What is impaired life insurance?
If you have ever heard the term ‘impaired risk’, or ‘impaired life’, in relation to life insurance, you might wonder what it means?
More importantly, if you are classified as impaired risk, you will want to know what impact this has on you securing affordable life insurance.
Impaired risk refers to an applicant who does not meet the insurer’s ‘standard‘ criteria to obtain the most affordable rate. Impaired, signifies that you are considered a higher risk and therefore more difficult to insure.
If you are regarded as impaired, the insurer has decided that because of certain key factors, often health-related, you are more likely to make a claim.
As a result of being deemed a higher risk, your life insurance premiums will be more expensive compared with a standard applicant with comparable coverage.
Does this mean you cannot secure life insurance cover?No. Although a small percentage of applications are declined outright, in the majority of cases being impaired does not mean you are uninsurable.
The modern life insurance market is much more accommodating than it used to be, and provisions for all sorts of circumstances.
Some insurers now specialise in providing impaired life policies and being labelled as impaired does not mean you will not be able to secure cover.
It may mean, however, that you need to shop around and compare quotes in order to find the most competitive deals.
At Reassured, 45.2% of customers who had previously been declined life insurance cover, are accepted on a policy through us.
Who is classed as an impaired risk for life insurance?There are many reasons why an insurer’s underwriters may class you as an impaired risk.
1) Medical condition
You may be considered as impaired if you have a pre-existing medical condition, which could impact your life expectancy and/or your ability to work.
Those with a family history of hereditary health problems, drug and/or alcohol addiction, heavy smokers or the clinically obese may also fit into this category.
Monthly premiums could increase by 25%, 50%, 75%, 100% or even 150%+, depending on how serious a risk the condition is considered.
Common ‘impaired’ illnesses/conditions include:
- Crohn’s disease
- Heart attack
- Mental health / Severe depression
- Multiple sclerosis
2) Dangerous occupations
People who work in a job where there is an increased risk of death and/or serious injury, are likely to be classed as impaired too.
This includes those in the armed forces, people who work at height, as well as those that handle heavy machinery.
Common ‘impaired’ occupations include:
- Armed services
- Police service
- Fire service
- Offshore workers
- Prison officer
- Airline pilot
- HGV driver.
3) Sports professionals
Some sporting professionals may also find they are a higher risk in the eyes of the insurance underwriters.
Sports deemed dangerous and where there is statistically a greater chance of serious injury or death include:
- Equestrian sports
4) Dangerous hobbies / Extreme sports
Even if you do not play a sport professionally, your lifestyle can impact your life insurance.
If you regularly enjoy extreme sports, such as snowboarding, it is likely to increase the cost of your premiums.
Commons ‘impaired’ hobbies include:
- Scuba diving
- Rock climbing
- Bungee jumping
How does impaired life affect your policy?The main impact being an impaired risk will have on your policy is the amount you pay for your monthly premium.
Another potential impact is some insurers may ask more health and lifestyle questions. Others may request access to your medical records.
In certain cases, you may be asked to go for a medical, in order to satisfy the insurer of your current health.
Depending on the severity of your medical condition, insurers may also enforce exclusions. For example, if you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your insurer may exclude any future claims directly relating to that condition, like coronary artery disease.
Use a broker to compare quotes and secure the right policyThis is the ideal scenario in which to utilise our free, no obligation broker service at Reassured.
Allow us to search the market on your behalf, finding you the best possible policy quotes, to compare.
Remember, many comparison websites do not show you the whole wide range of insurers available.
Read our blog post 9 reasons to use a life insurance broker »
Reassured's specialist impaired risk teamNot all impaired applicants are handled in the same way. Different insurers will employ different underwriting criteria, meaning premiums can vary in cost.
At Reassured, we offer customers a dedicated impaired team who specialise in finding suitable cover for all non-standard applicants.
Often, we are able to use our knowledge and experience to help secure a policy for those who have previously been declined elsewhere.
Read our Q&A blog post with Impaired Life Manager, Rob Rutherford »
Impaired life insurance cover in summary:
- You may be impaired as a result of a medical condition, dangerous occupation or hobby
- Impaired risk applicants will pay more for their premiums
- This does not mean all impaired applicants are uninsurable
- Impaired life quotes can vary, as insurers employ different underwriting criteria
- Some insurers put exclusions in your policy, meaning you cannot claim in certain scenarios
- There are insurers that specialise in providing impaired life insurance
- Undergoing a medical could reassure your insurer and reduce your premium
- Cover ends if you do not make your monthly premium payments.
Why use Reassured to find the best impaired life quotes?
- We have a dedicated impaired team, who will work tirelessly to secure you cover
- We have a great track record of securing cover for those who have previously been declined
- We have years of experience working with major insurers and smaller specialists
- We understand the different underwriting processes and criteria insurers employ
- We will scan the market on your behalf, identifying the most competitive quotes
- 13,500+ people cannot be wrong! We have an ‘Excellent‘ average Trustpilot rating of 9.6/10
- We are completely independent, impartial and never charge you a fee
- There is no obligation to take out a policy
- We are a non-advised broker – we listen to your unique circumstances and find the most suitable policies.