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Can I Get Life Insurance with Arthritis?


life insurance and arthritis

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Hi Nick, we applied for life insurance through another broker (sorry!) but my wife was hit with a huge price increase (twice the normal price) because she was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Our broker says he can’t get a lower price. Can you try to get us a better deal? Cheers, Eoin

Let’s examine why Eoin’s wife may have been hit with a price increase before we look at the other types of arthritis and how they may affect your application for mortgage protection, life insurance, income protection and serious illness cover.

Life insurance with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Why do insurance companies increase your premium?

When underwriting health conditions, life insurance underwriters like predictability. They are happy if they know a condition is under control and they have a fair idea of how it will progress.

Unfortunately, rheumatoid Arthritis is unpredictable; therefore, getting life insurance for Rheumatoid Arthritis is also unpredictable.

Rheumatoid Arthritis has a variable course and can be associated with changes in other systems, e.g. the eyes and lungs.

How is rheumatoid Arthritis classified?

Classification of rheumatoid Arthritis
Mild There is little or no disease activity; peripheral joints are affected only, no disability uses non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs only.
Moderate  Extensive joint involvement with relapsing-remitting symptoms, some limitation of movement, with frequent or continuous therapy.
Severe Marked disease activity with frequent recurrences or prolonged attack, continuous multiple regimen therapy.

What’s the cost of life insurance if you have rheumatoid Arthritis?

Let’s say the normal price of your life insurance or mortgage protection for someone with no health issues is €50 per month.

  • If you have mild rheumatoid Arthritis, you could get the normal price of €50 per month.
  • If you have moderate Rheumatoid Arthritis, your premium will be around €75 upwards.
  • If you have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, your premium will be upwards of €100 per month.

What about rheumatoid Arthritis and serious illness cover?

You can get critical illness cover with mild and moderate rheumatoid Arthritis, but as with life insurance and mortgage protection, you will face a price increase depending on the severity of your condition.

Unfortunately, serious illness cover is not possible f you have severe rheumatoid Arthritis.

Can you get income protection if you have RA?

It’s possible for mild and sometimes moderate RA but on a case by case basis.

The insurance providers strictly underwrite income protection compared to mortgage protection, illness cover and life insurance.

Anything else I should know?

There are five life insurance companies in Ireland.

Each one takes a different view of rheumatoid Arthritis. Some (as in Eoin’s case above) impose huge premium increases on life insurance with rheumatoid Arthritis. Others are more sympathetic.

Be sure to approach only the most understanding insurers, and avoid the rest.

Getting Mortgage Protection Cover if you have another type of Arthritis

The most common types of Arthritis that our clients need guidance on are:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Reactive Arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondyloarthritis
  • Juvenile Arthritis
  • Palindromic rheumatism
  • Axial spondyloarthritis

It is possible to get the normal price for mortgage protection if you have any of these types of Arthritis.

Like Rheumatoid Arthritis, the insurers are most interested in the medication you take to treat the condition and whether any surgery is planned.

If your medication treats mild Arthritis, then the insurers aren’t too concerned. However, taking something like methotrexate will indicate a more severe form of Arthritis, so you will pay more.

Over to you…

If you would like more information on applying for life insurance with Arthritis or if you have any questions that are not answered above, please complete this questionnaire.

Armed with more information, I can discuss your case with my underwriters and advise which provider is most suitable, saving you time and money.

If you prefer a quick chat first, please schedule a callback

Chat soon

Nick McGowan | making life insurance easier.

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