July 10, 2024

Can I get life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions?

By Bethan Harper

Featured image for “Can I get life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions?”

If you have pre-existing medical conditions and are considering life insurance, you may wonder how these conditions affect your eligibility and the cost of premiums. 

Life insurance can provide financial security for your loved ones in the event of your death, but getting coverage can be more complicated if you have certain health issues. 

Whether you’re exploring options for the first time or need more information on how your specific condition might impact your ability to get life insurance, this article could be useful for you. 

In this article, we’ll help you understand more about obtaining life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions and break down the factors that could affect your policy. 

Read on or jump to a specific section: 

life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions
Couple looking through their life insurance documents

Why is it difficult to get life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions? 

Unfortunately, obtaining a life insurance policy with pre-existing medical conditions can be challenging because insurers view these conditions as a higher risk. 

When you apply for life insurance, insurers will assess the likelihood of a claim being made based on your health history. Pre-existing conditions can increase this perceived risk, potentially leading to higher premiums or even denial of coverage. 

Factors that contribute to difficulty include: 

  • The severity of the condition: More severe conditions typically result in higher premiums and increased difficulty to obtain. 
  • Treatment and management: How well you manage your condition with medication or lifestyle changes can influence the insurer’s decisions. 
  • Prognosis: Conditions with poor long-term outcomes may lead to higher premiums or application denial. 
  • Medical history: Detailed records of your medical history can impact the insurer’s assessment. 

See also: What is accident only income protection insurance?

Can I get life insurance with a heart condition? 

You can usually get life insurance with a heart condition, though it can come with some caveats and will typically be more expensive than the average cost of a life insurance policy. 

Heart conditions such as hypertension, arrhythmias, or past heart attacks increase your risk profile, but insurers will consider several factors when evaluating your application. 

Key factors include: 

  • Type of heart condition: Mild conditions such as controlled hypertension may have less of an impact on your application or premiums compared to more severe issues like heart attacks. 
  • Current health status: Regular check-ups and evidence of a stable condition can improve your chances of being accepted for an insurance policy. 
  • Treatment adherence: Demonstrating consistent management of your condition with prescribed treatments can help you to get the cover you need. 
  • Lifestyle changes: Adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle can positively influence the insurer’s decision to approve life insurance. 
life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions
Mother and daughter happy to have secured life insurance

Can you get life insurance if you have cancer? 

Getting life insurance if you have cancer is possible, but it can be more complicated than usual. 

Typically, upon receipt of your application, insurers consider the type, stage, and treatment history of your cancer to determine whether they will accept your application and how much your premiums will be, for example: 

  • Type of cancer: Some cancers are viewed more favourably than others. For example, those with skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma are more likely to be approved. 
  • Stage and severity: Early-stage cancers with successful treatment histories are often looked upon more favourably. 
  • Remission period: The length of time you’ve been in remission is seen as crucial to insurance. However, many providers require a remission period of 1-5 years before offering standard policies. 
  • Ongoing treatment: If you’re in active treatment or have been recently diagnosed, you may find you’re offered higher premiums. 

Does BMI affect life insurance? 

Yes, since a higher BMI (Body Mass Index) can impact your health, BMI can affect life insurance premiums and eligibility. 

Insurers use BMI as an indicator of overall health and potential risk factors: 

  • Healthy BMI range: A BMI within the healthy range (18.5-24.9) is typically viewed favourably and shouldn’t impact your eligibility for life insurance. 
  • Overweight/Obesity: Higher BMI levels can indicate increased risk for conditions like heart disease, diabetes and hypertension, leading to higher premiums. 
  • Underweight: A BMI below the healthy range can also raise concerns about potential underlying health issues and could prevent you from being approved for standard life insurance. 

See also: Accident only income protection: Is it worth it?

Can I get life insurance with cystic fibrosis? 

Unfortunately, being approved for life insurance with cystic fibrosis (CF) can be challenging due to the condition. 

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder affecting the lungs and digestive system, and insurers view it as a high-risk condition: 

  • Severity and symptoms: The severity of CF symptoms and lung function tests play a significant role in most insurers’ decisions. 
  • Treatment: Consistent management with medications and treatments can improve your chances of being approved for a policy. 
  • Overall health: Maintaining good overall health and regular check-ups can be favorable to your application. 
  • Specialist providers: Some insurers specialise in high-risk conditions and may offer policies tailored to individuals with cystic fibrosis. 
life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions
Woman calculating the costs of her life insurance

Where can I get life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions? 

We believe everyone should have access to life insurance, regardless of their health complaints. That’s why we’ve partnered with Pulse to help get the right cover to more people.  

Pulse specialises in providing life insurance to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, offering tailored policies that cater to your unique health needs and make sure your family gets the financial security they need should the worst happen. 

However, in addition to Pulse, there are a handful of other insurers providing similar policies online. And, despite the similarities between these policies, every insurer is different and offer varying terms and premiums. So, it’s essential to compare these options to ensure you find the best coverage for your situation. Taking the time to review and compare your options can make a significant difference in securing the protection you need for your loved ones. 

With the right information and resources, obtaining life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions is possible. By exploring your options and partnering with specialised insurers like Pulse, you can find a policy that offers peace of mind and financial security, no matter your health status. 


Find out more

Our friendly call centre agent will be giving you a call, to share an exclusive offer for you.
Contact Us
Marketing consent