Best Impaired Risk Life Insurance Cover In 2024

Elaine Brookes Steve Case

Author: Steve Case - Insurance Expert

Reviewed & Fact Checked By: Elaine Brookes

Updated: 15th April 2024

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It is well-known that health status affects the premiums offered by most life insurance carriers.

If you’re identified as impaired by insurance companies, it’s important to understand how this might affect your ability to find cost-effective insurance.

Being considered an impaired risk means you could fall outside the standard qualifications for the most favourable insurance rates.

  • Existing health conditions
  • High-risk professions or hobbies
  • Lifestyle choices, such as tobacco use or heavy alcohol consumption

Being impaired indicates that you might pose a greater risk and, as a result, are more challenging to insure. Yet, having impaired status doesn’t mean obtaining life insurance that adequately safeguards your family is impossible.

Insurance Hero are impaired risk life insurance specialists. Our dedicated team is well-versed in life insurance for those deemed impaired, assisting in securing coverage that might have been challenging to obtain otherwise.

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What Is Impaired Life Insurance? Some Key Factors

Impaired Life InsuranceInsurance is designed for individuals with health conditions or lifestyle factors that increase their risk.
Impaired RiskA health or lifestyle factor that reduces an individual’s ability to secure the best life insurance rates.
UnderwritingThe process by which insurers evaluate the risk of insuring a potential policyholder.
PremiumsThe amount paid for insurance coverage can be higher due to the increased risk.

Factors Affecting Impaired Risk Life Insurance

FactorImpact on Insurance
Health ConditionsDiseases like cancer, heart issues, or diabetes can increase premiums.
Lifestyle ChoicesFactors such as smoking or engaging in high-risk activities can elevate risk levels.
Age and BMIOlder age and higher BMI can lead to increased premiums.

Underwriting Considerations

Medical RecordsInsurers review medical history to assess risk.
Health-Related QuestionsApplicants may be asked about their health status.
Medical ExaminationsIn some cases, a medical exam may be required before offering a quote.
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Which Are The Most Commonly Recognised Impaired Life Insurance Conditions?

  1. Cancer: Various types, stages, and histories of cancer can impact life insurance eligibility and premiums. Many people with skin cancers can, however, secure cover at standard terms.
  2. Heart Disease: Conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and heart failure.
  3. Diabetes: Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, especially if poorly controlled or with complications.
  4. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): When combined with other health issues or poorly controlled.
  5. High Cholesterol: High levels can increase the risk of heart disease, affecting life insurance rates.
  6. Obesity: A high body mass index (BMI) can lead to various health issues and make insurance more costly.
  7. Mental Health Issues: Including depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions that can impact life expectancy.
  8. Respiratory Diseases: Such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, particularly severe cases.
  9. HIV/AIDS: While treatment has advanced, HIV can still affect life insurance eligibility and rates.
  10. Stroke: History of stroke, including mini-strokes (TIAs), can impact insurance terms.
  11. Kidney Disease: Chronic kidney disease and those requiring dialysis can impact insurance.
  12. Liver Disease: Conditions like cirrhosis or hepatitis C can affect life insurance rates and eligibility.
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Honesty Is the Best Approach

Cancer patients, heart attack victims, and diabetics may find themselves paying premiums that are more than the typical cost of life coverage.

There is a way around this, which allows people with pre-existing medical conditions to purchase affordable life cover. If health has or continues to suffer, rest assured that loved ones can still be provided for through a life insurance policy.

However, applicants should never lie about their age or medical status on a life insurance application. While they might enjoy easy acceptance and lower premiums now, beneficiaries may be affected.

If the policy was issued based on false information, the insurer will not be obligated to pay out when a claim is filed.

After all those years of making premium payments, the insured could die and leave beneficiaries with nothing. This risk is not worth the temporary reward.

Major life insurance companies have different attitudes toward consumers with pre-existing medical conditions.

Some will consider applications from these individuals, and others prefer to pass due to the increased level of risk. Using an independent broker that provides quotes across the life insurance market can be worthwhile because it may result in some surprises.

When the insurer receives the policy application, it considers medical records, asks the applicant health-related questions, and may question the general practitioner.

Sometimes, the company will require the applicant to submit to a medical before providing a quote. The result may be a declined application or a life policy containing no exclusions but an increased premium that reflects the higher risk due to the medical condition.

Most consumers with pre-existing medical conditions can obtain life insurance if they are willing to pay the premiums offered. Those rejected by mainstream insurers can find acceptance from an intermediary that specialises in non-standard and difficult risks. This is where Insurance Hero would be happy to help you.

For example, some companies provide life cover to diabetics who have suffered from both strokes and heart attacks. However, even it must decline applications from individuals with certain pre-existing medical conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Typical Premiums

An individual who is 35 years old and has no health issues should expect to pay approximately £12 a month for £150,000 worth of 25-year term life insurance. If this individual has a body mass index of 33, premiums increase 50 percent to approximately £17 per month.

Premiums will typically increase 100 percent to £23 per month for a 35 year-old applicant diagnosed with multiple sclerosis who experienced symptoms within three to five years of applying for cover.

Someone who is 35 years old and had a heart attack six months before completing a life insurance application is likely to be declined by a major life insurance carrier.

However, someone who is 45 and experienced a heart attack six months before applying may be approved after waiting an additional six months.

The typical premium would be at least £46 monthly, a 300 percent increase from the premium offered to a healthy 35-year-old.

An individual age 35 who was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer three years before applying, whose treatment was successful, and who has experienced no spread of cancer will be charged approximately £53 per month for the first five years.

After this period, the premium may revert to approximately £13 monthly, the standard premium for a healthy individual of that age.