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Latest developments with life insurance during Coronavirus

How is COVID-19 changing life insurance for people with medical conditions?

We’re keen to keep people up to speed with the latest developments to life insurance underwriting in the UK during COVID-19. We wrote a recent blog after the first phase of changes to underwriting rules for life insurance which explained how things had changed initially due to Coronavirus.

Since then there has been a second wave of changes which has impacted many people looking for life insurance, especially people with medical conditions. It is always going to be difficult for insurers to strike a balance between trying to offer cover to people and protecting the existing policyholders. In this recent round of developments, we have seen insurance providers becoming even more cautious with offering terms.

Unfortunately currently we’re seeing vast numbers of applications either being postponed for several months or even declined cover altogether. We’ve spoken to a number of the senior underwriters within some of the insurers and they all were uncertain of what might happen in the near future.

In this article we’ll try to explain how this might impact you if you are looking for life insurance and especially if you’ve got a pre-existing medical condition.

This information is specifically for people with pre-existing medical conditions who are trying to get life insurance at the moment. If you’ve had or got symptoms of COVID and you’re wondering what you can do about getting life insurance then you should speak to one of our advisers and we’ll help you to sort out the best way forwards for you. It might be that you’ve tried to get cover and been told it’s not possible at the moment but that’s not necessarily the best advice so let’s see what we can do.

Why has Coronavirus changed life insurance underwriting?

Some of the reasons why life insurance terms have changed in the past several weeks and months are extra mortality risks (higher probability of death) and levels of uncertainty never seen before. For certain people classified as ‘higher risk’ because of their health or medical conditions, it has become difficult to predict mortality.

Life insurance underwriting is based on historic data which shows how likely someone will be to claim due to their health within a period of time. With the current levels of unknown risks connected to COVID-19, it’s now become incredibly difficult to calculate this risk.

Which medical conditions have been affected most?

Unfortunately the changes are currently mor or less the same across the board so regardless of your medical condition. Recent news based on statistics has shown that there are certain medical conditions specifically linked to being higher risk because of Coronavirus.

Higher risk medical conditions include:

  • Diabetes: Due to the added complications that diabetes brings around cardiovascular risks and other stresses on the body. It has been suggested that this specifically causes an elevated risk if contracting COVID-19
  • Respiratory Conditions: There are a number of major respiratory conditions which have also been identified to be specifically higher risk, these include conditions such as Asthma
  • High BMI: People who are obese or who have a higher than normal BMI could also be at risk of developing more severe symptoms from Coronavirus
  • Age: Anyone who is over a certain age has also been identified as being more at risk if suffering from symptoms of COVID. This is simply because of how the virus attacks the body and how strong the immune system is to be able to deal with that
  • Ethnicity: This is potentially the strangest of all of the higher risk categories and the one which makes the least sense. It has also been identified that people from certain ethnic backgrounds are considered to be higher risk

When is life insurance going to get back to normal after COVID-19?

As part of our role in the industry as experts, we’re always keen to understand what’s happening and to campaign for our clients. We’ve had a number of in-depth conversations with several senior underwriters from some of the UK’s biggest insurers. Most of the conversations have been around what has led to the decisions to make changes as well as considering what might happen in the future.

Clearly there’s a lot of uncertainty in the current situation around what’s happening in the UK and the rest of the world. Some countries have managed to control the impact of Coronavirus and limit the number of people contracting the virus as well as fatalities. Unfortunately the UK is one of the worst affected areas and this can be attributed to a number of factors:

  • Population density
  • Elderly population
  • Population living with medical conditions

Based on current projections, it is being suggested that we would expect the current restrictions to last for a period of 6 months. This is currently an estimate and this figure could change dramatically depending on how the next several phases of lockdown goes.

What’s happening to life insurance because of COVID-19?

There’s been some key changes to how life insurance is being underwritten through the Coronavirus pandemic. Some of these include added limits to maximum levels of underwriting being accepted, maximum sum assured and maximum age.

The main areas which have changed in the past couple of weeks are:

  • Underwriting limits: We’re now finding that some insurance companies are imposing lower limits to the levels they will consider. Previously we reported on underwriting limits being slightly lower than normal, however the recent changes have gone significantly further
  • Age restrictions: Recent signs have shown that insurers are imposing further restrictions to the ages of people that they will consider for life insurance

Through this current crisis and ongoing pandemic, we’re seeing unprecedented limits being imposed on life insurance limits. We will continue to report on developments as they happen over the coming weeks and months.

iam|INSURED is committed to helping our customers and making sure that they get fair treatment from insurance companies. We regularly campaign for fairer terms with all of the top insurance providers in the UK to give you better cover at an appropriate price.

More information about Coronavirus:

NHS 111https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/

NHS Choiceshttps://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Gov.UKhttps://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-support

Coronavirus financial help:

If you are suffering financially and need support because of Coronavirus then you might find the following pages useful.

Money Advice Servicehttps://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you

Citizens Advicehttps://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/if-you-cant-pay-your-bills-because-of-coronavirus/

MoneySavingExperthttps://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/03/uk-coronavirus-help-and-your-rights/

If you need any more information about Coronavirus and life insurance then you can call our team of experts on 01244 732895… our advice is absolutely FREE

How to get the right life insurance for someone with Asthma

How to get the right Life Insurance with Asthma

(Author: Daniel Sharpe-Szunko)

Asthma is incredibly common in the UK and can be caused by a number things. It’s good to know which life insurance and travel insurance companies offer the best rates for people with asthma. There’s a lot of things to consider when searching for insurance if you’ve got asthma, so we’ll try to help explain how it all works.

Someone who has asthma can have incredibly mild symptoms or some people can suffer severe and more serious attacks. People with this condition might vary from straight forward to slightly more complex requirements. You should make sure that you disclose the facts about your condition when applying for insurance.

Why are we Asthma insurance experts

iam|INSURED have helped thousands of people with asthma to get the best cover and to save money. Over the past 20 years we’ve developed a great understanding of our customers needs as well as the best ways to get them covered. We know how important life insurance is and especially for people who have a medical condition already.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a very common lung disorder that can cause intermittent breathing problems. The people affected by asthma can be young or older, but it generally first occurs in childhood. It can also develop in later life for adults but this tends to be more rare.

It is known as a chronic lung disorder as there’s currently no known medical cure for asthma. There are a number of treatments for asthma, most commonly people will use inhalers to relieve symptoms.

The cause of asthma is where there is swelling (inflammation) of the breathing tubes which carry air to the lungs. The tubes then become sensitive and can narrow temporarily which can make them irritated.

Some of the things that can trigger asthma attacks are:

  • Allergies (e.g. Dust mites, animals or pollen)
  • Smoke, pollution and colder air
  • Exercise and exertion
  • Cold, flu and other infections

People with asthma will be told to avoid certain situations to help reduce or control symptoms.

History of Asthma

The first record to respiratory distress, categorised as “noisy breathing” was in China in 2600 BC. The Babylonians (Code of Hammurabi) then wrote records of breathlessness symptoms “if a man’s lungs pant with his work.” (1792-1750 BC).

Hippocrates (known as ‘the father of medicine’) was the first person on record to use the term ‘Asthma’. The word asthma comes from the Greek term for ‘wind’ or ‘to blow’ which is for respiratory distress and panting.

In more modern times, medicines to treat asthma in the 1940’s and 1950’s were adrenaline injections and even suppositories. In 1969 the Allergy and Asthma Medical Group & Research was founded. Since then, there has been various medical advances which include inhaled corticosteroids which target underlying inflammation.

What are the different types of Asthma?

There are several main types of asthma which can be identified usually by an allergist. The type of asthma you have will also have an effect on which type of treatment you receive.

  • Adult-onset asthma is as the name suggests, where someone in later life will develop the condition. This is thought to be caused by lifestyle or environment, or can be where symptoms have remained dormant for many years
  • Allergic asthma is generally caused by allergens like pollen, animal fur or dust particles. It’s not necessarily that people with asthma have allergies and not everyone with asthma has allergies
  • Asthma COPD Overlap Syndrome (ACOS) is where someone has both respiratory conditions. A person with ACOS will be treated for both conditions individually
  • Exercise Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB)affects a surprisingly large number of athletes. This type of asthma is induced by rigorous exercise and can often be management with medication
  • Non-allergenic asthmais often caused by external factors which can include medications, other illness or environmental influences
  • Occupational asthma which is simply where a job has caused the development of asthma, common in construction for example

What are the symptoms of Asthma?

Asthma is a blockage of the airways and causes difficulty breathing which is the same for adults and children. There are common symptoms which are:

  • Breathlessness
  • Coughing fits
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Wheezing when breathing

These symptoms are normal in most people but will be suspected to be asthma if they’re persistent, frequent or occur in response to certain triggers.

What is an Asthma attack?

There may be periods where asthma symptoms are more severe or acute which are commonly known as ‘attacks’. These attacks can develop quickly or can build up gradually over a period of several days.

Severe asthma attacks can include signs such as:

  • Blue fingers and lips
  • Breathing quickly and erratically
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Feeling faint or fainting
  • Tiredness, disorientation and even complete exhaustion
  • Severe coughing fits and tight chest

What to do if you have an Asthma attack?

Someone who’s having an asthma attack or experiencing symptoms should follow several simple steps:

  • Sit up and breathe slowly while remaining as calm as possible (don’t lie down)
  • Inhalers (blue) are to reduce or prevent symptoms from getting worse so take 1 puff every 30 to 60 seconds
  • Call an ambulance(dial 999) if symptoms remain and do not ease after 10 puffs on your inhaler

Asthma statistics (UK)

The following asthma statistics were provided by Asthma UK which is the UK’s leading charities:

  • Approximately 5.4 million people in the UK have been diagnosed with asthma (1.1 million children and 4.3 million adults)
  • Someone will suffer a potentially fatal asthma attack every 10 seconds in the UK
  • 3 people die from asthma attacks every day in the UK
  • Roughly 200,000 people suffer from severe asthma which causes more debilitating symptoms. Generally people with severe asthma will require hospital treatment because normal treatments will not be enough
  • £1 billion is spent each year by the NHS treating and caring for people with asthma
  • 77,124 hospital admissions due to asthma in 2016/2017
  • 1,484 people died due to an asthma attack in 2017

Is it difficult to get life insurance with Asthma?

Generally it can be straight forward to get life insurance with asthma, especially where symptoms are mild to moderate. Most people with asthma in the UK suffer from less severe symptoms and infrequent attacks. Insurance providers will also usually offer cover without needing to see medical evidence from your GP. This means that you should be able to buy life insurance instantly.

Life insurance premiums can vary from insurer to insurer so it’s important to apply to the right provider. Your insurance rates will be based on how good the insurance provider is at underwriting life insurance with asthma. Some insurance companies have better claims experience than others with this condition, so they would offer lower premiums. Underwriting can also change over time so you might find that if you already have cover with an insurer, they may not be the best provider now.

Which questions do life insurance companies ask about asthma?

A normal life insurance application will ask for information about your health and specific questions about any disclosed medical conditions. Modern life insurance applications are interactive so will drill down in to various questions depending on what you disclose.

Some of the standard questions for asthma include:

  • When were you diagnosed with asthma (what age)?
  • Have you been hospitalised because of your asthma?
  • When did you last have symptoms?
  • Have you required any treatment other than preventer or reliever inhalers?
  • Which type of treatments do you need or have you needed?
  • How regularly do you have any asthma symptoms?
  • Has your asthma meant that you were unable to work or needed any oxygen treatment?
  • How many days have you taken steroid tablets in the last 2 years?

You’ll need to have this information handy when you’re completing an application with your adviser. If you’re unsure then you should check to make sure the information is correct rather than guess.

Does Coronavirus (COVID-19) make a difference if I’ve got asthma and need life insurance?

You might find some slight differences to a standard life insurance application during Coronavirus. There’s a chance that you’ll need to answer specific questions about it and it may alter the decision if you’ve had or got symptoms. It’s difficult to say how long the impact will go on for but this is a big point in history as far as life insurance is concerned.

Coronavirus questions (generic) are:

  • Have you been told to self-isolate by your GP or are you self-isolating?
  • Have you tested positive for Coronavirus?
  • Are you currently experiencing any symptoms (e.g. cough or high temperature)?
  • Have you been in direct contact with someone who’s tested positive for Coronavirus?

There are also certain medical conditions which are considered to be higher risk at this time. Some of those conditions include respiratory conditions such as asthma due to the strong links with difficulty breathing. It has been proven that certain medical conditions are classified as higher risk because of how COVID-19 affects the body.

Any restrictions for someone with asthma tend to be at the higher end of the spectrum so more severe cases. If you’re classed as mild or moderate in terms of your symptoms then life insurance should be absolutely normal.

Other potential asthma restrictions for life insurance due to Coronavirus include:

  • Limits to amount of cover being offered (usually £1 million and over)
  • Underwriting limits for people who are higher risk
  • Medical evidence restrictions (only certain insurance providers)

Any limits should be temporary and would be lifted at the end of the pandemic.

Why do I need life insurance if I’ve got asthma?

Life insurance is the same whether or not you’ve got a medical condition or if you’re in perfect health. You should consider life insurance regardless of your health if you’ve got dependents or financial responsibilities (debt). Most people with asthma live healthy and very normal lives so have the same need as anyone else.

The only thing that should be any different for someone with asthma is the questions and disclosures. If you’ve got children or a mortgage especially then you should get life insurance to protect that.

People with medical conditions like asthma are often put off applying for life insurance which is wrong.

How does critical illness cover work with asthma?

If you’re considering taking out critical illness cover and you’ve got asthma then here’s how it works. A critical illness policy will pay out a lump of you get diagnosed with a serious illness like Cancer, Heart Attack, Stroke and other conditions that have an impact on lifestyle.

Anyone with mild symptoms and no impact on lifestyle should have no problem getting critical illness cover. People with moderate asthma symptoms should also be able to get this type of cover in most cases. If you’ve had certain asthma complications then you might need to answer additional questions or provide medical evidence.

Asthma complications that may cause further questions or require medical evidence are:

  • Hospitalisation (overnight or A&E)
  • Substandard control
  • Steroid treatment
  • Number of inhalers used per year

If you’ve had recent issues with your asthma or if you require more intense treatment then there could be restrictions with critical illness cover. As with most medical conditions, if symptoms are more severe or if there are complications then it can have an effect on your application.

Also, if you’ve applied for this type of cover in the past with asthma and have struggled then it’s worth checking the current situation. Things change over time and especially if your asthma has improved then you should check again.

Is income protection available for people with asthma?

People with asthma generally work full time and will usually have the same income protection requirements as anyone else. You should consider taking out cover to protect your income if you don’t get support from your employer or if you’re self-employed.

Generally if your condition is mild to moderate and you’re not experiencing any issues then you will be fine for this type of cover. Most people in this situation should have absolutely no limitations and will be able to get the cover they need. If you’ve had recent issues with attacks or treatment then you may find other questions are asked.

In some rare occasions where the symptoms are more severe or your treatment is stronger, then there could be some limitations. There are other similar products available for people who are unable to get cover through the normal routes. Income protection can be complicated because of the number of options available. Think about what you need and how much you want to pay then try to fit something that fits your situation.

Why do I need specific travel insurance for asthma?

It’s fair to say that asthma is very common and can be extremely mild with very little or no difference to lifestyle. You should still make sure that you disclose asthma when applying for travel insurance so it’s taken in to consideration.

Most travel insurance policies will include a certain limited level of medical cover for expenses. A travel insurance policy for someone with asthma will also make sure that you’re covered for any asthma related treatment whilst on holiday. Asthma is classed as a pre-existing medical condition for travel insurance and you will be asked about it when you apply.

Does asthma affect travel insurance premiums?

Most policies where asthma is disclosed will take in to account the additional potential medical requirements whilst travelling. The level of impact on the cost of cover will depend on how severe, recent and frequent your symptoms are.

There are a number of other factors which will have an impact on cost, such as destination, length of stay and type of cover. You can shop around to find the right cover and often a more specialist company would be better suited because they are more equipped to help.

Are there any potential problems getting life insurance with asthma?

Asthma is very common amongst adults in the UK and insurance providers are used to dealing with this condition. There are over 4 million adults receiving asthma treatment currently in the UK which means that the level of severity can vary dramatically.

It’s fair to say that most life insurance applications where asthma is disclosed are fine, however there are exceptions.

  • Recent hospitalisations is a concern for insurance companies and especially where there has been steroid treatment. If you’ve been hospitalised recently then it’s likely a GP report will be required to find out more about it
  • Medication / Treatmentwhere the levels required are high to manage and control the asthma. For example if you receive high levels of inhaler prescriptions then you might be asked to provide more information
  • Smokers with asthma are considered to be more of a concern purely because of how that can impact your lung capacity and breathing

Even though these things can be considered more of a risk, it’s still very possible in most cases to get cover. If you’ve applied for life insurance in the past and have been declined then it could simply be that it was the wrong company for you or the wrong time.

Asthma awareness events

World Asthma Day is usually at the beginning of May every year and used as a global event to join people together to help raise awareness. The event is supported mainly by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and National Heart and Blood Institute (NHLB) in America

Asthma Awareness Week is a national event in the UK which is to help raise awareness for children and young adults. The event is held in September by Children & Young People’s Health Partnership which is a major UK charity

Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month is held in May in America by the charity Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)

Asthma charities and support (UK)

Asthma UK
Website: https://www.asthma.org.uk/
Helpline: 0300 222 5800
Address: 18 Mansell Street, London, E1 8AA

Asthma Relief Charity
Website: https://www.asthmarelief.org.uk/
Helpline: 01793 524004
Address: Suite 1A, The Shaftsbury Centre, Percy Street, Swindon, SN2 2AZ

British Lung Foundation
Website: https://www.blf.org.uk/
Helpline: 03000 030 555
Address: 18 Mansell Street, London, E1 8AA

NHS Choices (Asthma)
Emergency: Dial 111
Website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/asthma/

References:

Asthma UK: https://www.asthma.org.uk/about/media/facts-and-statistics/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIoOvAspGn6QIVzLTtCh3Exw-eEAAYASAAEgKUivD_BwE

Why have I been refused life insurance and can I still get cover?

What to do if you’ve been declined life insurance in the past

(Author – Daniel Sharpe-Szunko)

A lot of people come to us after they’ve been declined life insurance previously. Nobody likes to be turned down for anything and life insurance is no exception. It can feel demoralising or even offensive if you have a medical condition and you get told cover isn’t available.

There are several main reasons why you might have been declined for life insurance by an insurer. It’s important to remember that insurers are all different so just because you’ve been told no before, that’s not always the end of the road. Feeling annoyed or frustrated is totally understandable and it’s natural to question whether applying again is worthwhile.

Why have I been declined life insurance?

You could have been refused cover for several reasons which are unfortunately quite common. Most life insurance applications are declined because of medical conditions, occupation or dangerous activities.

If you’ve applied for cover in the past and your application was refused, then it might be because of:

  • Insurance advisor might not have the expertise and the skills to find an appropriate or suitable insurer
  • Insurance providers have different underwriting philosophies so some may decline cover where others could accept. Your adviser should be able to identify which insurers are best for each situation and persons circumstances
  • Medical disclosures might be incorrect or inaccurate so it might be that there was a simple error with submitting your application
  • Medical evidence may be requested in some instances which can expose additional elements which can cause concern. It’s important to know what might be on your medical report before applying for cover
  • Timing could be wrong so you might have applied when your medical readings were high or not as well controlled. If you’ve made changes to your lifestyle or treatment which has improved your condition then things will have changed
  • Smoking is sometimes a red flag with life insurance and especially with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular and lung disorders. If you quit smoking more than 12 months ago then definitely try again
  • Underwriting changes could mean that cover which wasn’t available before has now become available. Underwriting philosophies can and do change so you should keep checking just in case this happens

Does being refused life insurance have any impact on future applications?

You should know that insurers do not share personal information about individuals. The only real reason why being declined cover might have an impact in the future, is if you re-apply to the same provider.

It may just be as simple as you didn’t remember which company had declined you in the past, or you didn’t know who they were. It’s a common and simple mistake so don’t worry if this happens. This happens to lots of people and is certainly not an issue so let someone find the right insurance provider for you.

What are the main medical reasons for declined life insurance?

Some of the main things that could cause a medical decline for a life insurance application are:

  • Recent diagnosis such as cancer or heart attack
  • Ongoing treatment which includes chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Combinations of conditions such as Diabetes and Heart Attack
  • Undiagnosed conditions where symptoms are identified
  • Outstanding investigations, results or surgeries
  • Higher than normal results or readings (such as blood sugar, cholesterol or blood pressure)

You should know that there are usually other options and solutions in a lot of these instances so don’t be put off. It might also be a case that cover may not be available now through mainstream insurers but there are other options.

Do life insurance companies share medical information?

The simple answer is no they don’t unless it is agreed by the insurance companies and the applicant. Generally this does not happen more often than not because of the potential issues around data protection and sharing of personal data.

Do I have to pay more for life insurance because I’ve been declined?

Again the answer isn’t necessarily yes and some insurance companies might still offer cover and even be cheaper. Insurance underwriting is a complex calculation which is individual to each company and pricing will vary from one company to another.

If you’ve had a quote from a company in the past then by shopping around and applying to the right insurer, you might still be able to get cover cheaper. Your insurance adviser should help you to find which provider is cheapest and who will accept you.

 

Ultimate guide to getting life insurance after a stroke

Getting life insurance after a Stroke

(Author: Daniel Sharpe-Szunko)

Having a stroke is incredibly difficult for the person and for their loved ones. Personally I’ve seen the effects of a major stroke through a very close friends parent which was a shock to say the least. In this case it was difficult to watch someone who was otherwise fit, strong and healthy to suddenly lose almost everything.

A stroke can vary from mild to moderate symptoms which will have relatively little impact on life, to severe with massive ongoing consequences. People who’ve had a stroke or someone close to them, will understand the difficulties. In this blog we explain how having a stroke can impact life insurance mainly, and travel insurance.

Why we’re able to provide this information

iam|INSURED is a passionate team of experts with over 20 year’s experience helping people with medical conditions to get life insurance. We’ve helped thousands of people to protect their families, homes and businesses regardless of their health. It’s our mission to drive for fair treatment for all of our customers and to help them get the best results.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke is a medical occurrence in the brain and the affects can be devastating to a person. Essentially the blood flow to your brain is obstructed because of a blood clot or broken blood vessel. Similarly to a heart attack, the lack of oxygen-rich blood can cause tissue to die.

When brain cells start dying because of loss of blood flowing, parts of the brain cause certain areas of the body to change. Most common symptoms which are also shown on television include, loss of speech, change in facial expression and inability to move. These adverts shown on TV are to help raise awareness for spotting early symptoms to help reduce further damage.

History of strokes and why is it called a stroke?

Medical experts and professionals are now aware of the causes of a stroke which wasn’t always the case. A stroke was first identified over 2,400 years ago by a gentleman called Hippocrates (also known as ‘the father of medicine’). Originally a stroke was called ‘apoplexy’ which is Greek meaning “struck down by violence”.

In the 1600’s a doctor called Jacob Wepfer then made a discovery which was that disruptions in the blood supply to the brain caused deaths from apoplexy. In a proportion of these cases there was high levels of bleeding in the brain, whereas in others arteries were blocked.

Decades later, medical sciences made further developments regarding the causes, treatment and symptoms of apoplexy. One of the major advances was dividing apoplexy in to various categories based on the causes. Following this, apoplexy then became known as a stroke and cerebalvascular accident (CVA).

What are the types of Stroke?

It is now known that there are three different types of strokes which have different causes called:

  • Ischaemic stroke is where there is a cutting off of blood supply to the brain due to a blockage. This is the most common variation accounting for approximately 85% of cases
  • Haemorrhagic stroke will be caused by bleeding around the brain or in the brain
  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) which is also known as a ‘mini-stroke’, because the symptoms are similar but don’t last as long. The reason for this is because the blockage is only temporary.

What are the signs and symptoms of having a stroke?

You might have seen adverts on TV about what to do if someone is having a stroke and how to spot the signs. The reason for this is so people can react quicker to reduce long lasting damage. Adverts by major stroke charities and associations created ‘FAST’ which stands for:

  • FACE – one of the most visible signs of someone experiencing a stroke is facial changes. This includes the face dropping on one side, unable to smile and mouth or eyes dropping
  • ARMS – if someone is having a stroke then they will be unable to lift both arms and keep them elevated
  • SPEECH – a person having a stroke will have slurred or incoherent speech so will be very difficult to understand. The person may not even be able to speak at all in some cases as well as find it difficult to understand you
  • TIME – Finally it’s time to contact the emergency services so call 999

What causes someone to have a stroke?

The organs in the body need two things to survive which are oxygen and nutrients that are provided by blood. The brain is one of the most important organs and if blood is restricted or stopped then it causes cells to die. This can ultimately cause brain injury, long term disability or even death.

The two main causes for someone having a stroke are:

  • Blood supply stopping which is due to a blood clot
  • Weakened blood vesselsthat supply blood to the brain burst

The other type of stroke which is known as a TIA (transient ischemic attack) is a temporary blockage. This is commonly known as a mini stroke because of the shorter period of time that symptoms last for.

Someone who has had a TIA should seek immediate medical attention as this can be a warning. People who have had a mini stroke will be at a higher risk of having a full stroke in the future.

There are also other conditions which will increase the risk of having a stroke, these include:

  • Atrial Fibrillation (irregular heartbeats)
  • Diabetes (Type 2 mostly)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Raised cholesterol

Is it possible to recover after having a stroke?

Every stroke is different and it effects people in different ways, which can vary from a minor attack to severe.

It is possible for someone to experience a stroke and recover to a reasonably good level. A minor stroke can even be more or less undetectable with very minor symptoms that only last for a short period of time.

Severe strokes can clearly cause more damage which can be long lasting or in some cases lead to death. Roughly 1 in every 8 stroke patients will not survive having a stroke and will pass away within 30 days.

Stroke statistics (UK)

According to the recent 2018 ‘state of the nation’ report produced by the leading Stroke charity, The Stroke Association:

  • Over 100,000 strokes per year (1 every 5 minutes)
  • 1.2 million survivors in the UK (stroke patients)
  • World wide someone has stroke every 2 seconds
  • Stroke is currently the 4th biggest killer in the UK
  • Over 400 children have a stroke per year
  • 1 in 3 stroke survivors get depression
  • Approximately 65% of stroke survivors will have a disability
  • People under 65 are 2 to 3 times more likely to be out of employment for eight years after having a stroke
  • Stroke costs approximately £26 billion each year

*Stroke Association ‘State of the Nation’ report 2018 (references)

Can I get life insurance if I’ve had a Stroke?

Stroke is one of the most common medical conditions in the UK. People applying for life insurance after having a stroke are also high numbers. You can get cover in most cases where the symptoms are fairly mild to moderate and not much long lasting damage.

This can depend on how quickly your stroke was detected and how quickly you received treatment. Also it can depend on how severe the stroke was in terms of the level of the attack. In most cases where someone is applying for life cover after a stroke, insurers will want to view a medical report. This report can be obtained from your GP and will be requested and paid for by the insurance company, not you.

If your stroke was mild or a TIA (mini-stroke) then you should find insurance terms are positive. You should also find in more severe cases that cover will still be available for the vast majority of people.

The questions you will generally be asked about a stroke on a life insurance application will include:

  • Was your stroke caused by any of these? Blood disorder, high blood pressure, head injury, hole in the heart, migraines or other
  • How many times have you suffered from a stroke?
  • Have you been diagnosed with heart attack, atrial fibrillation, heart valve problems, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease or chronic kidney disease?
  • When did you have a stroke?

There are also some products which will offer cover if you have been declined by the standard insurers. If you’ve been declined life insurance before because you’ve had a stroke then it’s still worth asking us.

Has Coronavirus (COVID-19) made a difference to getting life insurance after a stroke?

The recent situation with the coronavirus pandemic has caused some changes to insurance underwriting. It is fair to say that the virus caused additional issues when applying for life insurance, especially for people with existing conditions. Some conditions which could be considered higher risk saw greater restrictions than others.

There were some extra questions which were added to most life insurance applications relating to Coronavirus:

  • Have you been told to self-isolate?
  • Are you experiencing any symptoms of Coronavirus?
  • Have you been exposed to the risk of contracting COVID-19?
  • Do you know someone with Coronavirus who you have been in contact with?

This situation was unprecedented in the global insurance market so re-insurers reacted quickly. This was mainly to avoid an increase in claims which would make cover less affordable in the future.

Some of the restrictions we saw for people with medical conditions such as stroke were:

  • Lower underwriting limits (higher risks not accepted or postponed)
  • Restrictions to levels of cover available

Which are the best life insurance companies for someone who’s had a stroke?

There are several major insurance providers in the UK, including Aegon, Aviva, AIG, Legal & General and Zurich. All of these companies have their own underwriting philosophy which can also change regularly. It can be tricky to find the best company if you’ve had a stroke without the help of an expert.

There are also lots of different levels of severity of stroke with different symptoms, damage and treatments. Each insurance company has their own strengths when it comes to underwriting so the right one for you could be any of these companies.

You should also know that if you’ve been declined by one or several insurance companies in the past, then that isn’t the end of the road. There are lots of companies to choose from as well as some more specialist providers for certain circumstances.

Is it possible to get critical illness cover if I’ve had a stroke?

Stroke is one of the most common medical conditions claimed for on critical illness cover. People who have experienced a stroke in some cases can still get this type of policy. This depends on the type of stroke and in mild cases where the stroke has caused no lasting damage.

A critical illness cover policy for someone who’s had a stroke generally won’t include cover for another stroke. There are policies which can be cheaper that will offer this type of cover with anything relating to stroke excluded.

Can someone who’s had a stroke get income protection?

If you’ve had a stroke and are able to go back to work then you might want to consider income protection. It’s possible to get this type of cover after you’ve had a stroke and there are some unique products available just for you.

There are lots of cover options with income protection which can be confusing. If you’ve had a stroke then it can make it even more confusing in some cases to find the right cover. Some policies will even offer cover for related conditions or symptoms so it’s important to get the full picture of what’s available.

Income protection can be affordable if the right cover options are selected. There’s lots of choice and options with this type of policy so make sure that you get all your facts before choosing.

How much is travel insurance if I’ve had a stroke?

Travel insurance after you’ve had a stroke can sometimes seem daunting and confusing. There are lots of different companies advertising travel insurance and lots of options available. It’s important to remember that some companies are more capable to help you and better equipped in terms of experience.

It’s very important to make sure that you disclose your medical history when applying for travel insurance. If you’ve had a stroke then you’ll be asked questions about your condition and your current health.

You should also be aware that you may need to provide some evidence before you travel as proof that you are fit to fly. If you fail to disclose facts about your medical history then you might not be covered which could be expensive if you need treatment abroad.

What potential issues are there for someone who’s had a stroke needing life insurance?

Even though cover is generally available for someone who’s had a stroke, it’s important to know everything. As a company, we don’t like to focus on the negatives but there are a few things to be aware of. Some of the possible issues are:

  • Multiple strokes can cause insurance underwriters to be more cautious when considering your application. There are many instances where a person can suffer multiple attacks which is classed as higher risk
  • Reason for the stroke can play a part in whether or not you would be restricted in terms of your options for cover in the future
  • Further medical conditionsmay also have an impact on your application for life insurance due to the related risks. There are certain conditions which may be classed as higher risk such as heart attack, heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease

We regularly speak to customer who have had problems applying for cover in the past, especially with conditions like stroke. It’s not the end of the road and we’re very often able to get cover in this situation.

Stroke awareness events

World Stroke Day is a global event usually held towards the end of October to help raise awareness through all of the leading global stroke organisations.

Stroke Awareness Month is an event held in the UK in May which is run by the charity, The Stroke Association.

Stroke charities and support for people after a stroke (UK)

Stroke Association
Website: https://www.stroke.org.uk/
Helpline: 0303 3033 100
Address: Life After Stroke Centre, Church Lane, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, B61 8RA

Different Strokes
Website: https://differentstrokes.co.uk/
Helpline: 0345 1307172
Address: 9 Canon Harnett Court, Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes, MK12 5NF

Headway (The Brain Injury Association)
Website: https://www.headway.org.uk/
Helpline: 0808 800 2244
Address: Bradbury House, 190 Bagnall Road, Old Basford, Nottingham, NG6 8SF

NHS Choices (Stroke)
Website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stroke/

If you’ve had a stroke and need help or information about life insurance or travel insurance then please call us on 01244 732895. We’re here to help and we’ve helped thousands of people like you over the past 20 years.

References:
https://www.stroke.org.uk/sites/default/files/state_of_the_nation_2018.pdf

Life insurance Guide for People Living with Ulcerative Colitis

If you have Ulcerative Colitis and are considering life insurance, then this guide will help you understand how your condition could affect your applications

People with ulcerative colitis will have things to consider and questions to answer when applying for life insurance. We’ll explain the medical condition and then how that could impact insurance premiums.

Our aim is to provide you with a useful guide to help you make an informed decision and give you support through the application.

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative Colitis is similar to other inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) in how it affects the body and treatments. It is a lifelong (chronic) condition of the large intestine, with no known cure. Primarily this type of condition causes ulcers and inflammation around the colon and rectum areas.

Symptoms can include abdominal pain which can be extremely strong and diarrhoea with blood. People with ulcerative colitis may lead fairly normal lives with no or few symptoms but it can also be more severe, potentially life-threatening.

Inflammatory bowel diseases are a group of medical conditions and diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract. The most common conditions under IBD’s are Crohn’s disease and Colitis which can also have similar symptoms. These conditions are also classed as autoimmune diseases which is simply where the immune system does not function properly.

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

The severity of this condition can vary dramatically from one patient to another. The types of symptoms can also change as time passes which cause other potential issues. As with other IBD’s, there can be periods of few or even no symptoms (remission) and periods where symptoms are regular or acute (flare-ups).

Most common symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis:

  • Abdominal pains.
  • Blood in stools.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • High temperature.
  • Rectal pain.
  • Weight loss.

There are also potential complications which may occur as a result of ulcerative colitis which can include:

  • Dehydration.
  • Eye swelling.
  • Joint pain / swelling.
  • Mouth sores.
  • Skin problems.
  • Nausea and loss of appetite.

What causes Ulcerative Colitis?

The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is still a mystery to medical experts around the world. There are several theories which are similar to other inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s. It was previously thought that the cause was stress and diet but we now know that these just aggravate it.

It is strongly believed that the cause of UC is because the immune system is overactive. This is when your immune system fights off invading bacteria or viruses, unusually the immune response causes it to attack cells in the digestive tract as well.

Another possible view on the potential cause of ulcerative colitis is that it is a hereditary condition. There are a number of patients who do have a family history of UC but there are also many instances where this isn’t the case.

Complications with Ulcerative Colitis

There are a number of main issues that people with ulcerative colitis tend to experience either frequently or infrequently. These complications can vary from moderate risk to severe health problems.

Some of the main complications connected to this condition are:

  • Perforated colon.
  • Liver disease.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Colon cancer.
  • Rapidly swelling colon.

What types of Ulcerative Colitis are there?

The various types are ulcerative colitis are classified based on where they are located on the body. Main types include:

  • Acute severe ulcerative colitis is a rare type of colitis that affects the colon and would cause severe pain, extreme diarrhoea, bleeding, high temperature and loss of appetite.
  • Left-sided colitis which is where the inflammation would move from the rectum to the sigmoid and descending colon. Main symptoms for this include bloody stool, diarrhoea, cramp and abdominal pain and weight loss.
  • Pancolitis commonly is known to impact the entire colon which can cause bloody diarrhoea (potentially severe), cramps and pains around the abdomen, tiredness and unexplained weight loss.
  • Proctosigmoiditis is an inflammation of the rectum and sigmoid colon (lower section of the colon). Symptoms are bloody diarrhoea, pain and cramp of the abdomen and constipation.
  • Ulcerative Proctitis causes inflammation around the anus (rectum) and bleeding around the rectum. This type of UC is known to be the mildest.

List of Ulcerative Colitis Statistics (UK)

According to recent statistics published by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for 2014, the most recent figures show:

  • Approximately 146,000 patients (240 per 100,000).
  • Most common age group is 15 to 25.
  • Next highest age group is 55 to 65.
  • Approximately half (50%) of people with UC have 1 or more relapses annually.
  • 80% of patients are mild to moderate.
  • 20% are severe.
  • Approximately 25% of patients have 1 or more severe episodes in their lives.

*statistics provided by NICE 2014 report on inflammatory bowel disease (https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs81/documents/inflammatory-bowel-disease-briefing-paper2).

Can I get life insurance with Ulcerative Colitis?

In almost all cases it is possible and can be even simple to get life insurance for someone with this condition. Because of the simple fact that nearly three-quarters of UC patients have either mild or moderate symptoms. The vast majority of cases that we deal with where we help people with ulcerative colitis, the cover is available instantly.

An application for life insurance for someone with ulcerative colitis will consist of several main questions about the condition. The most common questions regarding UC will include:

  • When were you diagnosed?
  • Are you currently undergoing or awaiting hospital treatment, tests or surgery?
  • Have you had surgery for this condition?
  • Has this affected your eyes, joints, liver, bile duct or stomach?
  • What treatment have you received?
  • How many flare-ups have you had in the past 2 years?

These are just an example of some of the most typical questions that we are asked by insurers. The questions can vary from one insurance company to another so these are just a guide. You should also know that a growing number of insurers are offering cover without the need for medical evidence (GP reports).

Has Coronavirus (COVID-19) affected life insurance for people with Ulcerative Colitis?

Coronavirus has caused some unprecedented changes to the underwriting philosophies from insurance providers. Most of the medical conditions where symptoms are more severe have been affected, unfortunately. Life insurance underwriting was affected in the short term and there may be longer-term changes.

Some of the questions that were asked as a result of Coronavirus were:

  • Have you been told to self-isolate?
  • Are you currently or have you experienced any symptoms of COVID-19?
  • Have you been exposed to the risk of Coronavirus?
  • Do you know anyone who has contracted COVID-19?

This was an unprecedented global event and a lot of decisions to make changes were made by re-assurers. These companies are global companies and therefore were making decisions about underwriting based on some of the worst-affected countries.

Some of the restrictions that were brought in to play included:

  • Limits to the amount of cover being offered (sum assured).
  • Restrictions around certain medical conditions considered to be high risk.
  • Terms of policies being offered.

There is a possibility of longer term changes to the life insurance industry depending on how the situation develops.

Which are the best life insurance providers for Ulcerative Colitis?

There are a number of circumstances where premiums can be unaffected by having UC. If your symptoms are mild or in some cases moderate then you could be offered good rates by some insurers. The terms that are offered to people with ulcerative colitis can be very different depending on which insurance company you apply to.

It’s important to remember that insurance underwriting is a complex process and there are various calculations involved. There are some insurance companies who will target certain medical conditions due to a good claims experience for example. It’s the job of an expert or trained adviser to search the market for you to find the best rates.

You’ll need to complete a medical fact find with the adviser you’re dealing with and make sure that you give honest answers. Also, you should be aware that underwriting guidance changes so the best companies for you and your condition can be different over time.

Can I get critical illness cover if I’ve got Ulcerative Colitis?

This type of policy is a good way to ensure that you’re covered if you get diagnosed with a serious illness like Cancer, Heart Attack, Stroke, MS and more. Someone with ulcerative colitis who wants to be insured against a critical condition should definitely consider applying. It’s also often possible to get critical illness cover if you’ve got this condition and again terms can vary between insurers.

There will be some main factors that will be taken into consideration when applying for critical illness cover with UC:

  • When did you last have symptoms?
  • Are you a smoker?
  • Have you had any hospital treatment or surgery?
  • Do you have any restrictions to daily living?

If you’re well managed with mild to moderate symptoms then you should be able to get this type of policy without any problems. Often in these types of applications will be considered and can be offered with no medicals required. If you are asked to provide a medical report from your GP then this just means that it will be reviewed by underwriting.

You should also remember that cheapest is not always best when it comes to critical illness cover. This can be especially important when you have a medical condition such as ulcerative colitis. Higher premiums can often mean more comprehensive cover, so you should always check terms being offered.

There are also products available from more specialist insurers if your symptoms are more severe. For example, if you’ve had recent treatment or surgery as well as people who have greater restrictions on lifestyle.

Can I have income protection if I’ve got Ulcerative Colitis?

This type of cover can be extremely important to protect you and your home if you’re not able to work. You can cover yourself against being off work due to an accident or long term sickness if you’re employed or self-employed. People with ulcerative colitis can get income protection or accident and sickness cover in most cases.

If your symptoms are mild and you have not experienced any recent symptoms or flare-ups then it can be simple to get income protection. There are more options when it comes to looking for this type of policy so carefully consider your requirements. People with ulcerative colitis might be offered terms with some elements excluded so read your documents properly.

People suffering from more severe symptoms such as hospitalisation or surgery can get more specialist cover. You may have been refused this type of policy in the past but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get cover. There are options to make this type of policy more affordable as well so check to see what’s available.

How much is travel insurance for people with Ulcerative Colitis?

It is definitely possible and often simple to get travel insurance for someone with ulcerative colitis. There are some hints and tips that you could consider when travelling to help manage the cost of cover, such as:

  • Travel when symptoms are stable where possible.
  • Get quotes from a specialist insurance company.
  • Disclose accurate details about your condition.
  • Travel with your required medication

Travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions can be easy to arrange but there can be a big difference between price, cover options and quality of cover. It’s very important to make sure that you check with your travel insurance provider that everything declared is covered.

It is very important to disclose all information requested about your medical condition to avoid any questions at claim stage. If you fail to disclose material facts then you may find unnecessary questions when it comes to paying out claims. The cost of medical treatment overseas can be extremely high so best not to risk it.

What are some common issues with getting life insurance for someone with Ulcerative Colitis?

We don’t like to focus on negatives but it’s important to make sure that we give you the full picture. Some of the things that can cause either a need for further underwriting or potentially some restrictions are:

  • Recent surgery or outstanding investigations can make it slightly more complicated and may mean a delay (postponement) to your insurance offer. You should disclose this information (e.g. colectomy or ileostomy) on your application but it’s not the end of the road.
  • Liver disease can also be a bit of an issue when combined with ulcerative colitis and especially where there has been recent hospitalisation or surgery.
  • Medication or treatment such as immunosuppressants can be a problem if symptoms are moderate or severe so there could be underwriting considerations.

We often speak to customers who have had problems applying for cover previously or been declined by another broker. Don’t be disheartened, we’re very often able to get cover for people who’ve been refused elsewhere.

Ulcerative Colitis Awareness Events

Here’s a list of some of the events that we follow every year to find out what’s happening in the world relating to ulcerative colitis. Each year these amazing events help to raise thousands of pounds for charities.

  • Crohn’s disease awareness week is a national event through Crohn’s & Colitis UK. This event usually takes place on the 1st week in December to raise awareness and funds for colitis research.
  • Crohn’s and Colitis awareness month is a global event in November to increase awareness for people living with the condition.
  • World IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) Day is an event held in May across the globe with most national charities involved.
  • IBD awareness month is held in the United States in December by leading charities to help raise awareness. There are approximately 3 million people in the US living with Crohn’s disease or Colitis which is 1.3% of the population.
  • Ulcerative colitis charities and support for colitis (UK).

List of Ulcerative Colitis Charities

There are a number of charities dedicated to helping people with Ulcerative Colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD’s). These organisations provide vital guidance, help and support for those living with this condition.

References:

As a team of experts who regularly help people with medical conditions like Ulcerative Colitis (UC), to get life insurance, our mission is to ensure that everyone who needs it stands the best chance of getting it and that they don’t pay over the odds for it too. Over the past 20 years, we’ve helped thousands of families to get life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection.

If you’ve got ulcerative colitis and you want to know more then read this article where we explain how it works. As the first team of experts in the UK to focus our efforts on helping people like you to get cover, we understand your needs. We’re committed to providing the best advice to our customers regardless of their health.

You can also check out what other people think about iam|INSURED by reading our Feefo reviews. It’s important to know what other people think about the service we provide.

How Does Crohn’s Disease Affect Life Insurance?

A Guide to Life Insurance for People Living with Crohn’s Disease

For people with Crohn’s disease, there are a number of main things to consider as well as some background information which we want to help explain to you here. Our iam|INSURED website is a great source of useful guides to show how life insurance works for Crohn’s and other conditions.

What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is a lifelong (chronic) medical condition so once you have it you then it will remain in your body for the rest of your life. The condition is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which causes inflammation in your digestive tract. The inflammation that this causes can also very often spread deeper into the layers of affected bowel tissue. Crohn’s disease is usually painful and potentially debilitating which can also sometimes develop into life-threatening complications.

There is currently no known cure for this condition, however, there are therapeutic treatments which can dramatically reduce symptoms. If effectively treated, Crohn’s disease can be mild and you could experience long periods of remission which means that impact on lifestyle can be minimal.

Some of the main symptoms of Crohn’s disease:

  • Abdominal pain and cramps.
  • Blood in stool.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Tiredness.
  • High Fever.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Mouth sores.

Symptoms for people with more severe Crohn’s disease:

  • Skin, eyes and joints can inflame.
  • Liver and bile duct inflammation.
  • Children may grow more slowly.
  • Slower sexual development in children.

There are several different levels at which a person might experience the impact of this type of condition on the body. Some people with Crohn’s disease might only have the last section of the small intestine (ileum) affected, whereas others it may be confined to the colon. These are the main areas of the body that are affected by Crohn’s disease.

Symptoms of this particular condition can vary dramatically from extremely mild or none at all (remission) to extremely severe and life-threatening. These symptoms can also often build up slowly, but can also be acute and develop very suddenly.

What causes Crohn’s disease?

It is still not known what exactly causes Crohn’s disease to develop and there have been a number of theories over the years by the medical profession. Previously it was suspected that higher levels of stress and a poor diet cause the condition but it is now known that these simply aggravate it. Some of the main things that we now know about Crohn’s disease include:

  • Family History (hereditary) influences can play a part in people developing Crohn’s disease as people like this are potentially more susceptible. This is however not the main cause as most people who develop this condition have no family history or genetic links
  • Immune Systemis also another potential cause whereby a bacteria or virus can potentially result in developing Crohn’s disease. Our immune system is the bodies defence against foreign organisms, this can also result in the immune system attacking the digestive tract

There also a number of risk factors which can play a significant part in whether or not you are likely to develop this type of medical condition such as:

  • Age: most people who are diagnosed are usually under 30 years of age.
  • Nicotine: smokers are more likely to develop Crohn’s disease which is also the most controllable factor.
  • Ethnicity: it is known that people of a certain ethnic background are more likely to develop this condition (e.g. Caucasian, including Eastern European and Jewish decent).
  • Environment can also play a part as people who live in built-up urban and industrial areas, combined with high-fat diets may also lead to developing this condition.

Complications connected to Crohn’s disease

There are several main areas of the body and other related medical conditions that could be impacted as a result of having Crohn’s disease. Some of these conditions can be serious and life threatening which is why it is so important to manage your health with this type of medical condition. Complications connected to Crohn’s disease include:

  • Bowel (e.g. scarring, narrowing and intestinal wall thickness).
  • Ulcers (digestive system, mouth, anus and genital area).
  • Fistulas.
  • Anal Fissure (a small tear in anal lining).
  • Malnutrition.
  • Medication side effects.
  • Colon Cancer.

Crohn’s disease statistics (UK)

According to recent statistics provided by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) research:

  • 157 of every 100,000 people in the UK have this condition.
  • Approximately 115,000 have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in the UK.
  • 33% of patients are diagnosed before age 21.
  • Smoking and genetics are suggested to be the two main causes.
  • 5 years after diagnosis 15-20% of people with Crohn’s will have a disability.
  • Most people with Crohn’s disease will live normal active lives.

*statistics from NICE 2014 report on inflammatory bowel disease (https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs81/documents/inflammatory-bowel-disease-briefing-paper2).

Can someone with Crohn’s disease get life insurance?

There’s a variety of different levels of symptoms for people living with Crohn’s disease so life insurance terms can be simple in most cases. The majority of people that we help who have been diagnosed with this condition have minor to moderate symptoms. So we generally find it easy to get cover for them. We’ve spoken to thousands of different clients with Crohn’s disease over the past 20 years so we’ve seen lots of different scenarios.

When we complete an application for life insurance for people with Crohn’s disease, we’ll have to ask normal health and lifestyle questions, plus specific questions about this condition. Some of the questions that you’ll be asked about Crohn’s will include:

  • When were you first diagnosed with this condition?
  • Are you awaiting results or referral for any scans, tests, investigations or surgery?
  • Have you suffered any symptoms such as eye problems, joint pain, Liver disease, Anaemia or Bile Duct problems?
  • What treatment are you on (e.g. Steroids, Immunosuppressants or hospital treatment)?
  • Have you had any hospital treatment or treated with medication?
  • When did you last experience any symptoms or flare-up?

These are some of the types of questions that you’ll be asked by some of our team of advisers which gives underwriters information about your medical history. More and more we’re able to get decisions immediately without the need for further medical underwriting (GP Reports) for people with Crohn’s disease.

Has Coronavirus (COVID-19) changed Life Insurance for people with Crohn’s disease?

The recent pandemic which has swept the globe has had a major impact on life insurance underwriting as a whole, but especially for autoimmune conditions such as Crohn’s disease. The life insurance market had to react at the time with certain restrictions being placed on several main areas such as:

  • Amount of cover (sum assured)
  • Certain medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, neurological conditions and autoimmune diseases)
  • Length of policies (Term)
  • Medical underwriting limits

Most applications that our iam|INSURED experts dealt with through Coronavirus was either accepted with some restrictions or were postponed until after the main period of risk had ended. The majority of people with Crohn’s disease were still able to get life insurance through the COVID-19 pandemic however you may need to review your cover once things relax back to normal again.

Some of the additional questions that were being asked by life insurance providers through Coronavirus included:

  • Are you currently self-isolating?
  • Have you experienced symptoms of Coronavirus?
  • Have you been exposed to the risk of contracting the virus?
  • Do you know anyone with COVID-19?

There is a short term impact on the life insurance market, especially for people with certain medical conditions, which could have a long term effect on life insurance terms as well.

Which are the best life insurance companies for people with Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease has a wide range of severity levels so the best life insurance provider will vary depending on how bad your symptoms are. Most of the more common high street insurance companies offer life insurance for people with Crohn’s so you should be able to get cover fairly easily.

Some insurance underwriters are better than others when it comes to auto-immune conditions like Crohn’s disease. It can be difficult to know which one is best for you, which is where we can help you.

Our many years of experience and close connections with top specialist underwriters means that we’re here to help. Over the past 20 years, we’ve helped thousands of people with Crohn’s disease and other conditions to get the best cover.

We’ll complete a very quick medical questionnaire and then speak to insurance underwriters for you. Our mission is to make sure that our customers get the best cover to protect their families and save money.

Is Critical Illness Cover available with Crohn’s disease?

This type of cover can be essential to make sure that you and your family are protected if you get diagnosed with a serious illness. In most cases, it is possible to get critical illness cover with Crohn’s disease. There are a number of the major insurance providers who would offer this type of cover to you.

Some of the main things that will be considered on an application for critical illness cover for someone with Crohn’s are:

  • When was your last flare-up / attack?
  • What treatment or medication do you take?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Does your condition affect your ability to work or daily living?
  • Have you had any hospitalisation or surgery?

Where the condition is well managed with mild symptoms, you’ll find it pretty straight forward to get cover. If there are some minor complications or if your symptoms are more severe then you could have some restrictions applied.

Critical illness cover terms for people with Crohn’s disease can also vary dramatically between insurers. Let iam|INSURED take the stress and hassle out of searching for the best policies to suit you.

Is Income Protection available for people with Crohn’s disease?

Income protection or accident and sickness style policies can be a lifeline if you’re unable to work. This type of cover would payout if you’re unable to work because you were ill or involved in an accident. For someone with Crohn’s disease, generally, you can get income protection or accident and sickness cover.

There’s a vast range of different types of income protection and accident & sickness policies to suit all budgets and needs. You should be able to get the right cover for you regardless of whether you’ve got Crohn’s. Premiums for income protection can vary dramatically between insurers and depending on your symptoms. It’s very important to get the right advice to make sure that you don’t buy the wrong cover or pay more.

For people with mild to moderate symptoms, it should be pretty straight forward in most cases. There’s a range of different insurers for us to consider in these cases and lots of options to choose from generally. If your symptoms are more severe then you might consider looking at an Accident & Sickness policy. This can work out very cost-effective and give you the cover you need.

How much is Travel Insurance for Crohn’s disease?

It’s important to get the right cover to protect you if you are travelling abroad and especially for conditions like Crohn’s. If you’ve got Crohn’s disease then travel insurance will generally be available for most people. Premiums can vary dramatically between travel insurance companies so it’s best to speak to a specialist.

Most travel insurance companies would offer cover and it is often cheaper to get cover through a medical specialist. Companies that specialise in cover for people with Crohn’s and other conditions understand the risks better.

You must make sure that you tell your travel insurance company about your medical condition and answer all questions accurately. Medical treatment when you’re overseas can be extremely costly so make sure that your cover is good enough. If you’re not covered then you could be at risk of extremely expensive medical procedures.

What are common problems getting life insurance with Crohn’s disease?

There are some potential complications which can cause some possible problems when looking for life insurance. We don’t like to focus too much on the negative points and in this case, there are only a couple of things, including:

  • Colostomy bags can cause some possible issues when applying for life insurance if the bag was fitted recently. If you’ve had a bag fitted and there are issues or you’re awaiting further treatment then you might need to wait.
  • Recent or awaiting surgery can also cause insurance underwriters to ask further questions about your condition or can mean you may need to wait for cover.

Declined cover previously doesn’t have to mean that this is the end of the road so speak to an expert like iam|INSURED you should be able to get at least some cover in most cases so make sure that you speak to one of our experts before you make any decisions.

What Crohn’s disease awareness events are there?

There are several events nationally and internationally, dedicated to raising awareness about Crohn’s, Colitis and other Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. These and other events have been developed by leading health charities to increase awareness about Crohn’s. Events can be to prevent risks, improve treatment or medication and fund research.

Crohn’s disease events include:

  • Crohn’s disease awareness week is a national event in the UK run by the charity, Crohn’s & Colitis UK. The event usually takes place on the 1st week in December and is to raise awareness and funds for Crohn’s research.
  • Crohn’s and Colitis awareness month is a global event in November to increase awareness for people living with the condition.
  • World IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) Day is an event held in May across the globe with most national charities involved.
  • IBD awareness month is held in the United States in December by leading charities to help raise awareness. There are approximately 3 million people in the US living with Crohn’s disease or Colitis which is 1.3% of the population.

Crohn’s charities and support for Crohn’s disease (UK)

There are a number of major charities dedicated to helping people with Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases. These organisations provide vital guidance, help and support for those living with this condition.

Our team of life insurance advisers are some of the leading UK life insurance experts for people with medical conditions like Crohn’s disease. Over the past 20 years, we have helped thousands of people with Crohn’s disease and other medical conditions to get the cover they need to protect their families, homes and business. We offer FREE advice on a wide range of different types of insurance products and services.

We’re passionate about what we do to help our customers to make sure that they get the best cover and help them to save money. Our mission is to make sure that everyone is treated fairly regardless of their health or lifestyle. Check out our incredible Feefo customer reviews, see for yourself what our customers think about what we do.

For more information about getting life insurance, critical illness cover or income protection with Crohn’s disease then you can give our team of experts a call on 01244 732895.

 

MS Life Insurance Guide – For People Living with Multiple Sclerosis

A Comprehensive Guide to Life Insurance for People Living with Multiple Sclerosis

If you’ve got multiple sclerosis and you need some information about how to get life insurance to protect you, family, then please read on. Our mission is to provide support and help to people with medical conditions, assisting them to get the right life cover at the right price.

iam|INSURED is a leading life insurance specialist, and we’ve been helping people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other medical conditions to get cover for 20 years. Life cover can protect your family and your home, and for people with MS, it’s essential to understand what the best options are, which is where we can help.

Over the past 20 years, our team has helped thousands of people with multiple sclerosis to get the insurance they need to protect their loved ones. It’s important to us to know that we’re doing our utmost to make sure that you’re getting the best cover for your family or your mortgage.

We’ve worked with some of the UK’s top MS experts over the past 20 years as well as working closely with some incredible MS charities. It’s been a privilege to offer support to people with multiple sclerosis and to help raise funds for various MS charities and non-profit organisations.

We want to help you to understand life insurance for ms patients and travel insurance, critical illness cover and income protection with MS too. A lot of people with MS have put off insurance because it can seem difficult or even impossible, which we think is wrong and we want to change this.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition which affects the brain and the spinal cord. People with MS have damage to the coating that protects their nerves (myelin) which causes various symptoms, including issues with mobility and blurred vision.

There is a substance in the body called myelin which protects the fibres that make up our nerves in our central nervous system. Myelin helps messages to travel through our bodies quickly between our brain and our body and limbs.

In someone with multiple sclerosis, their immune system (the bodies way of fighting infections), mistakes Myelin as a foreign body, attacking it. That can causes damage to the Myelin, stripping some or all of it off the nerves, sometimes leaving scarring, known as lesions or plaques.

The effect that this process can have on the body causes disruptions to the messages travelling through our central nervous system. These messages can either be slowed considerably, distorted or even blocked completely.

What are the different types of Multiple Sclerosis?

There are three well known and more commonly referred to as types of multiple sclerosis which are:

  • Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS): is where people will have intermittent periods of symptoms, known as a relapse which can vary dramatically from one person to another. Roughly 85% of people diagnosed with MS have relapsing-remitting, which is often treatable with a disease-modifying therapy (DMT).
  • Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS): is very often the next stage of the condition beyond relapsing-remitting. In this type of MS, the person will often experience progressively worsening symptoms and disabilities. The main difference between this and relapsing MS is that you would no longer have periods of no symptoms or relapses.
  • Primary Progressive MS (PPMS): is known to affect approximately 10-15% of people diagnosed with MS. The name primary comes from the simple fact that from the very first symptoms, they get progressively worse.

How many people does Multiple Sclerosis affect in the UK?

There are an estimated more than 130,000 people in the UK living with multiple sclerosis and that nearly 7,000 people are newly diagnosed each year. Roughly 1 in 500 people living in the UK have MS, and there are 130 new people diagnosed each week.

These statistics and estimates are provided by MS Society who work in partnership with Public Health England:

  • MS affects more than double the number of females as it does males (per 100,000 people in the UK = 272 females / 106 males).
  • Females between 50 – 59 are three times more likely to get diagnosed with MS.
  • People (both male and female) are most likely to have MS between 60 – 69.
  • MS is more likely to appear in ex-smokers than for the general population.

Statistics are from Public Health England.

Can I get Life Insurance with Multiple Sclerosis?

Life insurance is essential for anyone who has either financial dependents (e.g. children, partner or family members) or to cover for debts such as mortgages, loans and businesses. Some people with medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis feel discouraged in applying for life cover, which is incredibly concerning for us. It is often far easier to get life insurance for people with MS than you might think, and we can help.

The main questions that insurance providers will ask someone with multiple sclerosis are:

  • When were you diagnosed with MS?
  • Which type of multiple sclerosis do you have?
  • What type of treatment or therapies are you receiving or have you received in the past?
  • Do you have any issues eating, swallowing or do you need to spend most of your time in bed?
  • Do you use walking aids (e.g. wheelchair, scooter, walking stick or crutches)?
  • Are you working, or are you able to work?

Your answers to these questions, in addition to general health and lifestyle-related facts, will be taken into consideration. It is even possible to get life insurance accepted without additional medical evidence from your GP, which is a significant step forwards.

Which types of Multiple Sclerosis can get Life Insurance?

Generally, the type of multiple sclerosis will have a bearing on how easy it is to get life cover as well as the severity of your symptoms. People with Relapsing-Remitting MS will be slightly easier to get protection for than people with Primary or Secondary Progressive. Because of how the symptoms and affect on lifestyle, for people with relapsing-remitting MS, these can be less severe than for someone with primary or secondary MS.

It is now possible to even get immediate cover for someone with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, which is a big step in life insurance underwriting. Previously you would have always needed to provide your GP details on your application so that the insurance provider can request to see a copy of your medical history; now this isn’t always the case.

MS life cover is usually available for the vast majority of people with MS regardless of the type of the condition. The same rules apply to life insurance underwriting with multiple sclerosis as any other medical condition and consider your overall health and your lifestyle too.

Which insurance companies are best for Multiple Sclerosis?

Our insurance partners include some of the UK’s biggest and best brands such as Aviva, AIG, Aegon, L&G, Zurich and LV. It is fair to say that some of these insurance companies are better at underwriting different types and severities of medical conditions which is the same for MS.

Our many years of experience and expertise means that we’re able to reasonably quickly identify which insurance companies will be best for you, based on your disclosures to us. We also know from our close links to these insurers that their underwriting philosophies can change quite quickly and dramatically. At the point that I am writing this article to explain which insurance providers are best for MS, this will no doubt have changed by the time you are reading it.

It’s incredibly difficult to say which insurance companies are best for MS because each application is usually very different, but also things change over time. We keep in close contact with underwriters in the top insurance companies to help us to understand any changes and get the best outcomes for you. Something else to consider is that the difference in terms being offered for you by one insurance company will often be very different from another, which is where we can help.

Can I get Critical Illness Cover if I’ve got Multiple Sclerosis?

It’s advisable to consider all types of cover when looking at the best ways to protect your family and your home. Critical illness cover is the second most popular type of cover for people who are looking for financial protection. This type of cover provides you with a lump sum payment which is often tax-free if you have a diagnosis of severe illness such as Cancer, Stroke, HIV, Heart Conditions and MS.

Generally, someone with a family history of multiple sclerosis will be able to get critical illness cover after age 40 if they’re in relatively good health. People diagnosed with MS already usually won’t be eligible for standard critical illness cover. However, there are alternative types of insurance cover available.

Some specialist insurance products are available which would provide cover for non-related conditions such as cancer, HIV or Heart Conditions.

Is Income Protection available for people with Multiple Sclerosis?

There are some income protection style products which are available for people with MS and other pre-existing medical conditions. We’re continually searching for more products such as income protection to help people with multiple sclerosis because of the restrictions that insurers put in place.

Income protection is something that can be important to someone with MS, so there are some options available. We’ve sourced several unique products that will pay out for some time if you’re unable to work due to sickness or injury. Some people wrongly assume that people with MS don’t work which we know isn’t the case, which is why we’ve worked hard to offer cover. MS doesn’t mean that you can’t work and people with mild symptoms can function normally, so we want to make sure you’re protected.

Over the years, we’ve found several products which are exclusive to insurance experts like iam|INSURED because of the work we do. You should speak to one of our team of experts about it, and we’ll be happy to tell you what’s available to you and how much this will cost you each month.

How much does Travel Insurance cost for Multiple Sclerosis?

If you need travel insurance and have multiple sclerosis, then you’ll generally find that prices will be different. Our travel insurance partners offer expert advice for people with MS and other medical conditions to get the best cover from the UK’s best travel insurers. If you’ve got benign, relapsing-remitting or progressive MS then you’ll need to disclose details about your health to us so we can give you the lowest premiums.

Travel insurance is essential for anyone with a pre-existing medical condition, and MS is just as critical because of how unpredictable symptoms can be. You should make sure that you’ve got sufficient cover in place when travelling abroad to protect if anything should happen.

You should make sure that if anything happens to you while you are abroad that you have proper cover to avoid costly medical bills. Medical treatment can be expensive when outside the UK, so your travel insurance policy will protect against this eventuality. It’s essential to disclose everything about your MS to our travel insurance team to make sure that you are correctly covered.

Travel insurance for people with MS will also take account of equipment you may need for mobility such as walking aids or wheelchairs. You may also travel with other special equipment or medication that requires cover which should be taken into consideration by our travel insurance team.

What are common issues for people with MS getting life insurance?

It’s fair to say that not all multiple sclerosis life insurance applications are simple or straight forward so there can be challenges. We’d like to share some of the common problems that we have to overcome when applying for life insurance with this condition. It’s important to remember that just because you have a medical condition, that shouldn’t mean that you can’t get or can’t afford life insurance.

  • Mobility: People with MS can often use walking aids such as sticks, crutches or chairs depending on their symptoms or type of MS. If you use walking aids then we’ll find the best insurer for you based on the equipment you use and how regularly.
  • Complications: Some of the main difficulties connected to MS that would come upon a life insurance application are problems eating, breathing or memory issues. Again these are all relatively common and shouldn’t stop you from getting cover with the right insurance provider.

If you’ve applied for life insurance in the past and either been declined or told that cover will be unaffordable then speak to us. As specialists, we can provide life insurance cover for many more people than many other insurance companies, and we pride ourselves on going the extra mile for our clients.

List of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Events

Many national and international awareness events have been running for some years to help raise awareness and fundraise for MS:

  • MS Awareness Week: is a UK event which is run by UK based MS charities and often run towards the end of April.
  • World MS Day is held on the 30th of May every year.
  • MS Awareness Month: is held in the United States by the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

Multiple Sclerosis Charities and Online Resources

There are several major MS charities and non-profit organisations in the UK that help people with MS to manage on a day-to-day basis, as well as provide vital support. As well as the major charities, there are some local MS support facilities which provide treatment for people with MS. Some of the main MS charities and online resources relating to MS in the UK include:

  • MS-UK: Website: https://www.ms-uk.org. Address: Unsworth House, Hythe Quay, Essex, CO2 8JF. Telephone: 0800 783 0518.
  • MS Trust: Website: https://www.mstrust.org.uk. Address: Spirella Building, Bridge Road, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, SG6 4ET. Telephone: 0800 032 3839.
  • MS Society: Website: https://www.mssociety.org.uk. Address: 372 Edgeware Road, London, NW2 6ND. Telephone: 0800 800 8000.

The NHS Choices website contains a lot of useful information relating to Multiple Sclerosis: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/multiple-sclerosis/.

We would be delighted to help and to answer any questions that you may have. Please feel free to contact us online or, you can call us on 01244 732890.

Facts about Diabetes Insurance

Facts about Diabetes Insurance

(Author: Daniel Sharpe-Szunko)
iam|INSURED is the #1 life insurance expert for people with Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2 as well as other medical conditions. Over the past 20 years we’ve worked with some of the UK’s leading insurance and medical experts to help our customers to get the best cover to protect their families and homes.

We’re proud to have been part of several major initiatives and product development forums to help improve diabetes life insurance for our clients. Through our many years of working hard to get people the cover they need to protect their loved ones, we’ve developed an in depth understanding of the condition and underwriting terms. Our management team has also been part of helping to develop new ways to offer cover for people with diabetes which includes life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection.

Our mission is to make sure that people with diabetes are treated fairly and to give you the best cover as well as saving you money. I personally have helped to develop some incredible products for people with diabetes and worked out new ways to help people with diabetes to get life insurance much quicker.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious medical condition which has two main types known as type 1 and type 2, but there are also a number of other types of diabetes as well. It is also a chronic condition which means that once you have diabetes then you will generally have it for the rest of your life.

The body normally produces glucose (sugar) which we all need for energy and insulin which is a hormone that allows the glucose to enter our blood stream to fuel our bodies. Glucose which gives us energy is produced when our bodies break down a thing called carbohydrates which comes from the food we eat and what we drink, the glucose then gets released in to our blood.

Our pancreas produces insulin which the body uses to control the amount of glucose that we have in our bloodstream. This process then allows the body to manage how much glucose getting in to our cells, but for people with diabetes this system doesn’t work properly.

Some of the main symptoms for someone with diabetes include:

  • Excessive urination, usually at night
  • More thirsty
  • Being tired and lethargic
  • Weight loss
  • Thrush or genital itch
  • Blurred vision
  • Scars and wounds don’t heal as quickly

Some people with type 2 diabetes live with these symptoms for up to 10 years before they get them checked by a medical professional.

What are the main types of Diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes as well as a number of other less common and less well known types.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type which affects roughly 90% of people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK. People most commonly and mistakenly in a lot of cases, associate this type of diabetes with a poor diet, lack of exercise and being overweight. But this is not necessarily the case as type 2 diabetes can develop for a number of different reasons.

Generally type 2 diabetes will develop later in life and occurs because the body still produces insulin but the insulin can’t work properly which means that glucose levels continue to rise. Over time, higher than normal sugar levels in the body can cause potentially serious and long lasting damage to your heart, eyes, feet and kidneys.

Managing type 2 diabetes is usually done with diet, tablet (Metformin) or in some cases insulin injections. It has been known in recent years for people with mild type 2 diabetes to reverse the condition with a specific diet and healthy lifestyle including exercise.

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong (chronic) and serious medical condition which is currently found in approximately 8% of people with diabetes in the UK. Generally this type of diabetes occurs more in younger people and is also known as ‘childhood diabetes’ or ‘juvenile diabetes’.

The main difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes is that in type 1, the body actually attacks the cells in your pancreas that would normally produce insulin. Whereas in type 2 the body can still produce insulin, in type 1 the body simply does not produce any insulin which can have a dramatic effect on the us and our entire bodies.

Having known someone with quite severe type 1 diabetes for many years I can say from personal experience that this condition can be very scary. Treatment that has included many years on kidney dialysis, eventually receiving a full kidney transplant after several years on an NHS waiting list and almost complete loss of sight in both eyes.

Gestational diabetes is the last of the more common types of diabetes which gets its name from how it develops in pregnant women. This type of diabetes can affect almost any woman at any stage of pregnancy regardless of your diet, lifestyle or health. Gestational diabetes will also generally go after the pregnancy or can sometimes develop in to type 2 diabetes.

Pre-diabetes is a newer type of diabetes which has been developed in the modern medical world to help people to manage their health and make sure that they don’t develop full blown diabetes. Someone may be told by their GP or a medical professional that they have pre-diabetes and then advised on how to manage their health to stop them getting diabetes.

Diabetes Statistics (UK)

According to the latest statistics by the leading diabetes charity, Diabetes UK, the latest figures for the UK are:

  • 3.9 million people living with diabetes (plus almost a million with undiagnosed diabetes – making the total over 4.8 million people)*
  • More than 100,000 people were diagnosed with diabetes in 2019 in the UK (projected to increase to 5.3 million by 2025)*
  • 1 in 15 people living in the UK has diabetes
  • 6 in 10 people with type 2 diabetes has no symptoms
  • People with type 2 diabetes are approximately 50% more likely to die early*
  • Risks of Heart Attack or Heart Disease is much more likely in someone with type 2 diabetes (almost 2 to 2.5 higher risk)*

*The latest figures are provided by Diabetes UK, Diabetes Prevalence 2019 report.

Does diabetes affect me being able to get Life Insurance?

People living with diabetes can be extremely healthy and should not be too greatly affected when applying for life insurance. It is increasingly likely that you’ll also be able to get accepted for life insurance without the need for further medical underwriting so can be covered immediately so you won’t need to provide evidence from your GP or Diabetic Nurse. Our experts at iam|INSURED has worked very closely with some of the UK’s biggest and best insurance companies to make sure that people with diabetes get the lowest rates available and the best cover.

A standard life insurance application will ask questions about your general health and lifestyle to gather information about you. In the case of someone with diabetes, you’ll be asked to provide specific information about your condition, such as:

  • Do you take insulin?
  • Which type of diabetes do you have?
  • When were you first diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Has your diabetes affected any other areas of your body (e.g. eyes, kidneys, nerves or limbs)?
  • Have you ever been hospitalised because of your diabetes?
  • When did you last get your blood glucose levels checked by your GP?
  • What was latest HbA1c (or Mmol) reading?
  • Have you been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure or Raised Cholesterol?

These types of questions and some others will enable underwriters to assess your application and apply an accurate decision. Another major positive impact on premiums for people with diabetes over the past 15 years has resulted from insurers competing for policyholders with diabetes. You should also know that life insurance rates and terms for people with diabetes are constantly improving so it’s always worth reviewing existing policies as well.

What about Diabetes and Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Life Insurance?

It is also usually not an issue to get life insurance for someone with diabetes regardless of whether we are in a state of national emergency such as during Coronavirus. These were unprecedented times in 2020 which caused a huge impact on the diabetes community due to the additional cardiovascular risks on these people.

From a life insurance point of view there are no issues with getting cover for people with diabetes as long as they are not exposed to risks or displaying symptoms. This is a highly unusual situation and questions such as:

  • Are you currently self-isolating?
  • Do you currently have any symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
  • Have you been exposed to the risk of contracting Coronavirus?
  • Do you know anyone with symptoms who you have been in contact with?

While this is a one off and isolated event, we wanted to mention it as it may have longer lasting effects on life insurance and this is a common question we get asked about.

Which Types of Diabetes get Life Insurance?

It is and always has been possible to get life insurance for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The main difference between getting life insurance for people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes is that generally people with type 1 diabetes will require some additional medical underwriting. We are increasingly seeing applications for type 2 diabetes accepted instantly with no further underwriting requirements which is a smaller percentage for people with type 1 diabetes.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes life insurance rates have reduced dramatically over the past 20 years thanks to better treatments, more information about the conditions and higher survival rates which means that people are living longer. All of this has had a positive impact on the cost of cover for people with diabetes which we expect to continue for many years to come.

Which are the Best Life Insurance providers for people with Diabetes?

There are several major life insurance providers in the UK currently which include Aviva, AIG, Aegon, L&G, Zurich and LV. iam|INSURED works with all of the TOP insurance companies in the UK as well as some specialist insurers who provide more bespoke or unique solutions for people with more severe symptoms of diabetes and other conditions.

We know the best insurance companies for each person based on their medical history, health and age but this can vary dramatically. It’s very difficult to say which insurers are best for each condition simply because of the fact that people’s circumstances are so different and no application is generally the same. Also the fact that underwriting can change dramatically and quickly which means that there can be a major shift in the insurers we would go to at any time.

Once we know more about you and your medical history then we can simply apply our expertise to help get you the best cover to protect your family. The main reason why you would use an expert like iam|INSURED is to save time and money to make sure that you get the cover you need at the right price.

How does my HbA1c reading affect Life Insurance rates?

The main consideration and influencing factor for underwriters looking at life insurance for people with diabetes is their HbA1c (Mmol) reading which is the blood sugar levels. The term HbA1c is an abbreviation for Glycated Haemoglobin which develops when haemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen through the body) meets glucose in the blood, which becomes glycated.

There are two types of measurements for this type of reading which is usually taken by your doctor, the readings can be given as mmol/mol or % (HbA1c).

HbA1c levels for people with diabetes are as follows:

    Levels Mmol/mol Percentage (%)
    Normal Under 42 Under 6.0%
    Prediabetes 42 to 47 6.0% to 6.4%
    Diabetes Over 48 Over 6.5%

In terms of life insurance underwriting for people with diabetes there are several levels to consider that have an impact on your premiums:

    Levels Mmol/mol Percentage (%)
    Low (good control) Under 53 Under 7.0%
    Moderate (could improve) 54 to 74 7.0% to 8.9%
    High (poor control) 75 to 85 9.0% to 9.9%
    Very High Over 86 Over 10.0%

You should also know that in recent years there has been changes to the acceptable levels so more and more we are seeing decisions for people with readings over 10.0% (86Mmol/mol). We also appreciate that this is not an exact science and there are situations where people are asked by their GP to maintain higher readings, such as sports people.

Can I get Critical Illness Cover with Diabetes?

In recent years we’ve found that more and more that people with diabetes are able to get critical illness cover again thanks to changes in underwriting rules. Currently critical illness cover is only available for type 2 diabetes from the mainstream or more popular high street insurance providers. It is possible to get more specialist critical illness style products for people with type 1 diabetes which come with slightly different terms to standard cover.

You can now get critical illness cover through the major insurance providers as long as you fit certain criteria. These criteria questions include:

  • Do you smoke?
  • Have you got type 2 diabetes?
  • Do you have any diabetes complications (e.g. Retinopathy, Neuropathy or Nephropathy)?
  • What is your height and weight (BMI)?
  • Is your diabetes well controlled and readings low (HbA1c / Mmol)?

As long as you can answer these questions positively then you should have no problem being able to get critical illness cover. These terms are constantly changing so you’ll find that this will change over a period of time which we’ll be able to keep you informed about through our blogs and news articles.

Can I get Income Protection if I’ve got Diabetes?

It is also now possible to get income protection insurance with diabetes which is a more recent development and again shows promising signs for the future. In previous years it would have seemed almost impossible to get more strictly underwritten products like income protection insurance for someone with diabetes so this is good news. We appreciate that this may not seem incredibly positive to everyone but from our perspective it shows that things are progressing.

Income protection can provide cover for someone if they were unable to work because of long term sickness or because of an accident. The reason that diabetes has historically been difficult to get this type of cover is because of the strict underwriting guidance but with new technologies and bespoke products, this is changing.

There are also products that are available through some of the major insurance companies that offer a short term income protection cover (called Accident and Sickness) with no medical underwriting. This type of product is quite unique and we’re delighted to be able to offer this as a solution to our diabetes clients. This type of cover can be incredibly cost effective to people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes to you with the solution that you need.

How much is Travel Insurance for Diabetes?

Anyone who is travelling overseas who has a medical condition such as diabetes, should have adequate travel insurance in case anything happens to them whilst abroad. Diabetes travel insurance is no different and as long as you disclose details about your medical condition then you will be fully covered. You should be aware that if you fail to disclose certain information about your medical history then you may not be covered.

The main reason why it is essential to have appropriate levels of cover when travelling abroad is to make sure that you don’t get stuck with expensive medical bills if anything happens to you. It can be extremely difficult and costly to get treatment or medical attention in a foreign country, and especially for those with a pre-existing medical condition such as diabetes. If you’ve got diabetes then you’ll know that your health and your symptoms can be unpredictable which is why it’s important to be covered.

You should also be able to get travel insurance which can cover any specific diabetes equipment whilst you are abroad. There are policies that will cover your medications and specialist equipment which includes diabetes pumps, insulin injections, tablets and other related items.

What about Diabetes Complications with Life Insurance and other type of Cover?

There are a number of diabetes related complications which can have an effect on all types of insurance when making an application. The main types of diabetes complications that can impact your insurance terms include:

  • Retinopathy which is a common form of eye disease in people with diabetes which is most common in people who have had diabetes for longer periods of time
  • Neuropathy is a nerve disorder which comes in three main categories including Sensory Neuropathy, Motor Neuropathy and Autonomic Neuropathy
  • Nephropathy also known as Kidney Disease which will affect approximately 40% of people with diabetes

Anyone with diabetes who has any of these complications will usually still be able to get cover and may find that there are some limitations such as insurers prepared to offer terms.

Diabetes Awareness events

Due to the high levels of diabetes both in the UK and globally, there are a number of major events that have been dedicated to raising awareness for diabetes. These events are annual events which help to raise money for research as well as raise awareness for people living with diabetes and the risks of developing diabetes.

Diabetes events include:

World Diabetes Day which is held every year on November 14th to increase awareness around the world for diabetes. The reason that the event is held on this specific date is that it coincides with the birthday of Dr. Frederick Banting who helped to discover insulin

Diabetes Awareness Week is held in the UK usually in June and is operated by Diabetes UK which is the biggest British diabetes charity

National Diabetes Month is primarily an American event which is held by the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and the American Diabetes Association

Diabetes Charities and Support organisations (UK)

Over the past century there have been a number of organisations that have been established to help people living with diabetes. These charities and companies provide vital information, guidance, support and services to people with diabetes. Some of the main organisations include:

Diabetes UK

Link: https://www.diabetes.org.uk

Helpline: 0345 123 2399

Address: Wells Lawrence House, 126 Back Church Lane, London, E1 1FH

Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation

Link: https://www.drwf.org.uk

Helpline: 0239 263 7808

Address: Building 6000, Langstone Technology Park, Havant, Hampshire, PO9 1SA

Diabetes.co.uk

Forum: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/

Address: Technology House, Sir William Lyons Road, University of Warwick Scient Park, Coventry, CV4 7EZ

For more information or if you’ve got any questions about insurance for people with diabetes, call iam|INSURED on 01244 732894 or submit an enquiry

Is Coronavirus (COVID-19) Affecting UK Life Insurance Applications?

Has The Coronavirus Pandemic Affected Life Insurance Applications In the UK?

This blog is to help anyone who’s currently thinking about or looking for life insurance and for people with life insurance. If you want to know how Coronavirus has changed and is changing life insurance in the UK currently then this will hopefully help to explain.

iam|INSURED is the #1 insurance experts for people in the UK to protect their families and homes who have pre-existing medical conditions including all Chronic and Acute conditions. We have been helping people to get cover to protect their loved ones for over 20 years, and we’re constantly looking at how the insurance market is changing to help our customers.

How has Coronavirus affected Life Insurance and other Types of Cover?

We’re in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic and seeing constant changes to how some of the biggest life insurance companies in the world are underwriting our cases. The impact has clearly been dramatic for the life insurance market which has had an impact on some of the clients that we deal with, especially those with severe medical conditions or symptoms.

This is a very difficult time for everyone so hopefully, this little bit of information will help to give some clarity about life insurance. Here are some of the main changes so far in the UK:

  • Limits to Maximum amounts of cover available (Max. sum assured).
  • Questions specifically about Coronavirus (see below).
  • Underwriting limits lowered due to additional mortality risks.
  • Postponed decisions/offers of terms (between 1 and 6 months on average).
  • Restrictions for certain medical conditions (e.g. Diabetes, Heart, Auto-immune, Neurological, and HIV).

There are still plenty of options for people to get life insurance and for our customers as well who have a pre-existing medical condition. You may have already spoken to another adviser or company who has told you that cover is not available but that may not be correct so it is definitely worth speaking to our iam|INSURED experts.

What questions will I be asked about Coronavirus on my insurance applications?

Life insurance companies have developed specific questions to assess the risk around Coronavirus for new applications. This is simply to make sure that they have the full picture when they assess your health and medical circumstances.

Coronavirus questions will include:

  • Have you tested positive for Coronavirus?
  • Are you currently in self-isolation?
  • Have you had any symptoms of Coronavirus?
  • Have you been in direct contact with anyone who has been diagnosed or suspected of having a Coronavirus?

You should make sure that you answer all of these questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge so there are no questions further down the line.

If you’re classed as being high-risk because of your medical condition such as people with severe Diabetes, Asthma, Heart Conditions, Auto-immune Diseases, and a number of other conditions, then you won’t be classed as ‘self-isolating’ unless you’ve got symptoms. People who are being advised to stay at home to keep themselves safe will just be classed as a standard low-risk individual.

Will I be covered for Coronavirus?

If your life insurance application is accepted now or has been accepted previously then you will be covered for if anything happens to you as a result of being diagnosed with Coronavirus. A lot of people are understandably concerned about whether they are covered for death or illness if they get tested positive for COVID-19 and we’re constantly speaking to insurers to make sure that there are no restrictions.

Ultimately if you get offered life insurance, critical illness cover or income protection either now or have taken out cover previously then your policy will pay out if anything happens to you due to Coronavirus. While this remains a very difficult time for a lot of people, we’re here to help so feel free to give us a call and ask us any questions that you’ve got.

Is Life Insurance more expensive because of Coronavirus?

As yet there have been no changes to premiums for life insurance, critical illness cover, income protection, or health insurance as far as we can tell from the quotes that we are producing. There are some restrictions in place around the amount of cover that you are allowed to apply for which is primarily dependant on your age.

We may see some changes to pricing in the future but this will depend on other external factors that may have an impact on the life insurance companies and re-insurers themselves. We’re trying to keep up to date on how things develop and will keep everyone informed through our Blogs and Social Media channels.

Can I still get Life Insurance if I’ve had Coronavirus?

Currently, it is questionable for people who have had Coronavirus and recovered as to whether they will be able to still get life insurance because there are still a lot of unknowns about the virus. Most insurance providers will consider an application on a case by case basis which will need to be reviewed by an individual underwriter which also depends on which company you are applying to.

Some insurance providers have reacted more cautiously than others in this current situation and global crisis so we’re making sure that we spend a lot of time keeping up with developments as they happen. We know that the pandemic still has several months until we’re due to see any relaxation in rules or even for things like social distancing so this impact could continue until August or even September.

What if I need to get a report from my GP?

In some cases where there is a pre-existing medical condition, there may be a requirement to provide some further medical information which will generally be a medical report from your GP or specialist. In this particular period where the NHS is already incredibly stretched and there are issues with staff levels in certain areas of the country especially, it could be difficult to get a copy of your medical report.

  • Some insurance providers are even stopping using medical reports completely to reduce the impact on the NHS.
  • Other insurance providers are applying for medical evidence from GP surgeries but have stopped calling or chasing the surgery to get the report back.

It could be that if a medical report is required that there could either be a delay for a period of time which could be a few weeks or even a few months depending on where you are and how busy your surgery is. Obviously we will only apply to companies that we know are accepting medical evidence and we will continue to take the advice of the NHS on what we can do to get these reports sent back.

Why has my Life Insurance application been postponed?

If you’ve recently made a life insurance application and the decision from the insurance company has been to postpone your application, then we’ll hold on to your details and re-submit your application as soon as we can. In some cases, we’re seeing decisions to postpone an offer of cover from between 1 and 6 months to allow for the Coronavirus peak to pass and to return back to some levels of normality.

We’re of course doing our utmost to make sure that we push every single application through, but there are some cases that we simply can’t do anything with at the moment. We appreciate that this is far from ideal and in a lot of cases, we also don’t feel that these decisions are fair.

If you need any advice or help with your existing life insurance or what to do about getting a new policy then we’re here to help and our advice is free so please give us a call on 01244 732895 today