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Does my family history affect my life insurance?

Then you may find it harder to find cheap life insurance - compare policies now to see your options.

Last updated: 02/02/2023 | Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Life insurance is, by nature, a complicated business. In order to work out life insurance deals which give value to both policyholders and insurers, companies need to find out as much about the individual as possible. This information is used to work out a customer’s risk to the insurer, and is judged by collecting as much information about them as possible.

Included in this is your family’s medical history. Even though it may seem unfair that they are taking into account history that is not yours directly, it is sadly true that a history of illness in a family does mean that you are more likely to become ill yourself.

In This Guide:

Why does my family medical history affect my life insurance policy?

As there are some critical illnesses which are often inherited, such as bowel cancer or breast cancer, knowing if there is a pattern in a family helps give insurers a greater understanding of the likelihood of them having to pay out.

This is the way that risk works in life insurance – the greater the risk that you are perceived to be, the more you will have to pay in premiums in order for it to be worth insuring you.

Your family’s medical history is just one part of this. Your age, occupation, lifestyle choices (whether you drink or smoke), amongst other things, are all considered as part of your application for insurance. So, having had illnesses in your family does not mean that you will be unable to get good life insurance deals. If you are young, fit and live a healthy lifestyle, you may still be able to get cheap life insurance.

What if I do not properly disclose my family medical history?

When you sign up for a life insurance policy, you will be asked a number of questions, so that the insurer will be able to calculate your personal risk. It may be tempting, if you know this, to not tell them about whether you may have a history of illness in your family, thinking it may get you cheaper premiums on your deal.

While this is true, this may give insurers grounds not to pay out at all if you are found to have provided false information. This would mean not only would your loved ones potentially receive no payout if the unimaginable happens, but also a lot of wasted money on premiums.

As such, it is crucial that you provide information as accurately and comprehensively as possible to insurers, so that you can ensure that you and your loved ones are protected.

How much do illnesses affect my life insurance premiums?

As mentioned before, your family history is just a part of what goes into deciding how much you will pay in premiums. However, if you have a history of illnesses in your family and you have some health conditions yourself, you may find that your quoted premiums will be a lot more expensive than usual.

For example, if there are instances of heart attacks in your family, and you have high blood pressure, you could find that you may have to pay more than twice the amount in premiums than if you are healthy with no family history of illnesses. Some insurers may even refuse to insure a case like this outright, as the risk is too high for them.

All Insurance Companies are Different

Despite this, it is worth remembering that all insurance companies have different policies, and take different views to the medical history of your family. Each company will have its own set of conditions which they will deem to be high risk, and how high risk they will be.

As such, if you find that you are quoted an extortionate figure on your life insurance premiums, it is a good idea to shop around to get the best life insurance deal that you can get.

The best way to do this is to compare life insurance with Money Expert. All you have to do is fill in some information on our form, with details such as your age, employment status and some lifestyle questions, and you will be able to see what policies you will be likely be accepted for, and how much they will probably cost.

Being able to compare multiple insurers is the best way of making sure that you get the best value insurance deal that you can get, so that you can be safe in the knowledge that you and your loved ones are covered.

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