout to clear any debts you currently have.
Bills: You can use the payout from life insurance to pay any household bills.
Mortgage insurance with pre-existing conditions
Most people aren’t aware that you don’t actually need insurance to get a mortgage although many mortgage brokers will advise you to get mortgage insurance which is commonly known as mortgage protection.
Getting mortgage protection may be good if you want to ensure that the mortgage is going to be paid if you fall seriously ill or die before you finish paying off your mortgage.
If you have any dependents then doing this may be in their best interests.
If anything happens to you then the insurance will pay out a large lump sum which can be used to pay off your mortgage. Getting mortgage protection with pre-existing conditions will follow a similar process to life insurance policies.
What happens if you develop a medical condition during your life insurance policy?
If you develop a condition during your life insurance policy then you will not void your policy. You should read the terms of your insurance agreement to see if you have to disclose this to your insurer.
Getting life insurance with no medical checks
It is possible to get life insurance with no medical checks but these policies may turn out to be more expensive in comparison to a life insurance with pre-existing conditions.
Over 50s plan is available to those between 50 and 85 years old and with over 50s life insurance no medical checks are required and no medical information is requested from you.
Over 50s life insurance will usually require a 12 to 24 month waiting period where any claims made in that period will not be paid but any premiums paid within that time will be returned if you die in that time period.
Can you get life insurance with a terminal illness?
There is no life insurance product for terminal illness but you will find that most life insurance providers will not offer life insurance for patients with terminal illness. There is a life insurance you may be able to get with a terminal illness known as a guaranteed issue life insurance policy which allows your family to cover the expenses of burying you and any other final costs.
Critical illness cover with pre-existing medical conditions
You may not be able to get critical illness cover if you have a critical illness. You may be able to get another type of life insurance policy cover such as an over 50s plan life insurance.
The type of cover you will be able to get may depend on your personal circumstances such as age, type of diagnosis, history of diagnosis and any other relevant information. Over 50s life insurance products don’t require any medical assessments or information so you won’t have to provide any of these details.
Can I get life cover if my family have had an illness?
If someone in your family haas had an illness you may be able to get life cover depending on the type of illness they had and if it is hereditary. If it is a hereditary illness then you may find that the life insurance provider will want to see your medical files and have you undergo a medical assessment. Life insurance providers will deal with this on a case by case basis tofully understand what their risks are and then price the insurance policy based on this.
If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.
You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.