Sickle cell life insurance quick summary

  • Sickle cell life insurance’ isn’t a specific product. This is simply a term used to describe a life insurance policy that’s taken out by someone who has sickle cell disease (SCD)
  • It could be possible to get life insurance if you have sickle cell, depending on your personal circumstances and the insurer you apply with
  • The application process will include questions relating to your condition, and you may need to provide consent for the insurer to access your medical records
  • If you’re declined by mainstream insurers, you may have better success with specialist insurers (those that offer specialised cover to high-risk applicants)
  • If you’re UK resident aged 50 - 85, there’s also the option of over 50s life insurance. This offers guaranteed acceptance and there’s no medical questions during the application process.
  • Those with sickle cell trait may not have a problem securing life insurance due to this condition alone, depending on their personal circumstances

Can a person with sickle cell get life insurance?

Yes, someone with sickle cell could get life insurance, but the process can be more challenging depending on your personal circumstances.

Key factors such as the severity of your symptoms, the treatment you’ve received and whether you have any other health problems will affect your application.

Some mainstream insurers may be able to offer you cover, but the cost of your premiums could be higher than for someone who doesn’t have a medical condition.

If your application is declined by mainstream insurers, there could be other options available such as specialist life insurance or an over 50s plan.

At Reassured, we have many years of experience helping applicants with pre-existing conditions secure protection for their loved ones.

Get in touch to make the most of our award-winning, fee-free broker service.

Do I need life insurance?

You may need life insurance if you have a partner or children who’d benefit from a cash pay out after you’re gone.

Life insurance is designed to help cover a range of costs, such as:

  • Funeral costs (the average cost of a funeral is £4,141[1])
  • Family living expenses such as utility bills, transport and food shops
  • Mortgage or rent payments
  • Childcare or school fees
  • Outstanding debts such as credit cards and personal loans
  • Inheritance tax bills

Having a policy in place can bring peace of mind, knowing that your family would be taken care of if you were no longer around.

How does sickle cell disease affect life insurance?

Sickle cell disease is a lifelong condition that could affect overall health and life expectancy.

As a result, those with sickle cell may struggle to secure some types of life insurance or face higher monthly premiums.

Insurers will ask questions related to your condition during the application process and may ask to see a medical report from your GP (with your consent).

The severity of your sickle cell disease and whether it’s led to any health complications (such as pain crises, anaemia or stroke) will be considered to determine your eligibility (and the price you may pay).

Although, every insurer has a different underwriting process (the process of assessing risk), so the outcome of your application will also depend on the insurer you apply with.

For this reason, it’s important to shop around and compare life insurance quotes from different insurers, including specialists.

Using a life insurance broker, such as Reassured, can help you to do this quickly and easily. Our team of dedicated experts can help to identify your possible options.

What information is required during the application process?

As part of the standard application process for life insurance, you’ll be asked to provide information about your health, lifestyle and family medical history.

If you’re living with sickle cell disease, insurers will also require more information about your condition so they can gain a better picture of your health.

They may want to know:

  • Type of sickle cell disease
  • Date of diagnosis
  • Frequency and severity of your symptoms (crises)
  • Treatment you’ve received and/or medication you’re taking
  • Impact it has on your daily life and ability to work
  • Whether you’ve been hospitalised due to sickle cell disease
  • Whether you’ve had any other related health complications

You’ll need to provide honest and accurate details to ensure that your application is underwritten correctly based on your circumstances.

What is the best sickle cell life insurance?

The best sickle cell life insurance for you will depend on your personal circumstances and budget.

At Reassured, we can compare quotes for a range of policy options, including these popular types:

Level term life insurance

Provides you with cover for a set term. Will pay out a fixed lump sum if you pass away during the term. Funds can help to cover large debts, such as an interest-only mortgage.


Decreasing term life insurance

Provides you with cover for a set term, paying out if you pass away during the term. Pay out amount reduces each month (or year) until it reaches zero (if you outlive the policy and it expires). Can help to cover a repayment mortgage or other debts that you’re paying off.


Whole of life insurance

Provides you with cover for the rest of your life. Will pay out a fixed lump sum when you pass away.


Over 50s life insurance

Provides immediate accidental death cover and life cover after 12 or 24 months (depending on the insurer). Guarantees acceptance to those who are UK residents aged 50 - 85 and application has no medical questions. Premiums start from just £5 a month + .

With term-based and whole of life insurance, you’ll need to provide medical information during the application process, which means that sickle cell disease could affect your eligibility and (if offered a policy) the cost of your monthly premium.

Get in touch with Reassured to compare the best life insurance options we can offer you based on your circumstances.

How much does sickle cell life insurance cost?

The cost of life insurance is based on your individual circumstances (and the level of risk you pose to the insurer).

Key factors which affect how much you pay include:

  • Your age
  • Smoking status
  • Health
  • Weight / BMI
  • Family medical history
  • Occupation / hobbies
  • Policy type
  • Policy length
  • Sum assured (cover amount)

As mentioned, those with sickle cell disease may pay more for life insurance due to the increased risk.

However, some insurers may offer you cover at a lower premium rate than others, which is why it’s important to compare quotes before settling on a policy.

Reassured provides a quote comparison across multiple insurers, including specialists, to see if we can help you find an affordable deal.

Contact our friendly team for your free, no-obligation quotes.

Will I need to have a medical exam?

It’s possible that you may be asked to attend a medical exam when applying for sickle cell life insurance, depending on the severity of your condition and the insurer you apply with.

A medical exam is a short assessment of your health carried out by a nurse or other healthcare professional. It involves a few simple tests and measurements that can help to determine your risk of developing certain health conditions.

While in some cases an insurer may require a physical exam to understand more about your health, often they may simply ask to see a medical report from your GP to help verify the information you’ve provided in your application.

In this instance, you’ll need to give your written consent for the insurer to contact your GP directly. If you’re unable to give consent, your application may be declined as the insurer won’t have access to the information they need to assess your level of risk.

Please note, if you’re asked to attend an exam or provide a medical report, this would be arranged by the insurer and won’t cost you anything.

Can you get critical illness cover with sickle cell disease?

People living with sickle cell disease may be able to secure critical illness cover, but it’s likely that some health conditions will be excluded from your cover.

It’s also possible that premiums will be more expensive than for those without a pre-existing condition, but it depends on your individual circumstances.

Critical illness cover is a type of policy that can provide financial protection if you’re unable to work due to a specified critical illness.

At Reassured, we offer critical illness cover for an additional cost alongside a term life insurance policy. Find out if this could be an option for you by getting in touch.

Life insurance with sickle cell anaemia trait

If you have sickle cell trait, which means you carry the gene that causes sickle cell disease but don’t have the illness yourself, this alone may not affect your life insurance options.

During the application, you may be asked if you’ve had any testing that shows you have the trait, and you may be asked if there are any conditions that run in your family (which may include sickle cell).

At Reassured, our experts can support you through the application process and answer any questions you may have regarding sickle cell trait life insurance.

What is sickle cell disease?

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder that can causes painful episodes (known as sickle cell crises), serious infections and anaemia[2].

It can also increase the risk of other health complications such as:

  • Stroke
  • Acute chest syndrome
  • Damage to organs such as lungs, kidneys, heart and liver

Approximately 17,500 people in the UK have sickle cell disorder[3]. Symptoms can be managed with various treatments, including:

  • Antibiotics
  • Pain killers
  • Drinking plenty of fluids and keeping warm
  • Blood transfusions

Sickle cell advice & support

There are a range of support services available in the UK for people living with sickle cell disease, including:

Compare life insurance with sickle cell quotes

At Reassured, we provide a fee-free, no-obligation broker service to help you navigate your life insurance options.

We use our expertise and knowledge to identify which insurers from our panel may be able to accept your application and offer the best terms for your circumstances.

Even if you’ve been declined in the past, our specialist impaired risk team may be able to help you find some form of cover that suits your needs.

We do our best to help you secure financial protection for your family, so you can be reassured and enjoy peace of mind.

Make the most of our award-winning service today.

Sources:

[1] https://www.sunlife.co.uk/funeral-costs/

[2] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sickle-cell-disease/

[3] https://www.sicklecellsociety.org/about-sickle-cell/

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