Life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions
The term ‘pre-existing medical condition’ is very broad and can cover lots of different situations. There are literally thousands of different medical conditions and combinations of conditions.
Life insurance for someone with a pre-existing condition is purely based on your individual circumstances and needs.
Types of pre-existing medical conditions
Most medical conditions will be put into three groups which are:
Acute which is a single event or one-off occurrence
Chronic which is a life-long condition where there is no known cure
Subacute is a modern definition used in many nursing facilities sitting between Acute and Chronic which is defined as someone needing comprehensive care
Your diagnosis will then be grouped into the type of condition which can include:
- Blood disorders
- Congenital disorders
- Immune system/inflammatory
- Injuries & accidents
- Mental health
- Renal & urogenital
The next stage is then to look at the severity of your symptoms and any treatment or medication that you are taking.
When it comes to life insurance for pre-existing medical conditions, there are literally thousands of combinations and variables to consider. Someone who is an expert in dealing with medical conditions will understand the process of applying for life cover with a medical condition.
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Life insurance companies that accept pre-existing medical conditions
Most insurers will accept the majority of medical conditions, but the trick is to know which is better for you.
Underwriting can be complicated for people with a medical condition and it changes all the time. It can be tricky to know which insurer is better for you so this is where an expert can help to point you in the right direction.
We regularly speak to people with pre-existing medical conditions who’ve been declined before. This isn’t the end of the road so don’t let it put you off if you’ve been refused cover in the past because of your medical history.
More about DECLINED LIFE INSURANCE
Can you get life insurance with pre-existing conditions?
YES – you should be able to get life cover if you’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition. Many people are told that cover isn’t available which simply isn’t the case for the vast majority of people.
It can be extremely frustrating and disheartening being told that something isn’t available. Don’t let that stop you and make sure that you speak to an expert first.
The only situation where no life insurance is available is upon terminal diagnosis – if you’ve been given a terminal prognosis then you won’t be eligible for cover.
What is considered a pre-existing medical condition?
A pre-existing medical condition for life insurance is defined as anything where you’ve had any of the following:
You’ll be asked a number of medical and health-related questions which are to assess your current status. These questions must be answered honestly and as accurately as you can.
These life insurance questions will also relate to different periods of time:
- Ever (e.g. have you ever had…?)
- Within 5 years (e.g. within the last 5 years have you had…?)
- Other (this might be 3 years or even as little as weeks)
Is a pre-existing life insurance policy different?
NO – life insurance is a standard policy that should not have any exclusions or be any different regardless of your health.
Unfortunately, many people think that somehow their cover is different because of their medical history. This simply isn’t the case and it’s good to know that your policy should also cover anything pre-existing as well as new.
It’s a difficult subject but ultimately you should make sure that you get the best cover to protect your family and pay a fair price, regardless of your health.
What happens if I get diagnosed with a medical condition after I take out life insurance?
If you get diagnosed after you’ve been accepted for life cover then this is no longer considered to be ‘pre-existing’. In almost all cases, you won’t need to tell your insurer about something that happens after you’ve got your life cover.
People often ask us about this and it’s part of the beauty of life cover that once you’ve got cover you’ve got it.
How to get life insurance with a pre-existing condition
There are currently several ways to buy life insurance in the UK and it’s entirely up to you to decide which is best. Some people prefer to deal with someone either by telephone or face-to-face and some prefer to buy online.
- Expert advisor: you can speak to a pre-existing conditions life insurance expert who will have some experience in dealing with people who have similar circumstances
- Standard insurance advisor: a company that deals with so-called ‘standard’ life insurance application day to day (such as a mortgage advisor)
- Non-advised insurance company: this is a company that can’t give you advice but will be able to offer you a range of quotes based on what you say that you want
- Price comparison site (or aggregator website): you can choose to buy life insurance online through an aggregator website
- Insurance companies direct: you can also buy life insurance direct through some life insurance companies themselves (also non-advised)
Some other things to be aware of
- Single-tie or one insurer: you might speak to a company that can only offer cover from one insurer which could be a bank, building society, or direct
- A panel of insurers: this could be a broker or advisor who has access to a group of insurers called a panel (can be 2 or several insurance providers)
- Whole of market: an advisor or broker might have access to all insurers which means that they can access cover from anyone to get the best options from a range of options
The best way to get life cover if you’ve got a pre-existing medical condition is to speak to an expert. Someone with the right background and expertise will be more suitable to be able to get you the best cover at the right price.
Applying for Pre-existing medical conditions life insurance
- Automatic underwriting: This is where the insurance providers online systems are capable of providing an automatic decision without the need for human intervention or further medical information (usually only mild or simple conditions)
- Further medical underwriting: When the application requires a medical underwriter to manually assess and review. This is for a more complicated or severe medical condition, as well as a life insurance application with multiple pre-existing medical conditions
- GP Report (GPR)/Medical Report: You may also be required to allow the insurance provider to view your medical records which will be provided by your GP or Specialist. For this, you must sign an Access Medical Request Application (AMRA) declaration which allows the medical professional to release information
- Targeted Medical: In some cases where the condition is acute or mild then life insurance underwriters may request a targeted medical report. This is basically where the company only requests information about your condition rather than a full medical report. The reason for underwriters favoring a targeted report for Pre-existing medical conditions life insurance costs mainly because they are cheaper.
- Nurse Screening: Some applications for Pre-existing medical conditions life insurance will require a ‘nurse screening’ which is basically a nurse visit at home or at work. A nurse screening will usually consist of a finger prick blood test, blood glucose test, and blood pressure test.
Mortgage life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions
Some people think that mortgage life insurance (also known as decreasing cover) is different from term life insurance. The fact is that mortgage life insurance is exactly the same underwriting for pre-existing medical conditions.
You’ll be able to get mortgage life insurance in the same way and a standard family protection policy. The process of applying is the same and ultimately the only difference is how the products work and the cover they offer.
A decreasing life insurance policy is designed to reduce at a similar rate to your mortgage usually. This type of cover is only suitable for a repayment mortgage (capital and interest) and not for interest-only mortgages.
You should also be covered for anything pre-existing with mortgage life insurance.
What benefits can you claim if you are terminally ill?
If you have life insurance in place already and you have been told that you have a terminal illness, you could claim on your policy.
Many life insurance policies come with a terminal illness benefit which is often a free addition to your cover. This option allows you to claim on your policy if you have been told that you have less than 12 months to live.
You should speak to your insurer immediately to find out if you are eligible for this.
Premiums and cost of Pre-existing medical conditions life insurance
Often you’ll see some differences between the premium that you might pay for life cover with a medical condition and someone with no medical history. This works in exactly the same way as car insurance, for example, you might pay more if you’ve got points on your license or had an accident.
This will be based on
- The severity of your symptoms
- Date of diagnosis
- Treatment or medication
- What is the state of your current health?
You might see a slight difference in cost for mild or moderate symptoms
- Well-controlled with medication
- Mild to moderate symptoms
- No major impact on lifestyle
- Low risk of long term health problems
- Diagnosed several years ago
Slightly more severe issues can still get cover but may have different options
- Control problems
- Severe symptoms
- Major impact on lifestyle
- Risk of further complications or other health problems
- Recent diagnosis
- Older lives (Over 40)
These prices can vary from one insurance provider to another based on their rules and philosophy. This can be because of their own claims history for certain medical conditions or purely their own views.
Exclusions for Pre-existing medical conditions critical illness cover and income protection
You may find that an application for Pre-existing medical conditions critical illness cover and income protection could be offered with potential exclusions. The main reason for exclusions to critical illness cover and income protection policy is where the potential risks of further complications are simply too high.
Usual exclusions for Pre-existing medical conditions critical illness cover and income protection will be where the condition has been proven to cause risks of other future complications. An example of this may be for a person with Diabetes and the risk of developing cardiovascular problems in the future.
You should be aware that Pre-existing medical conditions critical illness cover and income protection can vary dramatically from one insurance provider to another. It is important to check all of your policy wording before you accept any offer for cover to ensure that you are happy with your offer.