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Uninsurable: 3 things to know if you think you can’t get Life Insurance

Life Insurance might seem like a modern invention – like a lightbulb moment that could have happened in the last century given the rise of corporate banking and massive financial companies.

It actually goes back centuries – the first Life Insurance policies were taken out in the early 18th century and the first company to offer Life Insurance was founded in London in 1706.

It was called the Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office, which is long-winded but pretty brilliant. Who wouldn’t trust an ‘Amicable Society’ with their ‘Perpetual Assurance’?

Given that was London in the 1700s, modern Life Insurance probably comes with a lot less moustache twirling and tricorn hats.

Life Insurance, as a business, has been developing for centuries – so the vast majority of people can usually get some cover. Here’s what you need to know if you think you’re ‘uninsurable’.

1. Why Life Insurance companies turn people down

Look, Life Insurance is a business. Insurance companies are turning over serious profit – ultimately, they’re not in the business of declining people for no good reason. If you’re reasonably healthy, your application should sail through and you can start amicably paying for your perpetual assurance.

However, insurers (and the banks too) sometimes turn people down. The reasons usually fall into the following categories:

  • You’ve got a health condition. If it’s mild, you’ll be grand. If it’s a moderate condition, you should still be able to get insurance but expect to pay more. If it’s a serious condition, it’s another ball game as the dudes in the dungeon will need to do the maths on how risky it is to insure you.
  • You live a bananas life of danger and high-risk gallivanting. James Bond, for example, would never get Life Insurance because of his BMI if he told the truth about his life as a spy. Likewise, if you’re really into activities like spelunking, sky diving, or bull fighting, you’ll find it tricky to find an insurer.
  • You’ve asked for a hefty amount of cover that doesn’t really make sense. If you’re making €20,000 a year, you’re probably not going to be insured for several million. Life Insurance isn’t a get rich scheme for your family once you kick the bucket – it’s intended as a replacement for the income you’d have provided, so keep that in mind when doing the maths.

Life Insurance claims aren’t turned down that often – and when they are, there’s usually a reason for it. Knowing the reason gives you extra information to either make lifestyle changes or health changes (for example waiting for your medication to work and then reapplying).

2. The steps you can take if you have been declined for Life Insurance

Okay, so if you get a letter of decline, you might be tempted to go full Homer Simpson and run on the spot, panicking, and flailing your limbs.


Don’t do that.

I mean, you can – but keep it short and be prepared to hustle again afterwards.

As I said above, you’ll usually be declined for one of a handful of reasons. You can request more information from the insurer as to why.

It may be a case that you can reapply in six months’ time with an updated medical history. If you’ve applied through your bank or to one insurer, widen the net by working with a broker – especially a broker who has worked with ‘tougher’ cases.

Each of the insurers has its own set of underwriting guidelines, so they’ll all treat medical issues differently. A specialist can match you with the right insurer for your condition, giving you a better chance of cover.

If you’re actually uninsurable, you may have the chance to go in on a workplace insurance policy, which could keep you covered until your health improves.

3. There’s a big difference between thinking you can’t get insurance and actually not getting it

If you take one thing away from this blog post let it be this: your situation probably isn’t as bad as you think it is.

I work with people all the time who have chronic illnesses. It’s our speciality at Lion. A lot of the people I talk to have convinced themselves that they haven’t a hope of getting Life Insurance and that their family will be left in awful financial difficulty if they pass away.

It’s just not true.

I recently worked with Aileen, who has MS. She didn’t think it would be possible to get Life Insurance, but we considered her case and matched her up with the insurer who would be most sympathetic to her.

The process was stress-free, and we could do it all over email.

Aileen thought she was uninsurable – but in reality, it took insider knowledge of the insurers and their underwriting guidelines to make sure her family’s future is financially secure.

You might think you’re too ill or that insurers will see a ginormous ‘risk’ sign on your head – but most of the time, I can help.

Having a chronic illness or medical condition is stressful enough without the added worry of your family’s financial security. Don’t panic about what might happen – and even if you are declined, you have options.

Remember that!

Over to you…

Worried you’ll be declined for Life Insurance? I can help you get the best cover to protect you and your family.

Give me a call on 05793 20836 or complete this short questionnaire and I’ll be right back to you.

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7 Things Nobody Tells You About Dealing with a Chronic Illness

Chronic illnesses are shit – there’s no two ways about it.

Everyone knows someone who has a chronic illness. Your neighbour who has diabetes. Your mam and her MS. Your childhood best friend who you haven’t seen for years who has Crohn’s.

Or maybe you’re the one with the chronic illness and that’s why you’re on this blog.

According to the HSE, about one million people in Ireland suffer from one of diabetes, asthma, COPD, or cardiovascular disease.

That’s almost a quarter of the population – so why aren’t we talking more about the reality of a chronic illness?

Don’t know where to start?

Have a nose through our free life insurance guides

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