Graves’ Disease & Life Insurance
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I can appreciate that having a condition like Grave’s Disease is not the easiest thing in the world. I developed an overactive thyroid for a time after my last pregnancy and it surprised me how many part of my body were affected by it.
Once the correct medications and lifestyles are in place, Grave’s Disease can be well controlled and potentially have little impact upon your life.
When it comes to life insurance, Grave’s Disease is something that most insurers will want to know some details about. We are here to help you figure out which insurer is going to be right for you.
Things we need to know:
- When were you diagnosed with Grave’s Disease?
- What are your symptoms?
- What medications do you take?
- Have you needed surgery?
- Are you able to work?
If you have mild symptoms, they are well controlled and you have not required any recent surgery, it’s may be possible to arrange life insurance at normal terms.
In some cases the insurer may ask if you are ok for them to see a report from your GP. They are only allowed to get this with your consent.
The report will confirm your diagnosis, the medications that you take and how your overall health is.
This is more likely if you have quite strong symptoms or medications, or if the Grave’s Disease is affecting your ability to work or do carry out your regular daily activities.
It is possible that some insurers may increase your life insurance premiums, due to you having the condition. This is not often the case and if you are hearing this, it is really important that you do research with more insurers. Our expert advisers do this day in day out and can take the hassle out of this for you.
If you are due to have surgery, it is possible that your life insurance application will be postponed until it has been done and you are completely recovered. There are some specialist options that we can look at for you, if this is the case.
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.
Having Graves’ Disease means that it’s quite important to really research which insurer you apply to for critical illness cover. Some insurers might offer you the policy at normal terms, others may offer you critical illness cover at an increased premium.
Graves’ Disease that is well controlled, with where there are no additional medical conditions, has a chance of critical illness cover at standard rates. This means the basic premium and no exclusions on the policy.
It is possible that if your symptoms and medication are quite strong or there are more medical conditions, that non-standard terms will be offered.
This could be an increase to the premium. If your eyes are affected then you may find that there is a blindness exclusion placed on the policy. We know that this may not sound ideal, but blindness is just one condition on what is usually a list of more than 50 claimable conditions.
The insurance provider will probably want to see a report from your GP, before they assess your application fully. This should not cause concern, it happens quite often when people have medical conditions and want critical illness cover.
The insurer can only see this report with your permission, if you agree to it they will then speak to your GP directly to confirm your health. They will be asking your GP to confirm your diagnosis, medications and any other health factors that they need to know, like atrial fibrillation.
If you do have additional medical conditions that the insurer sees as a risk, it is possible that they may decline your application for critical illness cover.
Please do not worry if this has happened to you in the past. Our expert advisers have extensive knowledge of insurers products and acceptance criteria, they will be able to place your application with an insurer that is right for you.
Income protection pays you a replacement of your monthly income, if you are unable to work due to ill health.
Income protection for people living with Graves’ Disease may be available at normal terms. This will depend upon the symptoms being mild and well controlled, with no additional medical complications.
If you have strong symptoms, then it is more likely that the insurer will increase the premiums of the income protection. Where the eyes have been affected it is likely that a blindness exclusion will be placed upon the policy.
It is a good idea to be prepares that the insurer may want to see a report from your GP to confirm your health.
If you end up decided that long-term income protection is right for you, you might want to look at Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover. This policy will repay part of your monthly earnings if you cannot work due to disability, long-term injury or involuntary redundancy.
These policies are not medical underwritten, so you having Graves’ Disease will not need to be disclosed when you apply. But with most insurers, claims relating to your Graves’ Disease will be excluded.
What is Graves' Disease?
Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition that occurs when the hormones produced by the thyroid gland go into overdrive; tetraiodothyrinine (free T-4) and triiodothyronine (free T-3). The excess hormones can cause a number of issues to other parts of the body that can include characteristic ‘bulging’ eyes, swelling at the base of the neck (goitre) and a greater need to use the bathroom for bowel movements.
If well controlled with medication Graves’ disease can go into remission over a period of a few months to a few years. It is typically more noted in females and it is believed to be triggered by genetics and stress.
Also: Basedow-Graves disease
Some potential problems experienced by people with Graves’ Disease:
- Muscle weakness
- Eye sensitivity
- Heightened anxiety
- Shortness of breath
- Intolerance to heat
- Difficulty sleeping
- Fertility problems
- Fine or brittle hair and nails
- Regular sinus infections
- Feeling a frequent need to use the bathroom
- Excess hunger
- Partial blindness
- Beta-blockers (e.g. Propanolol/Inderal)
- Propylthiouracil (PTU)
- Radioiodine therapy
- Surgical removal of part of the thyroid gland
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Yes we can. I’m sorry that you have experienced being declined cover, it is not an easy thing to hear. I know, I have been there myself.
There are quite a few things for us to talk about: when you were diagnosed, your medications, your symptoms etc. Once I have these details to hand, I will be able to advise you on the right insurance options going forward.
Sometimes some brokers are restricted to which insurers they can approach for life insurance. We have access to many insurers which is why we have been chosen as the go-to specialist protection broker for five financial networks.
Let me know a good time to call you and we can get things moving.
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Review by Kate on 13th April 2020
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