Can I get life insurance if I have Crohn’s disease?

7 min Read Published: 10 May 2023

Can I get life insurance if I have Crohn's diseaseI get asked this question a lot and as someone who both suffers from Crohn's disease and has experience working in the life insurance industry, I feel I am well placed to answer it.

The simple answer is usually yes, you should be able to get life insurance if you have Crohn's disease, but it can take a little longer than a standard application and you should be prepared to answer some additional questions relating to your Crohn's. I cover this in more detail in the next section.

Will I have to pay a higher life insurance premium if I have Crohn's disease?

Yes, you would usually have to pay a higher premium for your life insurance, referred to as a medical rating. Every life insurance company has a team of medical underwriters and it is their job to look at the medical information on an application form and assess the additional risk that the applicant poses. The key thing to remember is that every insurance company has a different set of underwriting criteria and so any increase that may be applied to the premium may be different, depending on which life insurance company is assessing the application. It is for this reason that you should speak to an independent life insurance specialist who has experience in helping people with Crohn's disease get life cover. It is how I bought my life insurance to protect both my family and my business and I recommend you do the same. I explain the process in more detail below.

Ultimately, the final premium you pay will depend on how you answer a number of key questions. Insurance underwriters are likely to ask you the following:

  • When were you diagnosed?
  • Are you on any medication, if so, what type and how much?
  • The severity of your Crohn's
  • Have you had or are you awaiting any surgery?
  • How much of the bowel is affected (and what part)?

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How much will be added to my life insurance premiums if I have Crohn's disease?

If you only suffer from minor symptoms, which you are able to control with medication (or if your Crohn's is in remission) then you can expect to receive an increase of between 50% and 75%. So, if the original quote was around £20, you should expect to pay between £30 and £35 once the application has been fully medically assessed by the insurance underwriters. With life insurance applications it is important to remember the following:

  • You do not have to accept the final premium offered by the insurance company, you are free to shop around.
  • Life insurance policies do not have exclusions, so when you receive the final premium, remember that it covers you for death in any event (including anything related to Crohn's disease)
  • Every insurance company works to its own unique set of underwriting guidelines. To save yourself from disappointment and having to apply to multiple insurance companies, speak to an independent life insurance specialist who can advise on the best insurance company for your specific needs.

Will a life insurance company write to my doctor?

It depends. If your Crohn's is well controlled and you have all of the details to hand such as when you were diagnosed, the medication you take and surgery dates and details then this could be enough.

It is possible however that a life insurance company will write to your doctor, especially if your medication has changed or if you have had multiple surgeries in the past. The insurance company will cover the cost of the doctor's report and will ask for your permission before writing to them.

Life insurance with Crohn's disease – A Case Study example

In this case study, we look at a typical example of someone with Crohn's being medically assessed for a life insurance policy.

Key Information:

  • When diagnosed? – 3 years ago.
  • Last attack? – 2 years ago. Mild symptoms since and no hospitalisation.
  • Area affected? – Small bowel only
  • Is the condition controlled by medication? Yes, no flare-ups in 2 years.

Underwriting decision:

Based on the information above, we would expect one or two life insurance providers to accept the application with a 50% medical loading, meaning a £20 monthly premium would rise to around £30 per month. Premiums would be guaranteed for the life of the policy, irrespective of whether the condition worsens over time.

It is important to note that not all insurance companies would arrive at the same decision, with some likely to offer terms with + 100% medical loading. This is why it is incredibly important that you apply to the insurance company that is likely to offer cover with the most favourable terms from the outset. We explain how to do this in the section below.

Is Crohn's disease a critical illness?

Crohn's disease can be classed as a critical illness as defined within a critical illness insurance policy. Critical illness insurance pays out if you are diagnosed with any of the listed illnesses and some insurance companies list Crohn's disease alongside other serious illnesses that would constitute a claim for a payout. As with all conditions that are covered by critical illness insurance, there would be a definition of severity that would need to be met for the claim to be valid and this would vary between different policies so you need to read the terms and conditions carefully.

If you were diagnosed with Crohn's before buying critical illness insurance, your application could be successful but it is likely that Crohn's disease would be excluded as this would be considered a pre-existing medical condition. It is also likely that any illness or condition arising as a direct result of your Crohn's disease would also be excluded. In rare cases where Crohn's is dormant and has been for a long time, you may be able to arrange critical illness insurance or income protection on standard terms. Read on for information about a specialist who can guide you to the best illness insurance for your particular medical history.

Which is the best life insurance policy if I have Crohn's disease?

This is a difficult one to answer because Crohn's disease like many diseases affecting your immune system is a complex medical condition, often with sufferers experiencing symptoms that are unique to them. The condition affects people of all ages and can range from mild symptoms with little or no medical intervention, to severe symptoms which require heavy monitoring and multiple surgeries.

It is for this reason that it is not possible to pick out one insurance company that is best for people who suffer from Crohn's disease or other inflammatory bowel diseases. In fact, it is likely that two different Crohn's sufferers may be better off applying to two different insurance companies, as the underwriting decision is based on their own unique medical history.

The difficulty for people who suffer from Crohn's is knowing which insurance company is best based on their own unique medical history. The cheapest company at the quote stage is very rarely the cheapest company once the medical underwriting has been completed.

That is why I would always recommend that you speak to an independent insurance expert, such as LifeSearch*. As someone who suffers from Crohn's disease, I was able to see the value that they added firsthand. Not only were they able to pair me with the best life insurance company based on my own, complex medical history (I've had numerous operations), they handled the application process from start to finish, liaising with the insurance company on my behalf and even provided me with cashback. So good was the service that I decided to take out additional cover to protect my business too.

Simply click on the link and complete the short form* and they will call you back at a time that is convenient for you. Remember, not only will LifeSearch find you the best policy, they can guide you on the correct amount of cover you need for your own circumstances and even provide advice on how to ensure your family doesn't pay any tax on any of the proceeds. If you are happy with the policy they recommend and take out the insurance policy then you will qualify for up to £100 cashback.

What if I can't afford life insurance with Crohn's disease?

If the final premium offered to you is outside of your affordable budget you could then ask for the level of cover to be reduced to match your budget.

So, if you applied for life insurance of £200,000 and your maximum budget is £50 per month. The quoted premium might be £30, and so with a 50% medical loading, the final premium would be £45 and within your budget.

However, if, after being medically assessed, the insurance company decides to increase premiums by 150%, the final premium would be around £75 which is £25 over budget. You could simply decide to reduce the overall amount of life insurance that you are applying for, and in this example, a life cover that pays a lump sum of £135,000 would end up costing around £50 taking the medical loading into consideration. Reducing your cover usually means that you do not have to reapply.

An independent life insurance and critical illness insurance specialist will be able to guide you through this process as well as offer additional advice, including whether they feel the decision is fair and if it may be worth applying to an alternative insurance company.

Key points

  • You can get life insurance if you have Crohn's disease, but it can take a little longer than a normal application.
  • 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%.


If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses and do not wish to qualify for the cashback referred to in the article – LifeSearch