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Insurance for people with existing medical conditions

It's a common misconception that you can't get health or life insurance cover with a pre-existing medical condition. This guide can help you understand more about the types of insurance available, and whether this includes cover for chronic conditions.
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Insurance for people with existing medical conditions
Insurance for people with existing medical conditions

Insurance for people with existing medical conditions

You can get health or life insurance cover even if you have a pre-existing medical condition, although you may need to go to a specialist insurer and pay additional premiums.

Can I get insurance if I have a chronic health condition?

If you suffer from a chronic health condition or have a history of medical issues, it could still be possible to get tailored cover that can include health insurance for chronic conditions. Some insurers will consider those with existing or previous medical conditions. 

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This is good news for those with a previous history of medical conditions, as both health and life insurance can offer valuable peace of mind.

What types of insurance are available to people with existing medical conditions?

Private medical insurance can help provide you with the best level of care if you fall ill or have an accident. Life insurance can ensure your family are provided for financially should you pass away.

Some health insurance providers will accept people with pre-existing conditions although these might be excluded from the terms and conditions of mainstream policies. If you have pre-existing medical conditions, it’s important you understand your options.

The effect your previous medical conditions have on your cover will depend on the type of condition, whether you are still affected by it, as well as the type of cover you are looking for. It could increase the premium or require you to pay an additional premium to specialist insurer. Or specific types of claims related to that condition may be excluded (such as claims within the first two years, for example).

What is considered a chronic condition? 

When talking about a chronic health condition, this is considered anything that a person is not likely to recover from.

These include Alzheimer's disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and asthma.

Usually, insurance policies are in place for people who develop an illness after they have taken out a policy. Any health-related illness that is known before the policy is taking out, is considered to be one that is pre-existing.

Typically, this usually relates to a condition where you are already receiving treatment or care, or when the symptoms have already been identified. It could also include any condition that you have contacted your GP about, or that you are having tests or outpatient investigations for.

More people develop some form of pre-existing condition as you get older, for example from your 50s onwards.

Can I find a specialist life insurer for existing conditions?

Although fewer life insurance companies will offer cover to people with previous or existing medical conditions, there are specialist providers available that will be willing to help you.

You may be able to get life insurance without any exclusions (meaning you still get a payout even if you die from a condition you have declared to your insurer), but the cost of cover may be higher to reflect the increased risk. However, life insurance can bring peace of mind if you are worried about providing for your family or paying off your debts after your death.

The best way to find an affordable life insurance policy with a history of medical issues is to talk to a professional who will take your unique needs into account.

If you’d like to discuss your options with a life insurance expert, call our partners ActiveQuote on 0800 862 0360.

How do I find health insurance if I have pre-existing medical conditions?

If you are looking to take out health insurance and have a history of medical problems, your insurer is likely to impose some exclusions on your policy. For example, if you have had a history of heart problems, your health insurance is unlikely to cover you for any treatment relating to this condition. This also applies if you have a chronic, ongoing condition such as diabetes or arthritis for example.

Your insurer may offer you one of two types of insurance policy specifically designed for those with previous or existing medical conditions:

Moratorium underwriting 

Most health insurers will use moratorium underwriting for customers with a history of medical issues. Your cover will usually exclude any conditions you have suffered symptoms or received treatment for in the past five years.

However, your insurer may agree to cover you for those conditions if you go two years without any symptoms, treatment or advice once you have taken out the cover.

Full medical cover underwriting 

If you state that you have pre-existing medical conditions, your insurer may suggest full medical underwriting (access to your medical records or speaking to your GP). Your insurer will never do this without your permission. Your insurer will use the details of your medical history to determine which conditions are excluded from your policy or how much you will pay to be fully covered.

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*Based on a treatment and full diagnosis level of cover for a 30-year-old non-smoking male with no pre-existing medical conditions (March 2023)

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