How will insurers view Sciatica when it comes to income protection?
Ms D, a 32-year-old woman, approached us for advice. She wanted to protect her income in the event that she was unable to work for a prolonged period of time, due to injury or ill-health.
She had a history of Sciatica and Rosacea due to workplace stress. Her last episode of ill health occurred a year ago.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica* occurs when the sciatic nerve, which runs from your hips to your feet, becomes irritated. It usually clears up within 4 to 6 weeks but can last longer.
If you have sciatica, your bottom, backs of your legs, feet and toes may feel, painful – like pins and needles, numb or weak. You may also have back pain, but this is not usually as severe as the pain felt in your bottom, legs or feet.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea** is a common but poorly understood long-term skin condition that mainly affects the face.
It can be controlled to some degree with long-term treatment. But, sometimes the changes in physical appearance can have a significant psychological impact.
Symptoms often begin with episodes of flushing, where the skin turns red for a short period, but other symptoms can develop as the condition progresses, such as:
- Burning and stinging sensations
- Permanent redness
- Spots (papules and pustules)
- Small blood vessels in the skin becoming visible
- Rosacea is a relapsing condition, which means there are periods when symptoms are particularly bad but less severe at others.
Despite the 12 month gap since she last had symptoms, she still found it very hard to find an insurer who wouldn’t exclude claims for back pain, or decline her application.
Our advice and process
We felt that we could use our wealth of insurance and medical underwriting knowledge to help Ms D obtain the cover she needed. Once we had a good understanding of her situation, requirements and medical history we started our research process.
We approached all of the insurance providers to get an indication of terms that they may offer this particular case and found interestingly that one insurer would take on the case with no exclusions on standard terms.
A couple of days after we had completed the medical questions with her, and submitted her application to the insurance company, we received the response that the application had been declined.
We were shocked by this and therefore made immediate contact with the Underwriting team concerned. It then transpired that a mistake had been made by the underwriter. Our initial research was correct and the decision subsequently overturned.
Ms D was overjoyed to be offered the cover she’d been looking for for so long which included cover for her Sciatica. Both she and her partner, now have income protection policies in place which will protect their young family should the worst happen.
The policies set up were full-term income protection policies with £1,200 worth of income protected for each of the clients. Full term means that the policies will pay out replacement income for the entire term of the policy, or until the policyholder is well enough to return to work. The alternative would have been policies which would have had a maximum payout period of 2 years only. Mr and Mrs D’s total monthly premium was £89.25 and their policies will expire when they reach 65 years old (anticipated retirement age).
*NHS Choices August 2017
**NHS choices July 2016
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.
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