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How to Answer Life Insurance Health & Medical Questions

what questions are on mortgage protection application form?

The life insurance company isn’t trying to catch you out.

Yeah, yeah, I know you’re a teeny bit sceptical but hear me out…

Currently, the insurers only refuse around 5% of all the life insurance and serious illness insurance claims they receive. Or putting a more positive spin on it, they pay 95 in 100 claims. Not bad, eh? I bet you thought that number was much lower – you’re not alone; most people think the insurers pay only 70 in 100 claims.

Now you may roll your eyes and scoff or even LOL at the idea, but the insurance providers’ long-term goal is to pay 100% of all claims. You see, the more claims they pay, the greater the trust you will have in life insurance. And lack of trust is one of the main reasons people don’t buy it.

Right, so you know the insurers want to pay claims which sounds great and all, but you’re here to find out what you can do to make sure they pay your claim.

Don’t blame you, here goes:

What you should do when completing a life insurance application:

It would be best to give as much information upfront when you are answering life insurance health questions. The more information you can provide the underwriters with, the greater the chance of a quick decision.

If your answers to the life insurance health questions are sketchy, you give the insurer no option but to request further medical evidence from your GP that will slow down your application by several weeks. To avoid the medical report, give detailed information on whatever conditions you may have:

Life Insurance Health Questions:

  • What was the exact diagnosis?
  • What treatment did you receive?
  • How many times and how severe were the symptoms. When did you last have symptoms?
  • What tests have you had, when were they, what were the results?
  • Are there any underlying complications, or did another disease bring on your condition?
  • Have you made a complete recovery – discharged off all meds?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you should ask your GP or specialist. Otherwise, the insurer will have to write to your GP, which will delay your application. Generally, all the insurer needs to decide is a confirmation that your condition is being treated, is stable and that there are no outstanding medical tests.

But if your health condition is complex, the insurer may still revert to your GP for a medical report or ask you to undergo further medical tests.

I won’t get cover if I tell the truth.

You may think that by disclosing an illness, you risk your chances of getting cover, and if you can’t get cover, you can’t complete your mortgage and can’t buy a house. Look, this is a possibility. I’m not going to lie to you. But if you get a policy dishonestly and you die, the policy won’t payout. If you’re single, you’re probably thinking “meh”, but if you have a partner, I’m sure you don’t want to leave them in a financial mess struggling with the full mortgage on one income.

If you can’t get insurance because of your health, rethink the whole house buying and rent for a while. If you have your heart set on a house and you can’t get mortgage insurance,  request a waiver from the bank.

But let’s focus on the positives:

The insurers accept around 90% of all applications at the normal price, even with health conditions disclosures. They only refuse a tiny percentage of applications.

So your choices are:

  1. Lie – get a policy at the normal price – die – the insurer refuses the claim – you’ve screwed your partner/family.
  2. Tell the truth – pay a higher premium – die – the insurer pays out to clear your mortgage – well done, you’ve protected your partner/family.

What about the smoking question?

I’m only a social smoker

I hear this a lot.

I only smoke at weekends

And this.

Ah sure I might have the odd one when I’m out with the lads

The smoking question is explicit.

If you have smoked in the last 12 months, you are a smoker.

There is no wriggle room.

Stop fannying about having the odd one; they’re doing you no good anyway; suck up the higher premium for 12 months, then reapply as a non-smoker. That’s exactly what I had to do. 😕

Even the Irish Ombudsman regards non-disclosure of smoking habits as deliberate non-disclosure.

If you die of any cause, let’s say you get hit by a bus, and the insurer finds out you lied on the smoking question, it will refuse your claim. It doesn’t matter that the cause of death is unrelated to smoking.

Sensitive issues can lead to non-disclosure.

  • Mental health, alcohol abuse (both still taboo subjects in Ireland, unfortunately)
  • Upcoming investigations (trying to get cover in place before you get bad news)
  • BMI (some people believe they will lose weight in the future, so they disclose their aspirational weight rather than their current one)
  • Smoking (see above)
  • Gynaecological issues (Some people find it difficult to discuss this personal history even with a member of the same sex. )

All of the above are personal, so, normally, we don’t like to discuss them. It’s especially hard to disclose these issues to someone you know, like the local broker or the bank manager you see at the kids GAA matches. Unfortunately, when it comes to life insurance, not disclosing such issues can invalidate your policy.

That’s where we come in. We’re the experts when it comes to arranging your cover if you have a sensitive health issue. Please scroll through our reviews to see how we have helped clients who were in a similar situation.

We’re discreet, professional and most importantly, anonymous. We’re an online broker, so we’ll never meet – there’s no chance of a totes awky momo down the pub when we bump into each other.

Key Points to Remember:

  1. Irish insurance companies want to pay 100% of claims.
  2. Non Disclosure – Failure to disclose can invalidate a policy and lead the insurer to refuse your claim.
  3. Even if you think something isn’t important, tell the insurance company. Let them decide.

Over to you

Are you concerned about how a pre-existing or even a past medical issue will affect your mortgage protection, life insurance or income protection application?

Don’t sit there worrying. Tell me about it, a problem shared is a problem halved and all that malarkey.

Complete this questionnaire, and I will run it by my underwriters, in confidence, to get a steer for you.

Alternatively, give me a buzz on 05793 20836 to discuss your case.

Remember, the insurers we trust to protect you and your family payout on every honest and fair claim.

Nick McGowan
lion.ie | making life insurance easier.

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