What to Expect When Applying for Life Insurance


Applying for life insurance can be a daunting prospect for many. Some of you may be worried about how much information you need to provide, and how this information will be used in the application process. Coupled with misconceptions about just how complicated the process is, it is no wonder many are put off taking out life insurance until it is too late.

Understanding what to expect before you apply for life insurance can make the whole idea of taking out a policy much simpler and easier.

How to choose the right policy

Life insurance can be taken out to cover a variety of things, from your children’s future to your mortgage. Each policy type can have its own benefits for you and your family, depending on what you want to protect.

You can take out life insurance to cover the mortgage and other household bills, help with everyday living costs, cover or contribute to funeral costs.

If you are planning to cover your mortgage, level term life insurance is a suitable choice for interest-only mortgages. Decreasing term life insurance is suited to a repayment mortgage.

There are also life insurance cover options to protect against critical illness. Critical illness cover and income protection are two different policy types that can provide financial support in the instance of ill-health.

When you take out life insurance, you have the option of taking out more than one policy. This can help to protect against more than one eventuality. For instance, you could take out decreasing term life insurance to cover your mortgage, and critical illness cover to help with any bills if you were diagnosed with a defined critical illness.

What factors affect life insurance coverage?

When you apply for life insurance, you will be asked a number of simple questions about your health and lifestyle, including your age, physical and mental health, smoking status and your family medical history. This can help determine how much of a risk you are to the insurance provider.

The answers to these health and lifestyle questions are important because they give a clearer picture of your overall health, and your risk of developing future health problems. Remember that you should always answer the questions accurately, or it could affect any claims you make.

How are insurance premiums calculated?

You pay for life insurance through monthly premiums, which are calculated in part based on your health and lifestyle. For instance, if you are a smoker then you are considered to be higher risk than a non-smoker, and your premiums may be more expensive.

Your health and lifestyle will give an idea of how likely you are to encounter any serious health problems. This allows the insurance provider to calculate your premiums, along with how much cover you need and for how long.

If you are adding additional cover to your life insurance, such as critical illness cover, your premiums may also increase.

Do I need to have a medical exam for life insurance?

If the insurance provider requires more information about your health and lifestyle, you may be asked further questions or to undertake a medical examination. This is usually the case if you have had previous health problems and it allows the insurance provider to provide an accurate quote.

In some cases, the insurance provider will only require a report from your GP, but if you have a more complicated health background then you may need a medical examination. A medical examination will usually include measuring your BMI, blood pressure and a small sample of blood from your finger.

If you are in full health and have had no previous problems, it is likely you will be offered cover straight away.

Why would I be denied life insurance?

One of the main reasons you may be declined life insurance is due to medical reasons. Some insurance providers will not cover certain medical conditions, such as cancer or unmanaged diabetes. This can differ between providers, so if you have been declined, it is important to ask the reasons why.

It is important to remember that even if you have been declined life insurance in the past, this does not mean you will never be able to get cover. Keeping your health in check, such as managing your diabetes accordingly, can help you to obtain cover in the future.

Can you get life insurance if you have a medical condition?

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you might feel apprehensive about applying for life insurance. However, it may be possible to get cover, but it is important to disclose any pre-existing conditions when you apply. For example, if you have diabetes, you may still get cover if you are able to show that you manage your condition well.

Every individual and condition is different, and so is the approach each insurer will take in considering the risks they accept. Each insurance provider will look at an application for cover on a case-by-case basis to decide if you are eligible for cover.