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Asthma and life insurance Experts

If you want to protect your family with life insurance and you’ve got asthma, then you’ll be pleased to know that cover is available and affordable.

Getting the best cover at the right price can be much easier than you think even with a condition such as asthma. Our team of asthma life insurance experts has over 20 years’ experience to help you pay less to protect your loved ones.

Asthma statistics UK

There are 5.4 million people in the UK who have been diagnosed with asthma and around 1 million of those have what is classed as ‘difficult’ asthma and 200,000 have ‘severe’ asthma.* This is a significant number of people affected by this chronic lung condition.

According to The British Lung Foundation (now Asthma + Lung UK):

  • Over 12% of the UK population has asthma
  • Around 160,000 people per year are diagnosed with asthma
  • Young adults are the most likely age group to be diagnosed with asthma

More information – Facts about asthma and life insurance

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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 and 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 are 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 / Treatment where the levels required are high to manage and control 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 of high risk purely because of how that can impact your lung capacity and breathing

Does life insurance pay out for asthma?

YES – You shouldn’t have any issues getting a life insurance pay out if you have asthma. If you have life cover in place before falling seriously ill or passing away, you should qualify for a pay out from your insurer.

Life insurance is a brilliant safety net to have in place to protect your family’s well-being. The payout from your policy can be used for things such as:

  • Clear mortgage balance
  • Pay off debts
  • Pay rent
  • School fees
  • Standard costs of living

Will critical illness cover pay out for asthma?

NO – Asthma is not generally classified as a critical illness that would qualify for a policy pay out. This doesn’t mean that it is not worth putting critical illness cover in place though and it is still a policy you may want to consider.

If your asthma is serious and the symptoms are not well managed, you could develop further complications. Unlike asthma itself, these other medical conditions could qualify for a critical illness pay out. This could include illnesses/conditions such as:

  • Lung collapse
  • Respiratory failure
  • Severe COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome)
  • Lung disease (end-stage)

You may still be at risk of developing any of these conditions, even if for reasons completely unrelated to your asthma. Critical illness cover will offer you and your loved ones extra financial protection. In the event you can no longer work due to serious illness, the pay out from your claim can cover costs such as:

  • Mortgage or rent
  • Cost of living
  • Adjustments to your home
  • Medical treatment
  • And more…

How does life insurance work with asthma?

The process of applying for life insurance should be just as simple as when applying without any medical conditions. Simply decide on the type of cover you need, amount of cover (£s) and how much you can afford to pay per month for your policy.

You could be able to access instant cover, as long as your asthma is not severe or causing complications (e.g. frequent/recurring hospital stays).

If this is the case, it will usually just mean you will have to answer some further medical questions. Additional questions are no reason to panic as this is a very standard part of an insurance application.

Can I get life insurance with asthma?

It can be simple 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 often offer cover without needing to see any medical evidence.

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 for life insurance with asthma.

Insurance underwriting can also change over time. You might find that if you already have a cover with an insurer, they may not be the best provider for you now. It is important to regularly review your policy to check it still fits yours needs and circumstances.

How much is life insurance with asthma?

If you have asthma and need life insurance, then you will need to provide insurers with information about your condition. Insurance underwriters will assess your application for asthma life insurance based on the following:

  • Age you were first diagnosed
  • Whether you use inhalers, steroids, or medication to control your symptoms
  • When you experienced your first attack and its severity
  • Hospitalisation
  • The time you have had off of work

Your premiums for asthma life insurance will also depend on:

  • Sum assured (£’s)
  • Term of cover (years)
  • Type of policy (e.g. Family, Mortgage, Whole of Life, etc.)

Asthma shouldn’t be a barrier to getting the life cover you need at a fair price. Pre-existing conditions do not have to mean paying far more than anyone else.

You may be surprised how cheap of a policy you can find just by shopping around across providers. There will often be one or two providers able to offer you the same cover at a much lower price.

Best life insurance with asthma

The best life insurance for asthma will depend the type of policy and how much cover you need. Everyone’s circumstances are different and what works best for one person might not be the right choice for someone else. It is best to think about what you want and do some research before making any decisions. There are a lot of policy types available and it is rare to be denied a policy based on asthma alone.

Term life insurance with asthma (family protection) is the most well-known type of life insurance cover.

Mortgage life insurance with asthma (decreasing term) is another form of life insurance and is very similar to family protection. This type of cover is specifically designed to protect a repayment (capital and interest) mortgage.Your amount of cover decreases as you repay your mortgage.

Critical illness cover with asthma is also usually available through a number of insurers. These policies will payout if you are diagnosed with a serious medical condition during your policy term.

Income protection with asthma is also often available through most of the standard insurers. There are many different options with income protection insurance so you’ll need to consider what you want and how much cover you need.

Whole of life insurance with asthma is a slightly less common type of cover, most often used for inheritance tax planning. This cover can cost more as it covers you for your entire life so the cover is very extensive.

Does asthma affect life insurance?

Getting life insurance with asthma should be simple and straightforward in the most cases. Most insurers will be willing to offer cover to a person with mild or moderate asthma, provided they manage their symptoms well.

Severe asthma resulting in frequent serious attacks or hospital stays may cause providers to want to see medical records before making a decision. Don’t worry, it is not often that a policy will be declined based on asthma alone.

Refused life insurance for asthma

Generally speaking, asthma is a very common lung condition. As long as symptoms are only mild or moderate and well controlled you shouldn’t have an issue buying life insurance.

Only a very small number of people will be declined life cover because of severe asthma. If they are, it is often because they also have a combination of other medical conditions. Insurers all have different policies and requirements, so one provider refusing to provide cover does not mean all insurance companies will do the same.

Can you get critical illness cover with asthma?

YES – Anyone with mild symptoms (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 experienced 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

Is income protection available for people with asthma?

YES – Most people with asthma will be able to get income protection insurance.

On 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 coverage through the normal routes.

Why do I need life insurance with 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 needs as anyone else.

Asthma is the most common lung condition in the UK. Providers will definitely be used to having applicants come to them with asthma as a pre-existing condition.

It is worth comparing cover across providers to ensure you are getting the best possible deal. Certain providers may be able to offer you a better deal than others so it’s best to be fully informed before agreeing to cover.

Guaranteed life insurance with asthma

There are certain life insurance plans that are guaranteed to pay out upon your passing away. Some of these will automatically accept you without asking about your medical conditions.

These policies can be a good option if you have asthma that is severe and has a big impact on your health and lifestyle.

The benefits of a guaranteed life insurance plan are:

  • NO questions about medical history or lifestyle (such as smoker status)
  • Guaranteed pay out
  • Most providers will offer fixed premiums so no price increases

These policies can be considered to be less comprehensive It is good to be mindful of this before deciding to take out a guaranteed life insurance policy.

Life insurance questions about asthma

A standard life insurance application will ask questions about your health and lifestyle. If you have asthma, you will likely be asked further questions about how this affects your health.

Some of the standard questions for asthma include:

  • When were you diagnosed with asthma (and at what age)?
  • Have you been hospitalised because of your asthma?
  • When did you last have symptoms?
  • Have you required any treatment other than preventers 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?

There are several medical conditions linked to asthma. A lot of these include allergies, as allergic conditions such as asthma are often linked with other allergies as well. Some of these include:

  • Eczema
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Hay fever
  • Food allergies

These are all known as ‘atopic conditions’ – with atopic simply meaning sensitive to allergens. These conditions are often linked as if your immune system reacts badly to one allergen type it can often react badly to others as well.

Other related conditions to asthma include:

It is difficult to say how much cover you need when you are applying for asthma life insurance, critical illness cover, or income protection. There are however some simple rules that you can follow which will give you a good idea of how much coverage you need before you apply.

It is best to consider bills and expenses that would need to be covered after you passed away and anyone who would need support. This includes:

  • Mortgage amount (£’s)
  • Outstanding debt (e.g. Loans, second charge, credit cards, and others)
  • Dependants
  • Spouse or partner
  • Income (after tax)
  • Assets (e.g. car, house, business, etc

Asthma is a very common medical condition and there are a lot of high profile celebrities who have been diagnosed with asthma. This includes:

There are various asthma support services available in the UK. They can provide useful information, support groups and resources and more.

Below we have some of the most commonly asked questions and answers about asthma for further information on the condition.

What is asthma?Asthma is the most common condition affecting the lungs in the UK. It can cause occasional breathing difficulty for the affected person. Certain triggers will cause airways to become tight and inflamed.

There is no cure, but the symptoms are controllable with treatment – although some medication may have minor side effects. You should speak to your GP for more information on this.
What causes asthma?There is no known exact cause of asthma, but pollution, genes, and modern standards of hygiene have been suggested as possible causes.

There is not enough evidence currently to prove any of these as a definite cause for asthma.
What are the most common triggers for asthma?Common asthma triggers that will make asthma worse include:

Cold and flu or other infections
Allergies e.g. hay fever
Smoke or pollution
Certain medicines (especially anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen)
Sudden changes in temperature
Mould or damp
Exercise
Who is most likely to suffer from asthma in the UK?Children are more commonly diagnosed with asthma, although asthma can be adult onset in some cases.

Women are slightly more likely to have asthma than men, but only by a small margin.
Who is at risk of developing asthma?There are factors that increases your risk for developing asthma including:

Having an allergic condition such as hay fever or eczema
A family history of asthma
Being born prematurely (37 weeks or earlier)
Being exposed to certain chemicals at your place of work
Being exposed to tobacco smoke as a child
Your mother smoking during pregnancy
Does Coronavirus (COVID-19) make a difference if I have asthma and need life insurance?Covid-19 has been difficult for those with asthma with introductions of rules such as having to wear a face mask. Wearing a mask for most people with asthma should be fine for short periods of time. Those with severe asthma may find it more difficult.

You might find some slight differences to a standard life insurance application due to 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.

*according to asthma.org.uk

Useful resources

Below we have linked further useful resources about asthma:

Facts about asthma

British Lung Foundation – Asthma Statistics

NHS – Asthma

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