The whole point of taking out an income protection insurance policy is to give yourself greater financial protection - in the form of monthly tax-free payments - in the event that you are rendered unable to work due to long-term illness or disability. For that reason, you can probably imagine that any prospective insurer will take a lot of interest in your existing health.
While a pre-existing health condition will be far from the only factor potentially affecting how much you pay for income protection cover - or your chances of being approved for such insurance at all - it could certainly be a very important one.
So, what are some of the most crucial things to know if you already have a health issue and you would like to purchase income protection insurance?
Will the insurance policy that you buy give you adequate protection?
We say this constantly here on the QuoteLifeCover blog, but it really is the kind of thing we feel the need to repeatedly underline: you need to check, double check, and triple check what exact protection a given policy will give you, before you commit to it.
In the case of income protection insurance, for instance, some policies will only pay out if your sickness causes you to be unable to undertake any form of work. This means that if your job is a highly physical one, your policy might not pay out if you could theoretically switch to a desk-based role, even if you can‘t actually get such a job.
That‘s why you might make a point of purchasing “own-occupation” cover, which would insure you against an illness or injury that prevents you from working in your usual occupation - not just any occupation.
Could a pre-existing condition prevent me from getting insured at all?
This is made a more complicated question by the fact that the exact situation will differ from one lender to the next. So, here‘s a broad-brush summary: yes, it is absolutely possible that your application for income protection insurance could be rejected on the basis of you having a pre-existing condition.
However, it might instead be the case that you can get approved for an income protection insurance policy, but a clause - or several clauses - is included in that policy to prevent you from making a claim for a pre-existing condition, even if you didn‘t say anything about it in your application.
When you apply for income protection cover, you can expect to be asked various specific medical questions - and if you fail to tell the would-be insurer about a specific condition you have when you are asked for this information, you may find that a later claim you make is rejected. Insurers and plans differ in terms of the exact exclusions they may impose.
If your policy does come with such an exclusion - for example, in relation to conditions that are directly or indirectly attributable to your pre-existing condition - it may be possible to have the exclusion reviewed after a certain period of time passes since your last symptoms or treatment.
In the latter situation, you might be able to have the exclusion removed, so that if you then later make a claim for that condition, the insurer won‘t treat it as a pre-existing condition.
Trust our UK advisers to help guide you to the right solution
The above does not cover everything that you may need to think about, when you are assessing how your current state of health might impact on your income protection insurance application.
This is why we would always advise you to speak to professionals for a more in-depth discussion of your particular situation. And you can do exactly that, by calling our free no-obligation advice and quotation service today on 0800 316 6917.