Life insurance and pre-existing medical conditions

While it's not a nice thing to consider, life insurance can help give financial support to your loved ones if you unexpectedly pass away. You can still get life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions, though you might have to pay more for your policy.

Learn more about how to approach life insurance with pre-existing conditions.

  • A pre-existing medical condition is an illness you have had symptoms of, or treatment for, before taking out a life insurance policy.

    Health conditions usually considered as pre-existing include:

    • Cancer.
    • Heart disease - including heart attacks and angina.
    • Strokes.
    • Brain haemorrhage.
    • Asthma.
    • High blood pressure.
    • High cholesterol.
    • Diabetes.
    • Obesity.
    • Mental health.
    • Epilepsy.
    • Cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions.
  • Yes, it’s possible to get life cover with pre-existing conditions. However, you should expect to pay more for your policy. This is because insurers will see pre-existing health conditions as higher risk.

    You may need to provide your insurer with your medical history as part of your application process. Each policy will be different and based on your own personal circumstances. So, your premiums may cost more than someone without the same health condition.

    When you apply for life insurance, it’s important that you disclose your full and correct medical history. Not only will you have the cover you need, but your loved ones are also more likely to receive the financial support you wanted in the event of a claim. If you fail to disclose a pre-existing condition, it could invalidate your policy. This means your loved ones won’t be able to make a claim.

  • Yes, it’s important that you fully disclose your health history to your insurer. If you don’t, you could invalidate your policy. This means your loved ones wouldn’t be able to make a claim if you were to pass away unexpectedly.

    It’s important to be upfront. Your insurer could cancel your policy if you don’t tell them your full medical history. Your insurer may ask for access to your medical history from your GP. So they are likely to find out about any pre-existing conditions even if you don’t tell them the information yourself. They can only do this with your consent, but withholding the information could invalidate your policy later.

    It's common to be worried that your pre-existing health issues could affect your life insurance policy. Having the right cover is more important, to make sure your loved ones get the financial protection you want if you die.

    Scottish Widows provide our life insurance and critical illness cover policies. Scottish Widows protection products have no cash-in value at any time. So if the policy ends without a claim, you won't get any money back. If you don't make payments on time, your cover will stop, your policy will end and you'll get no money back.

  • As part of your application an insurer will ask some health and lifestyle questions, to understand more fully your health history. Some of the questions you can expect your insurer to ask may include:

    • whether you have any pre-existing conditions.
    • how long you’ve had it.
    • any treatment history.
    • severity of condition.
    • current medication or medication history.
    • family history of the condition.
    • any changes you’ve had to make, such as installing a stair-lift at home.

    You can also expect your insurer to ask wider questions on your health, such as:

    • Your age.
    • Your height.
    • Your weight.
    • Your level of physical activity.
    • Whether you’re a smoker/vaper.
    • Amount of alcohol consumed weekly.
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