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Asthma life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection

The facts about getting life insurance with Asthma

Asthma is a common long-term inflammatory disease of the airways of the lungs. Symptoms vary between sufferers, and include episodes of wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. If you suffer from Asthma, you may find that taking out Asthma life insurance is a worthwhile option.

If you’re looking for Asthma life insurance, you should have no issues in getting covered for the majority of cases, especially if your symptoms are mild and you were diagnosed many years ago. Asthma life insurance is generally seen as low risk by many underwriters, though this will depend on whether you smoke, your general health, and whether you are taking any medications to control your symptoms. More severe cases and those who suffer from multiple and frequent attacks may be declined or have greater premiums applied to their policy.

What does Asthma life insurance cost?

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

  • Age you were first diagnosed
  • Whether you use inhalers, steroids or medication to control your symptoms
  • When you experienced your first attack and its severity
  • Hospitalisation
  • Time you have had off of work

Your premiums for Asthma life insurance will also depend on:

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

Asthma life insurance rates/ratings

Rates for any non-standard cover such as Asthma 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 Asthma 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 Asthma 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 Asthma life insurance

You may also find that a ‘per mille loading’ could be applied to your Asthma 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 Asthma life insurance policy, or for a period of time from the start of your policy (e.g. 2, 3, 4 or 5 years).

Another potential outcome when applying for a non-standard cover such as Asthma 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 Asthma 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.

It is difficult to say how much cover you need when you are applying for an Asthma life insurance, critical illness cover or income protection 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.

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

  • 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.)

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)

Asthma is generally a mild to moderate medical condition, so most Asthma critical illness cover will generally be offered at a standard rate. Like Asthma life insurance, underwriters will require information such as any time you have had off work with your condition, hospitalisation or medications taken. If you have more regular attacks, critical illness cover may be accepted with special terms imposed, such as premium loadings or exclusions. Note that smoking is generally negatively viewed when underwriters are assessing risk for Asthma critical illness cover.

Income protection is a very flexible product with a lot of options and variables so you need to consider your own circumstances before you consider this type of policy. If you work and especially for people who are self-employed, an Asthma income protection policy can be a valuable product to give you peace of mind if anything happens to you. Some of the main aspects to consider are:

  • Monthly income (after tax)
  • Mortgage/rent payments
  • Debts (other)
  • Cost of living

Those with mild symptoms who apply for Asthma income protection are generally accepted with no increase to premiums. In more severe cases however, where there are more frequent attacks and related time off work, it may not be possible to get an Asthma income protection policy depending on your health and severity of symptoms. You can speak to one of our team at Iam Insured to talk about your options and whether this applies to you.

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