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Securing Your Future: Applying For Life Insurance With A History Of Illness

  7/14/23 5:44 AM

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In India, life insurance is more important now than ever due to the rising risks of fatal diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, hypertension, and diabetes, which have caused an increase in deaths among people of all ages in recent decades. According to the World Health Organization, India accounts for one-fifth of deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases, which is higher than the global average. Therefore, life insurance has become crucial to financial planning and security.

Insurers look into an individual's medical history when providing a life insurance policy, as it is essentially an investment. Insurers need to evaluate the feasibility and risk involved in issuing high-payout policies. Therefore, your medical history is a vital parameter that insurance companies will examine before approving your life insurance policy.

If you happen to have a pre-existing medical condition such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, you may wonder if you are eligible for life insurance in India. The answer is yes, but there are many factors to consider. Before discussing those factors, let's define what pre-existing conditions mean.


What do we mean by a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing health/medical condition is any health/medical condition, inclusive of injuries, which has been diagnosed a minimum of four years or 48 months prior to receiving the life insurance policy, as per the IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India). To put it simply, this means any condition that has existed for quite some time before you chose to apply for life coverage. It also covers issues requiring ongoing treatments or treatments received by individuals within the time frame mentioned earlier.


Informing The Life Insurance Provider About Pre-Existing Ailments

While applying for term insurance or any other type of life insurance, you should always inform the company about any pre-existing diseases. Underwriting is the procedure by which the insurance company evaluates eligibility for insurance plans, including an analysis of diverse risk factors for determining whether the policyholder is insurable or not.

While applying for life insurance, you will have to fill up your application form, providing details about your health or medical history, age, income, profession, lifestyle aspects like consumption of alcohol and smoking, family, and so on. Many insurance companies may also request a medical checkup to ascertain risks. You will have to inform your insurance provider about pre-existing health conditions when you apply and fill out this form. The company will then work out your insurability quotient accordingly.


Things To Remember When Applying For Life Insurance With Pre-Existing Ailments

When applying for a life insurance policy with a pre-existing ailment, you should always remember a few crucial aspects. They include the following:

  • Full Disclosure- To avoid hassles while getting insurance, you may think of keeping the insurance company in the dark about the disease, mainly if it is not a terminal ailment like AIDS or non-curable cancer. Yet, concealing such information will backfire. It may lead to the policy being terminated by the insurance company if it finds out later on. Complete disclosures of your health condition are absolutely non-negotiable. Your insurance company may require more details upon being informed of any pre-existing medical condition. You may also have to go through specific medical tests or provide doctor's reports as a result. Cooperate with the insurer and make sure that you meet all its requirements.
  • Premium Costs- Once the insurance company gets all the necessary details, including pre-existing health conditions, it will work out the risks involved. Pre-existing health conditions naturally contribute towards higher risks and, eventually, higher premiums. The policy cost will be dependent upon the severity of the ailment.
  • Policy Riders- Life insurance plans offer several riders and add-ons that you can choose from. You can avail of add-ons like critical illness, hospital care, dismemberment, accidental death and disability, and more. These expand the scope of coverage in exchange for an additional premium amount. They will ensure higher insurance benefits for you in the long run.
  • Waiting Periods- Unlike a health insurance plan, a life insurance policy does not come with any waiting period. Your policy will be active in just a few days after the first premium payment.

To sum up, it is possible to get life insurance with a history of illness or a pre-existing medical condition. You should always secure the financial future of your family with a life insurance policy, even if you have to pay more.

You can compare plans from several insurers, choosing the one that offers you a more reasonable amount for your desired coverage. The biggest takeaway is that you should buy life insurance as early as possible to minimize risks. This ensures that you can obtain a higher coverage amount for a comparatively lower premium. Keep these pointers in mind while buying life insurance with a pre-existing medical condition.


Swati Tumar - Travel & Finance Writer    
Swati is a Writer in the day and an illustrator at night. Among her interests, she is quite fond of art and all things creative. She often indulges herself in creating doodles, illustrations, and other forms of content. She identifies herself as an avid traveler and shameless foodie.

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