Have you been wondering how easy it’s going to be to get Life Insurance if you are living with MS?
Life Insurance is never a fun topic – but it is the cheapest and best way to protect your family financially should the worst happen – so it’s no wonder we all think about it at some point.
But, if you have a pre-existing medical condition like MS, how easy is it going to be to get Life Insurance?
While it’s true that if you have MS, you may have less options open to you when it comes to Life Insurance cover, and that’s it’s likely to cost you more than if you didn’t have the condition, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get cover – or that it can’t be affordable.
In this article I’m going to be looking at what type of Life Insurance policies are available to those living with MS.
What factors will affect your premiums?
How can you increase your chances of getting cover?
And what can you do if your application for Life Insurance is declined?
But first of all, why bother with Life Insurance in the first place?
Do I Need Life Insurance If I Have MS?
MS (Multiple Sclerosis) is a lifelong condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord.
According to the MS Society UK, there are an estimated 130,000 people living with MS in the UK, with almost 7,000 people newly diagnosed each year.
Symptoms of MS include problems with limb movement, vision, sensation, muscle spasms, problems with thinking and learning, and balance. Sometimes the condition can cause serious disability, although in other cases the symptoms can be mild.
MS is most often diagnosed in people during their 20s and 30s (although it can develop at any age) and is more common in women than in men.
In most cases, the symptoms can be treated. But life expectancy for someone with MS is slightly reduced.
So, the simple answer to the question is that anyone who has dependents; children or a partner, or anyone else who depends on you to take care of them financially, should have Life Insurance.
Life Insurance ensures that if you are no longer around, your family can still meet their financial commitments, including paying the mortgage, bills, and general living costs.
Even if your children are older and no longer financially dependent on you, or you don’t have a mortgage, a Life Insurance policy can be used to provide cash to cover funeral costs, and allow you to leave a cash gift to those you love.
So, whether you have a pre-existing medical condition such as MS, or not, it just makes good sense.
What Type Of Life Insurance Policy Should I Take Out If I Have MS
The truth is, you can apply for any type of Life Insurance if you are living with MS.
The option that’s right for you will depend on your personal situation (how severe/well-controlled your condition, whether you suffer from any related health conditions), and how much you want to pay for cover each month.
1. Term Life Insurance with MS
Term Life insurance is normally the cheapest option.
This type of insurance pays out a lump sum to your family if you die within a set term.
If you die after the term for which you’ve taken out the policy, your family receive nothing.
Premiums for this type of Life Insurance will depend on age, health and your family medical history.
Someone who has MS will find their premiums are higher than for someone who doesn’t have the condition.
2. Whole of Life Insurance and MS
This type of Life Insurance pays out a lump sum to your family when you die – whenever that may be.
Whole of Life Insurance is generally the most expensive option for everyone, MS or not.
This is because the insurer knows that they will 100% have to pay out that money, whether it be 5 years after you’ve taken out the policy, or 35.
Again, if you have a condition such as MS, you will find that your premiums are higher.
3. Over 50s Life Insurance
This can be a good option for someone who is living with advanced MS.
You are guaranteed to be accepted for over 50s Life Insurance cover if you are aged between 50 and 85, with no medical questions asked.
The payout amount is normally around £3,000 to £20,000.
This makes it a good choice if you don’t have a mortgage to pay off or young children to support, but you do want to leave a cash gift and money to cover funeral costs.
What Will Affect The Cost Of My Life Insurance Premiums?
When insurers are calculating your premiums for your Life Insurance, they will take a list of certain things into account, including:
- Smoking status
- Medical history
They’ll also consider how much you want to be insured for, and for how long.
It goes without saying that a 45 year old smoker who works in construction will pay more for their Life Insurance policy than a 20 year old non-smoker who works from their laptop at home.
This is simply because insurers know that the life expectancy of the 45 year old smoker working around heavy machinery all day is likely to be shorter – and therefore they’re more likely to have to pay out sooner.
By the same token, someone with MS is also considered a riskier prospect than someone with no health conditions – so you’re going to pay higher premiums.
However, there is no set figure.
Different insurers have different underwriting criteria, so your premiums can vary from company to company.
This is one of the reasons I would always recommend speaking to an insurance expert (such as ourselves!) who can search the market for you, including insurers you might not have heard of or who aren’t on online price comparison sites, to find you the best deal.
Can I Be Declined Life Insurance If I Have MS?
It’s rare, but I’m not saying it doesn’t happen.
If your MS is very severe then it’s a possibility that you will be declined Life Insurance cover.
But don’t despair…
First of all, just because one insurer has turned you down, it doesn’t mean they all will – like I said, they all have different criteria.
Your best bet in this situation is to speak to an insurance broker. There are Life Insurance policies out there that are designed for people with pre-existing conditions like MS – and we have the resources and contacts to find them.
One of the simplest ways to increase your chances of being accepted is to be 100% honest on your application.
It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at the amount of people who think they can save a few quid in premiums by telling a few porkies about their health or smoking status on their forms.
Being dishonest or withholding information is known as ‘non-disclosure’, and, to put it bluntly, it’s a really stupid thing to do.
Think about it: if you say you’re a non-smoker and then your dirty little secret is discovered when you die (which it will be), your insurance policy will be void, your family will receive nothing, and those cheaper premiums you paid each month will have been a huge waste of money anyway.
So be smart, people!
If you’re looking to get Life Insurance with MS, it’s going to help to be prepared for the types of questions an insurer might ask you in advance so that you can have all the relevant medical history info ready.
Questions might include:
- What type of MS do you have?
- When were you diagnosed?
- What treatment do you receive?
- What are your symptoms?
When was your last relapse?
Ok, so the bottom line is, if you want to get Life Insurance with MS, it’s going to cost more each month than if you didn’t have the condition.
Just HOW much will depend on the individual insurer, and your personal circumstances.
But what steps can you take to keep your Life Insurance premiums as low as possible?
Cheaper Life Insurance Premiums With MS
- Take out Life Insurance cover as soon as possible. Your premiums are only going to increase the older you get.
- Look after your health as much as possible by eating well, staying as active as possible, not smoking, and not drinking to excess.
- Speak to a qualified insurance broker so that they can find the best type of cover to suit your needs. That way you won’t over insure yourself and end up paying over the odds for no reason.
- Think about how long you really need cover for (until the mortgage is paid off, or the children won’t rely on you financially, for example). The longer the term, the higher your premiums will be.
So, there you have it – you CAN get Life Insurance with MS, it just might take a little research and planning. Luckily, that’s what we’re here for!
Come and speak to a member of the team at More Than Money. We know our stuff when it comes to insurance – including finding the best Life Insurance policy for those with MS.