newsbanner newsbannermobile

In the News

Can any woman with a family medical history get life cover?

3/8/24 6:49 AM

I am a 27-year-old woman working in the corporate sector and planning to buy a life insurance cover for myself. Will my family’s history of cancer affect my application for a term plan? Also, how big should my term cover be?

Yes, a family history of hereditary illnesses like cancer can impact your life insurance purchase. Insurers may view you as a higher-risk applicant due to the potential genetic predisposition to certain medical conditions. However, it’s crucial to disclose this information transparently to the insurance company to avoid any complications during the claim process.

Insurance companies assess your profile based on various factors, including your family medical history. While a history of cancer in your family may influence your premium rates, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be denied coverage. You may still be able to buy life insurance, but you might have to pay higher premiums to offset the perceived risk.

You may be required to provide detailed history like type of cancer, age of diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes for affected family members. Having medical records for the past decade can also help streamline the application process and provide a clearer picture of your overall health.

It is advisable to consider optional rider like critical illness rider to provide additional coverage in case you are diagnosed with such an illness. These riders offer a payout when diagnosed with critical illness, which can provide financial stability by providing for treatments, replacing lost income, or taking care of other financial liabilities.

Regarding the size of your term cover, the rule of thumb suggests coverage of approximately 20 times your annual income if you’re under 30 years of age, 10-15 times if in your 40s, and 10 times if in 50s. However, it’s essential to reassess your coverage needs periodically, especially when significant life events occur, such as marriage, having children, or buying a home. Therefore, it’s wise to review your term insurance plan regularly and adjust the coverage amount accordingly to ensure adequate protection for your dependents until retirement age.

I am a 40-year-old adventure sports trainer, and love skydiving and rock climbing. Can I still get life insurance with these risky hobbies? Do insurance companies cover people who do extreme sports?

People indulging in extreme sports can buy a life insurance, but one must navigate the process effectively. Life insurance companies are guided by certain underwriting rules, which help them adequately gauge risk profiles of every person interested in buying an insurance policy. Based on the assessment, they either seek a higher premium if an individual has a risky profile or, in some cases, may decline to provide one. These underwriting rules can differ from one company to another.

Transparency is key. Attempting to downplay high-risk activities can lead to complications or even claim denials in future. As a first step, insurers typically seek medical history and other factors such as hazardous activities or hobbies to understand the risk profile of the customer. Disclosing your participation in extreme sports ensures accurate coverage tailored to your needs and mitigates potential issues during the claims process.

When you disclose participation in high-risk activities, the insurer may request more details to understand the type of high-risk sports, associated dangers, level of experience, safety measures taken, equipment used, etc. Based on this information, the insurer will assess and rate the risk accordingly. Your occupation also plays a significant role in risk assessment. These factors, together, influence your premium rates. If you’re considered a high-risk individual, you may have to pay a relatively higher premium.

It is essential that you carefully consider your options and work with an insurer that understands and accommodates your lifestyle.

Anup Seth is chief distribution officer at Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance.

Asset Publisher