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Life insurance for people with Asthma

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 with iam|INSURED. Our team of life insurance experts has over 20 years’ experience to help you pay less to protect your loved ones.

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How to get life insurance with 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.

Here are some of the most common questions that we get asked by our customers looking for life insurance with asthma.

Is it difficult to 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.


Which questions do life insurance companies ask 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 (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.

Are there any potential problems getting life insurance with asthma?

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

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

  • Recent hospitalisations 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 / Treatmentwhere 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 more of concern purely because of how that can impact your lung capacity and breathing

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

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

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

Coronavirus questions (generic) are:

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

There are also certain medical conditions 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.


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

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

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

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

How does critical illness cover work with asthma?

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

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

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

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

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

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


Is income protection available for people with asthma?

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

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

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. Think about what you need and how much you want to pay then try to fit something that fits your situation.


What does life insurance cost 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.

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 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.)

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.

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 at Iam Insured to talk about your options and whether this applies to you.


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