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Life Insurance With Pre existing Conditions

One of the cheapest and best ways to protect your family financially is to take out life insurance. Many people with pre existing conditions are put off taking out cover. They either don’t think that they can get it or they think it will be too expensive.

Life insurance with pre existing conditions is often much cheaper than you might think. This is as long as you get the right advice. Also, life insurance companies regularly review their underwriting criteria which means that cover is always changing.

Our team of life insurance with pre existing conditions experts has over 25 years expertise. We’re also rated 5.0 out of 5.0 stars on Feefo by our customers.

If you want to know more about life insurance with pre existing conditions, then you can read our guide below. You can also contact us on 0800 009 6559. Don’t be put off taking out life insurance to protect your family.

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60-Second Summary – Life Insurance with Pre-existing Conditions Guide 2023

Find out how to get the best Life Insurance deals with Pre-existing Medical Conditions to protect your family and your financial dependents. Life insurance terms depend on your health and medical history so it’s important to speak to a specialist to make sure that you pay a fair price for your cover.

  • Pre-existing medical conditions life insurance premiums can vary dramatically from one insurer to another so you can pay more than you need to if you apply to the wrong provider or company.
  • Traditional life insurance does not exclude pre-existing medical conditions and so you will be covered for death regardless of whether it is linked to your existing medical condition.
  • Getting advice from a Pre-existing Conditions Life Insurance specialist can help you to save money on your premiums and will reduce your chance of being refused.
  • Your life insurance premiums will be based on your health at the time that you apply and your insurer might request medical evidence from your GP which is normal.

Facts and figures for pre existing medical conditions UK

According to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), nearly 50% of the UK population has a long-term medical condition. The recent report showed that 45.7% of men and 50.1% of women suffered from long-standing health issue.

Figures from a recent study by BUPA Health Clinics revealed that over 75% of people in the United Kingdom has concerns about their health. Top of the list of health concerns were weight and mental health.

The most common medical conditions:

  • Allergy
  • High blood pressure
  • Lower back problems
  • Depression

Life insurance with pre existing conditions is readily available for the vast majority of people. Cover is often far cheaper than you think. Some of the top pre existing conditions for life insurance are:

There are more options for people with pre existing conditions to get life insurance than ever before. Insurance providers are becoming more flexible with their underwriting and offering better terms than ever before for pre existing medical conditions.

SUMMARY: It is advisable to have life insurance in place to protect your family and your home. This will protect them financially if you die. Pre existing medical conditions can make it slightly more difficult to get cover. However, it might mean that cover is even more important.

A man and woman hugging with the caption 'Life insurance with pre-existing conditions guide. Read our expert guide to cheaper life insurance with pre-existing conditions'

There are two main types of pre existing medical condition that can affect your life insurance application. These are ‘acute’ conditions and ‘chronic’ conditions and both can vary dramatically in terms of severity or symptoms.

  • Acute medical conditions are defined as a single episode that comes on quickly and lasts for a short period of time. Some of the most common acute illnesses include strep throat, ear infections, flu or colds or bronchitis. Not all acute illnesses will affect your life insurance and most minor acute illnesses will be irrelevant.
  • Chronic medical conditions are long-term illnesses that have no known cure and will last for the rest of your life. Some of the most common chronic conditions are heart disease, stroke, cancer (certain types), diabetes, arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Most chronic illnesses will need to be disclosed when you apply for life insurance with pre existing conditions.

A pre existing condition with life insurance is classed as anything that you are asked about when you apply for cover. Most applications for life cover will ask for any information about recent medical problems or any long-term health issues.

There are also several main groups of pre existing conditions that categorise the type of medical condition, including:

  • Autoimmune diseases (e.g. Type 1 Diabetes, Crohn’s Disease, Lupus, Ulcerative Colitis, Arthritis etc.)
  • Blood disorders (e.g. Anaemia, Haemophilia, Von Willebrand Disease, Deep Vein Thrombosis, Leukaemia, Lymphoma, Sickle Cell Disease etc.) 
  • Cancers
  • Genetic conditions (e.g. Cystic Fibrosis, Polycystic Kidney Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Huntington’s Disease etc.)
  • Neurological disorders (e.g. Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Dementia, Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s Disease etc.)
  • Respiratory conditions (e.g. Asthma, Bronchitis, COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, Lung Cancer, Pneumonia etc.)

How does life insurance with pre existing conditions work?

If you apply for traditional life insurance then you will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire or fact find. This usually consists of around 30 questions about your health, medical history and lifestyle.

Each insurance provider has its own medical underwriting criteria. This criteria defines how much cover will be for each person, based on their circumstances. The medical questions asked can vary depending on the insurer you apply to.

Your life insurance premiums will be based on several individual core elements which include:

  • Your age (date of birth)
  • Amount of cover (sum assured)
  • Length of cover (term)
  • Type of cover (e.g. family or mortgage protection)
  • Smoker status

There are several other factors that will be taken in to account when applying for life insurance with pre existing conditions. This might be because you would be classed as a higher mortality risk and more likely to claim.

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The simple answer is yes, life insurance with pre existing conditions is very common. These policies account for around 30% of all applications.

In reality, the majority of people with pre existing conditions should be able to get life insurance to protect their family. The main issues that you will find is:

  • The cost of cover
  • The amount of time that it takes to apply

There are some instances where cover might not be available, such as:

  • Terminal illness or diagnosis
  • Under investigation
  • Awaiting test results
  • Awaiting surgery or treatment
  • Recent diagnosis (within 3 or 6 months)
  • Symptoms too severe
  • Readings too high

You might also find that some of the mainstream insurance providers aren’t able to offer cover. A specialist insurer will usually consider your application.

Will I need a medical exam or report?

It is fairly common for life insurance with pre existing conditions to require a medical exam. They can also request for medical evidence from your GP.

This is not a bad thing and should be seen as a positive in most cases. It provides you with peace of mind that your cover is guaranteed to be valid. If your medical report has been reviewed then everything will be included in your life insurance application.

The majority of life insurance applications will take between 4 to 6 weeks to complete where medical evidence is required.

There are also guaranteed life insurance products available that do not require any medical underwriting. These products can be much quicker and easier to apply for. They will however exclude your pre existing medical condition or anything related to your condition.

Main types of medical evidence for life insurance with pre existing conditions:

  • GP reports (report completed by your doctor surgery or GP)
  • Specialist report (a report from a specialist you have seen)
  • Nurse screening (home visit from a nurse who performs a medical examination)
  • Telephone medical (telephone medical questionnaire)
  • Targeted report (specific medical condition report from your GP)

What if I have been declined life insurance with pre existing conditions?

It is also unfortunately common that people with pre existing medical conditions might be refused or declined cover several times. This is not necessarily a problem and will usually have no impact on any future applications for life insurance.

Main reasons for being declined life insurance:

  • Selected insurance provider does not cover
  • Outside insurers criteria
  • Over underwriting limits for insurer

If you are refused life insurance from a specific insurer then you can apply for cover with another insurance provider. There is no issue with a previous application being declined so you don’t need to worry about that.

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There are several different types of life insurance as well as critical illness cover and income protection. Each policy serves a different purpose and will fit specific circumstances or needs, such as family protection or mortgage protection.

The best life insurance policy for you will be based on your own specific requirements, such as:

  • Family life insurance (Level term life insurance) to protect your partner and children or your loved ones.
  • Mortgage life insurance (Decreasing term life insurance) to protect your home and cover your mortgage if you die.
  • Whole of life insurance to provide cover for payment of Inheritance Tax (IHT) liability or funeral expenses.
  • Family income benefit pays out a regular income to your family if you die to replace any lost household income. This is different to traditional life insurance that pays out one lump sum.

Some of the other types of cover that might be available to you with pre existing conditions:

  • Income protection insurance might be available to you but might also have exclusions for people with pre existing conditions. Pays out a monthly income if you cannot work due to illness or injury.
  • Critical illness insurance is also sometimes available to people with pre existing conditions and can also have exclusions. Will pay out a cash lump sum to help pay for things such as medical treatment or important bills.

No medical underwriting life insurance with pre existing conditions policies include:

How can I apply for life insurance with pre existing conditions?

There are several main ways to apply for life insurance but not all are suitable for people with pre existing conditions.

When you apply for life insurance with pre existing conditions, you need to make sure that you apply to the right insurer. It can be difficult to know which insurance provider is best for you without speaking to an expert.

Most common ways to apply for life insurance with pre existing conditions:

  • Speak to a pre existing conditions specialist or expert
  • Apply online (e.g. price comparison website)
  • Get advice from an Independent Financial Advisor
  • Apply with your bank or building society

Do I need to disclose my pre existing condition?

YES – it is extremely important to answer any questions honestly and truthfully to the best of your knowledge.

If you fail to disclose any information about your health or withhold any information then your policy may be invalid. There are two possible outcomes if you claim on an invalid life insurance policy:

  1. Premiums will be refunded and no claim will be paid out
  2. Partial claims may be paid out if the medical condition is mild or it is considered to be not your fault that information has not been disclosed

How much does life insurance with pre existing conditions cost?

There are lots of different options and there are also ways to save money on your life insurance premiums, especially for people with pre existing conditions.

Generally, premiums for life insurance with pre existing conditions will be higher. This is compared to standard life insurance premiums with no health or medical issues. Life insurance premiums are based on each policy holders circumstances. The price paid will reflect your risk of claim and to provide you with ‘full cover’ with no exclusions.

Life insurance does not exclude pre existing conditions. You will be covered for anything in the event of death or claim.

If you think about it like this, car insurance premiums are based on your driving history and the risks that you potentially pose. The main difference in this example is that young drivers pay far more for car insurance. Younger people pay less for life insurance compared to older applicants.

The price of your life insurance with pre existing conditions will be based on:

  • Your age
  • Medical history (e.g. condition, symptoms, treatment or medication)
  • Smoking status
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Family history (e.g. parents, brothers or sisters medical history)

Cheaper life insurance with pre existing conditions

How to find cheaper premiums for life insurance with pre existing conditions:

  1. Speak to a specialist: you might think that speaking to a specialist will cost you more than getting cover from a wholesale insurance broker. The reality is that a specialist will help you to find the lowest premiums. They also will not charge you for their services.
  2. Apply to the right insurer: there are several major insurance providers in the UK as well as a few specialist insurers. You can save a significant amount of money on your monthly life insurance premiums by applying to the best insurer for your medical history and health.
  3. Get cover while you’re young: older people will always pay higher life insurance premiums. This is especially true for people with pre existing medical conditions. If your health gets worse as you get older then your life insurance premiums will increase if you put it off.
  4. Manage your health: there are also ways to reduce your life insurance premiums by managing or improving your health. The most common example is if someone is overweight and they reduce their weight with diet and exercise.
  5. Quit smoking: smokers and people that vape will be classed as higher risk. They will naturally pay higher premiums for life insurance. If you quit smoking then you can reduce your life insurance premiums by as much as 50%.

The best way to save money on life insurance with pre existing conditions is to speak to an expert. A specialist will be able to guide and support you through these steps.

Which companies are best for life insurance with pre existing conditions?

There are several major life insurance providers in the UK as well as a number of specialist insurance providers. The best company for you will be based on your health and the underwriting criteria for each insurer.

Some life insurance providers are good for people with pre existing conditions and some simply are not.

Best life insurance companies for pre existing conditions:

It is possible you have a pre-existing condition and are not with any of these insurers. You should speak to an insurance specialist, to check to make sure that you’re not paying more than you should be.

Useful resources

Medline Plus – Living with a chronic illness

Office for National Statistics – UK Health Indicators

Mental Health Foundation – People with physical health conditions: Statistics

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Can I get life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

Yes, you will be able to get life insurance with almost any pre-existing medical condition, as long as it is not terminal. If traditional life insurance is not available due to the severity of your symptoms, then there are other guaranteed and specialist life insurance options, such as:

  • Accidental death
  • Over 50s life insurance
  • Guaranteed life insurance

Some of the most common examples of life insurance with pre-existing conditions are:

  • Overweight or High BMI life insurance
  • Diabetes life insurance (e.g. Type 2 or Type 1 diabetes)
  • Cancer life insurance
  • Heart attack or heart disease life insurance
  • Mental health life insurance
  • Multiple Sclerosis life insurance
  • Autoimmune disorders life insurance
  • HIV life insurance

There are literally thousands of types and variations of pre-exisiting medical conditions and so your situation is likely to be different to someone else. Life insurance with pre-existing conditions will take a number of elements in to account:

  • Severity and type of symptoms
  • Dates of diagnosis, episodes or attacks, and treatments
  • Any ongoing treatment and medications

Your life insurance premiums will be based on your own individual circumstances and how much cover you need. You should be able to adjust the levels of cover to suit your budget and it’s just as important to make sure that you at least have some cover in place.

What does Martin Lewis say about life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

MoneySavingExpert.com suggests that life insurance will ‘cost a lot more’ with a pre-existing medical condition. This is not true and it really does depend on your own individual circumstances so don’t be put off by this as they are not experts in this area.

It is true that some circumstances where the pre-existing medical condition is serious or severe, premiums can be higher to reflect the additional mortality risks. Ultimately, your life insurance premiums are unfortunately based on how likely you are to claim or if you have a higher chance of death within the policy term.

Martin Lewis doesn’t provide any real substance to his comment about pre-existing conditions life insurance and that’s not good enough. You should speak to a medical life insurance specialist to get a fully underwritten quote before you make any final decisions about whether or not you can afford to protect your family.

How much is life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

Most traditional life insurance providers will accept applications for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Often, you will have a number of potential options from several different insurance providers so you can usually save money as well by shopping around.

Historically you might have had less offers when you apply for life insurance with pre-existing conditions, but fortunately that is changing. Most of the more well-known high street life insurance brands are now offering more competitive rates and more flexible underwriting.

Top tips to save money on life insurance with pre-existing conditions:

  • Speak to pre-existing medical conditions specialist (these companies will understand the market better and should know which insurers will be cheapest for you)
  • Shop around and get different quotes (same as everything else, by shopping around you’ll get a better idea of what a good price is and what different companies offer)
  • Apply at the best time (timing can be important when applying for life insurance with pre-existing conditions, usually when symptoms are stable and not before or after treatment)

There are also other things to take into consideration, such as if you’re a smoker or if your weight is higher than normal. Can you do anything to improve your situation that might help to reduce your life insurance premiums.

Best life insurance for pre-existing conditions?

The best life insurance for pre-existing conditions will be different for each individual, based on their circumstances and the details of their health or medical history. There are certainly some insurance providers who are better for people with pre-existing medical conditions than others, such as:

  • The Exeter (better for people with more severe symptoms and serious health problems)
  • Legal & General (can sometimes be good for certain pre-existing medical conditions, especially mild to moderate symptoms)
  • Royal London (offers a number of specialist products and policies for certain pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes and mental health)
  • Scottish Widows (sometimes good for moderate medical conditions and offers flexible underwriting for certain conditions)
  • The Guardian (also offers flexible underwriting towards some pre-existing medical conditions)
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