Can I get life insurance with COPD?

Yes, you can get life insurance with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), but the severity of your lung condition will affect your eligibility.

One of the best ways to find out your available policy options is to use a specialist life insurance broker, such as Reassured.

We have the experience and the expert knowledge to help you find the best life insurance companies and the best policies for people with COPD.

Our award-winning comparison service can provide you with multiple quotes from a panel of top UK insurers, completely free of charge and without obligation.

Simply get in touch if you need help arranging affordable financial protection today.

Reassured has written this COPD life insurance guide to explain your policy options as well as answer some common questions...

About COPD and life insurance

What is COPD?

COPD is a degenerative disease of the lungs which affects around 3 million people in the UK[1].

It’s the name for a group of lung conditions which include:

  • Emphysema
  • Chronic bronchitis

The two main symptoms of COPD are breathlessness and coughing which can get progressively worse as you age.

While the condition cannot be cured or reversed, for many people, treatment can help keep it under control[2].

If you’re living with COPD, then you may feel that it’s imperative to have financial protection in place should the worst happen to you.

What is life insurance?

A life insurance policy is designed to pay out a cash lump sum to your loved ones when you pass away, helping to relieve financial stress during a difficult time.

Depending on your personal circumstances, and the level of cover you can get, the pay out from a life insurance policy could be used towards expenses such as:

  • Funeral services (average cost of a UK funeral £4,056[3])
  • Mortgage or rent payments
  • Household bills and family living costs
  • Outstanding debts in your name

Life insurance can also provide a cash gift for loved ones after you’re gone.

You can choose from different policy types depending on your needs and budget - keep reading as these are outlined later on in the article...

How much life insurance do you need?

Find out how much COPD life insurance you may need by filling in this calculator with the costs you would like your policy to cover.

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£121,687 is the estimated average outstanding mortgage per household in the UK.

Our property is generally the largest financial commitment any of us will make.

Your life insurance should cover this significant debt should you no longer be around.

£
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According to Money Advice Service, full-time childcare in the UK now costs £242 a week.

The loss of a parent could result in the need for additional childcare whilst the surviving parent increases their hours to account for lost income.

Your life insurance cover should factor in this additional required outgoing.

£
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The average level of debt (minus a mortgage) in the UK is £15,385.

Factoring in any outstanding debts in your name when arranging life insurance ensures this burden is not passed to loved ones.

£
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You may wish to leave your loved ones an inheritance or lump sum gift upon your passing.

Factoring in the gift amount when arranging your cover will ensure the pay out amount will be sufficient to provide your loved ones with this selfless gesture.

£
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According to SunLife, the average cost of a UK funeral is now £4,417, whilst the total cost of dying is £9,493.

This is a 130% increase over the past 16 years and shows no signs of slowing down.

A significant cost which should be factored into the amount of life insurance you secure.

£
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If you are one of the 65% of the UK who are lucky enough to have savings, this could be used as protection if you were to pass away.

Any pay outs from existing life insurance policies and investments can also be used as financial protection for your loved ones if you were no longer around.

Factor this into your required cover amount.

£ -

Your total cover estimate

£ 0

Let us find your best quotes.

How does COPD affect life insurance?

If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD, then insurers will take this into account when assessing your life insurance application.

The severity of your symptoms and how the condition impacts your day-to-day life will influence your chances of securing a policy and the cost of your premiums.

For example:

  • Non-smokers with very mild COPD may have their application accepted but with a small premium loading (a loading is the percentage increase on top of a standard premium)
  • Non-smokers with moderate COPD may have their application accepted but with a significant premium loading, or they may be declined
  • Those who smoke, have severe COPD and/or other related health complications, will most likely have their application declined

If you’ve been declined in the past, or your quotes have been too expensive through mainstream insurers, then you could try a specialist insurer.

Specialist insurers are more likely to offer you a policy when others won’t, and their terms are much better for applicants with pre-existing medical conditions.

Whether you have mild, moderate or severe COPD, it’s important to shop around and compare quotes from different insurers to find the best solution.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to do this is by getting in touch with Reassured.

Life insurance policies for people with COPD

Type of life insurance for copd over 50s

Over 50s life insurance

You may consider an over 50s plan if you’re aged 50 - 85 and suffer with moderate or severe COPD, as there’re no medical questions.

Policy key features:

  • Provides a cash pay out (up to £20,000) when you pass away
  • Typically used to cover funeral costs and/or to leave an inheritance
  • Guarantees acceptance to UK residents aged 50 - 85
  • Application doesn’t require medical information
  • Fixed monthly premiums until you turn 90 (or until you pass away)
  • Premiums from just £5 a month + through Reassured
Type of life insurance for copd

Term life insurance

This is usually the most affordable type of life insurance. Those with mild COPD may be able to secure a low rate for cover.

Policy key features:

  • Provides a cash pay out if you pass away during the term (2 - 40 years)
  • Typically used to cover a mortgage, replace an income or to leave an inheritance
  • Application requires medical information
  • Fixed monthly premiums until the policy expires (or until you pass away)
  • Can choose between a level or decreasing cover amount
  • Comes with terminal illness cover as standard

Funeral plan

A funeral plan could be a good option for people with COPD who want to leave behind some funds for family but can’t secure suitable life insurance.

Policy key features:

  • Allows you to plan and pay for your funeral in advance
  • Includes essential funeral director services and items such as a hearse and coffin
  • Guarantees acceptance to UK applicants aged 50 - 80 (no medical questions)
  • Monthly premiums required until you turn 90 (or until you pass away)
  • Guarantees to pay out for your funeral after two years
  • Premiums beginning from £19.18 a month ^ through Reassured

Whole of life insurance

Whole of life insurance may not be suitable for people with COPD because premiums are usually more expensive than other types of life insurance, even before a loading is applied.

Policy key features:

  • Provides lifelong cover and guarantees a cash pay out when you pass away
  • Typically used to cover funeral costs, pay off a mortgage and/or leave an inheritance
  • Application requires medical information
  • Potential pay out much higher than an over 50s plan
  • Fixed monthly premiums until you pass away

How much does COPD life insurance cost?

The cost of your life insurance depends on your personal circumstances and the policy you choose.

For example, if you opted for a whole of life or term life insurance policy, then your monthly premium will be influenced by the following factors:

  • Your age, medical history, weight (BMI), and smoking status
  • The type and severity of your lung condition
  • The terms of your policy (length of cover, level of cover etc)

On the other hand, if you opted for an over 50s plan then your monthly premium will be calculated based on just a few simple factors. These include:

  • Your age
  • Level of cover
  • Smoking status (with some insurers)

Whether you have a medical condition or not, over 50s plans arranged through Reassured start from just £5 a month.

While it may be difficult to secure an affordable whole of life insurance policy when you have COPD, it may be possible to secure term life insurance at a good rate.

If your condition is particularly severe and you need to apply for cover with a specialist insurer, then premiums through our partner The Exeter start from just £15 a month »

The cost of life insurance varies greatly between insurers so it’s important to compare multiple quotes.

Get free COPD life insurance quotes by using our award-winning, fee-free broker service.

What questions will I be asked about my COPD during the application?

Applying for life insurance with COPD will require you to answer some questions about your condition.

The information you provide will allow the insurer to assess the level of risk you pose and calculate your monthly premium.

Some common questions include:

  • When were you diagnosed with COPD?
  • What are your symptoms and how frequent are they?
  • Do you take any medication?
  • Do you use an inhaler?
  • Do you need to use an oxygen cylinder?
  • How often do you use a Nebuliser?
  • Do you take any time-off work due to COPD?

The more detail you can provide about your COPD, the quicker your application will be approved.

What happens if I don’t disclose COPD during the application?

If you don’t disclose that you have COPD, then this will invalidate your life insurance policy and a pay out would be denied when you pass away.

For this reason, it’s really important to be 100% honest and accurate on your application form and while providing information about your COPD.

Will I need to have a medical?

No, not necessarily. You may not need to have a full medical exam to take out life insurance with COPD.

Generally, insurers can offer you a policy straight away based on the information you provide during the medical questionnaire.

If you apply for cover and the insurer can’t make an immediate decision, then they’ll postpone your application while obtaining more information about your health.

For a more detailed picture of your health, they could ask for one of the following:

  • A medical report from your GP (obtained with your permission)
  • A mini screening with a nurse
  • A full medical exam with your GP

If you’re asked to undergo a mini screening or a full medical exam, then this will be carried out at a time and place convenient for you. The insurer will also cover the cost.

How can I save money on my premiums?

It’s possible to get cheaper quotes for life insurance if you take the following steps:

  1. Accept the necessary treatment options recommended to you by your doctor
  2. Take care of your physical and mental health, for example don’t smoke, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight
  3. Provide as much information as you can about your condition to insurers - you may pose less of a risk than you think
  4. Don’t delay taking out life insurance as premiums increase as you get older and your condition may worsen
  5. Make the most of a fee-free broker to help you find the best policies with the best possible quotes

Life insurance for smokers with COPD

If you’re a smoker with COPD then you’ll probably be declined traditional life insurance.

This is because cigarette smoking is the number one cause of COPD and continuing to smoke will make the condition worse.

You may be able to secure life insurance if you’ve given up smoking and have been smoke-free for at least 12 months.

However, some insurers will still consider you a smoker up to 5 years after you’ve quit.

We have written a dedicated life insurance for smokers guide if you need more information »

Smokers with pre-existing medical conditions will have a better chance of securing a funeral plan or an over 50s plan - get in touch with Reassured to compare quotes.

Life insurance for seniors with COPD

Typically, people with COPD are diagnosed later in life as this is when symptoms start to appear[4].

As a result, you may be in your 60s, 70s or even 80s looking for life insurance protection for the first time.

Traditional life insurance or even specialist life insurance may be too expensive or simply unsuitable for you due to your age.

However, if you’d like to leave behind some money for your funeral or as an inheritance, then you may consider an over 50s plan.

This type of policy is quite popular among senior citizens with pre-existing medical conditions.

This is because it guarantees acceptance if you’re aged 50 - 85 and you don’t have to provide any medical information during the application process.

Your premiums would be calculated based on your age, the level of cover you need and your smoking status (depending on the insurer).


The table below shows how much cover you could secure at each age, with an over 50s plan, for an example premium price of £20 per month. Quotes are based on a non-smoker:

AgeSum assured
50£7,417
55£6,108
60£5,217
65£4,078
70£3,015
75£2,137
80£1,538


Contact Reassured for your free, personalised over 50s life insurance quotes.

Can I get critical illness cover with COPD?

COPD sufferers may be able to take out critical illness cover to protect their income should they become seriously ill.

Critical illness cover provides a cash pay out if you’re diagnosed with a critical illness while the policy is active.

The money can be used to cover:

  • Rent or mortgage repayments
  • Day-to-day living costs
  • Home adaptions
  • Private medical treatment

Critical illness cover can be taken out as a standalone policy or as part of a life insurance policy for an additional cost.

It will only cover specific illnesses and, if you have COPD, it may exclude this condition and any related illnesses - meaning you won’t be able to make a claim for these.

Is COPD classed as a critical illness?

Yes, some insurers class COPD as a critical illness, but only in severe cases.

The specific illnesses covered under your policy will be included in your policy conditions.

As mentioned, if you’ve been diagnosed with COPD prior to taking out critical illness cover, then it’s likely that this condition will be excluded from your policy.

If you’re diagnosed with COPD after taking out critical illness cover, and it’s one of the illnesses covered under your policy, you should be able to make a claim.

Life insurance quotes with COPD [Find the best deal]

If you need help arranging life insurance with COPD then get in touch with our expert broker service.

Here at Reassured, we’re able to identify the best insurers for people with lung conditions from our panel of mainstream and specialist insurers.

We also have a dedicated impaired life insurance team, who’ve helped find cover for 45% of applicants declined elsewhere.

Our award-winning service is fee-free and without obligation. We simply provide all the information you need to make a fully informed decision.

A friendly member of our team can also help you fill in the application form, answer any questions you may have and decipher any jargon.

Get in touch today for your free COPD life insurance quotes, there’s nothing to lose!

Sources:

[1] https://cks.nice.org.uk/topics/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease/background-information/prevalence-incidence/

[2] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-copd/

[3] https://www.sunlife.co.uk/siteassets/documents/cost-of-dying/cost-of-dying-report.pdf/

[4] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-copd/symptoms/

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