COPD caused by Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency - Can I get life insurance?

COPD caused by Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency – Can I get life insurance?

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 and avoids wasting time applying to companies who may be too expensive or worse, decline an application.  By completing our research thoroughly, we are able to shorten our research process and obtain the best possible terms for our clients.


Our client

We were contacted by Ms T, a 50-year-old non-smoker.  She had recently arranged a mortgage in her sole name following her divorce.  Her previous joint life insurance policy had been cancelled, as neither Ms T nor her ex-husband felt that it covered their new liabilities.

Ms T needed to arrange a new life insurance policy to cover the revised mortgage of £75,000 over a 13-year term, particularly as she is the main carer for her two children.

She was shocked to be declined by two of the largest insurance providers when she submitted an application online. She then approached an insurance broker and was told that life insurance was unavailable due to her medical history.

Ms T had undergone a number of medical investigations 10 years earlier after feeling unwell and suffering shortness of breath.  The tests confirmed that Ms T has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a condition which is usually associated with smoking. This was a very unusual diagnosis as Ms T had never smoked and a further blood test revealed that her condition was caused by Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency.

What is Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency?

Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is a rare, inherited condition, which can cause lung and liver problems. It’s thought that about 25,000 people in the UK have the genetic condition though most remain healthy so few have been diagnosed.

However, Ms T listened to her Consultant’s advice, she follows a healthy lifestyle and practices breathing exercises daily.  This has meant that her condition has not deteriorated and she continues to work full-time in a physically demanding job.

The Outcome

We contacted various insurance providers and the first five companies all confirmed that they would not accept an application based on her
COPD caused by Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency.  The sixth company agreed that Ms T’s circumstances sounded favourable and that they would be willing to underwrite an application for her subject to receiving further medical information from her GP.

This information has now been assessed and Ms T is extremely relieved, as are we, to have obtained the life insurance on ‘standard terms’ (no increase in quoted premium).

Client ref 139433276

Source: The British Lung Foundation September 2017

Interested in related stories?

Next steps

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

Any quote we provide you with will take into account to your circumstances, your 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


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.

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