There’s no denying the fact that if you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than, say 30, it gets harder to obtain life insurance. At this level, you are considered to be ‘medically obese’, and not only might you have to pay a higher premium, but some insurers might automatically reject your application should you apply to them directly.
Your BMI number – your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in metres – is an important consideration for life insurers when deciding whether to offer cover and at what price. They will, however, also consider other factors, such as your age, your personal medical history and the medical history of your close relatives.
The solution here might be to approach a specialist broker such as Moneysworth. We specialise in finding life insurance for clients whose circumstances are a little different – perhaps because they reside overseas, have a riskier occupation or have a mental or physical health concern. We have an extensive knowledge of the criteria used by different insurers and can identify the provider who will offer you the most suitable cover. For example, not all insurers have the same ‘maximum BMI’, so if one provider tells you your BMI is too high, we can approach another insurer on your behalf.
On 2nd August 2023, we were endorsed in the national press (the Daily Mail) as an example of a specialist broker who can assist in situations such as this. Alan Lakey, director at Highclere Financial Services, and a respected name in the life insurance sector, listed us as one of three specialist companies who can assist clients with high BMI and with other health issues.
When we look at 15 life insurance companies used by Moneysworth, we see that:
It’s also important to consider the BMI level that would prompt an insurer to increase your premium. Again, the precise threshold varies between different providers, but most will require you to pay more if your BMI is 32 or above, and some will ‘load’ your premium for a BMI as low as 29.
It’s very difficult for the average consumer to gain a detailed understanding of individual insurers’ criteria. If you have a high BMI, your best option is to make use of a specialist broker such as Moneysworth. We can use our detailed knowledge of insurers’ criteria to find you the very best price available, by approaching the insurers who are likely to consider your application favourably.
Here, it was immediately apparent that a number of insurers were prepared to offer cover to both clients. Where Moneysworth’s specialist knowledge benefitted the clients was that we knew exactly by how much each insurer would increase the premium. Had the clients simply searched a price comparison website and applied to what appeared to be the cheapest provider, this provider may no longer have been the cheapest option once their final offer of terms had been made.
In this case, both partners took out £113,000 of cover over 40 years. The female client’s premium was £12.58 per month, while the male client needs to pay just £9.04.
Then, as a more extreme example of how we can help:
After researching their situation, we told them that while most insurance companies would still say no, we believed we had found a company who might say yes. The insurance company wrote to the client’s GP for a report and the client also attended a brief medical screening. The insurance company was happy with the results and made a definite offer of cover, which the client was happy to accept, of £56,075 decreasing life cover over 20 years for £50 per month.
If you have approached insurers directly and been declined, or have been told by another broker that you can’t get life insurance due to your BMI or any other health issue, then contact Moneysworth today to see how we can help.
You may be aware of the Consumer Duty, which was introduced by our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), on 31st July 2023.
The Consumer Duty places new obligations on financial services firms to take positive actions to ensure they deliver good outcomes for their clients.
One of the main things the FCA wants to see from firms is known as the ‘price and value outcome’. This relates to whether retail customers are receiving ‘fair value’ for a product or service.
The ‘price’ part of this is easy to address, as when you approach Moneysworth for advice on your life insurance, critical illness insurance or income protection insurance needs, you won’t need to pay a fee at any point.
When it comes to delivering ‘value’ to our clients, we promise to:
Our commitment to providing value for our clients also means that we will do our very best to find insurance for you, regardless of your circumstances. We can never guarantee that we will be successful in finding an insurer to accept you, but there are many occasions in the past when we have been successful in securing cover for clients with all manner of different medical conditions.
If you have a medical condition, then it might be the case that the choice of insurers is limited, and you may also need to pay an increased premium. We promise, however, to find the most competitive premium available in the marketplace.
We also have extensive experience of finding cover for people who reside outside of the UK. Once again, these cases can be more complex, but we undertake to provide the very best service and find the best policy available.
If you have been told by another broker that you won’t be able to get life insurance, critical illness insurance or income protection insurance due to your health condition, or due to any other reason, then contact Moneysworth today to see how we can help.
You don’t have to have complex circumstances, such as a health condition or being an overseas resident, to be a Moneysworth client either. To get the very best advice on your life insurance, critical illness insurance or income protection insurance needs, contact us today and one of our experienced and knowledgeable advisers will be in touch.
Trade association the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) has announced that it has renewed its Agreement on Access to Protection Insurance for a further three years. Since the agreement came into force in 2020, BIBA estimates that it has helped 30,000 people to access suitable protection cover.
39 insurers, brokers and professional bodies have signed the agreement and Moneysworth is delighted to be one of those signatories.
The Agreement makes reference to an important provision of the Equality Act 2010. While the Act allows providers to refuse to cover people with health conditions, in certain circumstances, the Agreement acknowledges the important point that insurers must make a “reasonable decision, based on reliable evidence, to refuse cover or charge a high premium to an applicant with a pre-existing medical condition.” This means that there should not be a blanket refusal to cover someone simply because they mention a particular health condition – the insurer should instead conduct a thorough assessment of the extent to which that health condition represents an increased risk.
Moneysworth specialises in assisting clients with many different mental and physical health conditions to find suitable protection insurance.
Moneysworth is also looking forward to two separate awards ceremonies later this year, where we have been shortlisted for five prizes. The COVER Magazine categories we are shortlisted for are: Outstanding Client Engagement, Outstanding Specialist Intermediary and Small Intermediary of the Year. The Health Protection awards we are shortlisted for are: Best Small Protection Advice Firm and Best Individual Protection Advice Firm.
In March last year, Moneysworth was proudly involved in launching a new form of Life Insurance for people with a history of mental health problems. The new option was designed to offer a wider opportunity for obtaining cover at an affordable price, and has achieved very positive results.
During the trial period, 75% of clients who applied obtained Life Insurance. These were people who would have otherwise been declined any cover at all, or offered cover at a much higher price.
We know from our own conversations with clients in this situation that talking about mental ill health can be uncomfortable and upsetting for them. Our team always treat clients with care and sensitivity, and we’re always keen to find new ways to improve how we engage with anyone who asks us to help them find cover.
The Mental Health UK charity recent published their “Affording Protection: Mental Health and Insurance” survey report, which reveals some interesting statistics about how the Life Insurance industry handles applicants who have mental health conditions.
The survey asked people with mental health conditions about their experiences of trying to apply for Life Insurance. The following statistics in the report underline what many clients have told us about their experiences before they come to us for help:
There was one statistic in the report which particularly caught our attention:
We usually prefer to talk to our clients on the phone so we can fully understand their circumstances and requirements. This helps us to ensure we can research the whole of the market to find competitive prices for the client.
But we also fully appreciate why some people don’t wish to discuss their health over the phone.
Our goal is to increase access to Life Insurance for people with mental health conditions, so it’s important all clients feel comfortable with the way we help them find cover.
With that in mind, we’ve set up a new option for clients who have a mental health condition to apply for Life Insurance without the need for any phone calls. This process has been arranged with one carefully selected insurer who is also able to deal with clients via email only.
We’ve modified our Get a Quote form to offer a new “Email only – no phone calls” option to people with a mental health condition. Clients who choose this new contact preference are not asked to provide a phone number, so they can be fully assured that they won’t receive any phone calls from Moneysworth or the insurer.
It’s important to note that, by choosing this option, Moneysworth will not able to research the whole market to establish if the policy from the insurer used for this option is the most suitable cover for the client.
Since Moneysworth started in 2003, our award-winning team has helped many people with mental health conditions to find suitable Life Insurance.
Andrew Wilkinson and Tim Boddy, Moneysworth’s founding partners, have personal experience of some of the key issues involved. It’s one of the reasons that we’re so dedicated to helping each and every client find the most suitable result.
This February is National Heart Month, a time for each of us to reflect on how we can improve the health of our heart. Living with a heart condition can affect not only the individual but their loved ones too.
Having a heart condition has become one of the most common medical problems among clients who ask us to help them find Life Cover.
Source: British Heart Foundation statistics
Finding Life Insurance that suits your needs can be much harder if you’ve had a heart attack, a cardiac arrest or are living with a heart condition. Moneysworth specialise in helping people find Life Cover even if they have a health condition or have been refused life cover elsewhere.
The most common heart condition we see in our work is a previous heart attack (also known as myocardial infarction). However, over the last seven months, we’ve helped over ninety people with a wide variety of other heart conditions to find life cover. Many of these clients have now successfully started their policy or are currently in the process of applying for cover.
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to post a series of articles about the circumstances behind some of our clients’ search for life cover: why they needed life insurance, the problems they’d previously encountered when trying to apply for cover elsewhere, and the policy options and prices we were able to obtain for them.
It may surprise you to see how people who are living with a serious heart condition – or even multiple conditions – are still able to find cover, thanks to our team’s expert guidance and assistance.
Life insurance companies typically have a range of different premium rates for people with diabetes. Different companies will place the same person in different price bands. The process of applying for cover can often take weeks – or even months – if medical reports need to be obtained and checked. And although the situation has somewhat improved for Life Cover in recent years, most insurers are still unwilling to consider Critical Illness or Income Protection for people with any type of diabetes.
Well, there’s definitely some good news here.
In recent years, we’ve seen improvements in the prices for Life Cover typically offered to people with diabetes.
Another encouraging development we’ve seen with a couple of insurers: after starting the life insurance policy, the insurers reward policyholders by reducing premiums if the customer can demonstrate improved control (i.e. if their HbA1c reading comes down by a certain amount). We think this is a very encouraging sign, not just because it can make cover cheaper, but because it demonstrates that the insurance market is starting to consider how to adapt to the unique circumstances of people with long-term health conditions.
If certain criteria are met, it’s now possible for people living with diabetes to get a “fast-track” application, which means cover could be in place immediately. Less stress, more peace of mind – exactly the kind of innovation we want to see for people with long-term health conditions who want to protect their financial security and their family’s future.
A year ago, there were hardly any options for people with diabetes to obtain Income Protection Insurance. For most it simply wasn’t available.
Moneysworth campaigned to improve that situation, and we’re pleased to see at least some people in the insurance industry listened to us!
With expert guidance, it’s now possible for some people who have type 2 diabetes to get Income Protection with no exclusions, subject to certain criteria. But for people with type 1 diabetes, although there is some availability, it’s extremely limited.
The situation for Critical Illness Cover has been slow to improve. It is now possible for people living with diabetes to obtain Critical Illness Cover – but the options are very limited and the chances of being offered cover are even narrower if they have type 1.
The small signs of progress we’ve seen in the market are a welcome start, but the fact is most insurance companies still don’t offer either of these protection products to people who have diabetes.
The charity Diabetes UK reports that there are around 3.7 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, and that figure is predicted to rise to 5 million by 2025*.
In light of this, we firmly believe that the insurance market needs a surge of innovation to make its products and services more forward-thinking and inclusive.
Moneysworth wants to see cover options and availability broaden for people living with diabetes, and so we’ll continue to lobby the insurance industry.
* Source: Diabetes UK ‘Facts & Figures‘