Will My Chronic Illness Affect My Ability to Obtain Life Insurance?

Life insurance is a way of providing for your loved ones should the worst happen to you. Many people choose to take out a life insurance policy so that any family they leave behind are able to continue paying for costs such as mortgages or bills, to pay off debts they may leave behind, or so that their funeral costs are covered. If you suffer from a chronic health condition, you may be concerned that it could affect your ability to be accepted for a life insurance policy and you may have lots of questions, for example, does life insurance cover cancer or a heart attack?  The information below outlines how some chronic conditions may affect someone’s acceptance for life insurance.


Like many chronic health conditions, diabetes Type 1 and 2 can affect an application for life insurance. In most cases, people are accepted for life insurance with diabetes, although they often have to pay higher premiums as a result of their condition. The reason for this is that, unfortunately, diabetics have a higher associated risk of developing serious illnesses such as stroke, or kidney disease and heart disease, which may make them more likely to make a claim. To assess the likelihood of these risks, insurance companies will need to analyse medical details such as diabetes Type, BMI, HbA1C readings, and existing conditions related to diabetes like circulatory conditions. Companies such as im-insured.co.uk offer specialist advice on diabetes life insurance, including how to reduce your premiums. You can use their site to connect with the right insurance provider and find the right deal for you.


Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are painful, inflammatory conditions which affect the joints and can affect the process of obtaining life insurance. Although most people with arthritis are able to take out life insurance, it can be more expensive depending on the severity of your condition. Applications will need to be approached individually, with personal circumstances taken into consideration, particularly for rheumatoid arthritis, which can lead to other complications. Insurers will need to know information about how your condition affects you, what treatment you receive and how it affects your day-to-day life.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two most common types of IBD. They affect the digestive system, and can be both painful and difficult to treat. As both are long-term conditions and can have a significant impact on a person’s life, they can make applying for life insurance more complicated. Although most applications will be granted, these conditions can mean that policies are more expensive. When contacting an insurance company, make sure you have important details about your condition prepared, such as any hospital admissions or surgery, when you were diagnosed, and any medication you may take.


Over 12% of the UK population have been diagnosed with asthma at some point in their life, making it a relatively common respiratory condition. The severity of the condition ranges hugely between people, and although many people have mild symptoms, for some it can be life threatening. For this reason, insurance companies need to consider individual circumstances before quoting for life insurance. If you have had a recent hospital admission, have needed to take steroids to help manage your condition, or take part in lifestyle choices such as smoking, your premiums are likely to be higher. This is because your condition is considered more serious, or your risk of severe illness is heightened. If you had asthma in childhood, but symptoms have subsided in adulthood, you are more likely to be eligible for ‘standard terms.’


Whatever type of epilepsy you have, insurance companies are predominantly interested in loss of consciousness caused by an attack. They will want to know whether you have experienced a Grand Mal or Petit Mal, and when the last occurrence of this was. This will be taken into account when you are considered for a policy. As with other chronic conditions, having epilepsy doesn’t necessarily rule you out for life insurance, but may increase the cost of your plan, depending on how the condition affects you.

Mental Health Conditions

One in four adults in the UK suffer with a mental health condition. There are wide range of conditions which fall under this category, so it is important that you give your potential insurer as much information as possible, so that they can provide you with a suitable quote. Most people with a mental health condition are able to take out life insurance, although it may cost more.

With many chronic illnesses, how well your condition is currently managed will play a large part in how much you pay; however, you should disclose all information, as withholding information could affect your ability to make a claim in the future. You should consider seeking advice on life insurance if you have any long-term health condition, including others not listed here, as it might be that certain plans suit your individual circumstances better, and insurance professionals should be able to guide you accordingly.


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