How will life insurance be affected by having Osteoarthritis?
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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. We 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. This also means we avoid applying to companies who will end up being too expensive or worse, decline an application. By completing our research thoroughly, we are able to avoid wasting time and obtain the best terms possible for our clients.
Our client is a 58 year old man who approached us looking for life insurance to provide his wife with family protection in the event of his death. He had originally applied online with another company. However, he found that the premium he had been quoted initially, had been increased due to the fact he has Osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are joint pain and stiffness. Some people also experience 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. Other people 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 often causes problems in the knees, hips and small joints of the hands.
As part of normal life, your joints are exposed to a constant low level of damage. In most cases, your body repairs the damage itself and you don’t experience any symptoms. But in osteoarthritis, the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones breaks down, causing pain, swelling and problems moving the joint. Bony growths can develop, and the area can become inflamed (red and swollen).
The exact cause isn’t known, but several things are thought to increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis, including:
- Joint injury – overusing your joint when it hasn’t had enough time to heal after an injury or operation
other conditions (secondary arthritis) – osteoarthritis can occur in joints severely damaged by a previous or existing condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout
- Age – your risk of developing the condition increases as you get older
family history – osteoarthritis may run in families, although studies haven’t identified a single gene responsible
- Obesity – being obese puts excess strain on your joints, particularly those that bear most of your weight, such as your knees and hips
In our client’s case this meant the premium increased from around £50 per month to £80.34. Mild osteoarthritis would not usually cause a premium to be rated.
But, in our clients case, the Osteoarthritis affected multiple joints in his body and he was prescribed strong prescription anti-inflammatories. In addition, he also needed to use mobility aids if he was walking any sort of distance.
Once we had gathered all of the necessary medical information, we researched the marketplace to see if we could obtain a lower premium. We found that nearly every company, would add at least 50% onto the basic premium quoted owing to the severity of his symptoms. However, a small handful of companies indicated that they would be able to offer our client a premium on standard terms with no loading to the monthly premium.
We were therefore able to arrange for our client £50,000 of cover until his 80th Birthday for a standard monthly premium of £55.69.
Please note that the premiums provided 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.
Interested in related stories?
- The Benefits of an Index-Linked Life Insurance policy
- Watch our short video about why a life insurance trust is so important.
- Record £5bn in claims paid out by insurers in 2017
- Jon’s moving real life claim story
Whilst you are welcome to get a quote on-line we would recommend you talk to one of our advisers.
Any quote that your adviser provides you with will take into account to your circumstances, your medical history, as well as your budget!
An on-line 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.
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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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