Will asthma affect my life insurance?

Asthma is one of the most common disclosures we come across within a life insurance and/or critical illness cover application here at trustsured, with 1 in 12 adults in the UK affected by the condition. Many asthma sufferers would describe their condition as mild and use mainly preventative medication to keep it at bay, with the occasional need for additional relief during physical exertion or at certain times of the year. However, there are well over 70,000 admissions to hospital in the UK each year due to asthma and well over 1000 deaths are recorded annually due to the condition. With this in mind, insurers take care to ask additional questions as part of any insurance application with an asthma disclosure. Let’s take a look at what they might involve, and if and how they may affect a life insurance and/or critical illness cover application.


What questions will I be asked if I have asthma and I am applying for life insurance or critical illness cover?

The basis of the questions asked by any insurer are designed to gauge the severity of the condition both currently and in the recent past and what the effects are to the individual concerned. Normally the initial questions concern the use of inhalers of both the preventative and reliever kind. In most cases, people are able to effectively control their asthma symptoms with the use of such inhalers. If this is the case, even if the applicant has had less control in the past, or related conditions that have required stronger forms of medication, the general outcome for both life insurance and critical illness cover applications is standard terms. Meaning the cost of the cover is not increased nor the terms altered because of an asthma disclosure.  


Things become slightly more complicated if an applicant has a history requiring medications over and above the preventative and reliever inhalers. The types of circumstances that could cause more scrutiny by an insurer include repetitive courses or tablet form, or ‘oral steroids’ to get a better control of the asthma symptoms or the need for hospital admissions on more than one occasion. This isn’t to say that all and every occurrence in the past will be taken into consideration. Most insurers will focus on the last 2 to 4 years and ignore any history before those points. In these scenarios, it may be that a small rating is applied to the policy application for both life insurance and critical illness cover. This means there is an increase added to the premium to take into consideration the more severe asthma symptoms and treatments. These ratings or ‘loadings’ as they are also known in the industry, are generally quite small and will only increase the premium by a small margin.


It’s worth noting that not all insurers will load a premium for the same set of circumstances. That is why it’s important to use a broker with not only a wide panel of insurers to choose from, but to also use a broker such as trustsured, who have a comprehensive working knowledge of how individual insurers react to different sets of disclosures for asthma. This is vitally important, as without both the specific asthma related knowledge and the panel of insurers, an applicant runs the risk of paying more for their insurance than they would other wise need to do, or in a worst case scenario being declined the cover and thinking they are ineligible for the insurance.


If a loading is applied, it will always have the potential to be removed at a later date if the specific reasons for the price increase become out of the timescale for consideration or if an applicants condition improves for a period of time to not be considered a greater risk. This is the reason why it’s always important to use a broker who actively reviews your insurance cover once they have activated a policy for you. At trustsured, we make a point of factoring in important events and timescales for review to always ensure we are checking the price of which our customers are paying against the prices they may be eligible for now.


This is why it is vital to make sure all of the details of your asthma disclosure are accurate at the time of application. Take the time to check the dates that medications started, admissions to hospitals were, any time you might have had to take of work because of asthma and the frequency and severity of symptoms. In some cases, the insurer will want to ask for additional information surrounding the condition. They may ask to speak to an applicant directly over the phone, commonly referred to as a ‘tele interview’. This will be to try and get a full understanding of a person’s own situation. In some cases, insurers ask for permission to write to a customers GP. Again, this is to get a fuller understanding of an applicant’s personal circumstances. If either of these requests are made on the back on an application through trustsured, we make sure we fully explain all the implications and timescales and will arrange everything on our applicant’s behalf.


Will I be able to get life insurance or critical illness cover if I have asthma and I'm a smoker?

There is one factor not yet discussed, in which all insurers will inevitably take a indistinct view on should an applicant disclose asthma within their health and lifestyle questionnaire. And that is if they smoke. People who smoke and suffer from asthma will inevitably find it more difficult to find life insurance and critical illness cover insurance at the prices those without asthma enjoy. In cases where the asthma symptoms are more severe, an application may be declined. Once again, it’s important to understand that not all insurers will apply the same decision to the same application, so if you have been declined life insurance and/or critical illness cover in the past and been told that it was due to the fact you are a smoker and have asthma, it’s worth your while talking to us to see if we can find a solution to your requirements. Of course, if you have been declined in the past as a smoker, but have since stopped smoking, you may well find that the outcome will be entirely different this time around.


Speak with Trustsured today about your life insurance and critical illness cover

In terms of the process, we try and make things as simple as possible. Just fill in your details via one of the ‘Life Insurance Quote’ tabs. Let us know when it’s best to call and we will do so, and take the time to listen to your requirements and objectives as well as all the details surrounding your asthma conditions. From there we will talk you through all the options available to you and the costs of each. We encourage our customers to take the time to consider their options, so we email over any of the quotations you may be interested in so you can consider them in your own time. If you decide you would like to proceed with an application, we will complete all of the health and lifestyle questionnaire over the phone and at a time that’s convenient to you, be it in the evenings or weekend. If you are happy with the result of the application, in many cases we can activate your policy and you will be covered the same day.


So, if you have been affected by asthma and want to discuss your options for life insurance and/or critical illness cover, please feel free to come and talk to us today. We promise to make the whole process as transparent and hassle free as it could possibly be!