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Life insurance for pre-existing conditions

Find a great deal on a policy tailored to your needs

  • Specialist life insurance for pre-existing medical conditions

  • Compare quotes from leading insurers

  • Protection for your loved ones

Which life insurance brands do we work with?

We’re dedicated to helping you get the right policy, to give you and your family the peace of mind you deserve. That’s why we work with 14 leading life insurance companies, including:

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Receive a gift card when you buy life insurance

Take out life insurance online through MoneySuperMarket and receive an Amazon.co.uk Gift Card** worth up to £200.

Gift card is redeemable within 40 days of 6th life insurance payment. Gift Card value varies based on the first monthly premium of policy and will be confirmed on the results page. Terms and conditions apply. Not available to those who’ve received a voucher with a life insurance purchased after 28th of February 2021. One voucher per person, offer ends 31st January 2023.

**Restrictions apply, see www.amazon.co.uk/gc-legal

Image of Amazon gift card above a table which shows the card amount you will recive according to the policy amount

Can I get life insurance with a pre-existing condition?

Yes, you can still get life insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition. If your health problems aren’t severe, most providers will still offer you standard cover but may charge more for a policy. For serious medical conditions, there are specialist providers that offer guaranteed cover if you’re over 50. Policies from these providers are usually more expensive but they are more likely to cover your condition or, otherwise, don’t require any medical checks.

lady on sofa looking at phone

What is a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition is a medical issue that you have been diagnosed with. This can include conditions you have been diagnosed with in the past, are currently suffering from, or are chronic. Providers will have their own lists that define what a pre-existing condition is, although there are some conditions that most providers agree fit the definition: 

  • Plus

    Diabetes

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    Cancer

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    Heart disease

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    High blood pressure

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    Osteoarthritis

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    Epilepsy

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    Obesity

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    Asthma

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    Mental health conditions

What types of life insurance can I get?

There are several different types of life insurance for your to choose from that are designed to cover different circumstances and needs:

  • Level term insurance

    With level term life insurance, the sum assured and monthly payments won’t change throughout your policy’s life. So, no matter how long you set your term, your dependents know exactly what they’ll receive

  • Decreasing term insurance

    Decreasing term life insurance decreases in cover over time, usually in line with your mortgage repayments. This cheaper option is specially designed to cover repayment mortgages and decreasing debts

  • Combined critical illness cover

    Critical illness cover is an optional cover that can be combined with your life insurance policy. If you are diagnosed with a critical illness, you can claim your life insurance benefit early. Afterwards, your life insurance ends.

What are policy exclusions?

Some special life insurance policies for people with complex medical history are made affordable by excluding pre-existing conditions rather than increasing premiums to keep them covered. So, if you purchase this type of policy, your loved ones may not be able to claim if your death is related to a pre-existing condition.  

However, aside from these types of policies, most life insurance policies will cover death no matter the cause. The only exception may be if your policy has a waiting period. Typically, this period will last up to the first 12 months of the policy, during which you may not be covered for suicide. These no-exclusions policies cost more but offer more reliable cover for pre-existing conditions.

What will life insurance cost?

The cost of a life insurance policy is different for everyone. Insurers use a number of different factors to decide how much your policy will cost, which include: 

  • Pre-existing conditions

    Your pre-existing conditions will make life insurance more expensive. While you can still get life insurance cover, you can expect to pay more if your policy covers your conditions 

  • Level of cover

    The amount of cover you choose will have the greatest effect on your life insurance cost. The more cover you choose, the more you’ll have to pay for a policy 

  • Your lifestyle

    If you have a dangerous job or take part in dangerous hobbies, like extreme sports, it’s likely that you will have to pay increased premiums 

  • Smoker status

    Smoking can have a serious impact on your health, so providers will charge you more for life insurance if you are a smoker 

How to get cheaper cover for pre-existing conditions?

It’s unavoidable that you will have to pay more for life insurance if you have a pre-existing condition. However, there are a few ways for you to reduce your premiums and perhaps get a better deal for you cover. 

  • Shop around

    Compare quotes and policies from a range of providers to get the best view of your options and find the best deals for cover 

  • Buy sooner rather than later

    Life insurance will only get more expensive the longer you wait. Getting life insurance when you’re younger could save you money 

  • Quit smoking

    Giving up smoking will be good for you and your wallet. Being a non-smoker will fetch you cheaper policies 

  • Exclude your condition

    This is an option to think about carefully. If you’re willing to have your pre-existing conditions excluded, you can get a much cheaper policy  

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Good Points: A seamless process and easy to understand. Improvement Points: N/A
Pros: Super easy, much much easier than I had anticipated and insuring for large amounts was a lot cheaper than I thought also. Cons: no
Pros: Just simple quick.. no contact trying to upswell the product like a lot of companies

What information do I need to apply for a policy?

When applying for your policy, there are a few questions that your provider may ask you to help them better understand the severity of your condition: 

  • When were you first diagnosed with your condition? 

  • Are you currently taking medication for your condition? 

  • Have you recently been admitted to hospital for your condition? 

  • Does your family have a history of the condition? 

To support the information they have provided, they may speak to your GP or ask to see your medical records. They might also request that you undergo a medical assessment to confirm that the information you’ve given them is accurate and up to date. 

couple looking at laptop
Neal Cross

Our expert says

"

It’s very important that you let your insurer know about your pre-existing conditions and answer their questions truthfully. It might be daunting to hand over such personal information, but providers will never investigate your medical history without your permission. By being honest, you give your loved ones the best chance of receiving this valuable support.

"
- Neal Cross, Life Insurance Expert

Alternative policy types

If your pre-existing condition is severe, you are over 50, or you have an extensive history of medical problems, standard life insurance providers may be unwilling to cover you. In cases like this, you may instead need to buy guaranteed life insurance.  

Guaranteed life insurance offers guaranteed acceptance, no matter your age or medical history. However, it is the most expensive life insurance type. It also has limited cover and a minimum term. This means that your policy won’t pay out the full benefit amount if you pass away within a year or two of starting your policy. 

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How to compare Life insurance with MoneySuperMarket

  • Tell us about yourself

    Answer some questions for us about you, your medical history, and the level of protection you want which we can match to policies.

  • We’ll fetch our best quotes

    We have some of the top UK providers on our panel for you to choose from. Browse deals ordered by lowest premium.

  • Choose the deal you want

    Once you’ve found the policy that’s right for you, all it takes is a click for you to buy your policy today for the price you see.

Need to speak to someone about life insurance?

We’ve partnered with LifeSearch to give people even more guidance when buying life insurance. If you’d like some help deciding what kind of cover you need, talk to LifeSearch free of charge. Give them a call on 0800 197 3178.

Opening hours are:

  • Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm

  • Saturday 9am to 2pm

  • Sunday 10am to 3:30pm

Lifesearch logo - phone on 0800 197 3178

It's still possible to get life insurance after a cancer diagnosis, but you may find your premium are more expensive, and you have fewer cover options to choose from. 

If you've been successfully treated for cancer in the past, insurers may want to know what kind of cancer you had, what stage it reached, whether it was metastasised and how it was treated. You may also be asked if any of you have a family history of cancer. 

If you're in remission, life insurance providers are likely to ask how long it's been since you last had symptoms. You're often likely to get a better deal on life insurance the longer your cancer has been in remission.

If you've had a heart attack, you should still be able to get life insurance cover - but again you may find fewer options available to you and insurers are likely to charge higher premiums. This is because insurers see those who have had a heart attack as higher risk. 

  • When the heart attack occurred

  • How severe it was

  • If you required any surgery

  • If you’ve had a stent fitted

  • If you’ve been prescribed any medications

  • If you’ve had any symptoms since your heart attack

If you've had a heart attack in the past, you can improve your chances of getting a good deal on life insurance by showing evidence of a healthy lifestyle. So, if you smoke, you may be able to expand your options by giving up. Similarly, you can reassure insurers by cutting down on alcohol or losing weight.

If you've had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) (also known as a 'mini-stroke') you should still be able to get life insurance. The deals you can get will depend on the severity of your stroke and how long ago it happened.

If your stroke was very recent, it's possible that your insurer will offer restricted terms for your cover. Your policy might not pay out if you pass away in the first few years after you take out insurance. Insurers might also add a stroke exclusion, which means that your insurance only pays out if you pass away for reasons other than your stroke.

In most cases, you should be able to get a life insurance policy with diabetes. But, like all pre-existing medical conditions, it's possible that your diabetes may affect your life insurance premium.

Life insurance for diabetes is more expensive because insurers see diabetes as an added health risk, which increases the chances of a claim being made on your policy. But don't worry - the cost of your life insurance will depend on the exact details of your condition and how it affects you.

If you're able to show that your condition is under control, and you don't have any other pre existing health conditions, it's likely that you'll be able to get a better deal on your life insurance cover.

There are life insurance policies with no medical checks which offer guaranteed cover. However, these are usually more expensive than standard policies and come with terms and limits that standard policies don’t have. 

Family medical history can affect life insurance, but you should still be able to get a level of cover. Your life insurer will either charge you more for your premium, or may exclude that particular condition entirely from your policy. 

You might find it more difficult to find critical illness insurance if you have a pre-existing condition, but it this will depend on your condition and your medical history.

Critical illness insurance is a form of cover that pays out a lump sum if you become critically ill. Unlike standard life insurance, critical illness insurance pays out to you rather than your loved ones or beneficiaries. These policies help you manage your costs while you're critically ill.

Because people with some pre-existing conditions are more likely to suffer a critical illness, insurers may be wary of offering you cover. It's possible that they'll insist on adding an exclusion to your insurance - this means that your policy will only pay out if you go through a critical illness that isn't related to your pre-existing condition.

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