Finding life cover when you have a pre-existing medical condition

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on November 25th, 2021       

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Life insurance policy limitations in the past could have prevented people with pre-existing medical conditions from getting a cover, but with so many options on the market, it is now possible to find a life cover that will provide financial stability for your loved ones. You might be requested to undergo a medical test, but that doesn’t mean you will be ruled out to receive cover. Here is what you need to know when it comes to finding a life insurance policy if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

A pre-existing medical condition can drive up premiums

Pre-existing medical conditions are not a strange phenomenon in Australia. Especially if you have a critical illness or disability that you have recovered from which gives you more reason to find life cover that protects your loved ones financially. Most policies will cover up to 50 various medical conditions, but they also include cover for top medical conditions such as:

  • Strokes
  • Cancer
  • Heart attacks

If you have a pre-existing medical condition and you are already on the search for a policy that will cover you, you will soon realise how tricky it is to find cover. The chances of you securing a policy can result in higher premiums due to the level of risk an insurer rates you based on your health. Unfortunately, there is a possibility that the more severe your medical condition is the less likely it is for you to find an insurer who will be willing to offer you a quote. Therefore, it is essential to get life cover at a young age whilst you are still healthy, or the illness has not developed to a critical stage.

There is a silver lining

It is not all doom and gloom when it comes to finding a cover that acknowledges your pre-existing medical condition and is willing to cover you. You can try shopping around for covers that are specifically designed to take care of people with your medical condition without compromising your family’s future financial stability. However, it is advisable that you carefully analyse the features of your policy to ensure that there are no surprises down the road. You can speak to your insurer about the clauses that come with a policy to get a better understanding of what might make your policy void or delay the payment when you have passed on.

You could be requested to undergo a medical examination

Insurers work on an individual basis and look at a variety of factors, particularly your health, to determine an adequate cover for you. Due to the nature of your medical condition, there will be a possibility that you would be requested to undergo a medical examination. You could also be requested to provide your own and your family’s medical history to better asses the level of cover that you will need. However, this will only be done with your consent. No insurer can access your medical files without your approval. When providing any information that will be requested from you, it will be to your benefit to be honest. Lying is considered a fraudulent activity and can also make your cover void.

Some policies might come with an exclusion

It is important to know that no insurer is allowed to discriminate against you based on your illness and disability. However, you could get a policy that has exclusions due to the level of risk that an insurer might place you at.

Policies that come with exclusions could include what is known as a ‘loaded’ premium, which basically mean you pay an increased rate to cover the increased risk. This is likely to increase with the severity of the condition. Policies without exclusions means that the more severe your condition is the more likely it will be that you will be able to find a regular cover.

Finding a life insurance policy that covers you is important no matter what condition you have. You can speak to a friendly insurer who will be able to assist you in protecting your loved one’s financial future.