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Life Insurance with Kidney Disease


mortgage protection with reduced kidney function

Clients with reduced kidney function often land on this page when searching for information about getting life insurance with kidney disease in Ireland.

I’m happy to have helped many of them get cover, not all of them, but the vast majority.

You see in some cases, where the kidney is severely damaged, we can’t get you covered.

But I know which insurer to approach and how to present your application to give you the best chance of getting life insurance or mortgage protection.

In this article, I’ll discuss the two most common forms of kidney disease I encounter:

  1. Chronic Kidney Disease
  2. Polycystic Kidney Disease

But I have also helped people with:

  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Nephropathy
  • Lupus nephritis
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Kidney cancer
  • Rare kidney diseases

So feel free to get in touch and discuss your case with me – in strict confidence.

Let’s start by looking at life insurance with chronic kidney disease (CKD):

What is CKD?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a long-term condition where the kidneys do not work as well as normal.

damaged kidney

It’s quite common and is mainly associated with ageing. About one in five men and one in four women between the ages of 65 and 74 has some degree of CKD.

Our clients are usually a lot younger and their CKD has an underlying cause

What causes CKD?

The most common cause of CKD is damage caused by other chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes.

CKD is more common in people of south Asian origin (those from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan) and black people than the general population. The reasons for this include higher rates of diabetes in south Asian people and higher rates of high blood pressure in African or Caribbean people.

How do life insurance providers view CKD?

CKD is a potentially serious condition. People with CKD are known to have an increased risk of a stroke or heart attack because of the changes that occur to their circulation.

This is why the insurers treat CKD very seriously.

The good news is, if the condition is diagnosed at an early stage, further damage to the kidneys can be prevented with a combination of lifestyle changes and medication.

These changes can also reduce your risk of a stroke or heart attack. It is, therefore, very important to help yourself as much as you can.

What information do you need to provide?

To run your case past my underwriters, I’ll need to know either:

  • the stage of your kidney disease (Stage 1, 2, 3A, 3B, 4, 5) or
  • your eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate – tell how well your kidneys are functioning)

Even better, complete this kidney disorders questionnaire.


What stage kidney disease results in a decline?

Generally, eGFR under 40-45 is a poor risk so it’s difficult to get cover,  and under 30 will be declined in all circumstances. So if you are stage 4 or 5, I won’t be able to get you cover I’m afraid.

But there are several factors at play, so even a reasonable eGFR may still be declined if there’s a large amount of proteinuria, or poorly controlled hypertension.

Also, a rapid decrease in eGFR could lead to a decline.

How much will I pay for life insurance with CKD?

You will pay more than somebody in perfect health but it’s impossible to give you a multiple of how much more.

Each application is underwritten on a case-by-case basis.

If you’d like me to speak with my insurers and get you an indicative life insurance quote before you apply, please complete this form giving as much detail as possible.

Now, let’s look at life insurance with Polycystic Kidney Disease

This article was triggered by the following email:

Hi Nick, my Dad has PKD (polycystic kidney disease). I’m buying a house with my boyfriend and need life insurance. Is it possible to get mortgage protection or life insurance with kidney disease? Can you come back to me asap please – worried here!

What is PKD?

Polycystic kidney disease causes cysts to develop in the kidneys.


Bríd has the most common type, an inherited condition – autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD)

With ADPKD, problems seldom develop until the age of 30-50, with some people never developing any problems.

What are the chances of life insurance with PKD?

Life insurance is possible for someone with a close relative who has PKD

You see, Bríd has a 50% chance of developing PKD but, glass half full, has a 50% chance of not developing it.

She will get cover if her tests are clear – renal ultrasound, renal function, blood pressure and urinalysis.

How much is life insurance with PKD?

The younger you are, the more expensive cover is because problems don’t usually develop until between 30 and 50.

Here’s a ballpark figure of how much Bríd will pay assuming all tests are clear.

  • if she’s under 20, she will pay 100% more than someone in perfect health.
  • if she’s 20 to 30 , she will pay 50% more than someone in perfect health.
  • if she’s over 31,  the normal price for someone in perfect health is a possibility.

What about serious illness cover with PKD?

Serious illness cover is not possible if you’re under 30.

Up to age 50 you can get cover subject to a price increase.

Once you hit 50, you can get cover at the normal price.

What medical information will the insurers look for?

I will need the following to discuss your case with our underwriters:

  • Stage of disease
  • Results of all investigations
  • Renal function past and present
  • Blood pressure past and present

Even better, complete this kidney disorders questionnaire.

If the insurer is willing to consider a full application, they will then request a detailed medical report from your GP.

Is there anything you can do to improve your chances?

Be proactive in managing your condition.

Work with your GP following up on treatments and advice given to you.

Life insurance underwriters view regular check ups with your GP in a positive light.

They are most sympathetic when they see people taking control of their condition.

Use a broker who has a personal relationship with all 5 insurers

It’s tricky to get life insurance with kidney disease so don’t blow your chances by making a sloppy application.

Use a broker who has a personal relationship with all 5 Irish insurance providers and experience arranging difficult cover.

They should focus on applying to the most suitable insurer. Be wary if they begin by discussing the cheapest option.

Over to you…

Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all?

Don’t worry.

You’re not alone.

We have arranged cover for people just like you (and Bríd!). It’s not easy, it takes some time but we’ll do our best to get you life insurance with kidney disease.

Feel free to complete this questionnaire and I’ll be in touch. Even better, call me on 05793 20836 and we can have a chat in complete confidence.

Should you choose us, I look forward to helping to sort out your cover.

Nick McGowan | making life insurance easier

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