Yes, you can get life insurance if you currently have or have previously suffered from high blood pressure, however a life insurance company will want to know a little bit more about your health condition, so make sure you are prepared to answer some extra questions. If you are thinking of applying for life insurance and suffer from, or have previously suffered from, high blood pressure, make sure you read this article in full before you make an application as it is likely that you will be able to save both time and money.
In this article we explain everything you need to know about life insurance and raised blood pressure, including the questions the insurance companies will ask you, which insurance companies are likely to offer the best cover and also the cheapest way to apply for life insurance if you are suffering from or have previously suffered from high blood pressure.
If you simply want to know the cheapest way to buy life cover and how to get £100 cashback when you do, jump to 'Which is the best life insurance company if I have high blood pressure?'
It is estimated that just over a quarter of adults in the UK, around 14.4 million people, have high blood pressure. Of these, around nine million people have been diagnosed with high blood pressure by their GP - source: www.bhf.org.uk
What questions will a life insurance company ask about my high blood pressure?
Life insurance providers will ask some or all of the following questions relating to your high blood pressure:
- When were you first diagnosed with high blood pressure?
- What medication do you take or have you previously taken?
- What are your latest readings?
- When was your blood pressure last checked?
- Are there any other associated risk factors such as raised cholesterol, are you overweight or have you suffered from a stroke, heart attack or angina?
If your raised blood pressure is well controlled and you have recent readings (in the last 3 months) of between 90/60 and 120/80, most insurance companies would accept your application at standard rates (no increase to your originally quoted premium), so long as there are no additional risk factors, explained below. Therefore, if your latest blood pressure readings are within a 'normal range' (90/60 to 120/80) and your health condition is well-controlled, it would be wise to go with the company that provides the cheapest quote. Check out our article 'Types of life insurance explained' which explains how to guarantee the cheapest life insurance quotes, including how to get up to £100 cashback.
High blood pressure - Additional factors that may cause an increase in your life insurance premiums
Below we have listed some factors relating to high blood pressure that may contribute to an increase being applied to your life insurance application.
- 2 or more different types of medication
- Increases or changes in the medication you take
- Raised blood pressure readings despite taking medication to control it
- Being overweight. An insurance company uses Body Mass Index (BMI) to measure your height/weight ratio. A score of under 30 is generally considered to be fine. You can check yours by using this NHS BMI tool
- Family history of raised blood pressure
Most insurance companies will require blood pressure readings within 3 months of the application date. Failure to provide these may slow down your life insurance application and may even result in your application being postponed until new readings are taken and provided to the insurer
How does high blood pressure impact life insurance premiums?
There are four possible outcomes and they are as follows:
- accepted with no increase applied to your premiums
- accepted with an increase applied to your premiums (referred to as a rating)
- application postponed
- application declined
We have given four examples in our table below which could lead to each of the possible outcomes:
Based on a 35-year-old non-smoker applying for £200,000 level term assurance
|Diagnosis date||Medication||Associated risks?||Most recent reading||Last checked||Hospitalised due to high blood pressure?||Decision||Premium|
|1 year ago||No||None||120/80||Within last 3 months||No||No Increase applied||£11.70|
|1 year ago||Yes||None||150/90||Within last 3 months||No||50% Increase applied||£16.30|
|1 year ago||Yes||None||150/90||Within last 3 months||Awaiting investigations||Postpone||N/A|
|1 year ago||Yes||Heart Attack||150/95||Within last 3 months||Awaiting investigations||Decline||N/A|
Will a life insurance company speak to my doctor about my high blood pressure?
It is unlikely that a life insurance company will need to write to your doctor for more medical information, so long as you have all of the relevant information to hand (as explained earlier in this article). If you are able to give clear information such as dates, readings and types of medication then a life insurance company can often make a decision purely from the information you provide.
Can I get life insurance if I take medication for high blood pressure?
Yes, as our table above demonstrates, you can get life insurance if you take medication for raised blood pressure. The underwriting process varies depending on which life insurance companies you speak to which is why we would always recommend speaking to an independent specialist. Our section 'Which is the best life insurance company if I have blood pressure?' gives more information.
Our own independant research shows that AIG are one of the most lenient insurance companies when it comes to underwriting applicants with high blood pressure. Our research also highlighted that LV= should be avoided if you have a history of high blood pressure in the family.
Can I get life insurance if I have previously been declined for high blood pressure?
Yes. Being declined for high blood pressure by one insurer does not necessarily mean that you will be declined by all insurance companies. The fact that you have been declined life insurance may indicate that there are additional risk factors, but life insurance is a competitive market and as each insurer has its own set underwriting criteria.
The key is knowing which is the best insurer based on your own unique circumstances, a job that an independent specialist can carry out on your behalf. We have personally vetted the services of a specialist independent broker that is an expert at arranging life insurance for those that have suffered conditions such as high blood pressure. The next section explains more about applying for life insurance using an independent specialist.
Which is the best life insurance company if I have high blood pressure?
Every life insurance company has a team of underwriters and each team of underwriters work to a different set of guidelines. I have worked in the life insurance industry for over 20 years and have personally witnessed countless examples where applicants have been offered cover where they have previously been declined. The skill is understanding your condition and being able to match that with the insurer that has the most favourable underwriting stance, something an independent specialist* can do for you for free.
Comparison sites and online calculators are unable to understand the complexity of medical conditions such as high blood pressure and do not go into the level of detail that is required to get a quote that is accurate and relevant. If you use an online comparison site it is very likely that you will end up applying through a life insurance company that will significantly increase your premiums or even worse, decline your application.
We have personally vetted the services of one of the UK's leading insurance broker's*, which specialises in finding the most suitable cover for those with medical conditions such as high blood pressure. An independent specialist will be able to help with the application process as well as chasing the insurer on your behalf and even help to put your policy into trust.
To speak to an adviser, with no obligation to take things further, simply complete the form via the above link. The firm employs strong ethics and will only ever offer a policy if it is the best policy to suit your personal needs. If they are unable to offer a suitable policy or alternatively, are unable to save you money on your existing policy, they will happily recommend that you stick with what you have. If you do buy your policy through this specialist company, as a Money to the Masses reader, you will receive up to £100 cashback.
Can I get critical illness insurance if I have high blood pressure?
The simple answer is yes, but it is likely to depend on a number of factors such as the severity of your condition, if there are any other associated factors, whether you take any medication and if you have any family history of high blood pressure. We would recommend that you speak to an independent specialist* who can use their extensive knowledge to ask the right questions and approach the most suitable insurance company based on the answers you are able to provide.
Can I get income protection insurance if I have high blood pressure?
Yes, as long as your condition is stable and has not caused significant time off work within the last 5 years, you should be able to get income protection insurance. Do see above for specific questions relating to your health condition that will be ask as these will be similar to those that are asked for a life insurance application but slightly more extensive. Remember that an insurance company that provides income protection will be more interested in whether your condition is likely to prevent you from being able to work and this changes the way that your application is assessed. Do speak to an independent specialist* for expert advice on selecting the insurance company that will offer you the best terms.
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