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Blindness life insurance

Whether you are visually impaired or fully sighted, life insurance is the #1 way in which you can protect yourself and your family, in the event of your passing away. Life insurance will ensure that your family will receive a cash pay out. This can be used to cover costs such as household bills and funeral expenses – to take off some of the pressure at an already difficult time. 

It is currently estimated that around 340,000* people in the UK are registered as blind or partially sighted – with over 2 million living with some form of vision loss. There are many potential reasons for vision loss, whether genetic from birth or a loss later in life.

There are adaptions available to make things easier for those with vision impairment to have a good quality of life – but you may still be concerned that it will be more difficult to receive life insurance cover. Rest assured, there are plenty of GREAT insurance providers able to offer cover to people with vision impairment.  

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by Elizabeth Turner-Long - 9th August 2023

YES – You absolutely can get life insurance cover as a blind or visually impaired person. Insurers will usually ask questions about medical history when they are underwriting any form of life insurance. If your blindness or vision loss is not caused by other underlying conditions, it will most likely be straightforward to arrange life insurance for yourself. 

Occasionally, if your vision loss is related to another medical condition, such as diabetes, insurers may take this into account when deciding on the price of your policy.

Don’t let this put you off from applying. If you are getting highly priced quotes, it may be that you are simply not speaking to the right provider for you.  

How does blindness life insurance work?

The insurance provider you are speaking to may also ask for further information about your general health. Do not be alarmed by this as this is common for any insurance application. The process is very straightforward and you should answer the questions as honestly as possible.  

In some cases, you will need to sign an “access to medical records agreement” allowing your insurer to request further information from your GP or medical provider directly – saving you the hassle of having to try and source this information yourself. 

The main requests an insurer might have for further medical evidence are: 

  • Full medical records from your GP 
  • Nurse screening e.g. blood tests 
  • A more targeted report from your GP (for more specific information) 

What are the benefits of life insurance? 

Life insurance is the best possible way for you to protect your family. Safeguarding your family’s well-being is essential for your peace of mind. With a life insurance policy in place, you will know that even if you are no longer around, your family will have the financial help they need when they most need it.  

According to figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), life insurance providers paid out at a rate £7 million a day in 2020, with 98% of claims being approved. 

What percentage of vision loss is considered legally blind?** 

There are two classifications for sight loss in the UK. You can be certified as severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted).

The legal definition of blindness, according to the National Assistance Act 1948, states a person can be registered as blind if they are ‘so blind they cannot do any work for which eyesight is essential’. You can also be registered as partially sighted if you are ‘substantially and permanently handicapped by defective vision, caused by congenital defect or illness or injury’.  

Are there insurers who specialise in cover for those with blindness or vision impairment? 

Visually impaired or fully sighted, there are plenty of providers in the UK who will be able to arrange cover for you. There are various different providers and policies to choose from but there will definitely be one out there that works for you.  

Your best option will be to decide what kind of cover you would like, a rough idea of the cost you can afford for your premiums and how long you would like your policy to run for.  

Are there ways in which the application process is made easier for blind people? 

We can assure you here we always do our absolute best to be inclusive and accessible to all. We want to make sure you can receive a policy to suit you and a great price, without any added stress or difficulty on your end.  

Technology has advanced massively in the last 20 years. This has led to the invention of equipment such as screen readers, making it much easier than in previous years for those with visual impairments to access the information they need over the internet. This is a great step forward in terms of accessibility for all.  

Will my vision impairment cause me issues when applying for life insurance? 

The overall process for applying for life insurance should be the same for the most part for someone who is blind or visually impaired compared to a fully sighted person. 

You don’t need to expect lots of additional steps or to be jumping through hoops to find a policy. Insurers are designed to provide a service to help you; they do not want to put you off by making the application process overly difficult. 

The insurer will most likely want more information about your general health, but this is standard with any pre-existing condition. If you are blind but otherwise healthy, you should have no issues finding a policy.  

Will insurance companies treat me differently depending on why I am blind? 

For the most part, this shouldn’t be the case. Normally, insurers will be able to provide you with a quote for a policy at a reasonable price, regardless of the reason for your vision loss. 

If you are experiencing other symptoms or conditions related to your vision loss that affect your general health, providers will take this into consideration before agreeing to provide cover. If you are blind or partially sighted but otherwise healthy, you should still be able to qualify for standard insurance policies. 

Will my life insurance policy cost more because I am blind? 

If you are healthy, vision impairment aside, you shouldn’t expect to pay any more than the average amount someone your age will be paying. This can vary though depending on the type of cover you want and the level of cover needed (£s).  

Generally, life insurance premiums will cost slightly more the older you are. As we age, we are more likely to be diagnosed with issues that may cause us to make an insurance claim. This is why we advise people to put cover in place as early as possible, even if you already have a pre-existing condition such as blindness. 

Medical conditions linked to blindness 

There are a number of medical conditions that can cause blindness or vision impairment. These include but are not limited to: 

Legal blindness  Age related macular degeneration Diabetic retinopathy Obesity Cataracts Glaucoma Retinitis pigmentosa  
Complications from Lyme disease  Corneal opacity  Uncorrected refractive errors  Trachoma  Stroke  Brain tumour  Traumatic injury  

Will critical illness cover pay out for blindness? 

YES – Critical illness cover is specifically designed to pay out a lump sum to you if you are diagnosed with a serious medical condition during the course of your policy. This is a great way to ensure you have protection in place to supplement your income if you needed to take time off work due to illness. The money you receive can be used for things such as: 

  • School fees  
  • Utility bills 
  • Mortgage or rent payments 

Critical illness cover should pay out for blindness if you become blind during the course of your policy. However, this will only apply if the sight loss is classified as “permanent and irreversible”.  

Critical illness cover is a great way to ensure you still have the financial resources you need to look after yourself and your family, right when you need the extra support.  

Is blindness a critical illness? 

YES – Most insurance providers will classify blindness or vision loss as a critical illness, especially as it can often be caused by another serious medical condition. This will usually mean you can receive a payment from most providers, if you become blind during the course of your policy.  

Application questions for blindness life insurance 

In the process for applying for life insurance with blindness or vision loss, there are several possible questions providers may ask. For example: 

  • Has your sight loss been present since birth or developed later in life? 
  • Have you undergone any surgery related to your sight loss? 
  • Did your sight loss result from a specific event or injury? 
  • Are you fully legally blind or partially sighted? 

Support for people with vision loss

You can register your loss of sight with the local authority in your area, allowing you access to support you may not otherwise receive. If the services in your area know more about your needs, they are better equipped to help you – but you are not obliged to register if you choose not to. There are a range of benefits to you if you do choose to register as blind or partially sighted, including: 

  • Help with NHS costs 
  • Reduced prices when using public transport 
  • Tax help: you may qualify for blind person’s allowance meaning you can earn more before being taxed 
  • Benefits to help with expenses relating to your disability/illness 
What is the rate of blindness in the UK?There are over 2 million in the UK living with some level of sight loss.
It is also believed that the number of people in the UK with sight loss is set to increase in the future.

This is due to various factors, such as the fact that sight loss is strongly linked with conditions such as obesity and diabetes – with the number of people with these conditions in the UK rising rapidly.
What is the definition of blindness in the UK?In the UK, a person is classed as legally blind if they are ‘so blind they cannot do any work for which eyesight is essential’.
What is the leading cause of blindness in the UK?There are various causes of blindness in the UK. The most common cause tends to be age (age related macular degeneration).

Other common causes are diabetes, cataracts and glaucoma.

We are EXPERTS in securing brilliant policies for people who have illnesses or conditions that may cause them to otherwise struggle to find cover. We are the UK’s top-rated life insurance and personal protection insurance experts for people with medical conditions. 

If you want to see the proof of this for yourself, check out our reviews on Feefo. Our customers have given us a PERFECT score of 5.0 out of 5.0, which we are exceptionally proud of. We were also honoured to receive the Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award in 2021 and 2022 – and now we are rated PLATINUM!

*according to the NHS website 

** according to the Eyecare trust, a registered vision loss charity 

Resources 

Below we have linked some useful resources about blindness for further information: 

NHS – Blindness and vision loss 

NHS – Supporting people who are blind or have sight loss 

RNIB – Key information and statistics on sight loss in the UK 

Gov.uk – Registering vision impairment as a disability 

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