Will my family medical history affect my life insurance?
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Will my family medical history affect my life insurance?

Will my family medical history affect my life insurance?

Family life cover

When applying for life insurance, the provider will ask you to provide a number of details. This is to see how much of a risk you are to cover.   As well as your own health, your family medical history will be considered.

Before offering you a quote for your life insurance, you’ll typically need to complete a questionnaire. This will be about your health and your lifestyle.  

Questions may relate to your age as well as your height and weight. How much you smoke and/or drink? And whether you have (or have suffered from in the past) any serious health conditions.

In addition to your physical health, there may also be questions relating to your mental health. This could be any history of depression or anxiety plus any treatment you received for this. 

The insurance provider may also want to know about your family medical history. For example any history of illness that could be hereditary.  These could include:

  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Certain types of Cancer
  • Neurological conditions including Parkinson’s Disease or Dementia

Will my family medical history push up the price of my premium?  

Suffering from certain health conditions, or having a family history of them, could make your life insurance premium more expensive. In some circumstances, it may even preclude you from getting cover. 

To medical underwriters (the people who assess your risk to the insurer), your family medical history is a really important factor. This helps them to estimate your life expectancy, and therefore how likely it is that you will make a claim within the term of your cover. 

They will want to know how many members of your family have suffered from a certain condition, and at what age they were when diagnosed. 

Illnesses in old age (after the age of 65) are less likely to be a concern to insurers. If a close relative i.e your parents or siblings were diagnosed with a potentially hereditary illness much younger, you will pose a greater risk.

Will I still be able to purchase life insurance?

If you have any pre-existing conditions yourself or your family medical history has areas of concern, then you’ll need to do your research.  

Insurance providers will have their own list of what they consider to be pre-existing conditions and which hereditary illnesses they are most concerned about. When offering a quote this will be on a case by case basis.

Some insurers may ask you to consent to providing your medical records or undertaking a medical exam before they agree to insure you.  Others may offer you insurance on the basis that certain conditions are excluded from the policy. 

Be honest about your family medical history  

It’s extremely important that when you provide details to the insurer you are totally open and honest.  It can be all too easy to downplay your family medical history, or omit certain details.  Lying on your policy, or not disclosing information at the start will most certainly invalidate your policy.

Due to the nature of life insurance, this is most likely to cause inconvenience and unnecessary heartache for your family. They may be left fighting a claim that’s been denied due to non-disclosure.  

How can I get a better deal on my life insurance?

We all know that we can’t change the past, so if you do have a complicated family medical history, then you need to do all you can to demonstrate to your insurers that you are safeguarding your current health. 

A healthy lifestyle is encouraged. Regular exercise (although avoid extreme sports if you are looking for a cheap policy!), stop smoking (or being a non-smoker to start), avoiding alcohol or drinking in moderation are just a few examples. Adhering to these could help to bring down the cost of life insurance. 

Speak to a life insurance specialist who may be able to put you in touch with insurers who specialise in pre-existing conditions.  These may be more expensive than a standard policy, however this may be more cost effective than taking out a policy that excludes the condition altogether.   

Speak to our life insurance experts at So Smart Protect today!


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