Life insurance for multiple sclerosis

Life insurance, while a gloomy topic, is essential for many people. It provides financial security for your family should the unexpected happen to you.

The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to more and more people in the UK taking out life cover to protect their loved ones.

However, finding the right type of life insurance isn’t always easy, especially when you have a pre-existing medical condition such as MS. People living with MS may have fewer options available to them and will pay more for their cover, however this does not mean securing affordable cover is not possible.

Below are some useful hints and tips to help you understand more about life insurance and what to expect when applying for life insurance as someone with MS in 2022.

  1. Think about why you need life insurance and what you’d like it to cover

If you have dependents, such as a partner, children or anyone else you take care of financially, then life insurance is usually a very good idea.

A life insurance pay out could help your family meet vital financial commitments if they couldn’t rely on your income, for example – mortgage repayments, household bills, family living costs, debts and so on. Alternatively, if you’re at an age where your children have grown up and you have paid off the mortgage, maybe you’d like life insurance to help cover spiralling funeral costs or to leave a cash gift for your family.

Whatever your unique individual needs, it is important to take the time to consider exactly what you need to protect. If you receive a death in service benefit through your employer it could be beneficial to factor this into your required cover calculations, potentially reducing your monthly premium.

  1. Explore your options and choose a suitable policy

There are various types of life insurance to suit different needs, and someone with MS can apply for any of these. The right option for you will depend on your personal situation and how much you can afford each month.

  • Term life insurance – pays out a cash lump sum to your family if you die within a set period (or term). Usually the cheapest option, but you may be charged an increased premium.
  • Whole of life insurance – pays out a cash lump sum to your family when you die. Usually the most expensive option, plus you may be charged an increased premium.
  • Over 50 life insurance – pays out a cash lump sum to your family when you die. The pay out amount is usually between £3,000 – £20,000. It guarantees acceptance to people aged 50 – 85 (no medical questions). May be ideal for someone with severe MS.
  1. Be aware of the factors which affect your premiums

An insurer will calculate your monthly premium by using the following information:

  • Age
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Medical history
  • Smoking status
  • Occupation
  • Policy cover amount (or sum assured)
  • Policy length

The above factors are taken into account to determine the level of risk involved in offering you a policy.

Someone living with MS will be considered more of a risk to insure and therefore will pay a loaded premium. However, different insurers employ different underwriting criteria and so the cost of premiums can vary. On rare occasions if your MS is very severe you may be declined cover.

  1. Don’t despair if you’re declined by a standard insurer

If you’re refused cover by one insurer it can feel disheartening, but all is not lost as there are several things you can do. Follow these few simple tips to help you secure the cover you’re after:

  • Contact a life insurance expert, such as Reassured who can source other insurers who may accept your application
  • Apply for specialist cover via a broker or specialist insurer. Policies are designed for people with serious pre-existing medical conditions
  • You may consider over 50 life insurance if you’re in the right age bracket. Your MS won’t affect the cost of your premiums and acceptance is guaranteed.
  1. Be honest on your application

It sounds obvious, but it’s important that you’re 100% honest about your personal circumstances when applying for life insurance.

This will make sure that your policy is valid and your family can receive a pay out when you pass away.

Being dishonest or withholding information during your application is known within insurance as non-disclosure.

Insurers are likely to ask you the following questions about your MS:

  • What type of MS do you have?
  • What age were you diagnosed?
  • When was the last relapse?
  • What are your symptoms?
  • Are you receiving treatment?

It’s wise to be prepared for these questions when you start looking for cover, for example, having your medical history to hand.

Follow these top tips to get cheaper premiums

It is possible to save money on your premiums, even when you have MS, due to the many other factors which can influence the cost of your cover. Here are some top money saving tips

  1. Take out cover as soon as you can, as premiums increase as you get older
  2. Look after your mental and physical health, for example, don’t smoke and do plenty of exercise if possible
  3. Choose the right policy type and the right level of cover (don’t over insure yourself which will increase your premiums unnecessarily)
  4. The longer the term, the more likely a claim and therefore the higher your premium. Therefore, take the time to calculate how long you require cover, for example, until the children are financially independent or until the mortgage is paid off
  5. Compare multiple policies and get free quotes by using a FCA regulated broker or comparison website