Ankylosing Spondylitis & Life Insurance
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We understand that the degree to which people are affected by ankylosing spondylitis can vary considerably.With modern medication AS often does not significantly affect the lifespan of many people with the condition. However, it can make getting life insurance more complicated for many and that’s where we come in.
There are a few things that we need to know about your health:
- When were you diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis?
- How far has the AS progressed?
- What medications and treatments do you use?
- How does the condition affect your day to day living?
Many people with AS respond well to treatment and are able to avoid or delay the onset of it causing serious impacts to daily living. If your condition is well managed and you don’t have any complications, you may actually be able to get standard terms life insurance. In other cases, you may be offered non-standard terms (higher pricing). This doesn’t necessarily mean that the premiums are going to be increased by silly amounts.
When deciding what cover to offer Insurers will want to know as much as possible about your treatment, the extent of your symptoms, and any complications. In most cases the insurer will want to speak to you over the telephone or get a report from your GP, at their expense, in order to get as full a picture as possible of your general health.
For all of our customers with ankylosing spondylitis, we provide a hassle free process of securing the most relevant and competitive life insurance policy.
Critical illness cover pays out a cash lump sum of money, if you are diagnosed with a medical condition that is listed in the insurer’s claims set e.g. cancer, heart attack, stroke.
As is the case with life insurance applications, critical illness cover applications will generally require information about your overall health, the seriousness of your condition, any secondary conditions you have and any complications you experience.
It’s very common to be asked to allow the insurer to speak to your GP for a medical report. Once again, the insurer will generally pay for this at their own expense. For those with mild AS that has not brought on any related complications, it’s quite likely that you will be offered standard terms. But if this isn’t possible due to your specific medical history, you’ll generally be offered special terms policies, which typically means a higher premium.
We take as much of the hassle out of the application process as possible for you, leaving you to get on with living your life!
Income protection pays you a replacement of your monthly income, if you are unable to work due to ill health.
Getting income protection if you have ankylosing spondylitis will always depend on how you are affected by the condition. Generally, the less severe the symptoms are, the more options for cover will be available. If your condition is more severe, it may be that we need to look at a specialist provider for you.
Sometimes the insurer will insist on a minimum deferment period, meaning that you could not claim if you are unable to work for a certain number of weeks. We will advise you on all of the different options and policies available to you, so that you can feel confident that you know the ins and outs of what you are getting.
Should you find that income protection doesn’t suit you, you may want to consider Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover. This policy will offer an income replacement of 12-24 months and can be arranged without any medical underwriting. The policy will however exclude any pre-existing conditions that you have.
What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis is generally diagnosed when inflammation occurs in the spinal joints, ligaments and sacroiliac joints causing severe pain and stiffness. As the condition progresses new bone growth can occur around the affected vertebrae causing them to fuse and reduce flexibility of movement.
A form of chronic arthritis, the condition can lead to long-term disability and there is currently no specific known cause for its onset. It is thought that ankylosing spondylitis could be a hereditary disease with the gene HLA-B27 being the cause of the condition.
Linked with: Reactive arthritis, pre-radiographic ankylosing spondylitis and undifferentiated spondyloarthritis (uSpA), psoriatic spondyloarthritis, spondyloarthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease (or enteropathic arthritis), enthesitis-related arthritis, spondarthritis, spondyloarthropathy, spondyloarthritides, seronegative spondyloarthritis
Some potential problems experienced by individuals who have ankylosing spondylitis include:
- Back and buttock pain
- Chest pain
- Decreased mobility
- Difficulty sleeping
- Discomfort when sitting or standing
- Eye inflammation
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Swollen fingers or toes
- Weight loss
- Aceclofenac (Preservex)
- Adalimumab (Humira)
- Celecoxib (Celebrex)
- Codeine/Paracetamol (Tylex)
- Diclofenac potassium (Voltarol Rapid)
- Diclofenac sodium (Dexomon, Dicloflex, Diclomax, Econac, Motifene, Voltarol, Voltarol Dispersible)
- Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
- Etoricoxib (Arcoxia)
- Flurbiprofen (Froben)
- Hydrocortisone acetate (Hydrocortistab)
- Ibuprofen (Anadin Ibuprofen, Brufen, Cuprofen, Nurofen)
- Indometacin (Indolar, Pardelprin)
- Ketoprofen (Ketocid, Ketovail)
- Lidocaine/Methylprednisolone acetate (Depo-medrone with Lidocaine)
- Methylprednisolone (Medrone)
- Methylprednisolone acetate (Depo-Medrone)
- Misoprostol/Naproxen (Napratec)
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Paracetamol (Anadin Paracetamol)
- Piroxicam (Feldene)
- Tiaprofenic Acid
- Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) blocker
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It’s quite common for a life insurance provider to request a medical report. Generally, you won’t have to supply this directly. You’ll typically just be asked to consent to the insurer obtaining a report, at their expense, which they will then seek from your medical practice.
The availability of income protection for those with ankylosing spondylitis is very much dependent upon the severity of the condition and the time it has resulted in you having off work. If you have quite a severe form of the condition, it’s likely that the availability of cover will be restricted, as it is likely that many insurers will decline your application for income protection.
If you can’t find a suitable policy, Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover could be an option to consider instead. This is a different sort of policy that is not medically underwritten (but do note that any pre-existing conditions will be exempt). If you have your own limited company, or work for an employer that is open to arranging income protection for its staff, then we can look at options for you that can include claims relating to the ankylosing spondylitis.
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