Retinitis Pigmentosa & Life Insurance

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Retinitis Pigmentosa & Life InsuranceBeing diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa can be an uncertain time and we understand that this may cause you to worry. Life insurance may be one of your concerns and we are able to support you through the whole process.

Things that can help us to start researching options for you:

  • When were you diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa?
  • Does your vision loss affect your ability to do day to day tasks?
  • Have you taken part in any counselling?

Life insurance for people living with retinitis pigmentosa will most likely be available at normal terms with most insurance providers.

The insurer may ask questions about tests that you have been through to confirm your diagnosis, how strong your symptoms are and if you have had any associated anxiety or depression.

If you are awaiting surgery it is likely that most insurers will want to wait to offer life insurance, until after the surgery is done.

Vision loss is not seen as a particularly large risk for life insurance, so the process should be quite straightfoward.

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.

Critical illness cover for people that have retinitis pigmentosa will most likely come with an exclusion to the policy.

Many critical illness policies offer claims in regards to blindness or partial loss of sight. The insurer that you approach will probably exclude these conditions from your policy claims set. 

This might not sound ideal but these policies cover for you heart attacks, stroke, cancer and much more. Whilst hearing an exclusion isn’t great, you are still being covered for the above claimable conditions, that are the ones you are most likely to claim on.


Income protection pays you a replacement of your monthly income, if you are unable to work due to ill health.

Income protection for those with retinitis pigmentosa will most likely come with an exclusion, for any claim related to your vision.

There are some income protection policies that can be arranged by your employer, or through your own company if have one, that may not have exclusions. Known as group income protection, this policy type is most likely to offer you the best quality of contract.

There are also some alternatives known as Accident, Sickness and Unemployment policies, that could be a good option for you. These policies do not ask medical questions when they are set up, but there are some technicalities with it, that you should ideally speak to an adviser about.


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What is Retinitis Pigmentosa?

Retinitis Pigmentosa is the term for a group of inherited conditions that causes loss of sight. There are many forms or retinitis pigmentosa which are caused by problems within the autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive and/or X-linked genes. The type of genetic inheritance that you have will determine the severity of your vision loss and whether there will be any associated hearing loss.

Also Known as: RP, RP Syndromes

Linked with: Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, Choroideremia, Usher’s Syndrome, Bardt Beidl Syndrome, Stargardt’s Disease, Refsum, Alstrom (funny o), Laurence-Moon-Bardet-Biedl (LMBB) syndromes, cataracts

Some potential problems experienced by individuals who have retinitis pigmentosa include:

  • Rod-cone dystrophy
  • Cone-rod dystrophy
  • Retinal dystrohy
  • Tunnel vision
  • Night blindness
  • Hearing loss
  • House adaptations e.g. brighter lights, easier colours
  • Loss of driving license
  • Loss of independence
  • Mobility aids
  • Colour vision test
  • Electro-diagnostic tests
  • Fluorescein angiograms
  • Genetic counselling
  • Genetic testing
  • Retinal photographs
  • Visual field test
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Common Questions

With you mentioning your concern over being able to work, I think that you are most likely thinking of income protection. A policy that will replace your income if you are ill and unable to work.

Unfortunately most income protection policies will come with an exclusion for any claim related to your vision. The best option will be to see if your employer offers something known as group income protection, as this can often come without exclusions, even for pre-existing conditions. 

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Review by Lauren on 4th May 2021

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Retinitis Pigmentosa & Life Insurance

Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd

This page was written by Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd, an award-winning insurance adviser. To read more about Kathryn please see her bio here

Retinitis Pigmentosa & Life Insurance

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Retinitis Pigmentosa & Life Insurance

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