Lupus and Life Insurance – What you need to know

5 min Read Published: 16 Sep 2020

Life Insurance with Lupus - What you need to know

Over the years I've helped people who were struggling to arrange life insurance because they have Lupus and each person was different to the next. Much like other autoimmune conditions, Lupus usually takes lengthy investigations to diagnose; it's chronic and the symptoms can vary a lot. It can therefore be difficult to arrange life insurance with Lupus but the good news is that life insurance is available to those suffering from the condition. Whether you've applied for life insurance and have struggled to get covered or if you're thinking of applying for the first time, you'll need to know a few things to help you get the right outcome. In this article I'll explain:

How do life insurance companies assess your Lupus?

You'll have started with a quotation for the life insurance you want, which takes account of your age, gender and smoker status.  This cost might increase once you apply for the insurance and how much it might increase will be dependent on:

  • Your age when you were diagnosed with Lupus
  • The amount of time since your last flare-up
  • The type of Lupus you have been diagnosed with
  • The symptoms that you experience and the frequency of these
  • How much your daily life is affected by your symptoms
  • The treatment that you receive

Types of Lupus

There are a few different types of Lupus but life insurance companies are mainly keen to know if you have SLE - Systemic Lupus Erythematosis or DLE - Discoid Lupus Erythematosis.  The other types of Lupus either present in infants or are short-lived.  You'll have probably been through a very long process of investigation before you received your Lupus diagnosis, given that the symptoms of Lupus can be linked to a number of other conditions. And, if you're still going through that process then it's unlikely that you'll be able to arrange life insurance until your investigations are complete.

Symptoms of Lupus

Mild Moderate Severe
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Skin rashes/lesions
  • Muscle/joint swelling
  • Mobility issues
  • Inflammation of kidneys/heart/lungs
  • Blood disorders such as anaemia
  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • Angina
  • Kidney damage

One of the key ways that insurance companies work out the severity of your Lupus is by looking at your symptoms.  These will give an indication of whether the condition is Mild, Moderate or Severe and insurance companies use these categories to work out what level of risk they would be taking by insuring your life. (The above table shows some symptoms and their corresponding categories but there may be others)

Mild and Moderate - it might be necessary for the insurance company to write to your GP for more information but you're unlikely to be rejected for life insurance.

Severe - there is a larger likelihood that you'll be rejected but it is still worth investigation.

Chronic illnesses can take a toll on a person's mental health and this can have a bearing on the decision that an insurance company makes.  Especially if the effects were severe or are continuing.

Insurance companies vary in their approach and because almost no, two people with Lupus will present with identical symptoms, asking a specialist life insurance adviser* will help you find the best company to apply to for life insurance and secure the best rate.

Lupus and how it affects your daily life

Living with Lupus is usually managed with medication that treats and controls the symptoms. How your symptoms affect your daily activities is another way that the life insurance company will work out how much to charge.  Use of mobility aids and/or a restriction to your ability to carry out day-to-day tasks doesn't mean you'll be rejected but can mean that the cost increases.  How much the cost increases will vary depending on which insurance company you apply to because each will have its own guidelines for increasing costs.

Treatment for Lupus

There are many different drugs used to treat the symptoms of Lupus and help prevent flare-ups.  Steroids and immunosuppressant drugs are commonly used but can carry side effects of their own which can add to the risks that the insurance company will factor into pricing your life insurance.  Part of controlling the symptoms of Lupus will also involve having regular blood and urine tests so that any blood disorders like anaemia or changes in kidney function are picked up.  If your Lupus is in remission, it is useful to have the results of such tests ready for your application as they might help to avoid the need for a life insurance company to write to your GP.

What will life insurance cost for someone with Lupus?

If you have DLE (Discoid Lupus Erythematosis) and your symptoms are well managed with medication, you'll either pay what a person who is your age, gender and smoker status and doesn't have Lupus would pay or you'll pay 50% more. So, if the premium without DLE was £10 then you might pay £15 per month to insure your life.

If you have SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosis) you will still be able to arrange life insurance but, it will be even more vital that you seek the support and guidance of a specialist adviser* to find the insurance company that will offer you the best rate.  It's likely that the monthly cost of your life insurance doubles or even trebles so if your cost without SLE was £10 then you might pay £20-30 per month.

There may be a small number of people with more severe symptoms who struggle to arrange life insurance, but going through a specialist can ensure you've tried everything and they may show you ways of arranging life insurance that don't ask about your medical health.

How to get the best rate for your life insurance?

Lupus is a complex condition and if you want to arrange life insurance, you'll need to share a detailed history of your symptoms and treatments.  You will, in most cases, be able to arrange your life insurance but different insurance companies will charge you different increases and to avoid paying any more than you need to, it's best to get a specialist adviser* on your side.

Your adviser will take all of your medical history and expertly use this information to select the best companies for your specific experience of Lupus.  In doing this, you'll save any wasted time on lengthy applications for companies that are not able to provide you with insurance or will end up being too expensive. LifeSearch* is a specialist broker company that provides this guidance and advice without charging a fee and offers a £50 cashback reward for Money to the Masses readers once your insurance is in place.

Tailoring your insurance

If you're trying to keep the life insurance affordable there are ways of tailoring the benefits to suit you.  An adviser will share invaluable steer on what types and levels of life insurance will be best suited to you.  This could reduce the cost while keeping an eye on making sure your family have what they need in the event that there is a claim.  Furthermore, you'll have the opportunity to set up a trust at no extra cost so that the monies are paid out quickly and tax-efficiently to your chosen recipients.



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