Thank you to Reassured who have written this sponsored blog post which we hope may be of interest.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the past two years have been extremely challenging both from an emotional and an economic perspective for many families up and down the UK.
While many people might take out life insurance because they’ve bought a home, started a family, or lost a loved one, the effects of the pandemic have also prompted more and more of us to think about arranging financial protection should the worst happen.
Why might you need life insurance protection?
You may need life insurance if you have dependents who rely on you financially.
Life insurance provides a cash pay out if you pass away while protection is in place. The money can be used by your family to:
· Cover mortgage repayments or monthly rent (ensuring loved ones can remain in the family home)
· Meet future family living costs (food, drink, clothing, leisure, fuel, schooling)
· Cover household bills (gas, electric, water, broadband, council tax, maintenance)
· Fund additional childcare fees
· Clear any outstanding debt in your name
· Provide an inheritance
· Cover rising funeral expenses
How does life insurance work?
The life insurance process is fairly straight-forward. This is how it works in 6 simple steps:
1) Choose your policy type, (usually level term or decreasing term cover)
2) Set the policy length (known as the term). Consider how long until your mortgage is paid off and/or your children are financially independent
3) Set the cover amount (known as the sum assured). Consider your remaining mortgage balance, your monthly outgoings, the age of your children and the possible long-term impact of inflation
4) Provide information about your age, health and smoking status so the insurer can assess your application
5) You will pay a monthly fee (known as the premium) in order to receive the cover
6) If you pass away using the policy term your loved ones will receive a cash lump sum pay out after a claim is made
Hypermobility Syndromes and life insurance
According to the NHS up to 1 in 5 people in the UK have some form of Hypermobility Syndrome¹.
But how does this impact one’s ability to secure life insurance? Will your monthly premiums be inflated? Will your diagnosis impact the application process? Do you need to tell the insurer about of your Hypermobility Syndrome?
Award-winning UK life insurance broker Reassured.co.uk have a specialist team dedicated to securing cover for those with a pre-existing medical condition.
We asked Reassured to cover the key life insurance considerations for those with Hypermobility Syndromes thinking of taking out life insurance, to help you make a fully informed decision.
Can you still get life insurance cover?
Yes, in the vast majority of cases, those diagnosed with a Hypermobility Syndrome will be able to secure affordable life insurance. It is extremely unlikely that you would ever be declined cover solely because of your Hypermobility.
Even if you have been declined life insurance by one insurer, that does not mean you will not be able to secure a policy through another insurer, such as a specialist like The Exeter.
If your condition is severe and you’re unable to get standard cover (or your quotes are too expensive), and you’re aged over 50, then you may consider an over 50s plan.
This is a type of policy which guarantees acceptance to anyone aged 50 - 80 (or 85 with some insurers) and doesn’t include any medical questions during the application process.
What will you be asked by an insurer?
All insurers employ a slightly different application process (also known as the underwriting process), but commonly you will be asked;
· When were you diagnosed with Hypermobility Syndrome?
· What your symptoms are and how frequent and severe are they?
· When did you last experience symptoms?
· Have you been prescribed any medication?
· Have you required any surgery as a result of your Hypermobility Syndrome?
· Which joints are affected?
· Do you require mobility aids? · Have you been tested for related conditions, such as Marfan syndrome, or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?
An insurer will likely ask the above questions to gain a greater understanding of your current health and calculate your premium accordingly.
All life insurance applications are judged on a case-by-case basis, which means your individual circumstances will be taken into account to assess your application and determine the outcome.
What if my symptoms are mild?
If your symptoms are mild and your condition is well managed, then in most cases you will be able to secure cover on standard terms through a major insurer.
Standard terms means that your premium won’t be inflated due to you having a pre-existing medical condition.
However, it’s important to bear in mind that other factors such as your age and smoking status can impact the cost of your premiums.
What if my symptoms are more severe?
If your symptoms are more severe it is important to understand that this does not mean you cannot secure life cover. What it could mean is that you will pay more for your cover and that you may be asked more questions during the application.
The cost of life insurance is calculated largely based on the level of risk you pose (or, to put another way, the likelihood of you making a claim). The greater the risk, the higher your premium.
If you have had a recent flare up, your hypermobility affects your day-to-day life, or you experience associated conditions then an insurer may inflate your premium, (known as loading).
Common associated conditions include Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Marfan syndrome, scoliosis, and other musculoskeletal disorders.
As mentioned, if you’re over 50 then you may consider over 50s life insurance. This is because you’re guaranteed to secure a policy no matter your health status.
One of the downsides to over 50s life insurance though is that you must wait 12 or 24 months (length depending on the insurer), before your policy will pay out.
Will I have to undergo a medical exam?
In most cases, you will not be required to undergo a medical exam by your insurer in order to secure a policy. This will only be required if your condition is very severe and/or you have other pre-existing medical conditions.
It is also possible that the insurer could ask your GP to see your medical records (with your consent). However, again this is very rare and reserved for severe cases.
Partaking in a medical exam or providing your medical records doesn’t mean you will be declined life insurance. In fact, it can provide an opportunity to reassure your insurer that you are not a high risk.
Always be open and honest during the application
It can be tempting to withhold certain information or even lie in order to secure a lower premium, (known as non-disclosure). However, it is important to always be open and honest with the insurer during the application process.
If at a later date the insurer discovers that you were not 100% honest during the application it could jeopardise a future pay out, potentially rendering your selfless investment a complete waste of money and leaving loved ones financially vulnerable.
Always compare multiple quotes
Some life insurance providers may be more cautious than others when it comes to assessing applications for those with Hypermobility Syndromes. Some may automatically link the Hypermobility to Ehler-Danlos Syndrome. Regardless of whether you have a medical condition or not it is always best to compare multiple quotes from a range of insurers. This is because they all employ different underwriting processes and may view your condition differently, resulting in varying costs.
One insurer may consider you a standard applicant and offer a standard rate, whilst another may consider you a higher risk and load your premiums accordingly.
A good way of comparing a range of quotes quickly and easily is through an FCA regulated brokerage, such as Reassured (free of charge).
If you would rather not speak to a broker on the phone or livechat/email, another good option is to use a reputable comparison website
The need for financial protection is as prominent as ever, however rest assured having a Hypermobility Syndrome should not affect your ability to secure adequate cover. In many cases, you will still be able to secure a standard premium rate. If you do not have life cover, why not seize the day.