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Choosing life insurance can feel like one of the greatest choices we can make in our lives. Protecting our loved ones when we are gone is, for many of us, the most important act of our lives, and life insurance is one of the best ways to do this. Sufferers of MS may think that their condition excludes them from cover, but this is not the case.
There are many policies available for those who suffer with MS, and though the degree and severity of the condition can vary greatly between individuals, rest assured that cover most likely can be found.
MS is defined by almost all providers as a pre-existing condition, so read on to learn what that means for you.
When you apply for life insurance, providers will request a good deal of medical information to get a full picture of your health. They do this to essentially address what level of risk you are, and whether you currently have any pre-existing conditions.
Pre-existing conditions simply define more or less any medical condition which you reported at the time of application. If you were to be diagnosed with MS after you had taken out a policy, it would not affect you.
Most providers consider MS to be a pre-existing condition. This doesn’t always mean, though, that you will be denied cover. MS itself is a condition extremely varied in its manifestation, so let’s look at how your MS specifically can affect your options for life insurance.
Whether or not you have been diagnosed with MS is far from the only thing that the insurer will want to know. When you report your diagnosis, the providers will require other pieces of information regarding your diagnosis. For example, they will want to know how recently you were diagnosed, how you manage the condition, and the type and stage of your MS.
If you’ve been recently diagnosed, obtaining standard cover may be tricky. The severity of your condition is still up for question. The early stages of the diagnosis are often very unpredictable, and the disease can behave in strange ways. This makes it difficult for the insurer to assess your level of risk, and your application may be declined until a later time.
If your diagnosis was not recent, then you likely have a much better picture of your condition and how you can live with it. At this point, as long as you can demonstrate that you are able to manage the condition and that the symptoms are not severe, you may be accepted on standard terms.
However, advanced MS may mean that you are considered an impaired risk applicant. Again, the risk to the insurer is higher. This may mean that your application is denied, it may mean that your application is accepted on a higher premium, or you may need to seek out alternative cover. It will all depend on the severity of your specific situation.
The simple fact is that there are a lot of factors you’ll need to consider, then. Knowing the variety of policies available to you, and which is best for your needs, is really important, then.
We compare plans from the leading life insurance providers
Before you can decide on the best cover for your needs, consider why you need the insurance and what you need it to cover if you are no longer around. The majority of life insurance policy holders have the policy as security for the mortgage. Consider whether your family would be able to cover the costs of your house if you were no longer around.
Other than that, expenses like childcare, funeral costs and even inheritances for your loved ones are common considerations. Once you have a clear picture of the purpose of your insurance, you’ll find it easy to choose an appropriate policy.
The most common form of life insurance is term life insurance, and to someone with MS this may be an option. Term life insurance essentially means that if you pass away during a specified period, anything from 2 to 40 years, a pay-out will be made to your family.
Term life insurance can be taken on either level or decreasing term basis. Level term means the amount of pay-out received stays the same over the course of the policy. For decreasing term, it goes down over time.
When in the later stages of MS, you are unlikely to be able to obtain a large amount of cover. The period will be shorter, too. This is, again, because you are considered an impaired risk to the provider.
If you are able to demonstrate that you can manage your condition well and it doesn’t show signs of worsening, you may be able to get cover on these terms. Your policy may, however, have to be underwritten manually, and in any case your premiums will almost certainly be higher.
You can also opt for policies which cover you for the rest of your life, guaranteeing a pay-out to your loved ones. As a sufferer of MS, whole of life plans may not be the best option for you due to the cost of the premiums.
Whole of life plans are already more expensive due to their nature as a guaranteed pay-out. With MS, those costs will go up more. This can end up meaning that you pay more into the policy than is ever paid out back to you.
Calculate your options carefully if you are looking into whole of life policies. Make sure you aren’t paying more into them than they would pay out.
Depending on your needs, one of the best choices for sufferers of MS is an over 50s plan. Available to UK residents aged 50-85, these policies do not require you to disclose medical information at point of application.
This means that you are guaranteed to be accepted regardless of your MS.
These plans typically come with a two-year waiting period, if you pass away during which, you will not receive a pay-out and your premiums will be refunded.
The pay-outs are also capped at £25,000. If that would cover your needs, though, an over 50s plan is a great choice for someone with MS.