How would a Blood Clot and Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) affect arranging a life insurance policy?

How would suffering a Blood Clot and Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) affect arranging a life insurance policy?

Our client

We were approached by a 54-year-old male client who wished to arrange replacement life insurance. His existing policy only had 5 years remaining and he wanted to extend the term.  Our client is a smoker who suffered a blood clot in the previous year.  He has made a full recovery, although has been advised to take aspirin on a daily basis.

During the investigations, he was found to have a Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO).

What is patent foramen ovale?

A foramen ovale is a hole in the heart. The small hole naturally exists in babies who are still in the womb for fetal circulation. It should close soon after birth. If it doesn’t close, the condition is called patent foramen ovale (PFO).

PFOs are common. They occur in roughly one out of every four people. If you have no other heart conditions or complications, treatment for PFO is unnecessary. Healthline Sept 2018.

However, it has been associated with other conditions such as stroke. In more serious cases, doctors will offer to surgically repair a PFO, our client was told that this would not be necessary.

Our process

When a client has a pre-existing condition or has suffered a serious illness in the past, the first thing we do is pick up the phone and speak to underwriters at many of the UK’s leading insurance companies.

Discussing all of our client’s medical history helps us to identify the best company to apply to. It avoids wasting time applying to companies who may be too expensive or worse, decline an application.

This involves us contacting many and in some cases all, of the UK’s leading insurers to discuss your requirements. The purpose of this is to establish how they might treat an application.

Will they add a ‘loading’ to the premium? (this is an additional amount on top of the standard monthly premium to reflect their additional risk)

Would an insurer exclude certain conditions?

Will they decline an application? We want to avoid wasting your time and ours by making applications which might be declined.

How would suffering a Blood Clot and Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) affect arranging a life insurance policy?

We looked at the initial quotes and found that there was very little difference in the premiums when comparing the various Insurance Providers. We then contacted them to discuss our client’s medical history.

They were unable to give firm advice without sight of our client’s medical records. We suggested applying to two providers and allow them both to write to our client’s doctor.  Once the initial application was submitted, we were able to transfer much of the information to the second provider saving our client time.  Both Insurance Providers wrote to the GP.

The outcome

Each provider assessed the medical records; the first company felt that the client had an increased risk and offered the life insurance with a 100% loading (the premium was doubled).  Thankfully, the second company considered the risk to be negligible. They were happy to provide the life cover on standard terms so the premium was exactly the same as initially quoted!

We helped the client to arrange a decreasing term life policy with a sum assured of £44,000. This was over a term of 7 years. Also, £16,000 of index-linked life cover until he reaches the age of 80 for a total monthly premium of £28.20.

We keep up with the ever-changing landscape of underwriting criteria amongst all providers in the UK and are constantly researching the market so you don’t have to.  What’s more our advice comes with no obligation and no hidden costs.  You don’t pay us directly but we do get paid by the insurer if you decide to start a policy with them.

All our case studies are based on actual client scenarios, many of which pre-date 2020.  We are confident that the acceptance decision made by the insurers would still be offered. Although it is likely that the rates will have changed, your own circumstances will determine whether what amount will be payable by you and would be fully discussed with you before any plan is implemented.

Please note that any premiums mentioned are indicative only and based on this specific case study/ example, which is shown for information purposes only. Your own circumstances will determine whether the amount payable is more or less than the figure quoted.

Next steps

Whilst you are welcome to get a quote online, we would recommend you speak to one of our advisers.

Any quote that your adviser provides you with will take into account your circumstances and medical history, as well as your budget!

An online quote is just that – a quote – it isn’t a definite offer of cover. What really matters is the premium you are offered, after your application has been assessed.

Call Freephone 0800 644 4468 – Monday to Thursday from 09.00 to 19.00 and on Friday between 09.00 and 17.00.

Please feel free to read our Independent client reviews, or read about the team at Future Proof


Interested in related stories?

Jon’s moving story – being diagnosed with cancer.

The protection industry pays out over £5.7bn in claims in 2019

What questions will an adviser ask me?

Will my claim be paid?

Why you can trust Future Proof.

The benefits of an index-linked insurance policy

Take a look at our handy guides ‘What Cover is Right for me?’

Do you suffer from a medical condition and concerned you can’t secure Life Insurance?  Please view our ‘Medical Guides’ for further information.

Whilst we will make every endeavour to help someone to arrange insurance, there is no guarantee of success.  All applications are subject to underwriting.

Links to third-party websites exist for information only, and we accept no responsibility or liability for the information contained on any such sites.
The existence of a link to another website does not imply or express
endorsement of its provider, products or services by us or St. James’s Place.

"*" indicates required fields

Fill in the form & we'll get back to you