Life Insurance and Angina – What you need to know

7 min Read Published: 08 Oct 2020

Suffering chest pain can be a scary thing and Angina generally starts this way. If you have been diagnosed with Angina then, besides taking action to make lifestyle changes to help your condition, you may also have stopped to think about life insurance. In this article, I'll explain what you should do with life insurance you already have and how to arrange it if you don't. The aim of this article is to show you how to arrange your life insurance in the best and cheapest way possible and as a Money to the Masses reader, you'll also benefit from £50 cashback once you've put your life insurance in place.

If you already have life insurance in place and are looking to review your cover, then you may want to skip straight to 'How will Angina affect your existing life insurance?'. However, if you have Angina and would like to understand how to arrange new life insurance then please read on.

What is Angina?

Angina is commonly described as 'the heart's warning signal' that something isn't quite right and it affects people in different ways and with varying severity. It is a dull, tight or heavy feeling in your chest that can spread to your jaw, left arm, neck or back. It may occur when you've exerted yourself physically or emotionally but for some it can also occur when at rest. It is caused by the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to your heart, medically referred to as Atherosclerosis. Your Angina will have been categorised and it's important that you know the category of your personal diagnosis of Angina when applying for life insurance.

  • Stable Angina - symptoms are triggered by stress and/or physical exertion but these symptoms pass once you have rested.
  • Unstable Angina - symptoms can be triggered by stress and/or physical exertion but can also occur without any trigger and may not subside with rest.
  • Variant Angina - symptoms usually occur at rest and can be much more painful than with other anginas.

Can you arrange Life Insurance if you have Angina?

In most cases it is still possible to arrange life insurance if you have been diagnosed with Angina. In almost all cases you'll need to pay more for it than you would do if you didn't have Angina. Having said that, there are still ways to insure yourself on a budget by tailoring the insurance and I'll tell you a little more about how to do that later in the article.

If you have Variant Angina, this can be more difficult to insure but you should follow the information for Unstable Angina as a guide. Invariably, you will need to speak to a specialist* who can search the whole market for you and select the insurance company that will provide the best and cheapest life cover.

The tables below give you an indication of what to expect for Stable and Unstable Angina (see above for which type applies to you). We have provided two definitions below that may be of use when reading our tables.

Standard cost - cost based on your age, gender and smoker status for the amount of life insurance you want and the number of years you want to arrange this over. This assumes there are no existing health conditions.

Postponed - sometimes insurance companies will postpone your application for life insurance, normally for 3, 6 or 12 months.  Usually, this is to allow time for your symptoms to improve or stabilise so that the best rates can be offered to you.

Life Insurance Outcomes for Stable Angina

Based on a male non-smoker, £100,000 over 10 years. All costs are a guide.

Age at diagnosis No Angina (Standard cost) Stable Angina - Controlled & Infrequent Symptoms Stable Angina - Uncontrolled & Infrequent Symptoms Stable Angina - Uncontrolled & Frequent Symptoms
Under 40 £7 per month £14 - £21 per month £21 - £28 per month or Postponed Likely to be Postponed
40 - 50 years £12 per month £24 - £36 per month £36 - £48 per month or Postponed Likely to be Postponed
50 - 60 years £25 per month £50 per month £50 - £75 per month or Postponed Likely to be Postponed
60 - 70 years £80 per month £160 per month £160 - £240 per month or Postponed Likely to be Postponed

Life Insurance Outcomes for Unstable Angina

Based on a male non-smoker, £100,000 over 10 years. All costs are a guide.

Age at diagnosis No Angina (Standard cost) Unstable Angina - Controlled & Infrequent Symptoms Unstable Angina - Uncontrolled & Infrequent Symptoms Unstable Angina - Uncontrolled & Frequent Symptoms
Under 40 £7 per month £28 - £35 per month Likely to be Postponed Likely to be Postponed
40 - 50 years £12 per month £24 - £36 per month £36 - £48 per month or Postponed Likely to be Postponed
50 - 60 years £25 per month £50 - £75 per month £75 - £100 per month or Postponed Likely to be Postponed
60 - 70 years £80 per month £160 per month £160 - £240 per month or Postponed Likely to be Postponed

What other factors will affect my life insurance application?

Insurance companies will look at your whole health. This means they assess a combination of health factors and carry out an overall risk assessment. Angina and coronary artery disease are exacerbated by poor lifestyle choices and other associated health conditions.  Continuing to smoke, for example, can make it more difficult to arrange life insurance because the combination of smoking with Angina is a greater risk to your life than Angina on its own.

Here are some others:

  • BMI - a measure that uses your height and weight to roughly work out your health based on your build.
  • Cholesterol - a blood test will show if your cholesterol is normal or raised.
  • Blood Pressure - raised blood pressure can be a contributing factor to Angina
  • Lifestyle - a lack of exercise and eating an unbalanced diet can also contribute to Angina
  • Smoking - various heart health issues can be caused and worsened by smoking
  • Alcohol Consumption - drinking more than is recommended can increase your blood pressure

Any of these factors combined with Angina will make your life insurance more difficult to arrange. The best thing to do if you have additional factors to consider is to speak to a specialist adviser* who will be able to navigate you to the best solution for you.

How will your Angina diagnosis affect your existing life insurance?

If you are paying for life insurance that was arranged before you were diagnosed with Angina it is very important that you do not cancel it. Having arranged your life cover before you had any symptoms of Angina, it is likely to be cheaper than what you can arrange now. As long as you answered the health questions on your application for your existing life insurance fully and honestly then there is no need to update your life insurance provider with your new health diagnosis of Angina. Life insurance companies only assess your health at the point of application at which point the insurance company will then protect you for the duration of your policy, whatever may happen along the way.

If you have existing life insurance then you may want to explore whether it includes something called Guaranteed Insurability Option. This is an option that some life insurance policies provide that gives you the opportunity to increase how much you're insured for, based on certain life events. For example, if you increased your existing mortgage or took out a new mortgage or if you had a baby then it provides you with the option to increase the amount of your life insurance upon proof of this event. The key advantage of this is that you would not have to disclose any information about your diagnosis as there is no health assessment carried out to process the increase. There are usually caveats around your age and the amount that you can increase up to but it may give you some extra insurance without paying too much more for it - it's well worth looking into to get the best value.

Can you get Critical Illness Insurance if you have Angina?

Critical illness insurance can be a little more difficult to arrange than life insurance when you have Angina but it's not impossible!  Critical illness insurance provides you with a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a serious illness from a list of different conditions, as long as you meet the definition of the condition. The most common claims against critical illness insurance policies are for conditions like Heart Attacks, Cancers and Strokes. This might make it clear why it is tricky to arrange this type of insurance when you have Angina. You'll only be able to arrange critical illness insurance if your Angina symptoms are controlled and you can evidence this over a period of time. The best thing to do is to speak to a specialist* who will be able to take your details and do some research on your behalf.

Ca you get Sick Pay Insurance if you have Angina?

Sick pay insurance is often referred to as Income Protection. It is an insurance that provides you with an income if you become incapacitated to the point of being unable to do your normal job. If you have Angina then the amount of time that you have taken off work due to your Angina will be an important factor in working out whether you can get the cover. Again, insurance companies will look at your whole health and decisions are made on an individual basis. Not all insurance companies that provide sick pay insurance will offer it to you if you have Angina but if you speak to a specialist*, you are much more likely to be able to source the insurance.

How to buy the cheapest life insurance if you have Angina

If you have already searched online for quotes for life insurance, I'm afraid these won't mean much. Often, the cheapest company on a search engine won't be the one that gives you the best price once you have completed the health questions and entered all of your medical information. It can be a time-consuming process to repeat so we recommend that you get a specialist adviser onside to do some research in advance of completing any application forms. At Money to the Masses, we have vetted the service and results of LifeSearch, a specialist advisory company and found that the advisers are knowledgeable and skilled. They will gather some details about your health and approach the whole market to find the insurance company that will give you the best monthly cost, taking account of your health in advance.

Whatever your budget, LifeSearch will ensure you stick to it, tailoring your insurance so that it fits with your personal needs. Getting advice from an independent specialist will help you keep your costs down and will even give you the opportunity to put your policy into trust at no extra cost. Organising a trust with your life insurance will mean that your nominated beneficiaries receive the money from your life insurance without delay.  Money to the Masses readers also receive £50 cashback once your policy is arranged.


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