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Immune system disorders and life insurance

When your immune system has a fault or something that causes your immune system to malfunction, it can cause problems. There are over a hundred different types of autoimmune diseases and disorders of the immune system.

Some of the most common disorders of the immune system include:

  • Asthma
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
  • Type 1 diabetes

It is estimated that approximately 4 million people in the UK (6% of the population) suffer from an autoimmune disease. This includes 400,000 people living with type 1 diabetes, 400,000 people with rheumatoid arthritis, and 100,000 people diagnosed with MS.

These figures were collated by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JRDF).

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In this section (autoimmune disorder life insurance):

YES – if you die due to the effects of a problem connected to your immune system then your family will receive a payment from your life insurance.

Life insurance is designed to pay out a cash lump sum to your family if you pass away for any reason, apart from suicide in the first 12 months usually. If you have a current life insurance policy then you should check to make sure that it fits your needs and circumstances.

It’s always worth regularly reviewing your cover to make sure that it does what you need it to.

Your life insurance can be used for several reasons that can keep your family financially secure, such as:

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

There are many reasons for taking out life insurance including protecting your children or family, and security for your home. If you are diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder then your life cover will provide you with peace of mind for the future.

Will critical illness cover payout for immune disorders?

There are a number of immune system diseases and autoimmune disorders that will be paid out for by critical illness cover. Most of these types of policies will pay out for the main conditions, and some are more comprehensive than others.

Some of the main immune system disorders covered by critical illness insurance are:

  • Diabetes (type 1)
  • Guillian-Barré Syndrome
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Systemic Lupus

You will also find that some insurers might cover different levels of severity to others with percentage-based payments. This simply means that some less severe conditions might pay out less than others, however, you’ll also have an amount of cover left in this situation.

Critical illness cover in this situation can payout for things like:

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

Having the right amount of critical illness cover can also give you and your family peace of mind. A policy of this kind is also far cheaper when you are younger so it’s best not to wait until you’re older to buy critical illness cover.


Can I get life insurance with an autoimmune disorder?

YES – in most situations you should be able to get a life insurance policy with immune system disorders. Some conditions can be easier than others but most can be covered by the majority of insurers.

It’s important to understand that some insurers are better than others for certain immune disorders. An expert like iam|INSURED will be able to guide you to the best insurer for your condition.

If you’ve applied for life insurance in the past and you were declined then you shouldn’t worry too much. Unfortunately, it is fairly common that some people get declined cover and can still get cover elsewhere.


Will I need a medical for immune system disorder life insurance?

It is completely normal and very possible that your insurer will ask for you to give them some further medical information. There are three main types of medical evidence that insurers will ask for, including:

  • GP report which is a request to view your medical records and will be obtained by your insurer at their cost
  • Telephone medical is where a nurse or medical underwriter will contact you via the phone to answer additional medical questions
  • Nurse screening is a visit by a qualified nurse to your home or your place of work to complete some medical checks

You shouldn’t worry about any of these as they’re completely normal and are simply to make sure that you pay the right price.

Find out more – Can you get life insurance without a medical check?

A to Z of immune system disorders

Here is a list of the main immune system disorders that you might find.



  • Balo concentric sclerosis
  • Behçet’s disease
  • Bickerstaff’s encephalitis
  • Bullous pemphigoid







  • Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy
  • Hashimoto Thyroiditis (underactive thyroid)
  • Henoch-Schonlein purpura


  • Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy
  • IgA nephropathy
  • IgG4-related systemic disease
  • Inclusion body myositis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Intermediate uveitis
  • Interstitial cystitis



  • Kawasaki’s disease


  • Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome
  • Leukocytoclastic vasculitis
  • Lichen planus
  • Lichen sclerosis
  • Ligneous conjunctivitis
  • Linear IgA disease
  • Lupus nephritis
  • Lupus vasculitis
  • Lyme disease (Chronic)


  • Ménière’s disease
  • Microscopic colitis
  • Microscopic polyangiitis
  • Mixed connective tissue disease
  • Mooren’s ulcer
  • Morphea
  • Mucha-Habermann disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein disease (MOG)
  • Myocarditis
  • Myositis


  • Neuromyelitis Optica
  • Neuromyotonia


  • Opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome
  • Optic neuritis
  • Ord’s thyroiditis


  • Palindromic rheumatism
  • Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration
  • Parry Romberg syndrome
  • Parsonage-Turner syndrome
  • Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus
  • Pemphigus Vulgaris
  • Pernicious anaemia
  • Pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta
  • POEMS syndrome
  • Polyarteritis nodosa
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Polymyositis
  • Postmyocardial infarction syndrome
  • Postpericardiotomy syndrome
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Pure red cell aplasia
  • Pyoderma gangrenosum



  • Sarcoidosis
  • Schnitzler syndrome
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Stiff person syndrome
  • Subacute bacterial endocarditis
  • Susac’s syndrome
  • Sydenham chorea
  • Sympathetic ophthalmia
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Systemic scleroderma


  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Tolosa-Hunt syndrome
  • Transverse myelitis


  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Undifferentiated connective tissue disease
  • Urticaria
  • Urticarial vasculitis



  • Warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia

Here are just a few of the main questions that people ask about autoimmune disorders and what they mean to you.

Does autoimmune disease reduce life expectancy?There are currently over 100 autoimmune diseases which are conditions that affect the immune system, and its ability to fight disease.

According to Dr. Betty Diamond, director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the Feinstein Institute of Medical Research, “almost all autoimmune diseases decrease life expectancy”. This is with the exception of one condition, which is hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
What are the 10 most common autoimmune disorders?There are several immune system conditions that are more common to people in the UK and around the world. The most common conditions are:

Rheumatoid arthritis
Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent)
Guillian-Barré syndrome
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
Graves’ disease
Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
What are the most common symptoms of autoimmune diseases?Generally, you’ll find that a lot of the main types of immune system disorders will carry very similar symptoms. This is because they affect similar parts of the body and can cause similar problems in some cases. Some of the most common signs include:

Joint pains and swelling of the joints
Skin complaints
Digestive problems
Abdominal pains
High temperature
Swollen glands

Useful resources for autoimmune disorders

Here are just a few of the best resources we could find for information about autoimmune disorders and how they work.

WebMD – What are autoimmune disorders?

Healthline – Autoimmune diseases: Types, Symptoms, Causes, and more

Office on Women’s Health – Autoimmune diseases

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