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Life Insurance and Weight Loss Surgery

 

how weight loss surgery affect life insurance

Louise (not her real name) rang me in an awful state.

She was due to close on her mortgage but had just found out from her bank that they wouldn’t offer her mortgage protection insurance as she was on a waiting list for bariatric surgery.

She was frantic and terrified she was going to lose her dream home.

Could we help?

What is gastric bypass/bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery includes a variety of procedures for people who are unable to achieve satisfactory weight loss through diet and exercise alone. The surgery reduces the stomach size making you feel fuller after small amounts of food.

types of weight loss surgery

Can you get life insurance after bariatric surgery?

In most cases, yes, you can get life insurance once the surgery has taken place at least three (for gastric banding) to six (for gastric bypass) months before you apply.  The insurers will charge an additional premium depending on the type of surgery and the time since the surgery. They will also take your current weight into account and any other health issues.

However, Louise’s was on a public waiting list for bariatric surgery for the previous ten months.

She didn’t know if she would ever even have the surgery!

I could understand her frustration, so I spoke with our underwriters, but I didn’t hold out much hope.

You see, their underwriting guidelines advise a postponement if there are investigations planned or test results outstanding.

How insurers deal with being on a waiting list for bariatric surgery

Some insurers are better than others when it comes to life insurance with weight issues.

The first four underwriters I spoke with couldn’t help.

They would postpone until the weight loss surgery took place; they had no wriggle room on this.

So I wasn’t very confident before speaking to the fifth insurer.

But lo and behold, they were willing to consider cover!

Louise would have to pay an extra premium initially, but my underwriter would review and reduce Louise’s premium once the surgery had taken place.

The extra premium was significant (it went from €39 to €110 per month), but Louise was over the moon:

Oh my God Nick, thanks so much. When I read your email  I actually nearly cried.  This has been so stressful, not wishing to sound like a moan, and I am so happy now. I am out of the office today (on top of everything else am in final month of a part-time masters so am studying from home), so will sign first thing tomorrow. Thanks very much again, once dust settles, I will be very happy to add review to your website if that’s of any help

What do insurers need to know when it comes to weight loss surgery?

In Louise’s case, they requested she attend a nurse medical.

She did this on Friday; the results were back with the insurance company on Monday.

The nurse medical confirmed the details Louise had disclosed on her application form

  • Louise’s height and weight (5’6, 19st)
  • her BP (controlled by a tablet 135/75)
  • and all other readings as normal

Louise’s policy issued on Tuesday!

It’s not always that quick, but the insurer really helped me out….plus I pestered them quite a bit 😉

Where to get the best quotes for life insurance after stomach stapling?

  • Use a specialist life insurance advisor who has a relationship with all five insurers.
  • Avoid going directly to an insurance company or bank (as Louise did)

Over to you

We’re the experts when it comes to more complex life insurance applications and would be delighted to help you in the strictest confidence.

If you’re concerned about how weight loss surgery will affect your application, please complete this questionnaire and I’ll be right back over email.

Alternatively, you can schedule a callback here and we can go through your options.

Talk soon!

Nick McGowan
lion.ie | making life insurance easier.

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