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As the old saying goes, ‘hope for the but prepare for the worst.’ For many, insurance is the way they stay prepared; with car insurance in case of an accident, health insurance for when you’re ill and even life insurance. There are so many reasons to get life insurance but the main reason is for your own peace of mind, knowing that should you pass away your debts, medical expenses, funeral costs and even the costs of you children’s education can be covered by your policy. However, some insurance companies can refuse your request for life insurance based on a high-risk or pre-existing condition.

Here are 5 common conditions that are considered ‘uninsurable’:

1) High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is an incredibly common condition that is shockingly considered uninsurable. Many insurers either refuse to cover people living with high blood pressure or charge them exorbitantly high premiums to provide the cover. This medical condition is associated with other medical conditions such as stroke, coronary artery disease, and peripheral artery disease. To avoid paying high medical premiums, you’ll have to convince your insurance policy provider that your condition is manageable or you’ll have to change to a provider that specialises in high-risk cases.

2) Epilepsy

Epilepsy is an incredibly common but often manageable illness. If you have epilepsy, your insurance provider will often request additional information about the patient including the type of epilepsy affecting them, the frequency of its occurrence and the last time the patient experienced seizures.

3) Cancer

Cancer is among the leading causes of death in the world and many insurers consider the disease uninsurable. Cancer survivors who wish to purchase insurance would have to provide information such as type of cancer, the stage when it was diagnosed, treatments administered and the likelihood of relapse. No two diagnoses are exactly alike and there can be huge differences in the prognoses, treatments and policy options available for two different survivors, even if they were diagnosed with the same cancer at a similar time. Insurance companies rely on the medical history for each cancer survivor to provide coverage and such individuals may not be able to access life insurance based on their current medical situation, however, there are some specialised companies more likely to insure cancer patients than others.

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4) Diabetes

Diabetes is incredibly common, so chances are you probably know someone living with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is common among ageing people who have other medical conditions such as peripheral vascular disease, coronary artery disease, blindness, or kidney failure. Due to the life-threatening complications associated with type 2 diabetes, many insurers consider patients living with this condition high-risk and, as a result, overcharge them for their premiums. Patients with this condition, however, can negotiate for lower insurance premiums by demonstrating to their insurers that the condition is well managed.

5) Mental Illness and Addiction

Mental illness and addiction are also considered high-risk by insurance companies. Most of us know someone surviving with depression, anxiety, bipolar, dementia or Alzheimer’s. These illnesses, in addition to making the lives of those surviving with mental illness or neurological disorders difficult, can also lead insurance providers to refuse to provide life insurance.  Substance abuse or addiction is also considered high-risk due to the possibility of other medical conditions that might arise from an extended period of substance use. The availability of insurance coverage for people living with a mental illness or drug addiction relies on the patient’s ability to manage the condition, treatment history and whether he/she has a history of attempted suicide. Some providers are more likely to provide coverage than others, so make sure you learn about this before you sign your contract.

Pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, cancer, mental illness and many others may be considered ‘uninsurable’ but this doesn’t mean that those living with these conditions don’t need or deserve life insurance.  Although many insurers consider pre-existing medical conditions high risk, patients can access medical cover through specialized insurance providers like Special Risk Managers.

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