Blood cell disorders impair the formation and function of either red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets.
Red blood cells transport oxygen to organs and tissues.
White blood cells fight infections.
Platelets help the blood clot.
A life insurance underwriter is paid to assess your overall health and lifestyle when you apply for life insurance. There’s no easy way to say this – they are trying to figure out your chances of dying prematurely.
While most blood disorders are not life-threatening, they could cause complications or be symptomatic of a more serious underlying illness. This is what an insurance company is trying to determine before they decide whether to offer you cover and calculate the premium you must pay.
OK, let’s look at the two most common blood disorders our clients need advice on
What is it?
Haemoglobin is a protein found within red blood cells used to transport oxygen in the blood. Anaemia is a lack of haemoglobin or a reduced amount of red blood cells in the bloodstream.
There are several types of anaemia, with the most common form is iron deficiency anaemia, which mainly affects women.
Common causes include menstruation, pregnancy and diet.
What questions will the insurer ask?
We’ve built a handy questionnaire for that – life insurance with anaemia. Complete it, and I’ll be back with your best insurer.
From your answers, the insurer will be able to ascertain whether your anaemia is
How will anaemia affect my mortgage protection or life insurance application?
If mild, you’ll get the normal price. If you’re bordering on medium/severe, you’ll get covered with a premium increase.
However, if you’re in a severe category, the insurer will likely postpone offering cover until your blood tests have normalised.
How will anaemia affect serious illness cover or income protection?
Again, mild anaemia won’t affect serious illness cover or income protection. You’ll get cover at an increased price for moderate, and the insurer will postpone you if it’s severe.
Some insurers are more sympathetic when it comes to anaemia than others. So one insurer may class you as mild and give you the normal price, while another sees you as a more moderate case and will increase your premium.
Make sure you apply to the correct insurer the first time around – use a broker who knows his stuff *ahem.
Right, let’s look at getting covered with Vitamin B12 Deficiency
What is it?
Vitamin B12 forms red blood cells and myelin (a substance that protects the nervous system cells). Vitamin B12 deficiency may be due to diet or an underlying disease.
What questions will the insurer ask?
Again you can use our questionnaire for that – life insurance with vitamin B12 deficiency questionnaire.
If you complete it, I’ll run it by my panel of insurers and advise which one to apply.
From your answers, the insurer can ascertain whether your deficiency is
How will vitamin b12 deficiency affect my mortgage protection or life insurance application?
If mild, you’ll get the normal price. If you’re bordering on medium/severe, you’ll get covered with a premium increase. However, if you’re in a severe category, the insurer will likely postpone offering cover until your blood tests have normalised.
How will vitamin b12 deficiency affect serious illness cover or income protection?
Again, mild vitamin b12 deficiency won’t affect serious illness cover or income protection. You’ll get cover at an increased price for moderate, and the insurer will postpone you if it’s severe.
As you can see, the underwriters similarly treat both conditions.
But again, when choosing an insurer:
Haemochromatosis is the most common one.
Haemochromatosis is an iron overload in the blood that can lead to tissue and organ damage. You usually inherit it from a parent.
How does haemochromatosis affect life insurance?
We have also arranged cover for clients who have had a blood clot.
Here’s a case study on one of them
It’s not as common a blood disorder, but we see it from time to time:
How to get life insurance with Thrombocytopenia
Here the body produces too many blood cells due to an unknown cause. The excess red blood cells usually create no problems but may cause blood clots in some people.
Mortgage protection is possible assuming it’s been 12 months since diagnosis and your hematocrit levels are good.
Expect to pay 2x the normal price.
This condition causes the body to create an abnormal protein called a paraprotein.
Insurance is possible if the IgA kappa MGUS is stable and was diagnosed over two years ago.
Expect to pay 2 x the normal price.
Behcet’s disease, or syndrome, is an uncommon condition that inflames the red blood cells in your body.
Expect to pay 1.75 x the normal price.
Haemophilia is a general term to describe a group of inherited disorders with a lifelong defect in the blood clotting mechanism.
Similar to anaemia, the insurers class it as mild (15-35% of clotting factor present), medium ( 6%-15% of clotting factor present) or severe (1% of clotting factor present).
Your chances of cover will depend on the severity and your age. Unfortunately, you won’t get mortgage protection or life insurance if you have severe haemophilia.
The bone marrow doesn’t produce enough blood cells, including red blood cells. In this case, it’s the underlying condition that’s the worry. It could be hepatitis, Epstein-Barr, or HIV.
Or it could be the side effect of a drug, chemotherapy medications or pregnancy.
Treatment may include medications, blood transfusions, or a bone marrow transplant.
Because of all the variables involved, it’s impossible to guide you on your chances of coverage without seeing a full medical report.
To be able to quote, the underwriters would need evidence that:
I hope that answers the question you were googling; if you’ve gotten this far, I’m pretty sure it did.
Why not take the next step and complete our short blood disorders questionnaire?
If you do, I’ll be back quickly to tell you whether cover is possible and at what price.
Otherwise, the “what ifs” will continue to wreck your head.
We’re the experts in Ireland at high-risk life insurance, so don’t worry. You’re in safe hands. Ask these lovely people.
It goes without saying…but I’ll say it anyway!
Anything you disclose is between you and me; in my discussions with the insurers, I will anonymise your details.
If you’d prefer to discuss it over the phone, feel free to schedule a call at a time that suits you.
Have a nose through our free life insurance guidesView our guides
As Ireland's leading life insurance broker, we specialise in comparing the rates and policies from the top five Irish life insurance providers and offering the very best value quotes to suit the individual needs of our clients. Our expertise lies in finding a suitable insurance plan for those with specific needs, be it a particular illness, occupation or claim history, we've got you covered in every sense!Watch our video