This article is a guide for anyone who has been diagnosed with high blood pressure to effectively navigate the life insurance marketplace. It aims to highlight potential pitfalls and the ways to avoid them with some inside industry knowledge. Getting life insurance with high blood pressure is by no means out of the question. But it is very worthwhile understanding more about how insurers react to the condition before you begin the process. If you have been diagnosed with raised blood pressure and are;
Why is high blood pressure taken into consideration by life insurance providers? Consistently high blood pressure can cause the vessels to become damaged in the form of weakening and narrowing or to rupture or leak. These conditions as well as the potential for high blood pressure to cause blood clots can lead to stroke. Similarly, over time, prolonged periods of high blood pressure can affect organs in the body. Notably the heart, brain, eyes and kidneys can all be seriously damaged.
These effects can lead to life threatening conditions as well as stroke as already mentioned. Heart attack or failure, kidney failure and blindness are common. Other organs in the body can also succumb to the negative influence of high blood pressure. It is for these reasons that applications for high blood pressure life insurance go into detailed questions around the subject. This helps the insurer to make a fair and informed decision when offering cover and can dictate the price.
It’s thought that nearly a third of the population of adults in the UK live with high blood pressure. That equates to around £16 million people. Out of that number, roughly a third of people are unaware they have the condition as it is largely symptom free. But there are a shocking 62,000 deaths each year in the UK attributed to inadequate blood pressure control. With this number of individuals being affected, high blood pressure and life insurance cases are a common occurrence. High blood pressure for life insurance purposes would be considered readings consistently above 140/90mmHg.
Because of the frequency involving high blood pressure and life insurance applicants, insurers have built into their application’s specific questions on the topic. So therefore, any mainstream insurer in the UK you approach would ask a set of detailed questions about high blood pressure. They do this for several reasons. The first being to get a thorough understanding of an applicant’s circumstances. The insurer is gauging the severity of high blood pressure on the individual. The answers to the questions also help the insurer to accurately evaluate the ‘risk’ that somebody represents in insurance terms. The ‘risk’ being quite simply, how likely it is that that person will die during the term of insurance.
Once the current state of health and the risk have been established, the application questions will then determine if insurance can be offered and ultimately at what price.
It’s important to make sure you have your most recent blood pressure reading before you approach a broker or insurer. Some insurers specify this needs to have been performed by a medical professional. Others simply ask for the most recent reading. Either way, if you don’t have the information to hand it’s not essential but well worth taking a little time to get it.
Some insurers will add more to the premium if you don’t include your reading in the application. This is known in the industry as a ‘loading’. It’s simply not worth paying the extra if you don’t need to. Similarly, if your chosen insurer is one who asks for a medical professional reading, it will most probably need to have been in the last 6-12 months. If it falls outside of this timescale then again, an automatic loading may apply. We generally suggest a quick trip to your surgery to get an up to date reading prior to completing a questionnaire to avoid this scenario.
If your most recent reading was higher than normal, then it may be worth a second check. If you use a reading which is higher than it normally is, then you will be assessed as if that is the case all the time. For example, if your readings tend to come in around 130/80 and you get a reading of 150/100, it’s a distinct possibility the cost of the cover will go up. Blood pressure can rise for all sorts of reasons. Missed the bus on the way to the surgery? Had a near miss in the car on the way there. Kids playing up before school? There is absolutely nothing wrong with making sure the odds are in your favour prior to going ahead with a policy.
We know life insurance with high blood pressure customers are paying more for their cover than is necessary for the reasons above. All too often, the person on the other end of the phone is keener on completing the sale rather than explaining how a small delay can equate to a saving. Life insurance with high blood pressure does not automatically mean a loading to the standard premium. And if you have been told this, then it’s time to look again at your existing policy or gather in some more quotes before you commit.
Top Tips before you start or commit;
It may well be the case that you have other medical conditions to disclose as part of a life insurance high blood pressure application. Some conditions will not be taken into consideration in conjunction with your high blood pressure. For example, a slipped disc and high blood pressure have no connection. But there are other lifestyle habits and medical conditions where most, if not all insurers will take a holistic view on your personal circumstances. Examples will include if you are a smoker or if you have diabetes. Higher BMI scores will also potentially have an effect. Although, typically this is less problematic the older the applicant is.
There are some conditions that when disclosed within a life insurance high blood pressure application will almost certainly require further medical evidence. This in layman’s terms is a report from your GP. For example, if you have suffered with any heart conditions, urine abnormalities or associated eye problems, there is often a request for a GP report. Particularly high cholesterol can also often trigger the need for a medical report. This just means that the insurer would like to get a full understanding of your medical situation. Although it will delay the decision it does not mean that the answer will probably be a no. As the insurers themselves pay the cost of the reports, they don’t request them unless there is a realistic chance of being able to offer cover.
Family history is also very often taken into consideration. Again, this can depend on the age of the person at time of application. Family history asks about very close relatives only including parents, brothers and sisters. Emphasis will be given to family history of heart conditions, strokes and diabetes. If there is more than one instance of one or more of these conditions, there is a strong chance of a premium loading (sometimes also called a ‘rating’).
Insurers will often ask questions specifically about life insurance high blood pressure medication. To support this, they will ask more general questions about how diligently you are in maintaining control of the condition. For example, insurers often ask if you regularly keep up with follow up or routine check-ups with you GP. As well as if you comply with the treatment prescribed for high blood pressure. If you do not attend follow ups or decide to stop your mediation without your doctor’s approval, this will have a negative impact on an application. This is because the insurer will assume you do not take your wellbeing as seriously as they would like. In short, you will pose a greater risk to them. Perhaps to greater risk to offer insurance cover.
Many insurers have stopped asking about specific medications and dosages as they did in the past. Instead they focus more on the number of different medications you have been prescribed. Also, they will ask if your medication has changed. The last 6 months is a typical timescale they will take into consideration. If your dosage has reduced in that time because your doctor as recommended it, then that is typically viewed as a positive thing. If, however, your medication dosage has increased to improve control then there is the likelihood it will cause a postponement. A postponement is when an insurer defers giving a decision on an application until a future date. In this example, it would likely be for 6 months to wait and see if the new medication regime works more affectively.
This scenario may also be true if changes to combinations of medicines are prescribed by your GP or if you are referred to a specialist clinic. Both situations imply that the ideal solution to improve and maintain control of your blood pressure is yet to be confirmed. Wherever there is a question mark over the future control of any medical condition, insurers will postpone cover as a precaution.
Many insurers now ask about your doctor’s comments during your last meeting and how effective you agreed your high blood pressure treatment is. For example, an insurer may ask if your doctor described your condition as “well maintained”. It’s common to be asked how regularly you have been advised to go back for check-ups. They’ll also ask when the last time was you went for a check- up. This is all to assist the insurer in gauging your commitment to effective maintenance. An example would be if you have been told to visit your GP every 6 months, but you’ve not been in a year. In this case, the answers combined would be a negative. If you have been asked to attend every 6 months and went last month, then thumbs up.
The key here is identifying what exactly has been the cause of the negative outcome and what exactly the outcome actually was. Denied life insurance high blood pressure situations typically fall into two categories. In essence, there are two different kinds of ‘no’ from insurers. There is an actual ‘no’ e.g. “thank you for your enquiry, but regrettably on this occasion….. And a ‘not now but come back in the future and it might be yes’ - ‘no’. The latter being a postponement as described above.
When an insurer feels they can’t decide now. Normally, because of some outstanding issues that they need resolved before they can assess a person’s circumstances. An example being, a customer changed their medication last week to try and better improve their high blood pressure control. The case would be postponed normally for 6 months. And assessed again then to see if a judgment can be made on how well the medication is working.
A decline means an insurer leaves no wriggle room. They have decided on balance that the persons circumstances pose’s too greater risk and have decided they cannot cover them. At this point, don’t hang up or walk away. It may be a mistake. Ask for a copy of the application questions or request that the adviser you are talking to goes through the answers you have given once more. People make mistakes. A wrong digit, date and reading could be the difference. So, always ask to check over the answers before you move on. If after that, the consensus is that this particular insurer has declined your application, again don’t despair. Not all insurers are the same in the way they assess applications. Tolerance levels vary from insurer to insurer. So where one insurer might decline a reading of 180/110, you could find that another would rate the policy premium but still offer the cover.
It’s at stages such as this were having someone knowledgeable and motivated can be so beneficial.
Call centre staff are often targeted on volumes. If you fall outside of a parameter, you might just seem like more work and it’s easier just to move on to the next potential sale. Lack of knowledge can also be an issue. If your adviser or broker scratches their head like they are out of ideas, then maybe they are not the right person to get you the cover you want.
Using a broker that has experience in dealing with high blood pressure cases daily can and most probably will make a difference. Unfortunately, that does not guarantee everyone will walk away with life insurance cover. Not everyone will be eligible. But a knowledgeable broker will be able to tell you if you have no options remaining. As well as give you guidance as to when that might change, for example with a change in your circumstances. Quite often, the benefit of a specialist is in the way they understand the insurers and their underwriting tolerances and philosophies. In short, once they understand you and your personal circumstances, they can tell you which providers will accept you and at what price.
Top tips if you’ve been declined cover:
What you see on the internet from the big aggregator companies with annoying TV adverts as well as the insurers themselves are standard prices. Life insurance quotes with high blood pressure will not be accurate until you have completed an application. Known as a ‘Health and Lifestyle Questionnaire’. This needs completion before there is any offer of insurance and has the potential to affect the price.
Similarly, if an insurer asks for further medical evidences, the price is not guaranteed until they are complete. The insurer assesses the information and will then offer insurance terms at which point the price will be certain. Additional medical evidence can be in the form of a GP repost as discussed above. And, a nurse medical, which is a basic physical assessment right up to a full medical examination. The latter is rare and usually only requested with larger sums of cover. More recently, insurers have used a method know as ‘tele interview’. This is simply a call direct from the insurer to you to find out a bit more information.
It’s important to be sure if the life insurance quotes with high blood pressure figures are an accurate estimate taking into consideration your circumstances. Or, if they are just an ‘off the shelf’ price with little or no consideration given to your medical situation. Once again this is where a specialist broker can be of benefit. They will ask you most of the questions you’d be asked as part of a health and lifestyle questionnaire before they talk figures. They may even go away and compile further research. In doing so they will be able to give you an accurate guide to what the price of your life insurance will be given your circumstances. It may well be that the price will be a standard one. But if cases where a rating will most probably apply, it’s is always better to know roughly what that may be. Rather than getting a nasty surprise at the end of the process.
Hopefully this piece has been able to answer many of your questions about getting life insurance with high blood pressure. If not, we are always here to help and happy to give you any further guidance you may require. Let’s summarise the main points again. High blood pressure is a common condition. UK life insurance providers all have the facilities and processes in place to deal with these sets of circumstances. But before you go racing off to arrange your cover, make sure you are prepared. Have to hand your most recent readings and get one done if you need to.
Make sure you have significant dates of things like diagnoses or changes of treatments. And give yourself a fighting chance. If you get a reading that is higher than normal. Have another go.
Don’t take the first offer that comes your way. And don’t be convinced that just because you are getting life insurance with high blood pressure you automatically need to pay more. There are lazy, commission hungry, target stressed, uninformed insurance operatives out there. Don’t allow them to cost you more than is necessary.
If you do have to take an increase in premiums because of how things are today, you can always change in the future. There are no tie in periods with life insurance products. So, it never costs you anything to change from one product to another or at any time. A good broker will schedule in regular timescales to review your circumstances and see if there are opportunities to save money.
You may go from a policy that was rated then to a policy that is on standard pricing now. Specialists can be very useful. Use them to do the donkey work for you. Yes, of course you are free to work your way around all the insurers yourself. But it takes a lot of time and it isn’t any cheaper than the prices you get using a broker. And how can you be sure you got the best price or the most comprehensive deal? A good broker will take their time to talk with you first. To find out what it is you wish to achieve. And to ask all the questions necessary to give you an accurate description of your choices. It gives you the option of a one stop shop. Should save you a lot of time as well as potentially money. And is the best chance of finding a solution to your needs.
It could well all be about timing. As we talked about above, insurers like to see continuity in your circumstances sometimes before they will offer life insurance. Getting life insurance with high blood pressure that has recently been diagnosed being a prime example. Similarly, changes in medication types, combinations or increased doses will mean waiting it out until the impact of the changes can be assessed.
Turned down? Don’t panic. Find out why. And not a wishy washy, ‘it’s because of your high blood pressure’ why. The exact reason and in detail. Make sure it’s not an admin mistake. That means checking everything down to your date of birth has been input correctly. A high reading for someone that appears to be under 30 years old on an application could be declined. If that person is actually 50 and their DOB was input incorrectly, they could be covered by now. If you conclude the insurer has turned you down from an assessment of your accurate circumstances, find a specialist and ask them to explain your other options.
And that’s about it. Of course, there will always be scenarios that fall outside of what is discussed here. Typically, that is the case when there is a need to also take into consideration other medical conditions on top of high blood pressure. That aside, the above has hopefully given you ample knowledge of the do’s, don’ts, why’s and how’s to get the best deal possible.
In this piece, we aim to provide a guide when approaching the topic of high cholesterol and life insurance. With a view of gaining the best possible outcome for you in terms of a most comprehensive and best priced policy. We’ll achieve this by getting a clearer understanding of how life insurers underwrite cases and what topics they consider relevant in order to make decisions. We hope to pass on our knowledge and expertise on the subject so that you can get the best results.
If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol and are considering your options for life insurance for any of the following;
Never had life insurance or critical illness cover policies before
You’ve got a policy and think you are paying more than you should be because of high cholesterol
Have been turned down recently or in the past due to high cholesterol
Had an application decision postponed to a later date as a result of high cholesterol
Then reading through the following could well be a handy tool to assist your future high cholesterol life insuranceoption choices. And of course, if we don’t manage to answer all your questions here, you are welcome to get in touch with us directly.
Cholesterol is essential to a healthy body. The two variants are commonly described as ‘good’ cholesterol i.e. the HDL variety. And ‘bad’ cholesterol i.e. the LDL variety. The latter is responsible for transporting cholesterol around the body. If there is an excess in the blood stream the deposits can build up in the blood vessel walls. It is this build up and the subsequent reduction on blood flow which is the concern for high cholesterol life insurance providers. The deposits or ‘plaques’ can eventually rupture. This rupture or tearing affect can result in blood clots forming at the site. A blot clot that arrives at the heart or brain can cause heart attack and stroke.
All insurers will ask follow up questions surrounding many medical disclosures. Life insurance with high cholesterol applications are no different. Therefore, it’s important that you have the relevant information to hand so that you give yourself the chance of a more favourable outcome. To aid this, have your most recent cholesterol reading ready. And make sure it is up to date. How recent the reading is will also potentially affect the policy price. Get a new one if necessary, as some insurers want readings to be within the past 6-12 months. Any older and it may increase the premium or you could be asked to complete a medical anyway. So, to save time and hassle, it’s always good to be prepared beforehand.
But what about if your most recent reading was higher than normal? If you use a higher reading for the purposes of a life insurance with high cholesterol application, you will be assessed on this basis. This could mean you pay an increased or ‘rated’ premium. It’s these circumstances where a specialist broker can really help with explaining your options. It may be that you are told the rating is unavoidable across the market with the reading you have. You could choose the hold off and wait until you have a new reading that is lower. Or, if you prefer the reassurance of being covered now, take the offer at a higher price and review once you get a lower reading.
There are no ‘tie in’ periods with life insurance and no penalties for ending a policy. So, you are free to change if and when you like. Therefore, you could decide to take the cover today and change it for a cheaper option once your cholesterol reading has come down and the rating no longer applies.
We know from experience that high cholesterol life insurance customers are paying more than they need to. Don’t be told by a sales agent that you will always have to pay more just because of your condition. There are a lot of insurance professionals out there with targets to hit. That work in environments where it’s all about ‘the numbers’ and the next sale. If you are told there is a rating to a premium, be sure to explore other options before you commit. Make sure you are not being made to pay more simply due to a lazy or unknowledgeable salesperson.
If you have an exiting policy with a higher premium due to cholesterol, take another look at it. Ask a specialist to compare the price you pay with the prices available in the marketplace specific to your current circumstances. A good broker will be able to run the figures based on what you can tell them about your condition to a pretty accurate degree. So, you shouldn’t have to run through various applications before you can decide if it makes sense to switch.
It’s common with life insurance for high cholesterol applications to include other medical disclosures as well. Most other disclosures have no associated significance to high cholesterol. There is no link between cholesterol levels and a hernia for example. However, other conditions and/or factors are considered in more or a holistic sense and can have significance to the course or outcome of an enquiry. High blood pressure can in some cases be directly linked to the narrowing of the walls of blood vessels caused by raised cholesterol. As a result, a life insurer will give attention not only to the high blood pressure disclosure. But, also in the context of blood pressure and cholesterol together. If you need to disclose high blood pressure during an application, make sure you have up to date readings to hand. As with cholesterol readings, try and make sure they are within 6 months old.
Other associated risks to life insurance for high cholesterol cases include diabetes and smoking. As with high blood pressure, disclosing these factors during an application along with high cholesterol will normally result in a request for further medical evidence. This means the insurer wants to know more about your medical conditions and general health before they will offer insurance. These can be in the form of a report from your doctor. With questions either specifically requested or a more general overall health report. In other cases, insurers may ask for a nurse screen to be completed. Which is a mini medical examination. Or, in cases where higher levels of cover have been requested, insurers may ask for a full medical or a combination of this and a report.
More recently, insurers have also started to conduct tele interviews. This is where an insurer’s underwriter telephones a customer directly. They will ask more questions concerning a disclosure to help better understand it. All of these further evidence requests are to enable an insurer to fully understand your circumstances. With the aim of being able to offer cover and at the best possible price. It’s the insurer who pays for all of these reports, so they don’t request them unless they think there is a realistic chance of being able to offer cover. There will be an inevitable delay caused whilst the reports are requested and compiled. So, where possible, factor this into timescales.
A prime example of this can be life insurance in connection to a property purchase. If you need the cover in place to coincide with a completion, give yourself time to allow for it. Any offer of insurance is normally valid for three months or so. It’s better to have an offer on the table ready to activate when required. As apposed to trying to get force through reports or decisions for a deadline and falling short of the mark.
Unfortunately for the person applying for high cholesterol life insurance, their family history will be taken into consideration and assessed. And there are certain conditions which will inevitably increase the cost of a policy. Insurers only ask about immediate family i.e. parents and siblings. If you have lost contact with your family or perhaps you are adopted, don’t panic. You won’t be asked to go off and research your family tree. There is an option for simply, ‘don’t know’ with all insurers. The conditions insurers place most emphasis on in the context of family history are heart attack and stroke. More than a single relative or incidence within the family will almost certainly result in a rating. This is obviously unavoidable in the sense that no one can alter their family’s health history. If it is a factor that applies to you, again make sure you explore all the options. But it may well be that you will have to accept an increase in cost unfortunately.
There is a hereditary condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia which also unfortunately comes with greater scrutiny. If you have been diagnosed with this as a cause for raising your cholesterol, your insurer will almost certainly ask for a doctor’s report. This is due to the nature of the condition making control of cholesterol levels more difficult. Again, if you are someone affected with this condition, leave enough time to get a decision from an insurer applied.
As part of any health and lifestyle follow up questions, you will inevitably be asked about your diligence in controlling the condition. High cholesterol and life insurance rates will be affected by the answers you give. You will almost certainly be asked how often your doctor has recommended you should return for check-ups. And if you keep to these timescales. To support this, you will also be asked when last you attended such a check-up and your answers will be crossed referenced. If when looking back at the diary you decide you are overdue a visit to the doctor, then make the appointment. It’s worth being able to answer accurately that you’ve had a check-up recently rather than having to admit you overlooked it on this occasion.
You will also be asked to confirm any medication you have been prescribed to control high cholesterol. And if you comply with what your doctors recommend. If you have decided to change or stop using medication without your doctor’s approval, this will be detrimental to an application. Similarly, if you and your doctor decided to alter the dosage or type of medication or perhaps try different combinations to better control your conditions, this will have an impact. In scenarios such as this, it suggests to the insurer that the best way of controlling the condition has yet to be confirmed. This will often mean the decision for an application is a ‘postponement’. This is when an insurer is saying they won’t cover you now but come back later. Perhaps in 6 months’ time when the results of the changes are apparent and hopefully better control has been achieved.
The same will often be true if you have been diagnosed with raised cholesterol more recently. For example, a diagnosis within 6 months of applying for life insurance will inevitably result in a postponement. This is simply for the insurer to be able to assess the impact of the condition on the individual. As well as providing enough time to assess if the treatment strategy works adequately in controlling cholesterol levels. In all these circumstances, a specialist broker can prove invaluable. Having a knowledgeable individual to explain the reasons for decisions and how best to more forward from that point is crucial.
Have any other disclosure information ready and up to date.
Get the ball rolling. Leave enough time to get an offer of cover before the deadline.
If you’ve skipped a check-up, get one done before applying.
Gather accurate dates for diagnosis, when treatments began or changed.
Changed treatment dosage, type or combination recently? Wait 6 months and try again.
Use a specialist to give you accurate explanations and a plan to more forward.
There are a couple of different types of ‘no ’insurers use. The postponement (described above), is a no for the time being. Typically, 6 months but could be 12 or 18 months, depending on the disclosure and its details. An example of a reason for a postponement could be as follows. Perhaps you apply for a life insurance policy 3 months after being diagnosed with raised cholesterol and starting a course of treatment. If so, your application could well be postponed for 3-6 months. This allows a little space between diagnosis and any treatment or lifestyle changes to take effect. By waiting to assess how the condition evolves, an insurer can provide a much more accurate and fairer decision.
The other type of ‘no’ is a decline. That’s the scenario when an insurer, “regrettably cannot provide you with the requested policy at this time”. This is due to your circumstances being deemed to be too greater a risk to the insurer. So, what to do? Firstly, check everything. And that does mean everything. People can and will make mistakes inputting your details onto an application. Check all the information you have given for disclosures is correct. Check the numbers are right, the dates correct and any dosages accurate. An extra zero or a decimal point in the wrong place can have a severe impact on any decision. So, check it all. And check all the other information you have given. A date of birth wrongly input which makes you either older or younger can also have disastrous consequences.
If after checking everything you conclude the decision is definitely a decline, don’t despair. Not all insurers are the same. Insurers have different tolerance levels in what they will and will not allow. So, when one may say ‘no’, it’s perfectly feasible that another will say ‘yes’.
This is where experience and knowledge can be such a benefit to the consumer. To a call centre seller who speaks to a hundred different people a day you may have just become a barrier to their next sale. They have targets to hit and they have no idea how to convert you into a sale. Plus, they are not motivated when the next caller is waiting in a queue. A lack of working knowledge can be as harmful to your chances of success. Your adviser may be the nicest person on earth. But if they’ve got no idea why you’ve been told ‘no’ or any plan on how to rectify the issue, it’s you that will lose out.
The best life insurance for high cholesterol is the policy that is available to you, at the right price and as comprehensive as possible. Talking to a broker who is familiar with cases of high cholesterol for life insurance and has a large panel of providers to choose from is a clear benefit. That benefit is enhanced if the broker has a detailed working knowledge of the intricate differences between those insurers. That is in the way they understand the underwriting boundaries and philosophies. In essence, they are able to listen to your needs. Assess your circumstances and disclosures. And explain exactly what your options are and the prices those options come at.
Top tips if you’ve been told it’s a no;
Double check everything has been input correctly.
Diagnosed recently? Try again after 6 months have passed.
Changed medication recently? Try again after 6 months have passed.
Reading higher than normal? If it’s unusual, get another done and see if it’s back down.
One insurer declined your application? Others may not. Talk to a specialist who can spell out your options.
This might not be news to you, but the big companies who advertise on TV use prices that will lure you in. A quote is just that. It’s a standard price and does not reflect an assessment in any way. A quote only becomes an offer of insurance once you have completed an assessment of your personal circumstances. That’s in the form of a ‘health and lifestyle questionnaire’. This is the tool all insurers use to gather all the information they can to try and decide if they can offer you insurance. In some cases, they are unable to make a decision based on this information alone and so request further medical evidence.
Further medical evidence is a blanket term that can mean several things. A ‘General Practitioners Report’ or ‘GPR’, is a report requested from your GP. With your consent, an insurer will write to your doctor and ask for details about a medical condition. It allows the insurer to assess your circumstances at a more detailed level. There are also the options of a ‘Nurse Screen’ or ‘Mini Screen’ as it is also sometimes called. This is a type of basic physical examination. It can take place anywhere you choose from the office, at home or at your GP surgery if you prefer. For higher amount of cover cases, insurers can sometimes ask for a more comprehensive full medical. Sometimes with a specialist in a field. But these requests are rare. And don’t worry. The insurer pays for all of these reports or examinations, so there’s no cost to the potential customer! Again, no quote is accurate until these reports have been fully assessed.
When looking at high cholesterol life insurance options, again this is where a specialist can be key. If you are given a price without consideration of your circumstances first, be wary. As we can see above, off the shelf prices can and will alter once your circumstances are fully assessed. A good broker will take time to ask you specific questions surrounding your disclosure for high cholesterol. They know what the insurers ask and how they assess the answers. They will be able to give you accurate guide prices based on the information you give them and the products you want. Bear this in mind before you choose which company you use to assist with finding your cover. The less questions a company ask before they give you a price, the least chance it has of being accurate.
This article’s aim is to highlight some issues our customers have experienced over the years before they have come to us. It is a useful guide to negotiating a life insurance application with high cholesterol and should go some way to answering many questions around the topic. We are of course, always happy to help should you want additional answers. Let’s look at the main points in summary again.
High cholesterol life insurance is common in the UK. The insurers have the ability built into their applications to ask all the questions. But, make sure you have the answers to give them and that they are accurate. Get up to date readings if you need to. Any try and make sure they are at least within the last 6 months if you can. Have any significant dates to hand such as when you started taking a medication and when you were diagnosed. And don’t shoot yourself in the foot. If your most recent reading is high. Get another. Or, if you can’t wait, use it, but review your cover with your broker as soon as you have a lower one. Remember, there are no tie in periods or penalties with life insurance.
Don’t be convinced you must pay more just because you are getting life insurance with high cholesterol. You should not assume you need to pay more as this may not be the case. The first offer you get may not be the best or the cheapest. If there is a general reluctance from the insurance supplier to look at other options, then be cautious. There are a lot of salespeople out there who value their targets and commissions far more than you getting the best deal. Do not pay more than you need to because of ignorance, laziness or unwilling people.
If you do need to pay more for your cover due to how things are today, ask your broker about timescales to review. As mentioned above, there are no tie in periods or penalties for ending an insurance policy with life cover. If you have been rated, then it’s worth reviewing it regularly or when you have a better set of readings. You do not have to go on paying more than you need to indefinitely. A good broker will schedule in regular reviews. Make sue you pick up the phone as well though if things change. Timing can be key, so be forthcoming when necessary. We have had countless examples over the years of customers going from rated policies to standard pricing ones. And making a decent monthly saving in the process.
Of course, you can do all the running around and market research yourself if you wish. It is time consuming. You will need to complete many applications and perhaps get quite a few reports or medicals here and there. Or you can use a specialist to trim down that workload into a set of market wide options for you to consider and choose from. An easy way to gauge if you have found the right person for the job is to consider how much detail they ask from you. Remember, the fewer the questions, the less chance you have of a quote being accurate. The more detail a broker takes, the greater chance you have of getting a price that will look something like the end product.
There is of course a chance you may have to wait to get covered. Timing can be an important factor. If you have been recently diagnosed, changed the course of medication you use recently, or your condition worsened then it may be necessary to come back to the subject later. Again, a good broker will explain timescales and agree when they should be in contact next to start the process up again.
Was the decision a decline? Firstly, find out why. And don’t settle for vague answers. Make sure you are given concise and accurate reasons. Check all your details and make sure it has all been input accurately to allow for admin mistakes. Mistakes lead to inaccurate decisions which may not apply to you at all! And if the decision is a decline, look for a specialist to guide you through your options.
So, there you go. Hopefully that all makes sense. But hang on. We know from experience that everyone is different. For everyone who read this and didn’t have any more questions, there will be at least 10 that want answers to so much more. If that’s you, then let us answer them. Get in touch and we’ll be happy to talk you through everything else we didn’t cover here. And if not, we hope you found this useful and used it to go and get the best deal possible!
A. In most cases, high blood pressure that is well controlled should have little or no effect on your eligibility for life insurance. Therefore, the products and costs available to most people who take medication for high blood pressure will be the same as for a person who has never experienced the condition. Factors that may complicate eligibility can include if you have been diagnosed recently. If you take several types of medication to help with high blood pressure. And if your blood pressure remains high with medication and you are having to try new or different combinations of medication to try and improve your reading levels.
A. All the mainstream UK life insurance providers have the capability of underwriting applications with high blood pressure disclosures. So, there is no reason why such an application would automatically be turned down. There are some examples of circumstances when there may be an increase in the price because of high blood pressure such as if your readings are consistently over a threshold level (typically 140/90). Unfortunately, there are limits to how high readings can go with insurers. In many cases readings that are consistently over 180/110 may well be declined.
A. Anyone who has been told by their doctor that they require treatment for high blood pressure should disclose this as part of a life insurance application. What is considered high by an insurer will depend on which insurer you are approaching. A rule of thumb in terms of when a reading would be considered abnormal - 140/90 is typical with most insurers. This does not necessarily mean a price increase however as other factors such as age will be taken into consideration.
A. Generally no. Only if an applicant’s readings are consistently around the 180/110 range. Most people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and are on treatment fall well below this level of reading. So, for most, life insurance with high blood pressure is still very obtainable.
A. Any diagnosis from a doctor where cholesterol has been described as ‘high’ or ‘Raised’ would be considered high for life insurance purposes. As a figure this typically starts at 3.1 mmol/l and upwards.
A. It will depend of several factors, including time since diagnosis, your most recent reading levels, other conditions such as diabetes or raised blood pressure as well as how well the condition is managed. If well controlled, then most insurers will accept at standard pricing.
A. It can do but very often does not. A history of well controlled cholesterol with no other associated conditions will often mean the same rates as someone without the condition. Rates can increase with higher readings, associated conditions or other risk factors.
Approximately 30% of the population have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. It can lead to serious consequences if left untreated.
If you suffer from high blood pressure or high cholesterol and are looking at changing your life insurance or taking out a new policy we’re here to help.
Click here to skip to how having high blood pressure or high cholesterol might affect your life insurance
Your blood pressure measures how strongly your heart pumps blood around your body. As the heart pumps the blood around your body it ensures your organs and muscles get all the oxygen and energy they require to function through a network of arteries and veins.
As your heart contracts and squeezes the blood through your arteries, your blood pressure increases and as it contracts your blood pressure reduces, therefore your blood pressure is constantly fluctuating between its maximum and minimum level.
Your maximum and minimum levels are referred to as your systolic and diastolic pressure. You will often hear your blood pressure referred to as for example “125 over 80”. The first number being the systolic (maximum) and second, diastolic (minimum)
High blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, is diagnosed when your reading is consistently higher than 140 over 90 over an extended period, generally a number of weeks.
What is High Cholesterol?
High cholesterol is the presence of abnormally high levels of cholesterol in the blood. High cholesterol is generally caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
There are two types of cholesterol:
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) LDL carries cholesterol from your liver to the cells that need it. If there is too much cholesterol for the cells to use, it can build up in the artery walls, leading to disease of the arteries. For this reason, LDL cholesterol is known as “bad cholesterol”.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) HDL carries cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver, where it is either broken down or passed out of the body as a waste product. For this reason, it is referred to as “good cholesterol” and higher levels are better.
The ideal total cholesterol reading would be that of under 5.2 mmol/L, above and beyond this level and you may be diagnosed with high cholesterol.
How does High Blood Pressure affect Life Insurance?
Due to the very high incidence rate of high blood pressure and high cholesterol the insurance providers have a lot of statistical information on record and are able to therefore offer terms of insurance so long as you know your last readings.
As both conditions are generally well managed once diagnosed the price of insurance rarely deviates from standard terms. This means the quote you see on our system will often be the final price you will be expected to pay.
At I’m Insured we’re experts on dealing with applications with medical disclosures. If you would prefer to discuss your requirements with one of our experienced consultants please click the ‘talk to us’ button below or alternatively ‘compare now’ to use our online system.
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