Osteoarthritis and arranging life insurance
This can have an impact on the final ‘underwritten’ premium and sometimes cause it to be higher than the initial quoted premium. Below is an interesting case study which demonstrates the value of expert advice.
Mrs S wanted a Whole of Life policy with a sum assured of £5,000, as she wanted to ensure that her family would not have to fund her funeral costs when she passes away.
Mrs S was 71 years old and in reasonable health, although she had been on medication for many years for an under-active thyroid. She also suffered from mild to moderate osteoarthritis in her back and knees, and had been prescribed pain killers and an anti-inflammatory.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes joints to become painful and stiff, and it is the most common type of arthritis in the UK.
The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are joint stiffness and pain. Some people also have symptoms such as swelling, tenderness and a grating or crackling sound when moving the affected joints
The severity of osteoarthritis symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, and between different affected joints.
For some people, the symptoms can be mild and may come and go, whilst others can experience more continuous and severe problems which make it difficult to carry out everyday activities.
Almost any joint can be affected by osteoarthritis, but the condition most commonly causes problems in the knees, hips, and small joints of the hands.
Our initial recommendation
We recommended a Whole of Life plan with an indexation benefit to ensure that the sum assured remained in line with inflation and average funeral costs. We agreed to apply to the insurer who were quoting the lowest monthly premium of £21.67.
Our process and advice
At Future Proof, we have access to specialist insurance companies who don’t deal directly with the public but can offer more specialised policies that are designed to provide cover where other major providers can’t.
Our research process involves us contacting many insurers to find out the best possible outcome for our clients, which avoids any nasty shocks later on during the underwriting process.
Would the insurer add a ‘loading’ to their standard premium? (this is an additional sum charged on top of their standard monthly premium to reflect their additional risk).
Might they decline the application? We want to avoid wasting time by making applications which may be declined.
The underwriting process
An application was submitted and the insurer requested a report from the clients GP. Once the report was received and assessed, the insurer decided to increase their premium to £27.40. They confirmed that the information on the application did match that which was on the doctor’s report, however, they felt that the severity of her osteoarthritis posed a higher risk to them.
Mrs S was understandably unhappy with this decision, so we agreed to re-apply to the insurer who offered the second-lowest monthly premium of £21.76. They didn’t feel that the osteoarthritis was a higher risk, and within 24 hours of the application being submitted, were happy to offer the policy on standard terms with no increase to the quoted premium of £21.76.
This demonstrates that it does pay to speak to an expert who can research the market on your behalf.
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.
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.
Interested in related stories?
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.
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