A life insurance policy can provide peace of mind that your loved ones will be protected financially regardless of what the future might hold. But is it possible to purchase life insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition or have experienced a serious illness and will the policy pay out if this condition plays a part in your death?
The short answer is: yes. However, when searching for life insurance quotes, you may find that your policy will cost more and the number of insurance providers that you can choose from are limited. So let’s dive into the details.
What is a pre-existing condition?
The term pre-existing condition refers to a disease, injury or illness that you have either experienced in the past or are currently experiencing prior to taking out a life insurance policy. All insurance providers have a list of illnesses that they count as a pre-existing condition, which may include:
High blood pressure
When looking for quotes for life insurance, you are obliged to inform your insurance provider of any pre-existing medical conditions. They will then consider your risk factors and weigh up the probability of a claim being made on your policy, which will help them to determine whether they will offer you cover and if so, how much your policy will cost.
What happens if I’m looking for a life insurance quote with a pre-existing condition?
There are a range of life insurance providers out there who do offer cover to people with a pre-existing condition. However, as providers are likely to take the position that a claim is more likely to be made on your policy than on the policy of a person with no pre-existing conditions, you may need to be prepared to pay more for coverage.
With all that said, however, every life insurance policy application is assessed on an individual basis, which means that your chances of obtaining coverage rely on a host of personal circumstances, including your age and your occupation.
There are many pre-existing conditions that won’t make much of a difference to the cost of a life insurance policy, however, some of the more serious medical conditions could make it much more difficult to purchase a policy at a competitive price point. This is why it is important to spend time researching your insurance provider options.
What questions do life insurance providers ask?
At the start of the application process for life insurance coverage, your potential provider will ask a series of general health and lifestyle questions. Applicants with pre-existing conditions are likely to be asked much more comprehensive questions, including:
Are you currently taking any medication?
When were you diagnosed with the condition?
Does the condition run in the family?
Have you recently been admitted to hospital due to the condition?
It is possible that your potential provider may request to speak with your GP, view your medical records, or request that you undertake a medical examination or assessment. Insurance providers cannot view your medical records without your consent and you are well within your rights to deny access if you feel uncomfortable. However, this decision may prevent your insurer from continuing with your policy application.
It is imperative to answer every question as comprehensively and as honestly as possible. Failing to declare information could result in your policy becoming invalid, which would mean that your family would be left unprotected in the event of your death.
I have a pre-existing condition, what types of policy are available to me?
When it comes to looking for life insurance UK providers typically offer a selection of different policies to suit a variety of circumstances. Your potential insurer will consider a range of factors to determine which policy they will offer you and it is important to note that your policy offers may come with some exclusions.
– What is life insurance with exclusions?
If you are offered a life insurance policy with exclusions, it means that it won’t cover your pre-existing condition and won’t pay out if your death is related to that condition. So if you have recently experienced a heart attack and you purchased a life insurance policy with exclusions, it wouldn’t pay out if heart disease contributed to your death but it would pay out if your passing was the result of a different condition.
If you are finding it difficult to obtain life insurance, this type of policy could be a good option. However, it is essential to be 100% clear on what is covered and what isn’t.
– What is life insurance without exclusions?
Some people with pre-existing conditions may find a provider who can offer a life insurance policy with no exclusions. This means that the policy will pay out on a claim even if your pre-existing condition contributes to your death. As your provider will view you as an increased risk, the premium for this type of policy is likely to be higher.
If, for example, you have high blood pressure, the cost of your life insurance premium is highly likely to be closely related to how well your condition is managed.
I have had a heart attack. Can I still get life insurance?
It is possible to purchase a life insurance policy after a heart attack, however, it is important to be prepared to answer a range of questions about your condition, including:
When did you experience a heart attack?
How severe was the heart attack?
Are you on medication?
Do you experience any recurrent issues as a result of the heart attack?
Did you have surgery following your heart attack?
I have had a stroke. Can I get life insurance?
If you have a mini-stroke or a stroke, the type of life insurance policy you will be offered by providers will depend on several factors, including:
The severity of the stroke
When the stroke occurred
How quickly you were treated
If you had a stroke recently, the life insurance policies you are offered may include several conditions or restrictions. This may include not paying out if your death occurs within two years of purchasing the policy and not paying out if your death is caused by anything related to a stroke.
I have diabetes. Can I get life insurance?
The type of diabetes you have will make a difference to whether or not you will be able to obtain life insurance.
As Type 1 diabetes is generally diagnosed early in life, life insurance providers are likely to take a somewhat more relaxed stance as the condition is likely to have been under control for a longer period of time.
Conversely, if you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, insurance providers may be more reluctant to offer you coverage. The main reason for this is that this type of diabetes can be more difficult to manage and can cause a variety of other health complications.
I have received a cancer diagnosis. Can I take out a life insurance policy?
A cancer diagnosis doesn’t automatically exclude you from all life insurance policies, however finding coverage can’t be guaranteed and it might be a more difficult process. You will likely find that there are conditions placed on the policies you are offered and they may come at a higher premium.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer in the past and undergone successful treatment, life insurance providers will generally ask a series of questions to better understand your medical history, including:
What type of cancer were you diagnosed with?
What stage did your cancer reach?
How was your cancer treated?
In most instances, life insurance policies become cheaper the longer you have been in remission.
What is no medical life insurance?
Sometimes when taking out life insurance, no medical questions are asked during the application process, which means that you will be able to purchase a policy without needing to undergo any health checks. Your eligibility for a life insurance no medical policy will depend on several factors, including your family medical history and your lifestyle.
If you are in good health and fairly young, it is likely that you won’t need to submit a medical report to purchase life insurance. However, if you are slightly older and have smoked for a significant percentage of your life, your provider is much more likely to request that you visit your GP.
I’m over 50. Can I get insurance without a medical?
Over 50 life insurance no medical questions policies are numerous, with a variety of insurance providers offering this type of coverage. Over 50s life insurance policies typically pay out a lump sum when the policy holder dies, provided that premiums have been paid for a minimum amount of time. Life insurance over 50 no medical policies generally accept all applicants regardless of medical history, family history, or lifestyle.
Can I reduce the costs of life insurance with a pre-existing condition?
If you can demonstrate that you have actively made positive lifestyle changes, it is possible to reduce the costs of your life insurance policy even if you do have an existing condition. If, for example, your stroke or heart attack occurred several years ago and you eat a balanced diet, don’t smoke, don’t drink excessively, and exercise regularly, you may find that your premiums reduce.
I have a pre-existing condition, can I obtain critical illness cover?
It can be harder to purchase critical illness cover with a pre-existing condition because insurance providers will view you as being at a higher risk for developing a critical illness related to your condition.
It is possible to purchase critical illness coverage which excludes your condition, which means that a pay out will only be made if you experience an illness that is completely unrelated to your existing condition.
Can my life insurance policy be cancelled if I become unwell?
Provided that you gave accurate, honest and detailed information in your original insurance application and your premiums have always been paid on time, developing a medical condition after a policy is purchased should not invalidate your cover.
What information do I need to get a life insurance quote?
If you want to obtain a quote life insurance providers will all require a few basic pieces of information to get started with your application. This will include information about your health, which is where you should take care to accurately describe any pre-existing conditions you are living with.
Insurance providers will also ask questions about your lifestyle, including whether you drink, smoke or have any risky hobbies. Your age and occupation can also affect the cost of your premium, with younger applicants generally being offered more affordable insurance options.
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