September 4, 2020


How would Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affect a life insurance application?

What is COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a group of lung conditions. These cause breathing difficulties and can include:

  • Emphysema – damage to the air sacs in the lungs
  • Chronic bronchitis – long-term inflammation of the airways

COPD is a common condition that mainly affects middle-aged or older adults who smoke. Many people do not realise they have it.

Breathing problems tend to get gradually worse over time and can limit normal activities. Although treatment can help keep the condition under control.  (NHS Choices May 2018)

Our process and advice

At Future Proof, we have access to specialist insurance companies who do not deal directly with the public. They offer more specialised policies which are designed to provide cover where other major providers can’t.

Our research process involves us contacting many insurers to find out the best possible outcome for our clients. Which help avoid any nasty shocks later on during the underwriting process.

Would the insurer add a ‘loading’ to their standard premium? (this is an additional sum charged on top of their standard monthly premium to reflect their additional risk)

Might they decline his application? We want to avoid wasting time by making applications which may be declined.

With COPD, all Insurance providers have their own underwriting criteria so we contacted them all to find the best outcome for our client.

How can COPD affect a life insurance application?

The more severe the symptoms, the greater risk that you will claim more quickly. Insurers add a ‘loading’ (an additional percentage to the basic premium) to take into account the higher risk you pose to them.

Therefore, the more severe the symptoms, the higher the loading will be to the monthly premium. The loading amount will vary from one Insurance company to another. Your application may be subject to the Insurance Company requesting up to date information from the GP.

Having your peak flow reading is useful and gives us the best chance of  your adviser finding the best insurer

If the COPD is at very early stages, and the Peak Flow reading is very good, no additional loading could be requested. However, it is more likely that a ‘loading’ of 50 per cent upwards would likely be applied. In more severe or advanced cases, the loading could be larger or an application may even be declined.

As always the ‘loading’ will vary between different companies and the total cost you can end up paying can vary a lot.

If you suffer from COPD and are looking for life insurance at the most competitive premiums possible, please contact us for no obligation, expert advice.

All our case studies are based on actual client scenarios, many of which pre-date 2020.  We are confident that the acceptance decision made by the insurers would still be offered. Although it is likely that the rates will have changed, your own circumstances will determine whether what amount will be payable by you and would be fully discussed with you before any plan is implemented.

Please note that any premiums mentioned are indicative only and based on this specific case study/ example, which is shown for information purposes only. Your own circumstances will determine whether the amount payable is more or less than the figure quoted.

Next steps

Whilst you are welcome to get a quote online, we would recommend you speak to one of our advisers.

Any quote that your adviser provides you with will take into account your circumstances and medical history, as well as your budget!

An online quote is just that – a quote – it isn’t a definite offer of cover. What really matters is the premium you are offered, after your application has been assessed.

Call Freephone 0800 644 4468 – Monday to Thursday from 09.00 to 19.00 and on Friday between 09.00 and 17.00.

Please feel free to read our Independent client reviews, or read about the team at Future Proof

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Take a look at our handy guides ‘What Cover is Right for me?’

Do you suffer from a medical condition and concerned you can’t secure Life Insurance?  Please view our ‘Medical Guides’ for further information.

Whilst we will make every endeavour to help someone to arrange insurance, there is no guarantee of success.  All applications are subject to underwriting.

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