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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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Does life insurance payout for immune system disorders?

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:

  • Mortgages
  • Rent
  • Debts
  • Cost of living
  • School fees

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 payments
  • Rent
  • Debts
  • Alterations to the home
  • School fees

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.


Does income protection payout for autoimmune disorders?

YES – if you become ill for 4 weeks or more then you will often find income protection to be very useful. Most immune system disorders have symptoms that can cause you to have long periods away from work.

An income protection policy will pay out usually for up to 24 months, or longer, to help you to maintain your lifestyle to a degree.

If you have no income support from your employer then you’ll find an income protection policy to be very useful. If you take out this type of cover and you get diagnosed with an immune system disorder then you’ll get paid out.

Income protection for immune system disorders is an excellent way to protect your family during periods of long-term sickness.

You can use your income protection policy to pay for:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Rent
  • Bills and utilities
  • Debts
  • School fees

There is nothing worse than having to worry about money during periods of long-term sickness so that’s where this cover will help.


Life insurance after immune diseases

If you’ve already been diagnosed with an immune system disorder then you should still be able to get life 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.


You may also find that you will be asked for further medical evidence to get life insurance with an immune system disorder.

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.

The benefit of this for someone with an immune system disorder is that your cover will be guaranteed. If you need to claim on your policy in the future then there can be no questions about your policy.

A to Z of immune system disorders

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


Acquired haemophilia

Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis

Acute motor axonal neuropathy

Addison’s disease

Adult-onset Still’s disease

Alopecia areata

Ankylosing spondylitis

Anti-glomerular basement membrane nephritis

Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis

Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis

Antiphospholipid syndrome

Antisynthetase syndrome

Aplastic anaemia

Autoimmune angioedema

Autoimmune encephalitis

Autoimmune gastritis

Autoimmune hemolytic anaemia

Autoimmune haemophilia

Autoimmune hepatitis

Autoimmune inner ear disease

Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome

Autoimmune neutropenia

Autoimmune oophoritis

Autoimmune orchitis

Autoimmune pancreatitis

Autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1

Autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 2

Autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 3

Autoimmune progesterone dermatitis

Autoimmune retinopathy

Autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura

Autoimmune thyroiditis

Autoimmune urticaria

Autoimmune uveitis


Balo concentric sclerosis

Behçet’s disease

Bickerstaff’s encephalitis

Bullous pemphigoid


Celiac disease

Chronic fatigue syndrome*

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy

Churg-Strauss syndrome

Cicatricial pemphigoid

Cogan syndrome

Cold agglutinin disease

Complex regional pain syndrome

CREST syndrome

Crohn’s disease


Dermatitis herpetiformis


Diabetes mellitus type 1

Diffuse interstitial keratitis

Discoid lupus erythematosus



Enthesitis-related arthritis

Eosinophilic esophagitis

Eosinophilic fasciitis

Epidermolysis bullosa acquisita

Erythema nodosum

Essential mixed cryoglobulinemia

Evans syndrome


Felty syndrome



Gestational pemphigoid

Giant cell arteritis

Goodpasture syndrome

Graves’ disease

Graves ophthalmopathy

Guillain–Barré syndrome


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


Juvenile arthritis


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


Mucha-Habermann disease

Multiple sclerosis

Myasthenia gravis

Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein disease (MOG)




Neuromyelitis Optica



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


Postmyocardial infarction syndrome

Postpericardiotomy syndrome

Primary biliary cirrhosis

Primary sclerosing cholangitis


Psoriatic arthritis

Pure red cell aplasia

Pyoderma gangrenosum


Raynaud’s phenomenon

Reactive arthritis

Relapsing polychondritis

Restless leg syndrome

Retroperitoneal fibrosis

Rheumatic fever

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid vasculitis



Schnitzler syndrome


Sjogren’s syndrome

Stiff person syndrome

Subacute bacterial endocarditis

Susac’s syndrome

Sydenham chorea*

Sympathetic ophthalmia

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Systemic scleroderma



Tolosa-Hunt syndrome

Transverse myelitis


Ulcerative colitis

Undifferentiated connective tissue disease


Urticarial vasculitis





Warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia

Common questions about immune system disorders

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
  • Psoriasis
  • 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:

  • Fatigue
  • 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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