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Does asthma affect life insurance?

Asthma and life insurance

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.

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.

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.

About iam|INSURED – Rated #1 life insurance specialist

At iam|INSURED we specialise in finding affordable life insurance or income protection for you and your family. We’re extremely proud to be rated the UK’s #1 protection specialist by our customers.

We also specialise in finding cover for:

Our team of highly skilled experts has over two decades of experience and knowledge to help protect what’s important to you.

Our Feefo Score
Our Feefo Award

Our customer rating – 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars (Feefo rating)

We’re extremely proud of the high standards that we set ourselves and especially in a time where customer service levels are dropping. It’s getting increasingly difficult to find good companies that genuinely care about their customers, so we made it our mission!

*Feefo is an independent customer review service to aggregate customer feedback and reviews.

Why choose iam|INSURED?

Here are just a few reasons why we’re different and how we have helped thousands of families like yours:

  • Price Match Promise* (we’ll beat any like for like fully underwritten quote)
  • The UK’s 1st Medical Conditions life insurance expert
  • Over 20 years of expertise helping to protect thousands of families
  • FREE advice (we don’t charge for our expertise)
  • Recommended by top medical charities
  • Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 on Feefo
  • Whole of market (Our partners include ALL the UK’s top insurers)

iam|INSURED is also 100% independent and we pride ourselves on working for you and not for insurers so you get the best cover.

Will life insurance cover 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 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

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.

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 secured before falling seriously ill or passing away, you should qualify for a pay out from the insurance provider in most cases.

Even though asthma is not always thought of as a serious condition if the symptoms are mild, you still need to declare it as a pre-existing condition on any life insurance application.

Failure to supply accurate information about your medical history could invalidate your policy, leading to no pay out right when your family might need the financial support the most.

It is vital to safeguard your loved one’s best interests, to ensure you can rest easily knowing they will be financially secure in the event you were no longer around to provide that support for them yourself. A life insurance policy is the best way to do this we can guarantee it.

Will critical illness cover pay out for asthma?

Asthma is not technically classified as a serious or critical illness that would automatically qualify for a pay out from a critical illness policy. This doesn’t mean that it is not worth putting critical illness cover in place though, it is still a policy you may want to consider.

If asthma is serious enough and the symptoms are not well managed, this can cause further complications and lead to the development of other medical conditions that would most likely qualify you 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)

Not all insurance providers will cover every illness as being a critical illness eligible for a claim, so it is best to ask exactly what is covered before agreeing to a policy. Some policies and certain providers will be more extensive than others, so this is also worth bearing in mind. Below are examples of the 36 critical illnesses commonly covered by most insurers:

CancerHeart attackStroke
Kidney failureMultiple Sclerosis (MS)Parkinson’s disease
Alzheimer’s diseaseBrain tumour (benign)Paralysis (limbs)  
Muscular dystrophy Third degree burnsHIV  
CardiomyopathyLoss of speechChronic aplastic anaemia
Blindness (permanent)Bacterial meningitisLiver failure (end-stage)
Hepatitis (fulminant viral)Coronary artery diseaseEncephalitis
Head traumaMedullary cystic diseaseBrain surgery  
Coronary artery bypass surgeryLung disease (end-stage)Surgery of the aorta
Terminal illnessLoss of independenceMajor organ transplant
Primary pulmonary arterial hypertensionSevere coronary artery diseaseHeart valve surgery
AngioplastyComaDeafness (permanent)

You may still be at risk of developing any of these conditions, even if for reasons completely unrelated to your asthma. For that reason, critical illness cover is definitely still an option worth considering to protect your finances in the event you can no longer work due to serious illness.

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, how comprehensive you want it to be and how much you can afford to pay per month for your policy.

The majority of the time you could be able to access instant cover, as long as your asthma is not severe or causing complications such as frequent hospital stays due to serious attacks of symptoms.

Even if this is the case, it will usually just mean you will have to answer some further medical questions before having your cover approved. Further questioning is no reason to panic as it is a very standard part of an insurance application.

Providers just need to make sure they have all the relevant information they need about an applicant’s health and lifestyle before they can make a decision about whether to offer cover and at what price.

Can I get life insurance with asthma?

Generally, it can be straightforward 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 a cover with an insurer, they may not be the best provider now.


How much is life insurance with asthma?

If you suffer from 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.)

Exclusions for asthma life insurance, critical illness cover, or income protection

Another potential outcome when applying for a non-standard cover such as asthma life insurance, critical illness cover, or income protection is for an ‘exclusion’ to be applied to your policy.

This means that you may have certain conditions that can be linked to your asthma excluded from your policy. You may also find that certain additional benefits could be excluded such as Total and Permanent Disability, Waiver of Premium, or Guaranteed Insurability.

Cheaper life insurance with asthma

Asthma shouldn’t be a barrier to receiving a life insurance policy that is both comprehensive – and not extortionately priced.

Pre-existing conditions do not always mean a massively expensive policy. You may be surprised how cheap of a policy you can find just by shopping around across providers. When comparing, there will often be one or two providers that will turn out to be able to offer you the same cover as another at a much lower price.

It is also worth bearing in mind that you can still get a cheaper deal, even if you have an existing policy in place. By speaking to your current insurance provider, you may be able to negotiate yourself some significant monthly savings by simply adjusting your policy terms slightly.

If you are not sure on the best way to secure yourself a better deal or simply want some friendly, expert advice, speak to one of our life insurance advisers. Our team have over 20 years worth of experience of securing great cost-effective life insurance for people with pre-existing conditions.

Best life insurance with asthma

The best life insurance plan for asthma will depend entirely on what you would like to be covered and how extensive you want your policy to be. Everyone’s individual circumstances are different, so it is best to think about what you want and do some research to find a policy that is most suitable for you.

Below we have put together a table highlighting various policies and how they work/what they cover. This will allow you to compare and ultimately decide what seems the most appropriate cover for you.

Type of insurance policyProsCons
Family life insurance (level term)Protection for your family’s financesThe payment will be the same, no matter how far through the term of your policy you areCan be more expensive than reducing cover premiums Your cover will end when your policy endsUnless added to the cover, inflation isn’t automatically considered
Mortgage life insurance (decreasing term)Lower monthly premiums than with a level term policy More than one mortgage can be covered (multiple properties)Safeguard your family home and ensures your family will be mortgage free, in the event you are no longer there to support themBy design, the amount of cover you have will decrease the further you are into your policyThe policy only covers your mortgage without including additional cover for your familyIf you choose to remortgage your home, the policy will need to be reviewed
Whole of life insuranceGuaranteed pay out to your loved onesYou won’t be charged income tax on the payment to your familyPotentially higher premiums so you may have to consider if you can afford them long term, even after retirement
Critical illness coverYou can receive a tax-free cash lump sum upon diagnosis of a serious illness/medical condition, meaning more financial security for your familyOn average, 91.3% of claims are accepted and paid out8.7% of claims on average are rejected, meaning there is a slim chance you won’t receive a pay out when needed
Income protection insuranceProtection for any potential loss of income due to accident or illnessMonthly payments to cover the costs of bills/mortgage repayments etc.TAX-FREE: With income protection claims there is no taxable element, except under very specific circumstances.There may be an ‘exclusion’ with your cover, usually if you have a dangerous job or hobby. This just means your policy will pay out for most things but not your excluded activity e.g. if you get injured skydiving.
Personal accident insuranceThere is no limit to the number of claims you can make in fact, 21% of customers have made more than one claim.You may have to pay extra for additional benefits such as active lifestyle cover.
Relevant life insuranceUp to 49% tax savings due to these policies being HMRC approvedPortable (can be converted to personal cover if you leave the business)Owned and paid for by the business rather than you personallyIt would be up to your employer to take out this policy on your behalf and they will be responsible for making sure to pay all the premiums – less control for you over your policy terms
Over 50s life insuranceGuaranteed pay out to your loved ones, as long as you continue to pay your premiumsFixed premium rates and a fixed payment to your beneficiariesThe longer after 50 that you wait to take out life insurance, the higher your premium will be Smoker rates are higher for over 50s: it may be worth trying to quit to reduce the cost of your policy

The majority of the time, all of these policies listed above should be available to a person with asthma. It is rare to be denied a policy based on asthma alone. It is worth evaluating what insurance type best suits your needs and making a decision from there.

Check here for more general information about different types of LIFE INSURANCE.

Does asthma affect life insurance?

Securing life insurance with asthma should be simple and straightforward in the majority of cases. Most insurance companies should be completely fine with offering cover to a person with mild or moderate asthma, provided they manage their symptoms well.

Severe asthma resulting in frequents serious attacks or hospital stays may cause providers to want to see medical records before agreeing to or denying cover, but it is not often that a policy will be declined based on asthma alone.

If you have more severe asthma it is definitely worth speaking to your GP about putting in place an asthma action plan and ensuring to take any asthma medications you have been prescribed. If your symptoms are under control you should find it easier to get life cover.

A combination of medical conditions including asthma could result in a declined policy but this is not something that is a common occurrence.

If concerned about how your asthma may affect your ability to secure great life cover, speak to our team of life insurance experts.

We specialise in securing great policies for people with pre-existing conditions and have helped thousands of people across the UK to protect themselves and their loved ones. Life insurance is the #1 way to ensure your family’s financial security and well-being for years to come – even after you are no longer there to do so yourself.

Refused life insurance for asthma

Generally speaking, asthma is a very common lung condition, so as long as symptoms are only mild or moderate and well controlled you shouldn’t have an issue securing a life insurance policy. You should usually be able to secure one at a decent rate without higher pricing due to your condition.

More serious recurring asthma attacks or complications can cause further medical questions during an application so the insurer can get a better picture of your overall health before approving or declining cover.

Only a very small number of people will be declined life cover because of severe asthma, and if they are it is often because they also have a combination of other medical conditions.

If you have previously been declined cover, do not despair. Insurers all have different policies and requirements, one provider refusing to provide cover does not mean all insurance companies will do the same.

Can you get critical illness cover 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 sum if 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.


Asthma critical illness cover amounts

Critical illness cover is slightly different from life insurance in the sense that it is designed to provide a lump sum payment if you are diagnosed with a critical or serious illness. Most people relate this type of cover to cancer, which is the biggest reason for claims for critical illness cover. Things to consider are:

·     Income (after tax)

·     Mortgage payments (annual)

·     Cost of living (annual)

·     Any other possible costs (e.g. medical treatment or adaptations)

Asthma is generally mild to a moderate medical condition, so most asthma critical illness cover will generally be offered at a standard rate. Like asthma life insurance, underwriters will require information such as any time you have had off work with your condition, hospitalisation, or medications taken.

If you have more regular attacks, critical illness cover may be accepted with special terms imposed, such as premium loadings or exclusions. Note that smoking is generally negatively viewed when underwriters are assessing risk for asthma critical illness cover.

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.

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.

Income protection can be complicated because of the number of options available. You should think about what you need and how much you want to pay then try to choose something that fits your situation.


Asthma income protection amounts of cover

Income protection is a very flexible product with a lot of options and variables, so you need to consider your own circumstances before you consider this type of policy.

If you work and especially for people who are self-employed, an asthma income protection policy can be a valuable product to give you peace of mind if anything happens to you. Some of the main aspects to consider are:

·     Monthly income (after tax)

·     Mortgage/rent payments

·     Debts (other)

·     Cost of living

Those with mild symptoms who apply for asthma income protection are generally accepted with no increase to premiums. In more severe cases, however, where there are more frequent attacks and related time off work, it may not be possible to get an asthma income protection policy depending on your health and severity of symptoms.

You can speak to one of our team of income protection experts to talk about your options and whether this applies to you.

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 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. A condition like asthma will not automatically cause issues when applying for life insurance. It is a common condition and generally not life threatening, so a life insurance policy should still be very accessible and not overly expensive.

Best life insurance companies for asthma

You may be wondering whether there are certain insurance providers that are better than others for providing life cover for people with chronic lung conditions such as asthma. 

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

But of course, it is still 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 its best to be fully informed before agreeing to cover.

This is where companies like us come in. We are the UK’s #1 company for helping secure insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions – with over 20 years of experience in this industry.

We are constantly looking for price matches and the best deals across providers to make sure you are receiving the best possible cover at a reasonable price. It is absolutely possible to secure excellent cover even with a chronic condition such as asthma. Contact our team for FREE, EXPERT advice about securing life insurance with asthma.

Guaranteed life insurance with asthma

There are certain life insurance plans that are guaranteed to pay out upon your passing away, and some of these will automatically accept you without asking about your medical conditions. This can be a good option if worried that having a condition such as asthma could affect the cost of your policy, especially if you have more than one pre-existing condition.

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, so it is good to be mindful of this before deciding to take out a guaranteed life insurance policy.

For more information on guaranteed life insurance plans click HERE.

Over 50’s life insurance with asthma

When reaching the age of 50, it may cause you to seriously consider protecting yourself and your loved ones by taking out a life insurance policy. You may also choose to review an existing policy to make sure the cover still works for what you need.

This is can definitely be a good idea if you have a pre-existing medical condition like asthma, as this could affect your general health and lifestyle, due to having to avoid certain triggers for your asthma.

There are life insurance plans specifically designed with over 50s in mind. An over 50s life insurance plan can be applied for between the ages of 50 and 80.

Over 50s life cover was invented as a cost-effective way to ensure you will be leaving money for your family in the event you pass away. Small monthly payments will lead to a guaranteed pay out to support your family financially in the event of your passing away.

The pay out your loved ones receive from your policy can be used for various expenses such as funeral costs or to pay off outstanding debts. It can even be considered as being left as a gift for your loved ones to enjoy and use however they wish.

Over 50s cover is a guaranteed policy, meaning your family will definitely receive a tax-free lump sum as long as you pay your premiums every month.

We review our over 50s insurance partners consistently to make sure that we give you the most competitive premiums. We can offer:

·     Price Match Promise

·     FREE expert advice

·     No obligation

·     FREE policy Trust service

·     100% customer rating (5.0 out 5.0 star rating on Feefo)

For more information on life cover for over 50s click HERE.

Life insurance questions about asthma

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

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?

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.

Medical conditions linked to asthma

Asthma is a common long-term inflammatory disease of the airways of the lungs. Symptoms vary between sufferers and include episodes of wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. If you suffer from asthma, you may find that taking out asthma life insurance is a worthwhile option

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:

·     Sinusitis

·     Nasal polyps

·     Sleep apnoea

·     Acid reflux/heartburn

·     COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

·     Bronchiectasis

·     Obesity

·     Depression

·     Vocal chord dysfunction

How much cover do I need?

It is difficult to say how much cover you need when you are applying for asthma life insurance, critical illness cover, or an income protection policy. 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.

NB. You should also be aware that an asthma life insurance, critical illness cover, or income protection policy could increase after underwriting to reflect any additional risks of claim, so affordability may be a consideration.

Asthma life insurance amounts of cover

·     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

Common questions about asthma

. 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 infectionsAllergies e.g. hay feverSmoke or pollutionCertain medicines especially anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen Sudden changes in temperatureMould or dampExercise
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 eczemaA family history of asthmaBeing born prematurely (37 weeks or earlier)Being exposed to certain chemicals at your place of work Being exposed to tobacco smoke as a child or your mother smoking during pregnancy

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

Covid-19 most likely 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, but those with severe asthma may find it more difficult.

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 that are considered to be a 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 the amount of cover being offered (usually £1 million and over)

·     Underwriting limits for people who are at higher risk

·     Medical evidence restrictions (only certain insurance providers)

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


*according to asthma.org.uk

Useful resources for asthma

Below we have linked further useful resources about asthma:

Facts about asthma

Asthma travel insurance

British Lung Foundation – Asthma Statistics

NHS – Asthma

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