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Rheumatoid arthritis life insurance

Getting life insurance is important to make sure that your family is financially protected should anything happen to you.

Anyone with a pre-existing medical condition, like rheumatoid arthritis, will be able to get cover and usually cheaply. There are lots of different policy options for people either with this condition or to help people after diagnosis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that is life-long as there is no known cure. According to figures, around 1% of the UK population has been diagnosed with this condition.

Approximately 10,000 every year are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which is roughly 1.5% of men and 3.6% of women in the UK.

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Here we look at what life insurance and other financial protection products can do to support you and your family if you’re diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

Will life insurance payout for rheumatoid arthritis?

While rheumatoid arthritis is not considered life-threatening, if you die from something linked to your condition, your life cover will payout.

A life insurance policy will pay out a cash lump sum to your family if you pass away for almost any reason. If you are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after you take out a policy then your cover will automatically include that and anything linked to it.

Most people will develop rheumatoid arthritis in later life so there may be other things to consider once diagnosed.

Age groups affected: 40 to 60 typically

You might already have some cover in place and there are several things that this cover may be able to do to help you. Life expectancy with rheumatoid arthritis is on average 10 to 15 years lower than the national average.

Does critical illness cover payout for rheumatoid arthritis?

Most of these types of policies will only cover more serious or severe conditions that have a major impact on lifestyle.

Some medical conditions are linked to rheumatoid arthritis that may be covered. One of the most common conditions linked to this that may develop is heart disease.

Your critical illness cover will give you peace of mind that if your condition does deteriorate or develop into something more serious, you should be covered. A policy like this will usually pay out a cash lump sum which can be used to pay for:

  • Mortgage or rent payments
  • Loans and debts
  • School fee
  • Ongoing costs of living

Will my income protection cover rheumatoid arthritis?

Yes – if you have an existing income protection policy then you should be protected if you are unable to work because of rheumatoid arthritis.

An income protection policy will usually payout from 4 weeks after you are signed off unfit to work. Most policies will then continue to pay your claim for up to 12 or 24 months, depending on which type of cover you have.

It is common for someone with rheumatoid arthritis to be unable to work for several reasons, such as:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness
  • Fatigue
  • Inflammation of eyes, lungs, or heart

Symptoms can build gradually over a period of several weeks and can last for months depending on the individual.

Income protection is designed to replace your ‘Net’ income with a tax-free benefit that can be used to pay your outgoings. Most insurers will allow you to take out cover for up to 60 or 80% of your gross monthly salary.

This type of cover is probably the most relevant and useful in this scenario and with this type of medical condition.

About rheumatoid arthritis life insurance

The other element to consider is what to do about getting life insurance after diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Here we look at some of the most common questions that people ask us about getting life insurance with rheumatoid arthritis.

Can I get life insurance with rheumatoid arthritis?

Yes – this condition is considered generally to be mild and therefore usually does not cause many issues with getting life insurance.

Most standard insurers would consider an application for someone with this condition without any problems. You will need to disclose certain details and information about your condition and your health to get the fairest price.

If you also have other health or medical problems then you will need to disclose anything relevant to your application. It is common for rheumatoid arthritis to be linked to several other autoimmune conditions.

How much is life insurance with rheumatoid arthritis?

Premiums for life insurance are going to be based on several normal factors which are the same as any other life policy.

The main elements that determine your premiums are:

  • Your age
  • Sum assured (amount of cover)
  • Term of cover (years)
  • Smoker status

You will then need to provide information about your medical history to let underwriters know-how about your health. Some of the other things that will be taken into consideration are:

  • Occupation
  • Sports
  • Motorbike riders
  • Alcohol consumption

It is definitely true that life insurance is cheaper for younger people and those who do not have any medical issues. So it’s always wise to consider taking out life cover when you are young and in good health.

Cheaper rheumatoid arthritis life insurance

There are also a number of things that you can do to help reduce your premiums and ultimately save money.

Some of the steps you can take to save money on life insurance are:

  • Shop around: you can save money by speaking to an advisor who has access to multiple insurers (or whole of market)
  • Speak to an expert: an advisor with the right experience and knowledge will know where to get you the cheapest premiums
  • Quit smoking: if you smoke and intend to quit, then you can save around 50% on your premiums 12 months after you stop smoking
  • Lifestyle: several lifestyle changes can impact premiums over time, such as losing weight, exercising, dieting, and reducing alcohol

Life insurance questions for rheumatoid arthritis

Some of the common questions that you will be asked by insurers if you disclose rheumatoid arthritis will include:

  • Are you awaiting any hospital referrals, results, scans, tests, or investigations?
  • Have you had eye inflammation, lumps, breathing problems, Anaemia, joint surgery, heart, liver, or kidney problems?
  • Do you have any joint, mobility, or joint movement problems?
  • Have you been prescribed any medication in the past 12 months?

Can I get critical illness cover with rheumatoid arthritis?

Yes – most insurers should offer this type of cover for someone who has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

You should be able to get a critical illness cover policy, especially where your symptoms and medications are mild or infrequent. People who have very few or no restrictions to lifestyle will usually have no problems getting affordable cover.

If your symptoms are more frequent and you take strong medication regularly then you might find your options are slightly more limited. Insurers will consider this type of application depending on any other health problems and related conditions.

There are also other options for this type of cover if your symptoms are severe and standard cover is not available.

Can I get income protection with rheumatoid arthritis?

It is often possible to get income protection after diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, depending on your symptoms and health.

There are options available with some specialist products and providers that might be more suitable or affordable. People with rheumatoid arthritis are more susceptible to musculoskeletal problems which are where things can be more complicated.

There are some extremely valuable policies that can provide vital cover for hospitalisation, accidental injury, disability, and more. We offer some fantastic policies that provide comprehensive cover for these types of situations for anyone with rheumatoid arthritis.

Medical conditions linked to rheumatoid arthritis

There are a number of autoimmune and other diseases that are commonly linked to rheumatoid arthritis, including:

Common questions about rheumatoid arthritis

Here are some of the most common questions that people ask about rheumatoid arthritis and living with this condition.

What are the early warning signs of rheumatoid arthritis?

There are several normal signs of developing rheumatoid arthritis that include:

  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Joint pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness of skin
  • Stiffness

Is rheumatoid arthritis serious?

This is a serious autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks your body’s tissue, which causes severe pain in joints, fatigue, and sometimes deformity. It generally affects people in their 40’s to 60’s but it can happen at any stage in life.

Can you live a long life with rheumatoid arthritis?

It is possible to live a long and healthy life with rheumatoid arthritis, however, there is a link between the condition and shorter lifespan. According to research, people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis will have a lower life expectancy of between 10 and 15 years.

Useful resources for rheumatoid arthritis

There are lots of links and resources for people living with rheumatoid arthritis and here are just a few that we have found.

NHS Choices – rheumatoid arthritis

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society – Charity

Pain UK – Charity

Arthritis Action – Charity

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