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What are the 36 critical illnesses?

What are the 36 critical illnesses?

Many people who are looking for critical illness cover are concerned about what is covered and how it works. You might have heard in the past that there are 36 critical illnesses that are covered which isn’t always the case, but it’s a good place to start.

Most critical illness cover policies will include the 36 main conditions as well as several more depending on the insurer and level of the plan.

The following are widely considered 36 critical illnesses:

    1. Cancer 19. Hepatitis (Fulminant Viral)
    2. Heart Attack 20. Coronary Artery Disease
    3. Stroke 21. Encephalitis
    4. Kidney Failure 22. Head Trauma
    5. Multiple Sclerosis 23. Medullary Cystic Disease
    6. Parkinson’s Disease 24. Brain Surgery
    7. Alzheimer’s Disease 25. Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
    8. Brain Tumour (Benign) 26. Lung Disease (end-stage)
    9. Paralysis (limbs) 27. Surgery of the Aorta
    10. Muscular Dystrophy 28. Terminal Illness
    11. Third Degree Burns 29. Loss of Independence
    12. HIV 30. Major Organ Transplant
    13. Cardiomyopathy 31. Primary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
    14. Loss of Speech 32. Severe Coronary Artery Disease
    15. Chronic Aplastic Anaemia 33. Heart Valve Surgery
    16. Blindness (Permanent) 34. Angioplasty
    17. Bacterial Meningitis 35. Coma
    18. Liver Failure (end-stage) 36. Deafness (Permanent)

Looking at the current products that are available, almost all will at least cover these and many more. There are two different categories of critical illness cover which are:

Standard cover: These policies generally cover up to or around 75 critical illness definitions and will pay out 100% of the sum assured at the point of claim

Enhanced cover: This type of critical illness cover policy will pay out for up to 182 different serious illness definitions. The main difference is that it will pay out 100% for severe conditions and drop down to 10% based on severity or impact on lifestyle

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If you need more advice or help to get the best critical illness cover for you then please feel free to contact our iam|INSURED experts on 0800 009 6559

Our advice is absolutely FREE and we offer cover from all of the TOP insurance brands

What illnesses are covered by critical illness insurance?

What illnesses are covered by critical illness insurance?

People often ask us what they will be covered for by their critical illness cover policies. It can be very confusing to try to figure out what you’re covered for and when will it payout if you become ill.

One of the most important things to remember here is that every insurance company is different. Each insurer has different illnesses that they cover and will offer different definitions of those conditions.

This is why it’s very important to make sure that you do your research before you buy a new policy. If you’re buying a policy through an advisor or a broker then you should ask them for a list of what’s covered.

Will my pre-existing medical condition be covered by critical illness cover?

Generally, if you apply for a policy after you have been diagnosed with a medical condition, then that condition will be excluded. This can vary from one insurer to another and can change over time depending on the condition.

You might also find that conditions that are linked to your current illness may be excluded from your cover.

For example: If you have type 2 diabetes then you might be offered cover excluding cardiovascular conditions (e.g. Heart attack and stroke), eye problems or kidney disease.


How many conditions are covered?

  • Standard critical illness cover: 75 conditions
  • Enhanced critical illness cover: Up to 182 conditions

Here are some examples of cover from some of the top insurers in the UK and what to expect when you buy this type of cover.

Legal & General

This cover will payout for a ‘specified’ critical illness (as listed below) if you undergo a medical procedure and you survive for 14 days from diagnosis. This must, of course, happen during the term of the cover and while premiums are paid.

Critical illness Definition
Aorta graft surgery requiring surgical replacement
Aplastic anaemia with permanent bone marrow failure
Bacterial meningitis resulting in permanent symptoms
Benign brain tumour resulting in either surgical removal or permanent symptoms
Blindness permanent and irreversible
Cancer excluding less advanced cases
Cardiac Arrest with the insertion of a defibrillator
Cardiomyopathy of specified severity
Coma with associated permanent symptoms
Coronary artery by-pass grafts with surgery to divide the breast bone or thoracotomy
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) resulting in permanent symptoms
Deafness permanent and irreversible
Dementia including Alzheimer’s disease resulting in permanent symptoms
Encephalitis resulting in permanent symptoms
Heart attack of specified severity
Heart valve replacement or repair with surgery
HIV infection caught from a blood transfusion, physical assault or accident at work
Kidney failure requiring permanent dialysis
Liver failure of advanced stage
Loss of hand or foot permanent physical severance
Loss of speech total permanent and irreversible
Major organ transplant from another donor
Motor neurone disease resulting in permanent symptoms
Multiple sclerosis where there have been symptoms
Multiple system atrophy resulting in permanent symptoms
Open heart surgery with median sternotomy
Paralysis of limb total and irreversible
Parkinson’s disease resulting in permanent symptoms
Primary pulmonary hypertension of specified severity
Progressive supranuclear palsy resulting in permanent symptoms
Removal of an eyeball due to injury or disease
Respiratory failure of advanced stage
Spinal stroke resulting in symptoms lasting at least 24 hours
Stroke resulting in symptoms lasting at least 24 hours
Systemic lupus erythematosus with severe complications
Third-degree burns covering 20% of the surface area of the body or 20% of the face or head
Traumatic brain injury resulting in permanent symptoms

For a full list of definitions visit:

Exclusions and limits

  • The list of conditions that are covered includes cancer, heart attack, and stroke. However not all situations and occurrences of these conditions will be covered, such as cancer must have spread or reached a specified level
  • Each illness must be verified by a consultant or specialist at a hospital in the UK, who is considered to be qualified in the appropriate area.
  • Full definitions are provided on policy documents and details of how L&G will consider a claim that is made. Your policy terms and conditions will also provide information about what evidence is required at claims stage

Note: There are several insurance companies who offer very similar levels of cover to Legal & General, such as Zurich and Aviva.

There are also more comprehensive critical illness cover policies which will provide more illnesses and definitions. Some of these more comprehensive policies offer higher levels of cover and also include partial payments (see below).

What is a partial payout or severity based critical illness cover policy?

Some modern critical illness cover policies offer what is known as ‘partial payout’ which is where different conditions pay different payments. This is mainly based on the severity of the illness and the impact on your lifestyle.

Partial payments can offer some benefits to you depending on what your attitude to risk is and what you want.


  • Conditions: generally these policies will offer a far more comprehensive list of illnesses (up to 182)
  • Multiple claims: if you claim for a lower severity level illness then you’ll still keep the remaining element of your cover
  • Flexibility: you’ll have numerous options with these types of policies which means that you should be able to adapt the cover to your needs


  • Coverage: some conditions where you would receive 100% payout with some providers will be a lower percentage with this type of cover
  • Confusing: these policies can be confusing and can make it difficult to compare against other similar insurance plans

There are several severity based policies currently available on the UK insurance market. Here is some information about Vitality’s Serious Illness Cover plan which was the first severity based partial payment cover introduced to the UK.


One of the most comprehensive plans on the market currently in terms of the number of conditions covered is from Vitality. This policy covers up to 182 serious illnesses based on a severity based plan which was introduced by Vitality several years ago.

This award-winning critical illness cover policy (known as serious illness cover) is designed to reflect the level of impact that each condition will have on your lifestyle. The serious illness cover plan is directly linked to current medical treatments so it is better suited to your needs.

What’s the difference between serious illness cover and critical illness cover?

Essentially a Vitality Serious Illness Cover plan is the same as a standard critical illness cover plan in what it does, and what it’s designed for. The main difference between these policies is the levels of cover that you would have based on the number of conditions covered.

Both of these policies pay a tax-free lump sum when you become seriously or critically ill. These payouts are designed to provide some financial security for you and your family if you can’t work for a period of time due to illness.

The term ‘serious illness’ was introduced by Vitality to differentiate from the more commonly known ‘critical illness’. This is for the purpose of helping to explain how the plan is designed to protect against a wider range of conditions.

  • Serious illness: a medical condition or illness that may have a variety of levels of severity which can have a range of levels of impact on lifestyle
  • Critical illness: a medical condition or illness which is defined as critical so will have a severe impact on lifestyle

What illnesses are covered by a Vitality Serious Illness Cover plan?

Currently, there are 153 conditions covered by a ‘Serious Illness Cover’ policy and 182 conditions covered by a ‘Serious Illness Cover Plus’ policy.

For a full list of conditions covered by Vitality visit:

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How much does life insurance cost as I get older?

How much does my age affect the cost of life insurance?

You might be surprised to know that life insurance premiums can increase considerably as you get older. This doesn’t mean that if you take out a policy that your premiums will go up every year, however in some cases this can happen.

Life insurance is always cheaper if you take a policy at a younger age, which is purely based on risk. As you get older, your risk of being diagnosed with a medical condition or death increases significantly.

Hence a 20 to 30-year-old person will be considered to be a lower risk of claim to a 50 to 60-year-old person.

Why does life insurance increase as you get older?

There are several reasons why you will pay more for life insurance in later life than when you are younger. People who are older adults are at higher risk of suffering events like heart attack, stroke, or cancer.

Some older people have already been diagnosed with a pre-existing medical condition. Common medical conditions that occur in later life include diabetes, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Can I get life insurance with a pre-existing medical condition?

Yes – you should be able to get a new life insurance policy with a pre-existing medical condition. Some of the most common medical conditions include:

There are literally thousands of different medical conditions and variations of conditions so very few people are the same. You should be able to find an insurer who’s right for you and your situation if you speak to an expert.

How much more does life insurance cost as you get older?

Often people are surprised by how much life insurance costs, younger people often think it’s more than it is, and older people generally think it’s less than it is.

If you apply for life cover in your 20’s then you’ll probably be amazed by how cheap cover is. However, if you apply for cover in your 50’s then you might consider it to be quite expensive.

Here are a few examples to show how much life cover costs based on £100,000 over 20 years for a non-smoker:

  • 25 years of age: £4.63 per month
  • 55 years of age: £28.38 per month

Here are some examples of £100,000 over 20 years for a smoker:

  • 25 years of age: £5.80 per month
  • 55 years of age: £71.47 per month

*These examples are based on an average of the TOP 3 insurance providers in the UK on 13.11.2020

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or a high-risk job then these premiums might be slightly different. Ultimately you can see from the examples above that the cost of cover dramatically increases over a period of time.

For more information about life insurance, feel free to give iam|INSURED a call on 0800 009 6559

Can someone with diabetes get medical insurance?

Medical insurance for people with diabetes

People with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, often don’t consider health insurance or medical insurance. The fact is that there are options for people with diabetes to get affordable medical insurance.

You could get comprehensive medical insurance that covers a wide range of treatments and specialist care. One of the most common reasons for medical insurance is Cancer Cover which would be included for people with diabetes.
People with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, often don’t consider health insurance or medical insurance.
Most brokers don’t offer medical insurance for people with diabetes because your existing condition won’t be covered. They don’t consider the things that are still covered and great value for money!

Health insurance and diabetes

Here are some of the main questions that we get asked by our customers with diabetes when we look at medical insurance for them.

More information about HEALTH INSURANCE

What isn’t covered by medical insurance for diabetics?

All medical insurance policies will exclude a pre-existing medical condition, but this isn’t always an issue. Medical insurance is designed to complement any treatment that you are already receiving or have already received.

Diabetes care, for example, will be treated and monitored by your GP or via the NHS which is usually very comprehensive. You’ll continue to receive this care from the NHS to help to manage your diabetes so this will not be covered.

If you have further medical or health problems connected to your diabetes, then these would also be treated under your NHS care.

What is covered by medical insurance for people with diabetes?

Medical insurance can cover a vast range of medical conditions and treatments, so you can build your plan to suit you. You’ve got a number of options with most types of private medical insurance, these include:

  • Core Cover
  • Cancer Cover
  • In-patient Care
  • Out-patient Care
  • Dental Cover
  • Global Travel Cover

If you’re a diabetic and you’ve been thinking about getting medical insurance, then these are all the things you can consider. You can tailor your cover to suit your needs and what’s most important to you.

How can I apply for medical insurance with diabetes?

There’s a couple of ways to go about getting health insurance for someone with diabetes and you can choose which is best for you:

Full Medical Underwriting

You could choose to go down the route of getting your application fully underwritten by an underwriter. In this situation, your application would ask for information about your diabetes and anything else pre-existing.

The main point of this option is to make sure that your existing and previous medical conditions are taken into consideration. This means that those conditions and related conditions would be excluded from the life of the plan.

The main benefit of this is that your premiums would be adjusted to take account of the things that won’t be covered.

This is a very sensible option for people with diabetes because it is a chronic condition, so would never be covered anyway. In this situation, you’d know upfront what is and isn’t covered so good for your own peace of mind.

Moratorium Underwriting

The other option for applying for medical insurance with diabetes is moratorium underwriting. This is the quickest and easiest way of applying for health insurance because you won’t have any medical questions to answer.

If you choose to go down this route then you won’t need to supply any medical information at all. You’ll just be asked to select which type of cover you want and what you want to be included in your plan.

When your policy is live, your medical history will only be taken into account at the point of a claim. Anything that you have experienced for a period of time before the plan was activated will be excluded.

How much does medical insurance cost for diabetics?

You’ve got loads of options for taking out a suitable and affordable plan when you apply for medical insurance. In the case of someone with diabetes, as detailed above you could go through medical underwriting which could help to reduce cost.

How you build your plan and what cover you need is entirely up to you. There are lots of options available which can reduce the cost of your cover, such as:

  • Excess
  • No claims discounts
  • Switch and Save
  • Cover options

How can I get cheaper medical insurance for diabetes?

By choosing the right cover and the right insurance company, you can keep the costs down. There’s a lot of different options, types of cover, and insurance providers which can be confusing.

You’ll be able to speak to one of our experts who can get quotes from some of the UK’s biggest health insurance providers.

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Health insurance update – new health insurance partners

Health insurance news

We’re proud to announce that we’re extending our health insurance panel to offer more choice and better cover to our customers. We now offer a comprehensive range of health insurance products from the UK’s biggest and best providers.

Health insurance is now more important than ever due to the recent issues faced by the NHS in England, Scotland and Wales. The demand for quality health insurance has increased as people become more aware of the need for cover.

Here’s some information about health insurance or private medical insurance (PMI) to help explain why you might want to consider cover.

Our health insurance partners

We’re delighted to welcome some of the UK’s top health insurance companies to our panel of insurers. Our health insurance partners include:

  • Aviva
  • BUPA
  • The Exeter
  • Vitality Health

Why do I need health insurance?

As a result of the recent strain added to the NHS from Coronavirus, it’s more important than ever to get the right level of care. If you are ill or you need treatment then you might not get access to care as quickly as you need.

Health insurance makes sure that you get access to the best care from private doctors and specialists.

You also avoid long NHS waiting times which can be costly be personally and to your health.

What is health insurance?

Health insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides cover for the cost of private healthcare. The policy works in the same way as most types of insurance, you pay a monthly or annual premium, and your insurer (provider) pays out for a claim. In this case, a claim would be the cost of some or all of your private medical treatment.

A health insurance policy can be taken out as either a single policy for you or a joint policy to cover you and your partner. It can be easier and more cost-effective to take out a joint policy, this means you’ll also only have one policy and one insurer to deal with.

What are the reasons for taking out health insurance?

Waiting times

Currently, the waiting times for treatment on the NHS are increasing which can be extremely costly for your health. The longer you are made to wait for treatment, the higher the risk of long-lasting damage to your health


Health insurance provides a far greater amount of treatment options and a wider choice for you and your family. There can be treatments that are available through your health insurance provider which aren’t available on the NHS


As a health insurance customer, you’ll be treated in private hospitals which will offer a higher standard of facilities. This can include your own personal room with extremely comfortable surroundings

What does health insurance cover me for?

We offer a range of levels of health cover which can include a number of different options, depending on what you need. We can also create a package for you and your family that is more affordable


A bronze health insurance package will include inpatient cover which will pay for treatment during hospital inpatient care


Will include inpatient (bronze) treatment as well as generally providing cover for outpatient care as well


This is a more comprehensive level of cover which would provide inpatient and outpatient cover, as well as full therapies cover and other types of specialist treatments (e.g. mental health, dental care, and physiotherapy)

Are you interested in getting a quote for health insurance?

If you’re unsure and just want to know more then you can speak to one of our team of health insurance experts. You can contact iam|INSURED free on 0800 009 6559 or complete our enquiry form

Your questions: Does life insurance pay out for suicide?

Does life insurance payout for suicide?

Most people would not usually think to find out whether their life insurance policy pays out for suicide. The fact is that almost all standard life insurance policies will pay out for claims from suicide after an initial qualifying period.

Here we look at what the rules are around claims for suicide from a life insurance policy in the UK. Even though this is an incredibly difficult subject to discuss for most, unfortunately, it is a valid question.

We’ll consider which insurers will pay out for suicidal death and what the clauses are.

What is a suicidal death clause and how does it work?

The majority of life insurance policies in the UK will be written with a suicidal death clause. This clause sets out the terms and conditions for payment of a claim from suicide and how the cover would apply to your policy.

What does a suicidal death clause do?

A suicidal death clause typically relates to a time period from the start date of the policy (inception). This time period is where a claim would not be paid in the event of suicidal death.

How long would I not be covered under a suicidal death clause?

The majority of suicidal death clauses will last for a period of 12 months from the start date of a policy currently, however, some are 24 months. This time period is subject to change and may vary from one insurer to another.

Will my life cover payout for suicidal death after the exclusion period?

The short answer is, yes. After the initial exclusion period of 12 or 24 months, you’ll be fully covered under most life insurance policies in the UK. If a claim is raised for suicide then the insurer may ask for medical evidence or a hospital report.

The main reason for a claim being declined is ‘non-disclosure’ so make sure that you tell your insurer everything about your health when you apply. You may be asked some quite personal and difficult questions, this isn’t unusual and just be as honest as you can.

What are the main life insurance providers in the UK that cover suicide?

Below is a table of the Top 10 insurers that payout for suicide and the terms of the suicide clause:

Insurance provider Suicide cover Initial period for when suicide is not covered
Aegon Yes 12 months from the policy start date
AIG Yes 24 months from the policy start date
Aviva Yes 12 months from the policy start date
Beagle Street Yes 12 months from the policy start date
Legal & General Yes 12 months from the policy start date
LV= Yes 12 months from the policy start date
Royal London Yes 12 months from the policy start date
Scottish Widows Yes 12 months from the policy start date
Vitality Yes 12 months from the policy start date
Zurich Yes 12 months from the policy start date


Can I get life insurance if I suffer from a mental disorder?

Life insurance applications have changed dramatically over the past several years for mental health. Modern versions of the life insurance application form will ask a set of standard questions about mental health, suicide, and/or self-harm.

This is mainly due to the number of claims that have been paid in recent years due to suicide, and the prevalence of mental health.

You might be asked a number of questions about your mental health and to provide information about any personal issues. We appreciate that this can be incredibly difficult for people to answer in some situations but it’s important to let your insurer know about it.

What questions will I be asked about my mental health?

When you speak to one of our advisers, you’ll be asked questions about mental health, self-harm, and suicide.

Some of the questions might be:

  • Have you ever harmed yourself or thought about harming yourself?
  • What type of mental disorder you suffer from
  • Have you ever been referred to a specialist or admitted to a hospital?
  • What type of medication/treatment do you receive?
  • When were you diagnosed with the mental disorder?

Is it possible to get life insurance if I’ve attempted suicide or harmed myself?

It may be possible in a lot of cases to get life cover if you’ve previously attempted suicide or self-harmed. There are some insurers who are more sympathetic than others to people who’ve had previous more severe problems connected to mental health.

There are a number of potential things to consider if you’ve had severe mental health symptoms or issues. It’s often better to speak to an expert like iam|INSURED, who can guide you better because:

  • Advisers who understand your needs and circumstances
  • Able to find the fairest price and the best cover
  • Be sympathetic to your needs
  • Know which insurers are best for your situation/history

What if I’ve been declined cover in the past because of mental health?

It is possible that you might have previously applied for life cover, but were declined because of your mental health. It’s also very possible that a specialist or expert such as iam|INSURED can still get cover for you.

Also, there are a number of reasons why cover may now be available where it wasn’t previously:

  • Change in underwriting
  • Applied to the wrong insurer
  • Improvements in your health
  • Time has passed since your last application

If you need advice or help with life insurance and have mental health issues then you can contact iam|INSURED on 0800 009 6559

Over 55’s turning to Equity Release due to COVID-19 financial stress

Why is Equity Release becoming more popular among over 55’s?

The equity release market has been growing steadily in popularity over the past two decades and increasingly in the past few years. The main reason is that more people are reaching retirement with equity in their properties and not enough pension income.

Even though equity release has been available for over 20 years, it’s still something that not many people know about. If you’ve never heard of the term equity release then you’re not alone and it’s something that is becoming more common in the present economic climate.

In basic terms, equity release is also known as a lifetime mortgage which is a loan secured against your home, which only needs to be repaid when you pass away or move into permanent care. In recent years the rates for equity release have dropped significantly, this is due to an increase in popularity and a more competitive equity release lending marketplace.

Some of the main developments which have made equity release much more popular are; negative equity guarantees, more flexibility, and product options to choose from, and far lower competitive rates. Currently, there are also a number of ways to take out an equity release loan to suit each borrower’s needs and situation.

Equity release has also become more heavily regulated thanks to the Equity Release Council and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Financial advisers are also now required to hold a specific qualification to be able to advise customers about this product. This means that customers are now protected much more than they ever have been in past.

What do people use Equity Release for?

In the current difficult economic climate, many borrowers are using the funds from equity release to help their families by gifting them money. Traditionally the loans have been used for home improvements or lifestyle choices such as a dream holiday.

Currently, we’re seeing an increasing demand from customers who simply want to support their children or families. The Coronavirus pandemic has caused people to have to dramatically review their financial circumstances. Providing financial support to loved ones has been a big talking point.

Why should I consider an Equity Release?

You could be able to provide financial support to your family or better fund your retirement without having to downsize or take on extra debt. A lifetime mortgage allows you to release tax-free cash from your home without the added stress or expense of moving home or having to make monthly repayments.

People have also been concerned in the past about leaving their family with debt if they pass away. The modern equity release loans mean that this is not possible and you can also secure a legacy to leave your family as part of their inheritance.

What about if I have an interest-only mortgage and I’m over 55?

There is also a growing situation where around 40% of mortgage borrowers over the age of 55 have an interest-only mortgage that is due to end before 2025, and they have no funds available to repay the debt. This equates to approximately 60,000 homeowners over 55 in the UK alone.

Being able to repay that amount without moving home and downsizing has now become possible with equity release. It’s also possible to take out an equity release loan with no monthly repayments, allowing you to enjoy your retirement without financial worry.

For more information about equity release, call our qualified expert Matthew Jones on 0800 009 6559.

Warnings over extended mortgage and credit card payment holidays

Warnings over extensions of mortgage and credit card payment holidays

Mortgage payment holidays were released by the government in March 2020 to help people who were financially impacted by COVID-19.

Since the beginning of March, around two million mortgage borrowers have taken advantage of up to three months payment breaks.

As well as this, members of the UK Finance trade association have offered 27 million interest-free overdraft buffers, provided 961,700 deferred payments on credit cards and 688,900 personal loan payments deferred.

In these cases, interest will more than likely continue to build during the deferred period or payment holiday, unless specified by the lender. Customers should carefully consider their options before accepting any such scheme and especially for further deferment.

On average, the payment deferral equates to £755 per month which is the amount of the suspended payment.

It is also suggested by UK Finance that 1 in 6 mortgages has been or is now subject to a payment holiday. This equates to over 1.9 million mortgage payment breaks.

As many borrowers now come to the end of the initial 3 month payment holiday period, lenders will be contacting them to make sure that they are still supported. Mortgage borrowers may now be offered further options which will include:

  • Continued full or partial payment holidays
  • Switch to interest-only temporarily
  • Extend mortgage terms to reduce payments

It has been suggested that mortgage lenders are now able to offer further mortgage payment holidays until the end of October. The reason for the extended payment periods is to assist those still experiencing financial difficulties, such as those still on furlough.

Our advice to people who are considering extending their mortgage payment holiday, is to be very careful. These options have been put in place to assist people who really need it and not to simply ease the pressure for a few months.

Lenders are expected to be more rigorous with their checks on the extended payment holidays. Some will be offering debt counselling as well as other possible alternatives before accepting an application to extend.

You should also be aware that even though your credit rating will not be impacted, your options for future borrowing could reduce. Some lenders are taking a dim view on borrowers who have taken advantage of payment holidays for further borrowing or new mortgage applications.

If you want to know more about mortgages then you can contact our team of qualified iam|MORTGAGES experts on 01244 732899 or visit

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 person 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 that can cause concern. It’s important to know what might be on your medical report before applying for cover
  • The 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 that 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:

  • A 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 that 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 the cheapest and who will accept you.