Common Medical Conditions and Adverse Health
There are a number of common medical conditions that people live their day to day lives with that often deters them from taking out insurance. The truth of the matter is that many of these conditions, as long as they are disclosed, will not cause you any concern whilst taking out your insurance.
Please find some information on some common medical conditions and how they are dealt with by the insurers.
Life Insurance for Diabetics
Since 1996, the amount of people living in the UK with diabetes has risen to 2.9 million, and by 2025, it is believed that the UK will have over 5 million diabetics (1). This is largely due to increased and improved medical advancements in that they are able to identify the condition sooner. The number of people being diagnosed with diabetes has also risen, due to due to an increase in obesity and an aging population. Diabetes is a long term condition and can affect your life, however it is a liveable condition and many people with diabetes continue to live full lives. Diabetes is usually found within two groups;
Type 1- This is when there is no insulin being produced by the pancreas; this is the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels in the body. If these levels are not regulated and the amount of glucose in the body is too high, it can seriously damage the internal organs.
Type 2 - This is the most common type of diabetes and is where there is not enough insulin being produced in the body or the insulin is there but not aiding the body to work properly.
High blood pressure and Life Cover
Blood is pumped through your body and when it presses against your arteries your blood pressure can be measured. If the pressure is too high it will put strain on your body, which may result in a heart attack or stroke.
Blood pressure is recorded as two separate ﬁgures:
- Systolic pressure – the reading as the heart beats to pump out the blood
- Diastolic pressure – the reading as the heart rests between beats
A blood pressure reading of below 130/80 mmHg is considered normal.
970 million people around the world are believed to have high blood pressure. High blood pressure used to make it more difficult to obtain life insurance. If you suffered with the condition, you would almost always incur a 50% increase on your premiums. As medical advancements have developed so has the insurance company’s willingness to offer people who suffer with high blood pressure a life cover policy (2).
If you suffer with high blood pressure and wish to take out a life cover policy, there is some key information that you will need to provide;
- How much medication you are taking
- How often you are reviewed
- Your last review date
- Your latest blood pressure reading
- Any other complications
- Whether you are awaiting any tests
Armed with this information, your Proadvice adviser will be able to place you with the correct insurance company who, not only will be able to offer you terms straight away with no medical assessment but also with no loadings on your premium due to the condition. This result will be subject to underwriting and if you have readings of 177/106 or if you suffer from spikes in the blood pressure, this may result in further information being needed.
High cholesterol and Life Cover
High cholesterol, or Hypercholesterolemia, usually develops from a poor diet, smoking, high alcohol intake and being overweight. This condition does not usually cause too many problems immediately but if left unchecked can cause cardiovascular problems such as a stroke and heart attack.
High cholesterol is where cholesterol builds up around your arteries causing them to become congested and limiting the blood flow around your body. If your arteries become too blocked, this can cause an extreme health risk and an operation is normally required.
A change in diet, regular exercise and statins can often help lower cholesterol. As with blood pressure, knowing your reading when you apply for your policy can be a big help for the insurance company. If your cholesterol levels are well controlled and there are no other complications there should be no reason why you should have any difficulty in getting a life protection plan. Some insurance companies may be able to offer you cover within 24 hours, providing you are able to present them with all of your information.
Asthma and Life Cover
Living with asthma can sometimes make it difficult to arrange a life protection plan. Every insurance company will ask different questions in relation to the condition and has different ways of dealing with clients that suffer with asthma, for example some insurance companies may load your premiums with a 50% increase, dependent on when you were first diagnosed.
If you have never needed oral steroids, are a non-smoker and have never been hospitalised due to your asthma then this should not cause too many problems when applying for your life insurance. To be sure that you are being placed with the right company that can offer you the best policy available in relation to your asthma, please do not hesitate to speak to your Proadvice financial adviser today.
Life Insurance for people living with HIV
In the UK today, the fastest growing serious health condition is HIV (1). Unlike before, it is no longer classed as the death sentence it once was. Living in the western world we have access to medical treatment that can help many people to live normal lives. Recently, no insurance company would offer you a life insurance policy if you were living with HIV. This is until Pruprotect (one of the larger, more popular insurers), brought out their innovative product which now means that life cover can be offered to people who have HIV.
The criteria is strict and the applicant must be;
- Aged between 25 and 50
- Not have contracted HIV through intravenous drug use
- Must be receiving Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART)
- Living in the UK, receiving treatment for at least six months and commenced treatment in the last five years
- Treatment should result with increased CD4 cell count and viral load should be suppressed to a near undetectable level
- Must be Hepatitis B and C negative
Providing you meet all of the criteria stated by the provider and there are no other medical conditions, you are able to take out a life insurance plan. Please be aware that at this moment in time there is no income protection or critical illness cover available. The only type of sickness cover available to HIV sufferers is the short term accident and sickness plans. These are 12 monthly contracts and would offer a full HIV and related conditions exclusion.