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How to Opt For Life Insurance with a History of Illness?

Availing of an insurance coverage is crucial for every individual. However, some people still fail to understand the importance of an insurance policy. They also refrain from disclosing information like pre-existing medical conditions and family medical history to the insurance company which is necessary to acquire an insurance plan or a term life insurance. Insurers require this information because they would like to know the risk they would assume in case the insurance cover is offered to the applicant. In addition, the premium amount depends on this information.

Understanding pre-existing condition

Many people with a history of illnesses and existing health conditions are wary of providing this information to the insurer. This is because they are concerned with their applications being rejected or having to pay a higher premium.

According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), a pre-existing condition is an injury or a situation where the symptoms have been present for some time. Moreover, conditions where diagnosis, treatment, or medical advice was received 48 months before the issuance of the first plan are also covered under this term.

Significance of pre-existing conditions

The existence of these conditions impacts the individual’s life insurance application. A complete disclosure related to the applicant’s medical history must be made at the time of the application. It is obvious that the existence of medical condition would result in an increase in the premium. However, suppressing this information is not advisable. This is because if the provided information does not match the facts, the insurance company may reject the application. Alternatively, the insurer may not pay the claim in the future as a result of not disclosing material information while availing of the policy.

This is why it is vital for a person to understand all the terms and conditions associated with the pre-existing health condition while applying for life insurance policies. Moreover, understanding how this will affect the policy coverage and related riders is also important.

Details required by insurance companies

Insurance companies would like to know all material information that could affect their decision of providing life coverage to the individual. Here is the information required by the insurers:

  1. Dangerous habits, such as smoking, chewing tobacco, or others that would pose a risk to the applicant’s health
  2. Pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, kidney trouble, depression, anxiety, stress, and other similar disorders
  3. Family medical history, such as cancer or other critical illnesses, which increases the possibility of the applicant suffering from these conditions

Declaring all the material facts

While applying for life insurance plans, it is recommended all material information is truthfully provided to the insurer. This is advisable even if the premium amount increases. Applicants must not be tempted to hide medical issues or other relevant information to merely lower the premium. Although this may seem like saving some money, the consequences in the future could be disastrous.

If these details emerge after the policyholder passes away, the beneficiaries would lose out on all the benefits available under the insurance policy. Their claims may be rejected by the insurer citing non-disclosure of material information as the reason. There is a huge possibility that failure to receive the insurance benefits may cause severe financial and mental stress to the family members of the deceased.

Applicants with pre-existing medical conditions should not get disappointed because insurance companies also offer affordable products to suit their requirements. Conducting some research to understand different options would be beneficial. Availing of an insurance coverage earlier is important in order to lower the premium amount.

A complete disclosure of all pre-existing conditions and non-concealment of material facts is absolutely crucial while applying for an insurance coverage. In addition, if required the applicants must undergo the medical tests as mandated by the insurer. This ensures the benefits under the policy terms and conditions are not rejected in case the policyholder passes away due to an existing medical issue.

Vikas Agarwal
the authorVikas Agarwal
Vikas Agarwal is an IIT-Varanasi graduate in Chemical Engineering. He is the Founder and CEO of - an investment advisory website. He is a Business Development Professional but a Value Investor at heart. He writes articles on Finaacle, which focus on simplifying the art of investing and the causes of human misjudgment when it comes to investing. He also shares his experiences as an investor and lessons from some of the greatest investors of all time.

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