Can I get life insurance if I have Crohn’s disease?
Hi, I suffer from Crohn's Disease although my symptoms are fairly mild. I'm looking to take out life insurance to cover my mortgage as I've just bought a house but I've heard that the insurance companies' underwriters can be difficult. Is this true? Can I get life insurance if I have Crohn's disease and if so how much will it cost?
The answer is usually yes you can get life insurance if you have Crohn's disease, but it can take a little longer than a normal application.
It will however come with a higher premium, known as a medical loading. This final premium loading will really depend on how bad you suffer from the condition.
If you only suffer from minor symptoms, which are controlled by your medication, or the disease is in remission, then you can expect to receive a loading of between 50% and 75%, which means they increase the normal premium by 50%/75%.
For example a normal policy might cost someone without Crohn’s £20 per month. The same person with a loading for Crohn’s of 50% would mean a premium of around £30, and a 75% loading around £35. You’ll notice I say around rather an exact number, as it is usually a £1 or two different.
However, this is only a guideline as before the application is approved you are likely to have to go through what is known as Tele-Underwriting, with a qualified Nurse practitioner. This means the Nurse will discuss your condition with you on the telephone, requiring full details of any operations, or medication that you have had. In some cases this interview may even be conducted face-to-face at your home.
In addition it is likely that they will write to your GP for detailed medical information to complete the process. Of course the outcome of this Underwriting process could be that they decide your Crohn’s is a bit more serious! This would affect the final premium offered.
A Case Study example
A client has disclosed they were diagnosed with Crohn’s disease about 3 years ago. Following completion of the Tele-Underwriting process it became clear that the client was indeed diagnosed three years ago, with the last attack around two years ago. Since then they have only suffered mild symptoms, and have not required hospitalisation. The disease is currently controlled by their medication and is limited to their small bowel only.
The particular provider therefore offered terms of PLUS 50% medical loading, which is the minimum that we could have hoped for. The main thing is the client now has the important protection that they need.
What if I can’t afford life insurance with Crohn’s disease?
It should be noted that if the premium offered is outside of your affordable budget you could then ask for the level of cover to be reduced to match your budget.
For example, let’s assume you have applied for £200,000 of cover and your maximum budget is £50 per month. The “normal” premium might be £30, and so with a 50% loading you would be in budget at £45.
However, after medical underwriting the loading ends up being larger, and they decide plus 150% is appropriate. This would put the premium at around £75, considerably higher than your budget. You could then ask them to reduce the cover to around £135,000, which would be around £50 per month. In this way at least you have some cover, rather than none. If you bear in mind that the reason they are loading the premium is because there is a greater risk that you will actually claim then it is definitely the case that you probably need the cover!
I hope that helps
Financial Planning Designer
If you would like to contact Darren to find out more about getting life insurance or income protection if you have Crohn’s Disease then you can contact him via the red box (either to the right of or below this article depending on the device you are using).