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MS life insurance and critical illness cover

The facts about getting life insurance with MS

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can cause a wide range of symptoms and can affect any part of the body. Each person with MS is affected differently, and the symptoms are unpredictable. Some people’s symptoms develop and worsen steadily over time, while others find their symptoms come and go. Periods when symptoms get worse are known as “relapses”. Symptoms of MS range from fatigue, depression, mobility issues, pain, muscle spasms, vision problems and speech and swallowing difficulties. If you suffer from MS, taking out MS life insurance cover may be worthwhile.

What does MS life insurance cost?

If you suffer from MSand need life insurance or critical illness cover, then you will need to provide insurers with information about your condition. Insurance underwriters will assess your application for MS life insurance based on the following:

  • The type of MS you have
  • General symptoms and their severity
  • Medications or treatment undertaken
  • The age you were first diagnosed
  • Any underlying health complications

Your premiums for MS life insurance will also depend on:

  • Sum assured (£’s)
  • Term of cover (years)
  • Type of policy (e.g. Family, Mortgage, Whole of Life etc.)

MS life insurance rates/ratings

Rates for any non-standard cover such as MS life insurance will vary from one insurance provider to another, depending on their underwriting philosophy. Insurance providers use a risk-based scale to determine the amount you will pay for your cover which uses a ‘percentage loading’ or ‘£’s per mille loading’. All insurance companies have their own underwriting criteria, which will also change over time, so can be difficult to predict unless you regularly speak to them.

Percentage (%) loading for MS life insurance

A percentage loading basically applies a % to your standard premium based on the levels of risk calculated for your own circumstances. Your percentage loading will apply a multiple to your MS life insurance premium, which will be based on your health at the time of your application. You should also know that some insurance providers have different maximum levels to others, so some are prepared to take on higher risks (e.g. 250% or 400%).

EXAMPLE:

Basic premium % loading Final premium
£20.00 50% £30.00
£20.00 100% £40.00
£20.00 150% £50.00
£20.00 200% £60.00
£20.00 250% £70.00

Per mille loadings for MS life insurance

You may also find that a ‘per mille loading’ could be applied to your MS life insurance premiums, but this is more rare and only tends to be used for more severe conditions such as Cancer. A ‘per mille loading’ will be an additional amount that is applied to your premiums, which is based on the amount of cover you are applying for (e.g. £2 per thousand £’s of cover). The other difference with a ‘per mille loading’ is that it can be applied for the whole term of your MS life insurance policy, or for a period of time from the start of your policy (e.g. 2, 3, 4 or 5 years).

Exclusions for MS life insurance, critical illness cover or income protection

Another potential outcome when applying for a non-standard cover such as MS life insurance, critical illness cover or income protection is for an ‘exclusion’ to be applied to your policy. This means that you may have certain conditions which can be linked to your MS (e.g. Cardiovascular, eye problems etc.) excluded from your policy. You may also find that certain additional benefits could be excluded such as Total and Permanent Disability, Waiver of Premium or Guaranteed Insurability.

How much cover do I need?

It is difficult to say how much cover you need when you are applying for an MS life insurance or critical illness cover policy. There are however some simple rules that you can follow which will give you a good idea for how much cover you need before you apply.

NB. You should also be aware that an MS life insurance or critical illness policy could increase after underwriting to reflect any additional risks of claim, so affordability may be a consideration.

MS life insurance amounts of cover

  • Mortgage amount (£’s)
  • Outstanding debt (e.g. Loans, second charge, credit cards and other)
  • Dependants
  • Spouse or partner
  • Income (after tax)
  • Assets (e.g. car, house, business etc.)

Generally, there is usually an impact on your life insurance premiums if there is a history of MS in your medical history due to the associated risk factors.

MS critical illness cover amounts

Critical illness cover is slightly different to life insurance in the sense that it is designed to provide a lump sum payment if you are diagnosed with a critical or serious illness. Most people relate this type of cover to Cancer, which is the biggest reason for claims for critical illness cover. Things to consider are:

  • Income (after tax)
  • Mortgage payments (annual)
  • Cost of living (annual)
  • Any other possible costs (e.g. medical treatment or adaptations)

There are now some insurance providers that offer critical illness cover for people suffering from MS, depending on the severity of your condition. You could find there may be exclusions to your policy. Contact us at Iam Insured to talk through your options and products available to you.