Life insurance for people with Arthritis
The main question we get asked here is ‘why might someone with arthritis struggle to get life insurance?’. It’s a great question and the answer is, you shouldn’t struggle to get life cover if you’ve got arthritis. It’s more important to make sure you’re paying the right price!
Arthritis isn’t considered to be a severe medical condition or life threatening in any way. You should be able to get cover without any medical underwriting and in most cases, you’ll have a great selection of insurers to choose from.
It’s more important to make sure that you pay the right price and a fair price for life insurance. Arthritis is generally only a concern when applying for income protection or potentially critical illness cover.
Our team of iam|INSURED experts have helped thousands of people with all types of arthritis to protect their loved ones. The most important thing for us is to make sure that you pay a fair price and it’s as simple as possible.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition which causes the joints to be inflamed. This can affect one of your joints or can be several.
Arthritis consists of over 100 different types of conditions which can have a range of symptoms. The two most common types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). There are also a number of different ways to treat arthritis.
Symptoms for arthritis can vary from one person to another and they will generally appear over a period of time. Most commonly arthritis will appear in people who are over 65 years of age and people who are overweight.
What causes arthritis?
A piece of connective tissue called ‘cartilage’ protects our joints from wear and tear. Cartilage is a flexible and strong substance which sits between our joints to help shock absorption during motion or movement.
When the amount of cartilage is reduced or becomes thinner than normal, this can cause some forms of arthritis. Some people naturally have less cartilage than others and some people will have different strengths of cartilage.
Life insurance with arthritis
Arthritis isn’t a life threatening medical condition so won’t have a major impact on your application for life cover. You might be asked to provide some information about this condition on some medical questionnaires.
Some insurers are less concerned about arthritis for life insurance than others and some simply don’t ask about it. This shows that it’s not a high priority when it comes to underwriting for life cover.
The most important thing is to make sure that you get the best and fairest price for your cover.
Here’s some of the questions that you might be asked when you apply:
- When were you first diagnosed with arthritis?
- What type of arthritis do you suffer from?
- Does your condition have any impact on your daily activities?
- Have you ever had any surgery or hospitalisation because of arthritis?
- Do you take any medication or have you had any treatment?
If you’re looking for more information about how to get the best life insurance with arthritis then you can call iam|INSURED on 0800 009 6559.
Check out our guide to life insurance.
What happens if I’ve got severe arthritis and I need life cover?
Someone with severe symptoms may have an impact on their day to day living. Some people with severe arthritis may even have a certain level of disability such as walking distances or ability to use their hands.
In some cases where the symptoms are more severe, there may be some restrictions or limits to cover. These will be rare and certainly not the case for the vast majority of people who suffer from arthritis.
Severe arthritis may have a slightly bigger impact if you want to apply for medical insurance, income protection or critical illness cover.
Critical illness cover with arthritis
Critical illness cover provides a tax-free lump sum if you are diagnosed with a serious condition such as cancer, heart attack or stroke. This lump sum is designed to protect you and your family financially during times of difficulty.
If you’re thinking about getting critical illness cover and you’ve got arthritis then you shouldn’t have a problem. People who suffer from mild symptoms with no restrictions to mobility will almost always have no issues.
If you suffer from severe symptoms or you have restrictions to your ability to carry out certain tasks, you may need to provide further information. There’s also a possibility that you may need to provide your GP details so that the insurer can apply for a copy of your medical records.
If you already have critical illness cover in place then you should make sure that you check any new offer of cover against your existing cover. Don’t forget that cheaper cover isn’t necessarily better in this instance.
For more information about critical illness cover you can visit our guide to critical illness cover.
Income protection with arthritis
If you are employed or self-employed then you might need income protection to cover you if you’re sick or have an accident. You can cover your income for a period of time (usually 12 or 24 months) to make sure that your mortgage, rent and bills are paid.
Arthritis is a condition which could affect your ability to work or may have an impact on the amount of time you have off work. This means that you might have difficulty in some cases in getting income protection.
Someone with mild symptoms and very few restrictions on daily living tasks usually won’t have a problem. Most insurance companies will offer this type of cover to people with mild arthritis and some might be better than others, depending on your health.
If you’ve got more severe symptoms of arthritis and you want to get income protection then you could be slightly more restricted. You should carefully consider any offer of cover and make sure that you’re properly protected. Some policies might exclude anything relating to your arthritis so you won’t be covered if you’re off work because of this condition.
For more information about income protection you can visit our guide to income protection.
What are different types of arthritis?
As mentioned earlier, there are over 100 different types of arthritis which can vary dramatically in severity, symptoms and treatment.
The most common and well-known types of arthritis include:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Antiphospholipid syndrome
- Back ache / pain
- Bahçet’s syndrome
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Cervical spondylitis
- Connective tissue disease (CTD)
- Degenerative arthritis
- Hammer toes
- Hypermobility syndrome
- Inflammatory arthritis
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
- Kawasaki disease
- Paget’s disease
- Palindromic rheumatism
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
- Psoriatic arthritis
For more information about arthritis you can visit:
What causes osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of arthritis, can be caused by normal levels of wear and tear. Occasionally this may be caused by an injury or sometimes an infection may be the problem. You may also be at a higher risk of developing OA if you have a family history of the disease.
What causes rheumatoid arthritis?
The second most common type of arthritis is rheumatoid (RA) which is an autoimmune condition. This is where the immune system in your body attacks itself and the tissue causing weakness.
There is a soft tissue in the joints called a synovium which produces a fluid that lubricates your joints and provides nourishment to your cartilage. This type of arthritis means that you will have a disease of the synovium which invades and eventually destroys joints. This may then lead to major damage of the cartilage and the bones.
The root cause of this type of disease is unknown to scientists, or why the immune system attacks the body in this way. There has been discoveries that certain genetic markers can increase risk of developing RA by up to five times.
What are the symptoms of arthritis?
There are several key signs and main symptoms to watch out for with arthritis. The most common symptoms are:
- Muscular pain
- Joint pain
- Swelling of joints
- Reduced mobility
- Skin irritation (redness)
Generally people will have more pronounced symptoms in the morning or just after a period of sleep or rest.
What are the main treatments or medications for arthritis?
There are several main types of medications which are most commonly used to treat the symptoms of arthritis.
Medications for arthritis
- Analgesics including hydrocodone (Vicodin) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for management of pain or pain relief
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) which includes ibuprofen and salicylates which thin blood
- Menthol or capsaicin cream to block pain signals in your joints
- Immunosuppressants such as cortisone or prednisone which can be injected in to joints to reduce swelling
Surgical treatment for arthritis
More recently, major developments in the medical world has meant that surgery is an option to replace joints. Most common replacements include hip and knee joints.
Surgery is generally used for people in later life with more severe symptoms to help improve lifestyle and mobility.
Another type of surgery for someone with severe symptoms in fingers and wrists, is a joint fusion. This is simply where the bones are fused together so that they eventually heal as one.
Physiotherapy for arthritis
There are also several different types of physiotherapies which are commonly used to treat arthritis. These are mainly exercises which are used to help improve mobility over time and increase flexibility.
Frequently asked questions
Here’s just a few of the most common questions from our customers with arthritis who need life insurance, critical illness cover or income protection:
Does life insurance cost more for someone with arthritis?
Simple answer is you shouldn’t pay more for life insurance if you’ve got arthritis. You need to make sure that you shop around or speak to an expert like iam|INSURED to get the right price.
Premiums for life insurance can vary between insurers, so an expert will search the top insurers to get the fairest price.
Will my cover exclude my arthritis?
Life insurance will not commonly have exclusions unless it’s a specialist product from a non-standard insurer. If you take out life insurance with a mainstream or high street insurer then you should have no exclusions.
Critical illness cover and income protection are slightly different and may have exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions like arthritis. It’s important to check your documents carefully before you accept an offer of cover.
Does COVID-19 affect life insurance rates with arthritis?
It’s possible that with some types of arthritis that you may have additional questions to answer. This is simply because some types of arthritis are auto-immune diseases which can be higher risk for COVID-19.
You might also find that if your condition is more severe then you may also have other restrictions in place or cover may be postponed for six to twelve months.
Who are the best insurers for arthritis?
This is a difficult question to answer because underwriting changes regularly for most insurers. Your circumstances might also be very different from another person so each case is individual.
If you only suffer from arthritis and are in good health otherwise then you should be able to get a cheap quote from most insurance providers.