Life Insurance with an Illness: A-Z Medical Conditions List

Can you get cover if you have a pre-existing condition?

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By Grace Hickman
Updated on Friday 10 July 2020

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Getting a life insurance policy is often a very simple and straightforward process for people looking to financially protect their loved ones in the event of their death. 

It isn't so simple for everyone, however; particularly for those who have medical conditions and are considered “impaired” or “impaired risk” by insurance companies, making it difficult for them to get affordable cover, if any at all.

Thankfully, there are specialist insurers available as well as standard providers who can offer life insurance that’s more tailored to applicants who may have a history of medical conditions.

In this definitive guide, we’ll explain what impaired life insurance means, what type of people are deemed to be an “impaired risk’, how it affects the cost of your policy, and we provide a list of all the possible medical conditions that can have an impact on life cover.

List of pre-existing medical conditions - skip to required section

What does impaired mean?

The term impaired is defined as meaning injured, damaged, weakened or having a specific disability, such as cancer or Diabetes.

What is impaired risk life insurance?

When it comes to getting life insurance, you will be deemed as an “impaired risk” applicant if you have a health condition that means you have differing criteria to the standard criteria set out in the terms and conditions.

People who meet the standard criteria often secure the best and cheapest life insurance quotes and deals, whereas people who have a health impairment pose a slightly higher risk to insurers, as they are statistically more likely to claim on their policy earlier due to health-related issues, compared to those that do not have any health conditions, so it is usually a little more difficult to get cover.

Impaired life insurance does not only apply to people who have pre-existing medical conditions, but also to people who have high-risk, dangerous jobs and hobbies, and those who are sports professionals. Essentially, it is anyone who has an increased risk of death.

How does impaired risk affect your policy?

If you are deemed to be an “impaired risk”, your monthly premiums are likely to be more expensive compared to someone that has standard life insurance.

The cost of life cover is usually calculated based on the individual situation and it also depends on the insurance provider and underwriter, so your premiums will reflect the level of risk your condition or job poses.

When applying for cover, the following factors can have a significant impact on the cost:

To find out more, read our guide on the Average Cost of Life Insurance in the UK.

How can I get affordable impaired risk life insurance?

One of the best ways to secure a cheap deal on life insurance, especially impaired risk cover, is to contact a life insurance broker, as they work with a range of insurers in the UK who offer affordable cover for high-risk people with medical conditions.

A broker does all the hard work for you by scouring the market to find the very best deal suited to you and your needs.

Alternatively, you may want to contact some standard and specialist providers directly so that you can compare quotes to find the best deal yourself.

Learn more: How to Get Cheap Life Insurance

Who is classed as an impaired risk for life insurance? - Pre-existing medical conditions list

If you’re looking to get an affordable quote on life insurance for peace of mind and you have a health condition, or used to but are now healthy, you may be wondering if this will affect your chances of getting an impaired life insurance policy.

Most insurers may be willing to cover you depending on your condition and how severe it is - If you find that the main insurance companies won't accept you for cover, you may need to contact a broker or specialist life insurance company.

Below is a complete A-Z list of all the medical conditions covered be specialised impaired risk cover providers.


Addisons’ disease

This rare condition of the adrenal glands is also referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency or hypoadrenalism.

Certain life insurance providers will offer you cover, such as critical/serious illness cover for example, but they usually require that the disease is well-controlled and you haven't had any recent flare-ups before accepting you for a policy.

The disease can be controlled with low levels of steroids and high levels of adrenocorticotrophic hormone, which must be in your body for at least six months before being accepted for cover.

Alcoholism - Life insurance for alcoholics

Can you get life insurance if you drink alcohol?

There are many specialist insurers in the UK who can help provide cover to those who have battled in the past, or are currently suffering, with addictions and mental health conditions, such as alcoholism.

Depending on the severity of your alcoholism, the specialist insurance provider may implement some exclusions in your policy terms, so always make sure you fully understand what your policy protects you and your loved ones for.

Remember that your life insurance company can investigate your application and, in some cases, ask for a blood test to detect alcohol levels. This may affect your ability to qualify for life insurance with a history of alcohol abuse, in which case you will need a specialist insurer.


Angina is a medical condition that causes pains in the chest, which are caused by restricted blood flow to the heart. While this isn’t a highly serious or life-threatening condition, Angina is a sign that you may be at risk of having a more serious condition later on, such as a heart attack or stroke. 

For this reason, you may be wondering whether or not you can purchase a life insurance policy due to the risk, but as the condition can be reduced and treated with the right medication, treatment or lifestyle changes, there are insurers available that will cover this.

However, bear in mind that conditions such as these are likely to be investigated and your policy may need more specific underwriting. 

Does critical illness cover angina?

Depending on your chosen provider, Angina may be listed as one of the serious illnesses covered by their CIC policy. Not all will though, so a life insurance broker may be your best option to help you find the most suitable provider and policy for angina sufferers.

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS)

AS is a type of condition where areas of the body become inflamed and the person suffers with arthritic pain as a result. It predominantly occurs in the spine, but can flare up in other areas, too, and men generally tend to suffer with the condition moreso than women.

While there is treatment available to help relieve pain, ankylosing spondylitis can gradually get worse over time, as there’s currently no cure for it. 

For this reason, getting life insurance if you suffer with AS can be tricky, as some insurers might not be willing to accept your application, but it all depends on the level of risk you pose. 

Insurers who are willing to accept life cover applicants who have ankylosing spondylitis will still need to assess your level of risk and underwrite your insurance policy so that it's specific to your individual case.

If you suffer with AS and need a quote today, your best option would be to speak to a broker who can search the market for a specialist insurer and tailor your policy to your personal situation.

Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia is a type of eating disorder, whereby the individual does not eat enough and/or is not exercising enough due to the personal perception that they are overweight, when they are not. As a result, it is also deemed to be a serious mental health condition.

If you have a history of experiencing anorexia, you are considered to have a pre-existing medical condition and so it may be difficult getting standard cover as insurers will be more cautious when it comes to insuring you.

Thankfully, there are understanding insurance underwriters available in the UK, who will simply want to know some details about your condition before giving you a policy - such as the severity of your anorexia (whether in the past or present) and your general health now, to determine your level of risk and tailor your policy so that it’s specific to you and your condition.


Can you get life insurance if you have anxiety?

Whether you have recently been diagnosed with a mental health condition like anxiety or depression, or you have previously suffered but have now recovered, it is still possible to purchase an affordable life insurance policy.

However, as with any health condition, the cost of your life insurance premiums will depend largely on the severity of your anxiety and the symptoms you have with it.

Does anxiety count as a pre-existing medical condition?

Yes. If you used to suffer with anxiety, but no longer have symptoms, you will need to declare this to your insurer as a pre-existing medical condition.

It is highly important that you are truthful when applying for life insurance; read about the consequences in our blog: Lying When Applying For Life Insurance.


Asthma is also recognised by insurers as a pre-existing medical condition when it comes to getting life insurance, so they’ll want to know about your condition and how severe it is before letting you buy a policy.

While the condition is a minor inconvenience for some people, it can be more life-threatening for others. There is also no cure for asthma, so there is the heightened risk for insurers.

There is a range of UK impaired insurance specialists who will cover people suffering with asthma, but you’ll need to compare deals in order to get the most affordable price and the right policy for you.

Get in touch with a broker or an impaired risk insurance specialist today to get a policy today so that you’re loved ones are covered if the worst should ever happen.

Atrial Fibrillation

This is a heart condition where the individual’s heart beats much faster than usual - up to more than 100 beats per minute in some cases - and it affects roughly 1 million people in the UK, according to the NHS.

Atrial fibrillation is a long-term condition that affects the heart, and people who have it are at a higher risk of stroke, so life insurers generally tend to see this condition as high-risk and, understandably, will want to question it for underwriting purposes.

Autoimmune disorder

If a person’s immune system starts damaging cells and attacking the body as a result, they are suffering with an autoimmune disorder.

There are a few existing autoimmune conditions, such as Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus or inflammatory bowel disease.

Those who have had their life expectancy reduced, suffered organ failure or been hospitalised as a result of their autoimmune disorder may find it difficult to get life insurance due to the increased risk that comes with the illness.

However, there are specialist insurers out there who are willing to help life insurance applicants who have an impaired risk.


Barretts Oesophagus 

This condition is closely linked to gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), which occurs when the muscles above the stomach are weakened, which caused acid to move up to the oesophagus (also termed acid reflux).

If this happens over many years, more damage is done to the stomach, which can subsequently affect the cells that line the oesophagus. This is when the condition is termed Barrett’s oesophagus.  

It is possible that the damaged cells in the oesophagus can become cancerous, but the chances are low; statistically, between 1% and 5% of people who are affected by Barretts oesophagus will later contract oesophageal cancer. 

For this reason, many life insurance companies consider it a precancerous medical condition, so specialist insurers will need to know more about your condition to be able to work out a fair cost for cover.

Basal-cell carcinoma

Basal cells can be found in the outermost layer of skin and their purpose is to produce new skin cells. After producing new skin cells, any older cells are pushed to the skin’s surface where they end up dying and coming off the body naturally.

If basal cells are damaged due to sun exposure or long-term UV radiation from sunlight, they can turn cancerous, in which case they are then called basal-cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.

If you have had this condition and it was medically treated successfully, without any other complications, you may be offered standard cover by insurers. 

However, if you have had basal-cell carcinoma more than once during your lifetime, your insurer will need to know more about the severity of your condition, the medications and treatment you’ve had, how you developed the condition and your overall health, to ensure they’ve assessed your level of risk correctly. This will help them underwrite your bespoke policy and calculate monthly premiums accurately.

Bell’s palsy

Bell’s palsy is a condition where one side of the face is affected by a temporary weakness, paralysis or lack of movement.

It is not a life-threatening condition, as most people with bell’s palsy get better within a 9-month period.

While not a serious condition, some insurers may be hesitant to accept people who have applied for life insurance with Bell’s palsy.

There are, however, some insurers that will assess your condition and underwrite your policy so that it covers your specific situation.


There are many life insurance providers who will cover applicants who suffer with a mental health condition or illness such as bipolar disorder.

Your insurer or broker is likely to ask you questions to find out a bit more about your condition, just so they can assess your level of risk and ensure that your bipolar life insurance policy is correctly underwritten.

Breast cancer

If you’ve suffered with breast cancer in the past and have recovered, or if you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may be looking to get life insurance to help financially protect your loved ones in the event that something should happen to you.

While this is likely to be one of the last things on your mind, it helps to know that there are impaired life insurance companies out there that will offer affordable premiums to those who have had (or currently have) cancerous conditions.

A life insurance broker can do all the hard work for you, hunting the market for a tailored deal that’s suited to your needs and covers you for your individual medical condition. They will probably, however, want to know more about the severity of your breast cancer so that your policy is correctly underwritten.

Brittle bone disorder

Brittle bone disease, otherwise known as osteogenesis imperfects (OI), is a condition where the individual’s bones are very fragile, meaning they can easily break.

It is possible for people with brittle bone disease to buy life insurance cover to protect loved ones if something were to go wrong. Thankfully, there are many insurers who are understanding and are more than happy to help provide cover to people with severe conditions such as this. 

Just bear in mind that they will want to know more about your individual condition, so that they can ensure your policy fully covers you for all eventualities.


If you’re looking to get life insurance, you may be unsure whether or not you’ll be accepted for cover due to being diagnosed with bulimia (in the past or recently).

Most life insurance providers will consider this to be a pre-existing medical condition, and while they will happily provide you with a policy to protect your loved ones, they will need to know more about the severity of your bulimia so that they can assess your level of risk and tailor your policy accordingly.



Due to there being so many different types of cancer and the high number of people in the UK currently suffering with a cancerous condition, cancer is one of the most common conditions covered by life insurance providers.

If you have suffered with cancer in the past but have since recovered, or if you are looking for cover after recent diagnosis with a form of cancer, there are many insurers willing to cover you.

As with any other condition, however, the insurer or broker will want to know more about the severity of the cancer and they will also ask about your family’s medical history, as many types of cancer are hereditary.

Cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy stems from a brain injury that occurs before, during or immediately after birth.

It is possible for people with cerebral palsy to get life insurance with a specialised impaired risk provider.

Insurers do consider this to be a pre-existing medical condition that can potentially lead to further disabilities or health complications, so they will require you to provide more information regarding your condition, while remaining sensitive and understanding to your condition. This will also help them make sure that your policy is underwritten according to your specific situation.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

People who suffer with chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) can purchase a life insurance policy, but bear in mind that insurers consider this to be a long-term medical condition that comes with other risks, such as a potential to develop conditions related to the heart, like heart palpitations. 

A life insurance broker will be able to find you a suitable life insurance provider, but be prepared to answer questions regarding the severity of your chronic fatigue syndrome.

Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease is considered to be a long-term health condition where an individual’s kidneys don’t work as they normally should.

As it is closely linked with kidney infections, inflammation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, you are likely to be considered high-risk by life insurers when applying for life insurance, so some may not be willing to insure you, while other specialist insurers will cover you after they have fully assessed the level of risk you pose.

You may also be able to get critical illness cover to cover you for any other illnesses, but bear in mind that insurers may not cover your pre-existing condition in the policy, unless you can find a specialist one that will.

Coeliac disease

Coeliac disease is a type of autoimmune medical condition, whereby the small intestine doesn’t work as well as it should and doesn’t absorb all the nutrients from food.

While sufferers of this condition have to endure symptoms like bloating, cramps in the abdominal area and diarrhoea, insurers are still willing to provide standard life insurance policies to people who have the condition, without the added cost to premiums (unless your case is severe), as they people with coeliac disease generally live a healthy life.


Also known as ulcerative colitis, this is a long-term inflammatory bowel condition whereby the large intestine (colon) and the rectum are both inflamed, which leads to having small ulcers on the bowel.

This inflammation can cause the ulcers to bleed and possibly get infected, which can also bring about many other symptoms, such as pain, cramps and diarrhoea.

It is still possible to purchase life insurance even if you’re a sufferer of colitis; the insurer will probably want to ask you more questions during your application to make sure that your policy is completely bespoke to you and covers you for all eventualities related to your pre-existing condition. Some things may be excluded, however, so make sure you fully understand what your policy covers you for.

Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is a life-long health condition where the individual’s digestive system and bowels are affected. People who have this condition have to put up with symptoms such as abdominal pains, cramps, regular diarrhoea, weight loss and fatigue.

Each case of Crohn's disease depends completely on the person suffering with the condition; some people may experience their symptoms come and go from time to time, or they might experience bad flare-ups that affect their daily life.

If you suffer with this condition but you’re unsure if you can get life insurance because of it, there are life insurers available who will provide cover for your situation, but if your Crohn's disease symptoms are severe and you have other health-related issues, your insurer will want to know more about it so that they can underwrite your policy correctly and determine the cost of your premiums.


Deafness or hearing loss

Another ‘special’ or ‘impaired’ risk that life insurers need to consider and assess first before providing a policy is deafness.

Your hearing loss condition won’t stop you from getting covered to protect you and your loved ones when you pass away; however, as with all life insurance applicants, the insurance provider will want to know more details about your deafness, as well as whether or not you have any other related, or non-related, medical conditions.

With this information, they’ll be able to tailor your policy so that it suits you, and you’ll get a price based on your level of cover and individual situation.


Depression is a type of mental health illness, but people experience different levels of the condition and it can affect individuals in a number of different ways.

Having to deal with sorting out life insurance may seem daunting and overwhelming, but having cover in place will give you peace of mind for the rest of your life that you and your loved ones are financially protected should anything happen to you.

Life insurers will provide cover for people who suffer medical health issues like depression, anxiety or alcoholism, but they will want to know more information about your individual case; such as the severity of your past or previous condition, how often you experience it, whether or not you’re managing it with therapy, self-help or medication.

They will need to cover all bases to protect themselves financially, but most importantly, to ensure you are fully protected with your life insurance policy.

Does critical illness cover depression?

If you are managing your depression with the help of medication or therapy, insurers will generally cover you for critical illness cover with standard terms and conditions.

If your case is more severe (i.e. you have considered or attempted to take your own life), your insurer is likely to add some exclusions to your policy.

Always ensure you fully understand your policy’s Ts & Cs - it is vital that you are aware the circumstances in which you are and are not covered for.

It is also important that you are completely truthful when answering questions related to your medical condition, otherwise your policy is likely to be void and your loved ones will not be able to claim for a payout in the event of your death.

Diabetes - types 1 and 2

Diabetes is generally a life-long common health condition which occurs when an individual’s blood sugar levels are a lot higher than normal.

Normally, when people ingest sugar, the insulin hormone is produced in order to control the amount of sugar being passed into our blood. People who have diabetes, however, do not have enough insulin in their body to do this.

There are two types of diabetes:

  • Type 1: Around 10% of adults have this type, where the individual’s immune system destroys insulin-producing cells.
  • Type 2: This is the most common type of diabetes, where individuals naturally don’t proceed enough insulin.

Does diabetes affect insurance?

Insurers consider diabetes to be a pre-existing medical condition and your insurance company will need to find more out about your condition so that your level of risk can be assessed and your policy can be accurately underwritten.

If your diabetes condition is managed well and you do your best to live an active and healthy lifestyle, your insurer may be able to accept you for cover on standard terms.

Can you get critical illness cover if you have diabetes?

Getting a critical illness policy with diabetes can be tricky as it completely depends on the individual’s circumstances. 

Generally, people who have type 1 diabetes are not accepted for critical illness cover, but there are some life insurance providers who offer cover to people who have type 2.

Your provider may add some exclusions to your policy, depending on your situation, so just ensure you know exactly what you are covered for (and what you are not).

Drug abuse

If you have battled with drug abuse in the past, it may seem really daunting when getting something like life insurance due to the personal and medical questions asked.

Thankfully, there are sensitive and understanding insurance companies out there who will be more than willing to offer you cover so that you can protect your loved ones.

As usual, the insurer will want to find out more about your history of drug abuse, such as whether or not your life expectancy has been shortened or you have previously been admitted to hospital due to organ failure as a result. If this is the case, your premiums and the terms of your policy will adapt accordingly.

If you are currently abusing drugs, insurers may be wary about offering you cover, but if you have been doing things to manage it and keep it under control (with rehab, for example), then you should be able to get affordable life insurance.



If you have a medical condition like epilepsy and you need to buy life insurance to ensure your loved ones are financially protected in the event of your death, it’s important to note that your cover won’t be like standard life insurance.

Life insurance applicants with epilepsy will need to answer more health-related questions so that the insurer can assess their level of risk and underwrite the policy to tailor it to their specific circumstances.

For example, they may ask you about the severity of your seizures or whether or not you’ve had surgery due to your condition - in which case, they may consider you to be a high-risk case.


Fatty liver disease

People who have fatty liver disease have a higher risk of developing other health conditions and problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems (heart attack and stroke), kidney disease and cirrhosis.

For this reason, insurers are generally wary when someone with fatty liver disease applies for life cover due to the high risk of developing other conditions, so they will want to fully assess your medical history first before determining a price and underwriting your policy.


An individual that has this long-term, debilitating condition suffers with chronic pain throughout the whole body. People with fibromyalgia usually find it difficult to sleep despite feeling fatigue, and their muscles are often stiff and aching, which leads to a lack of concentration as well as headaches and other conditions like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there is medication available to help sufferers manage their pain and symptoms.

When purchasing life insurance, your insurer will want to find out more about your medical history, so that they can accurately underwrite your policy and provide you with the best cover possible.

Be aware, though, that some insurers may not offer cover to people with fibromyalgia or insurers that do provide insurance may offer a more expensive quote than others, which is why it’s best to get a range of quotes from different insurers, or contact a broker to do that for you.


Gastric bypass

Someone who has been through the medical procedure of having a gastric bypass to lose weight, may be at risk of suffering additional complications such as infections, digestion issues, blood clots and malnutrition. 

Due to the attached risks, a life insurance provider may be hesitant to insure someone who’s had a gastric bypass and has had problems with their weight in the past, so they will want to find out more to assess how much of a risk your health condition poses to the insurer.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes happens when a woman’s body is unable to produce insulin during pregnancy. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that controls the amount of sugar in the body. 

This usually occurs in the later part of pregnancy, such as the second or third trimester. Once the woman has given birth, her blood sugar levels should return back to normal, so having gestational diabetes in your life shouldn’t stop you from being able to get affordable life cover.


Gout is a medical condition that causes a sufferer to experience chronic pain and swelling in their joints, including their knees, elbows, wrists, fingers and the big toe. It can become worse over time, which can consequently lead to permanent joint damage.

Depending on your specific situation, you shouldn’t have a problem finding an insurer that’s willing to cover you. They will, however, want to find out more information, such as when you first experienced gout and any related medical conditions. This way, they can tailor your policy to suit you and can work out the cost of your premiums depending on the severity of your gout.


Heart attack + other conditions

When it comes to heart-related health conditions, applying for life insurance cover may seem like a challenge. If you’ve suffered with severe health issues because of a heart attack or you have conditions such as heart disease that have led to a heart attack, insurers might be less inclined to insure you. There are, however, plenty of standard and specialist life insurers that won’t leave you in the dark and will offer you the best protection possible.

Try getting a quote from a few different providers to see what cover they can offer you, or use a life insurance broker to do all the work for you and help find a bespoke policy that’s been underwritten to cover your exact needs.

You can get a critical illness cover policy, but just note that they may exclude your pre-existing medical condition from the list in the terms and conditions, so you need to fully understand what you are covered for.


There are different types of the hepatitis virus: A, B, C, D and E. Someone who suffers with hepatitis has an inflamed liver, which can be caused by alcohol damage or a virus. Having hepatitis shouldn’t prevent you from being able to purchase life cover to look after your loved ones in the event of your death, but it may be harder to get cover if you’ve experienced liver failure due to hepatitis. In this case, it would be best to use a comparison service, such as a broker, to find you an insurer that’s willing to cover your situation.

High blood pressure

Having a high blood pressure can cause severe health conditions relating to the heart, such as a heart attack or stroke.

Many people suffer with high blood pressure and it is a common health condition which can often be managed with medication and certain changes to your lifestyle habits. 

As it is a common health condition, insurers generally tend to accept people with high blood pressure for life insurance. In more severe cases, they will want to ask more questions to determine your risk.

High cholesterol

The medical term cholesterol refers to the fat in your blood, so someone with a high cholesterol has a higher chance of suffering with other serious health conditions such as a heart attack or stroke.

Like high blood pressure, high cholesterol is also another common health condition, so there will be many life insurers willing to accept you for cover at an affordable price similar to standard cover.

If, however, your cholesterol readings are high (more than 6), insurers will understandably want to ask further questions related to your condition. If you are seen as high risk by the insurer, they will underwrite your policy so that it suits your individual situation. You may struggle to get a policy if you’ve been told by a medical professional that you have a higher chance of having a heart attack or stroke, so you may need to find a more specialist insurer if this is the case.



Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition where the sufferer experiences pain in their stomach, such as cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation due to the digestive system being unable to pass food through easily.

IBS can affect people in many different ways and there are different severities of the condition, so your insurance company will need to know more information. It is vital that you are honest with them, otherwise your policy may be void in the event of your loved ones making a claim.

Those who have had more severe cases of IBS lasting for more than 5 years may find it difficult to get cover - this is where a specialist insurer or life insurance broker can help you.


Kidney disease

Kidney disease is a long-term health condition where both kidneys don’t work properly. People who have a severe case of the condition may have kidneys that do not work at all and need to have a kidney transplant.

The condition can occur because of related health problems, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inflammation, infection and diabetes, so your insurer will want to ask you related questions so that they can underwrite your policy correctly and remain covered throughout the term.



People who suffer with the long-term condition known as Lupus have an overactive immune system, which attacks the healthy cells in the body.

While many people manage their lupus condition with medications, there is also a high risk of having other medical conditions as a result, such as high blood pressure, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.

Some people who suffer with Lupus find that it comes and goes, whereas others may have consistent symptoms. For this reason, a life insurance company will need to assess the individual’s situation and look at your overall health to be able to provide you with an accurate policy and price.


Mental health

Whether you have suffered with mental health problems or other issues in the past, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, or whether you are currently suffering with a mental health condition, it is still possible to get a life insurance policy.

There are many different aspects to mental health and people can be affected in different ways, so the insurance company will want to know more information about your specific condition, such as your first diagnosis, how you manage it (such as medications, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc), if you’ve been admitted to hospital because of it or attempted suicide. Depending on the answers you give, your premiums will be calculated accordingly and your policy underwritten to suit you.

While it may be a sensitive and difficult thing to talk about, it is vital that you’re completely honest with your insurer; any false information could result in your loved ones not receiving a payout if they were to make a claim in the event of your death. 

Most providers are understanding when it comes to this, but you may want to go through a broker as it may help to take the pressure off.


Migraines are commonly experienced by many individuals; some people who suffer will know when the migraine is about to start, while others will experience the pain without any warning.

As this is a very common pre-existing or existing medical condition, most insurers will be happy to offer you cover at the standard rate, but bear in mind that if your migraines are linked to any other serious medical conditions, it will prove more difficult to find an insurer that will cover you and the insurer will want to know more detail about your medical history.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a life-long medical condition that interferes with people’s ability to move their arms and legs, particularly with balance, and it can also affect their sight, brain, spinal cord and sensory stimulation. Some cases can be managed with medication.

MS affects people differently, so the insurance company will want to find out more about your condition and any associated health problems so that they can underwrite your life insurance policy. If your life expectancy is shorter due to your condition, then it may be difficult to get cover, but a specialist insurer or broker should be able to help you.



Due to the number of risks associated with being overweight or obese, such as diabetes, heart conditions, stroke, breast cancer, bowel cancer, and mental health problems, life insurers consider obesity to be a pre-existing medical condition.

Being overweight should not stop you from getting cover to protect you and your loved ones should anything happen to you, but the insurer will want to know more about your health status so that they can fully assess the level of risk you pose and underwrite your policy so that it’s suited specifically to you and your situation.


Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)

Polycystic kidney disease causes cysts to appear on a person’s kidneys, and in most cases, people who suffer with PKD have inherited the condition from a family member.

Once the individual with PKD passes the age of 30, it can lead to other health issues such as pains in the stomach, high blood pressure, urinary tract infections and kidney stones.

Life insurance companies are also aware that polycystic kidney disease can cause more serious health conditions if their case is more severe, such as kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and brain haemorrhage, so they will want to know more about your condition before giving you a policy.

While some associated conditions are treatable, your insurer will need to underwrite your policy depending on your specific case, so it is worth getting a range of quotes from different companies to see which one offers you not only the best price, but the best policy.


Sickle cell disease

This type of condition is most common with people who have Caribbean or African families, affecting the red blood cells in an individual’s body during their entire life.

While this medical condition can be treated, sickle cell disease can also cause anaemia, fatigue, dizziness, infections, strokes, heart attacks and lung problems, so it may be difficult to find cheap life insurance. You will still be able to get covered, but it may come with a higher premium, so be sure to get a range of quotes from insurance companies or use a broker to do this for you.

Smoking and vaping

In the world of life insurance, it is commonly known that smoking can almost double your premiums in comparison to someone who doesn’t smoke. This is due to the many health problems associated with smoking, such as lung problems, heart problems, cancer, angina and bronchitis.

Whichever life insurance provider you choose, they will want to know more about your smoking habits, like how long you’ve been smoking, how often you smoke, what you smoke. It is important to note that using vapes and e-cigarettes is still considered smoking by insurers, as there isn’t enough research on the subject yet.

As a smoker, you should expect higher premiums, so it will benefit you if you get a range of quotes to determine the best deal and best policy for you.


Stress is a type of mental health condition, but it can vary significantly from person to person. If you suffer with stress due to certain aspects of your life, there are ways in which you can help yourself to ease the symptoms.

You will still be eligible for life insurance if you feel stress on a regular basis, but your insurer may want to find out a little more information depending on your answers and your circumstances.

Always be truthful when applying for life cover, no matter how difficult it may be to disclose the information. Any false details are likely to result in your policy being void and your loved ones being unable to claim a payout.


If you have experienced having a stroke in the past or you are at risk of having a stroke due to other health conditions, you may be wondering whether or not you can get life insurance to protect your loved ones.

A stroke is a serious, life-threatening health condition, so many insurers will be very cautious during your application for life cover. They may even request to speak to your doctor or hospital to get your medical records. This is completely normal, as it means the insurance company is doing everything they can to assess your level of risk and provide you with the best level of cover possible.

Many critical illness insurance policies cover strokes at different levels of severity, but bear in mind that stroke may be excluded from your policy if you’ve suffered one before. Speak to a life insurance broker or specialist for more information regarding the perfect policy for you.



TIA stands for a transient ischaemic attack, which is similar to a stroke but less severe and less damaging The symptoms are, however, very similar to a stroke.

If you have suffered from a TIA in the past, your insurer will ask you questions about this to find out more about your condition and the severity of it.

You will still be able to buy life insurance to protect your family in the event of your death, but your monthly premiums will depend on your specific case and will be decided by the insurer. 


Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a long-term health condition concerning inflammation of the bowel, particularly in the large intestine (colon) and the rectum, which causes ulcers to appear.

This pre-existing medical condition can be different with each life insurance applicant, so the insurer will ask you further questions to determine your level of risk, such as whether you take medication to manage symptoms or you have had to have surgery previously.

They will then use this information to set a price for your premiums.

Underactive thyroid

If you have an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism as it is otherwise known, it is where your thyroid gland is incapable of producing enough hormones to be able to work properly.

This condition can be managed and treated with hormone tablets and it is considered to be a controllable condition to life insurers, so you should be able to get a standard life insurance policy with affordable premiums.

Life insurance advice with Compare UK Quotes

The main reason for purchasing life insurance is to provide a way of financially protecting your loved ones and your assets in the event of your death, and no matter what your medical history, your pre-existing medical condition(s) shouldn't stop you.

Thankfully, there are plenty of life insurers in the UK who are understanding towards peoples' circumstances and will do everything they can to provide you with an affordable impaired life insurance quote, so you can protect your loved ones and have peace of mind.

It pays to do your research to explore your options with different insurance companies, as each insurer may have different terms, exclusions and prices.

At Compare UK Quotes, we recommend contacting a life insurance broker as they can search the market on your behalf to find a policy that suits your needs.

If you feel like you need a little more information and advice regarding life insurance before taking that next step, be sure to read our useful guides below.

Types of Life Insurance

What is the Average Cost of Life Insurance in the UK?

How Much More is Life Insurance for Smokers in the UK?

Putting Life Insurance in Trust

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