Pre-existing medical conditions in the UK

The number of people in the UK currently living with at least one long-term health condition is over 15 million.

This figure is expected to rise to over 18 million within the next decade[1].

With regards to life insurance, this type of condition is referred to as a pre-existing medical condition.

This encompasses aliments that existed or still exist at the point of application.

Can you get life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

Due to the increased risks associated with these conditions, it’s often believed that obtaining life cover isn’t impossible.

Thankfully, this isn’t the case and you can still secure affordable life cover even with a pre-existing condition.

However, your medical wellbeing is highly likely to have an impact on your life insurance. Let’s look at the detail…

Cancer, heart attack and stroke sufferers can still secure life insurancePrevious sufferers of cancer, a heart attack or a stroke can secure life insurance


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Compare quotes, (secure cover and save money)

To obtain affordable life insurance with a pre-existing medical condition it’s essential to compare quotes from multiple insurers.

Cover type and cost will vary significantly between insurers, as will their willingness to provide you cover.

By using an award-winning insurance broker, such as Reassured, you can not only secure the best deal by comparing a large panel of insurers, but also leverage our ability to put you in touch with those insurers most likely to accept your application.

So, for your best chance at securing cost-effective life insurance, simply get in touch.

The importance of life insurance

Life insurance can secure the financial future of your loved ones if the worst were to happen to you.

As a sufferer of a pre-existing condition, the need for life insurance only becomes more prevalent as you live day-to-day aware of the risks associated with your condition.

Without adequate cover in place could your loved ones afford to:

Upon pay out, the sum assured could be used to cover all of these unexpected costs and free your family from financial strain following your passing.

Life insurance for pre-existing medical conditions

Obtaining life insurance when you suffer from a pre-existing medical condition can be more difficult and is likely to be more expensive.

This is due to the increased health risks associated with many of the conditions.

Insurers calculate the price of your monthly premiums based on how likely you are to make a claim.

Therefore, the higher the risk you pose, the more you’ll pay on a monthly basis.

On rare occasions, if the risk you pose is considered too high, some insurers may decline cover.

Luckily at Reassured, we offer a possible solution to both of these scenarios by comparing a large panel of insurers to get you the best quote.

What’s more, we have a dedicated impaired risk team who have obtained cover for 45% of people previously declined elsewhere.

Life insurance application for pre-existing medical conditions

Whilst all other aspects of the application will remain the same, further information regarding your condition is likely to be required prior to acceptance.

As a result, it’s likely your policy will undergo manual underwriting and could take a few days to be accepted.

Upon application, it’s likely the insurer will request to see your medical records, speak with your GP or require you to undergo a medical before a quote is provided.

This will allow them to determine the severity of your condition, any medication/treatment required and the impact the condition has on other aspects of your life.

All of this will be taken into account during the underwriting process to ensure your policy is tailored to your personal circumstances.

Before an insurer can gain access to your medical records or contact your GP, your consent must be obtained. However, if you refuse this, it’s likely your application will be declined.

Life insurance policies for pre-existing conditions

Whilst your policy may have to undergo manual underwriting, once it has been accepted, your cover will be enforced as standard.

This means that, unlike critical illness cover which may exclude one or more illnesses relating to your condition, your life insurance policy will cover you for all the same causes of death as cover offered to a standard applicant.

It’s important to remember, however, that whilst your cover will be standard, your premiums may still be inflated to compensate for the increased risk you pose.

Mortgage life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions

Fortunately, it’s not a legal requirement to have life insurance in order to obtain a mortgage.

But if you’re able to secure such protection and have dependants, it’s highly likely to be in your best interest.

Without adequate cover in place, if the worst were to happen to you, repayment of the mortgage would fall to your partner or children.

Inability to meet these repayments could result in having to move from the family home.

With the right cover in place, a pay out could be used to clear the mortgage, allowing your family’s lifestyle to be disrupted as little as possible.

Reassured's impaired team helps people with pre-existing conditions secure life insuranceReassured's impaired team helps people with pre-existing conditions secure life cover


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Impaired risk team, (free to use)

As previously mentioned, some insurers may decline cover if you suffer from a pre-existing medical condition.

At Reassured, we have an impaired risk team dedicated to helping those find cover who have been declined elsewhere.

Due to our larger panel and specialist skills, we’ve helped 45% of people secure a policy having previously been declined elsewhere.

So, don’t let previously being declined deter you from getting life insurance, there are still a number of options available to you.

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

As mentioned, a pre-existing condition is one which existed or still exists at the point of applying for life insurance.

The illnesses falling within this category will differ depending on the insurer.

When applying for life insurance, it’s essential to be completely honest about any medical ailments you suffer from to ensure that your policy is valid.

Common pre-existing medical conditions include:

On-going conditions:

Major life events:

Previous major life events, (cancer, heart attack, stroke)

Whilst pre-existing conditions can include manageable conditions like asthma, it also encompasses life-threatening major events such as a heart attack, stroke or cancer.

As with ongoing medical conditions, it’s still very possible to obtain life insurance if you’ve undergone a severe attack or life-threatening condition.

The application process will be the same, requiring medical information, and manual underwriting will provide a quote based on your personal circumstances.

Curable or manageable conditions

Ultimately, insurers will increase the cost of your premiums if your condition increases your likelihood to make a claim.

But curable and manageable illnesses (dependant on individual circumstance) may not threaten your mortality and therefore, may not affect how much you pay each month.

During the application process information regarding your condition will be gathered from questionnaires, medical records etc.

This information will then be processed by the underwriters and your premiums will be adjusted accordingly.

It’s always best to discuss this with your insurer to determine how your individual circumstance affects your policy.

Life insurance for people with pre-existing conditionsLife insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions


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Developing a medical condition during your policy

Developing a medical condition once your life insurance policy in place won’t affect the validity of your cover.

Providing you’re honest at the point of application, the validity of your policy will remain intact even if you develop a medical ailment during the term.

Non-Disclosure, (always be honest and transparent)

As discussed, you’re likely to pay higher monthly premiums due to a pre-existing condition which can make it tempting to lie about your illness.

However, whilst this may save you money in the short term, it can be extremely detrimental in the long run.

If upon your death it’s found that you have lied during the application, your loved ones may be denied a claim, leaving them with financial strain at an already stressful time.

Further to this, if found to have lied prior to your death, you may face charges for insurance fraud.

This can result in a fine and in some instances, imprisonment.

Therefore, to protect your loved ones, it’s essential you’re honest and forthcoming during the application process.

Guaranteed acceptance with no medical (over 50s plan)

Unfortunately, in some instances, you may still be declined life insurance if your pre-existing condition is severe enough.

However, there’s still one final option, an over 50s plan.

Available to those aged between 50-85, over 50 plans offer life insurance with no medical exam and don’t even require any medical information.

This eliminates the need to declare your pre-existing condition, opening you up to life insurance cover even if you’ve been previously declined.

Over 50 life insurance, however, does enforce a waiting period of 12-24 months from the start of your policy.

This means, if you were to die during this initial period, no pay out would be issued. (Although the premiums already paid in would be returned).

Lowering the cost of your premiums

Depending on your medical ailment, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the cost of your premium.

  1. Take out cover whilst you’re young
    Many conditions get worse with age, therefore, the younger you take out life insurance, the less developed your illness is likely to be and the less impact it’s likely to have had on other aspects of your health
  2. Live a healthy lifestyle
    Many conditions can be made worse by living an unhealthy lifestyle. For example, an unhealthy diet can cause hypertension and/or obesity. A healthy lifestyle will show insurers you’re making the best decisions possible to manage your condition accordingly
  3. Compare multiple quotes
    As discussed, different insurers can provide very different quotes. Search the market (or get us to do it on your behalf) to find your best deal.

Securing affordable life insurance with a pre-existing condition

It’s possible to secure affordable life insurance even with a pre-existing medical condition.

If you suffer a medical condition, premiums costs can vary more compared with a standard applicant.

As a result, it’s even more important to compare quotes to get the most cost-effective policy.

Using an FCA registered broker, such as Reassured, will allow us to compare quotes and leverage our skills to find cover where you may otherwise be declined.

…and the best part is our award-winning service is completely free to use.

Get in touch today to start your journey towards affordable life insurance cover.


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Sources:

[1] https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/fca-challenges-industry-improve-access-insurance-people-pre-existing-medical-conditions