Direct Line magazine

Getting life Insurance with pre-existing medical conditions

Updated on: 4 November 2022

a couple look over documents

Life insurance can be a great way of helping to protect your family’s financial future, as it’s designed to provide a payout in the event of your death during the policy term. This money could be used to help make mortgage repayments or keep up with bills.

However, if you have a medical condition, you may need to give extra details about your health when you apply for life insurance. The insurer can then assess your application based on your individual circumstances.

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

Insurers will have their own list of medical conditions and other questions that they will want to know about.

Here are a few medical conditions that could be asked about:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity

Can I get life insurance if I have a medical condition?

All life insurance policies are assessed according to a person’s individual circumstances, so there’s no definite answer. The likelihood is you’ll be able to get cover if you shop around, but you may pay a higher premium.

What information will I need to give to my insurer?

If you have a medical condition, the chances are you’ll need to disclose more information. And you have to be honest. If there’s a claim related to a medical condition you didn’t disclose, it could be void and the claim may not be paid.

If you reveal a condition, your insurer may ask more questions in order to fully assess your application. You could be asked to provide details on your general health, weight and how much you drink and smoke. Family history may also be requested, including:

  • The number of relatives affected by a condition
  • How old they were at the time

There’s likely to be questions on the specific condition too.

As part of the purchase process, the insurer will send you a copy of the disclosures you made when you took out the policy, so you can check they’re correct. It’s very important you let your insurer know if the answers are incorrect, as this could affect the payout in the event of a claim.

What is full medical cover underwriting?

If you have a medical condition, the insurer may ask for more medical information or for you to be assessed by a medical expert. They can only do this with your permission, as it gives the insurer full access to your medical records.

What are exclusions on a life insurance policy?

Once your insurer is happy with the details they have been given, they’ll be able to offer you a life insurance policy or they may decline your application, depending on their assessment of risk.

The insured taking their life through suicide within the first year of the policy is a common exclusion, which will typically result in the policy being cancelled. You should always check your policy wording for any exclusions.

What can a payout be spent on?

Life insurance can be used to help financially support your family, and a payout may be used to help with:

  • Your mortgage or rent: After the death of one partner, the mortgage still needs to be paid. A lump sum could be enough to help pay towards the mortgage.
  • Debts: Likewise, a life insurance payout can also be used to help clear debts and provide a better financial future.
  • Childcare: The cost of childcare can be very expensive. With a life insurance payout, the surviving partner could be able to afford care when they return to work.
  • Education: With further education there could be more opportunities for your children, and a life insurance payout could be used towards their tuition.
  • Everyday essentials: It’s not just any outstanding debts that the surviving partner will need to pay. Everyday bills are just as expensive, including food shops and utilities.

A life insurance payout can be used for whatever your family want or need most.

Life Insurance from Direct Line

Direct Line’s life insurance is provided and administered by AIG. We offer life insurance that is assessed according to a person’s individual circumstances.

You’ll be asked to answer questions including those relating to your health and lifestyle, and you may be asked for further medical or lifestyle information during the application process. AIG reports that 94% of applicants get a decision right away. (Based on AIG Data 2019) You should answer the questions truthfully and refer to the policy documentation to make sure the policy is suitable for you. You can find out more here.

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