If you have been diagnosed with MS, it does not mean you can’t secure an affordable life insurance policy. Multiple Sclerosis can be unpredictable, you never know when a relapse may occur, or if you are going to develop permanent physical symptoms, therefore, having life insurance is important, as it can protect your loved one’s financial future.
Having a pre-existing health condition is very common and having one doesn’t mean you can’t secure life insurance. According to the MS Society, there are over 130,000 people living with the condition in the UK currently. That is around 7,000 people being newly diagnosed each year.
Continue reading this guide to learn more about taking out life insurance with Multiple Sclerosis…
Can I get cover?
Most likely, yes. Eligibility will usually be based on the severity of your condition/symptoms.
Your application is likely to be accepted if you’re responding well to treatment and have mild symptoms. However, it could be harder to secure cover if you have advanced MS or progressive MS. Rest assured, it’s unlikely you’ll be declined.
There are specialist insurers like The Exeter and MetLife (who specialise in securing over for non-standard applicants such as those with medical conditions) so if you find it hard to secure cover through a mainstream provider, they could allow you to secure the cover you need.
What policies are available?
Below are some of the main types of life insurance and how having MS may affect it:
- Level term life insurance (cover for a set period with a fixed sum assured) – premiums may be increased due to your condition
- Decreasing term life insurance (cover for a set period with a sum assured that reduces) – premiums may be increased due to your condition
- Whole of life insurance (lifelong cover with a fixed pay out) – your premiums could be increased due to MS and will need to be paid for the rest of your life (this could become very costly)
- Over 50s plan – your MS will not be an issue as there is no medical information required. For this policy, you won’t need to disclose your condition, but you’ll need to be aged 50 – 80 (or 85 with some insurers) to be eligible. This will include lifelong cover with guaranteed acceptance in the required age bracket
Will I pay more for cover?
It’s possible that your premiums (the monthly payments you make in return for cover) will be more expensive due to your MS diagnosis, as you could be seen as a higher risk applicant (depending on the severity of your condition).
Increased premiums are also known as a ‘loaded’ premiums. The cost of your premiums will depend on the type and severity of your MS, as well as the insurer, as underwriting processes differ.
The insurer will calculate the price of your premium using the factors of your condition, as well as other factors, such as:
- Smoking status
- Medical wellbeing (including your MS and any other conditions/family history of conditions)
- Type of policy
- Amount of cover (sum assured)
- Length of the policy term
If your condition is well managed, there may be less of an impact on your policy than if you have more severe symptoms.
Will I be asked about my MS during the application?
Yes, you’ll be asked medical questions during the application, where you’ll need to declare your condition. You will typically be asked some more in-depth questions about your personal circumstances. You may be asked the following:
- What type of MS you have (relapsing-remitting, secondary progressive or primary progressive)
- When you were diagnosed
- When you last relapsed
- Your current symptoms (if any)
- The severity of your symptoms (e.g. If you need to use walking aids)
- Any medication you’re taking
- Any treatment you’ve received
This is excluding over 50 polices (also known as over 50 plans or guaranteed over 50 plans) as medical questions are not required.
It is important to answer these questions honestly and be completely truthful about your MS as if you fail to do so, it could affect a future pay out and invalidate your cover. This is known as non-disclosure in the insurance world.
Can insurers check medical records?
Yes, insurers can check medical records. However, they can’t request a medical report from your GP without your prior permission.
They may request one if they require more information. It’s unlikely but insurers also have the right to request a full medical exam to get a better understanding of your health.
In some cases, you may get life insurance accepted instantly with MS, so you might not need a medical report. Insurers typically request to see your medical records to assess the risk involved in offering you a policy.
What if I am diagnosed with MS after taking out a policy?
In the circumstance that you are diagnosed with MS after securing a policy this will not affect your premium costs or a pay out.
You may want to inform your insurer to keep them up to date but it’s not a requirement and it won’t affect your policy or premium costs. Typically, developing a medical condition during the policy term will not affect the validity of an existing life insurance policy.
Life insurance with MS in summary
To summarise, in most cases, having MS does not prevent you from securing a life insurance policy. Your eligibility and the cost of your premiums will depend on the severity of your condition, as well as the insurer in question.
Securing a policy can be vital if you have financial debts, a mortgage or perhaps a family who rely on your income.
Regardless of your commitments, don’t let your diagnosis prevent you from finding a suitable policy due to thinking it will be unaffordable or you’re at risk of being declined.
If you are leading a healthy lifestyle and responding well to treatment, there is no reason for you to be declined or pay a substantial amount more for your policy due to your MS.
As a result of multiple sclerosis potentially complicating your life insurance application it can be a good idea to secure cover through a FCA-regulated broker such as Reassured. They can compare multiple insurers, selecting those most likely to accept your application, completely free of charge. They can also run you through the entire application process and answer any questions you may have, unpicking the insurance jargon.