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Life Insurance Exclusions – What’s Not Covered By Life Insurance Policies?

what are life insurance exclusions

When we dive headfirst into life insurance, we tend to focus on all the things we can get from our policies.

Like how much money your family will get, what the policy covers, and most importantly, how much we have to hand over for the pleasure of knowing we’re financially safe should the shit hit the proverbial.

You wouldn’t buy a house without knowing what it came with and how much your mortgage repayments are; tis the same for your life insurance policy.

But what about the things you don’t get?

You probably want all the deets on that too.

So, let’s get personal and work out what kind of life insurance exclusions you may be able to preempt.

What Is A Life Insurance Exclusion?

I’m starting with the basics here.

If you already know what exclusions are, have a lollipop – you can skip to the next bit.

But for the noobs who are still a little frazzled at all the insurance mumbo jumbo, I’ve got you covered.

Life insurance exclusions are certain events that will lead to an unsuccessful insurance claim.

Way back, when we were wearing loincloths and mulling over the usefulness of a round rock – ok, not that far back, but you catch my drift – it was pretty common for life insurance companies to exclude certain insurance claims such as:

However, customers got smarter and demanded better, so these types of exclusions have disappeared into the ether.

Today, life insurance exclusion is pretty simple, and the exclusions are incredibly limited.

The Big Life Insurance Exclusion

Now, one life insurance exclusion still pretty much crosses the board of all life insurance policies.

That is suicide.

Every life insurance policy provider on the market right now includes this type of exclusion.

If a life assured dies within a year of the start date as a result of their own deliberate act, we will not pay you any benefit under the policy

As you can see, this exclusion is usually only valid during the first 12 months of your life insurance policy.

You’re probably thinking, ‘sure, this won’t apply to me’, and I hope it doesn’t, but we never know what’s in store for us or the paths our lives will take; better to be safe than sorry, right?

So, if you meet your maker due to any other causes – car accident, heart attack, cancer, or even choking on a peanut – rest assured your life insurance will payout.

But what if I have something like a heart condition when I take out my life insruance policy?

If your life insurance provider offers you cover knowing you have a heart condition, even if it’s something that has given you serious jip for many years, you will still be covered. However, you will have to pay a higher premium for your cover.

The same goes for most other long-term conditions, like MS, Cancer, and strokes.

Life insurance is an all-or-nothing type of game. You either get life insurance cover for everything or for nothing at all. The insurer can’t exclude a certain condition and refuse to pay out if you die because of that condition.

I’ll put it this way.

If your potential provider says they can’t cover you due to a pre-existing condition, let’s say cardiomyopathy, it means they can’t provide you with a life insurance policy at all.

They can’t just give you a piece of the pie. It’s the whole pie or no pie.

Make sense?

Is there a Suicide Exclusion for Mortgage Protection Policies?

But what if your life insurance covers a mortgage, and you died by suicide in the first 12 months?

In this case, the insurers will usually payout if the bank owns your policy through an assignment.

How do Serious Illness Cover & Income Protection Exclusions Work?

Exclusions are more common on Serious Illness Cover and Income Protection policies.

There’s a stinker of a list that includes, but isn’t restricted to:

  • Suicide
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Failure to seek medical advice
  • Illness/Bodily injury sustained in war – willing participation in riots, insurrection, etc
  • Participation in high-risk pastimes
  • Pre-existing conditions

I’ve lost you there, haven’t I?

Did I go a little heavy on the jargon?

The one you need to focus on is pre-existing conditions.

If you have a pre-existing condition or a family history of a certain condition, the insurer will exclude it from your serious illness cover.

Don’t worry; you won’t have signed on the dotted line only to find that your policy is a pile of shite worth absolutely nothing.

You will be fully informed and even have to sign a form stating you understand the exclusions before your policy begins.

Are there Exclusions due to Family History?


How Does Your Family Medical History Affect the Cost of Life Insurance?

So let’s say one of your parents had MS. You will get serious illness cover with an MS exclusion meaning you won’t be able to claim if you are diagnosed with MS in the future.

IF you have MS (or Diabetes, HIV, heart issues), it will be difficult to get serious illness cover or income protection even with exclusions.

If this is you, there’s still an option. That little gem is called Cancer Cover.

But I have MS, why would I get cancer cover?

Cancer accounts for almost 80% of most serious illness claims. Getting that little bit of protection can make a massive difference between feeling unsure of the future and a little less unsure.

Over to you…

The various insurance providers have underwriting departments that decide whether or not to add a life insurance exclusion to your policy.

Some underwriters are more lenient than others.

But how do you find the most understanding insurer for your condition?

Fear not; the cavalry is here.

It’s my job to discuss your application with all insurers anonymously before selecting the one that gives you the best chance of cover without an exclusion.

I’m sure you want the best policy you can buy – comfortably within your budget – well, I want that for you too.

So, let’s do this.

Complete this questionnaire giving me the skinny on your condition, and I’ll work my magic.

But wait!

If you’re fit as a fiddle, we can help you too.

Just complete this questionnaire, and I can make a recommendation for you based on where you are in life.

Thanks for reading


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