Underactive Thyroid & Life Insurance
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We know that having an underactive thyroid isn’t easy, I developed hypothyroidism after the birth of my third child, it took a long time for me to feel normal again. Our job is to listen to how your thyroid condition affects your daily living and match you with an insurer, that will give you the best terms possible for insurance.
Things we need to know:
- When were you diagnosed with hypothyroidism?
- Was there a specific cause for the underactive thyroid developing?
- What medication are you taking?
- Do you have any surgery planned?
- Are your TSH levels back into the normal range?
Underactive thyroid Life Insurance is available with many insurers on the standard market, provided that your TSH levels are ok and your condition is stable. The insurer will want to know the cause of the hypothyroidism and the medications that you take to manage your symptoms. If your underactive thyroid is well controlled and does not affect your daily living, you should be able to get Life Insurance at standard rates.
Where there have been recent changes to your health, your TSH levels are not in the normal range, or you have secondary conditions e.g. goitre, high cholesterol, the insurer may offer Life Insurance at non-standard rates (premium increase). It is possible that insurers on the standard market may postpone your application, until your health stabilises. If this is the case, you may find a specialist Life Insurance policy is more suited to your needs, until your TSH levels return to normal.
Underactive thyroid Critical Illness Cover can often be arranged at standard rates with many insurers. Your hypothyroidism will need to be well controlled, with TSH levels within the normal range. If the underachieve thyroid has led to any secondary conditions, the insurer will want to know the severity of your symptoms and treatments taken to control these additional factors. Provided that your overall health is good and your health conditions don’t affect your daily living, Critical Illness Cover should be available at standard terms.
For those with more complex health concerns and a TSH outside the standard range, Critical Illness Cover may be offered at non-standard rates in the form of a premium increase. You may find that a specialised policy is more appropriate for you, until your underactive thyroid stabilises.
Income Protection for people with an underactive thyroid is treated in a similar manner as the above policy types. Standard rates can be available if the condition is well controlled, there are no significant secondary illnesses present and there have been no other recent changes to your overall health. If your TSH is outside of the standard range, you may find that Income Protection is available at special terms, typically in the form of a premium increase.
Are you planning on travelling abroad? It is important that you make sure that your travel insurance fully covers you for travel with an underachieve thyroid. We have teamed up with a specialist travel insurance broker who can help you find the right cover for you. Find out more here.
Today I’m going to be talking to you about hypothyroidism, or more commonly known as an underactive thyroid, which is a condition I have myself.
When you apply for insurance, the insurer is going to be quite interested in what’s the underlying causes of the thyroid issue. So if you have Hashimoto’s disease, if you have thyroid cancer, or if like myself, it’s something you’ve been left with after pregnancy.
The insurer will mainly want to know whether or not your TSH levels are back into a normal range, whether or not you are taking medication. It’s always useful to know when you were diagnosed, so the month and year, when you started the medication, again month and year, and the medication that you are on, which is most likely to be levothyroxine.
They will also be concerned, well not concerned, but they’ll also want to know if you have had any complications from the thyroid issues. So say, if you have had any heart problems, treated for high cholesterol, or if you’ve had a goitre.
You will find when you do apply for the insurance, that a lot of the insurers on the standard markets, will be pretty good with you having the underactive thyroid. Most of them will want to see that your TSH levels are back into a normal range, and you should be able to, if that is the case, get standard terms when you apply for the cover.
You may find though that if you have had complications, or if your readings aren’t back into a normal range, that the insurer may increase the premiums slightly until the complications have resolved, or until your range is back into a normal level.
It is also possible in those circumstances that some insurers, in the standard market, may postpone your application until you are back into those normal levels, and until those same complications have been resolved.
You may also find as well, that dependent upon the terms or the price increases that you are being given, that you may want to look at more specialized policies that are available with more specialist insurers until your health has come back into the range that the typical insurer’s would class as normal.
What is Underactive Thyroid?
Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) occurs when the body produces insufficient levels of the thyroid hormone, thyroxine (T4). Hypothyroidism tends to be a result of the immune system attacking the thyroid gland, but can also be the result of surgery or other thyroid related illnesses. The condition causes many of the bodies functions to slow down which can result in weight gain, general tiredness and depression.
Also: Autoimmune thyroiditis, hypothyroidism
Some potential problems experienced by individuals who have an underactive thyroid include:
- Brittle hair and hair loss
- Cardiovascular disease
- Dry skin
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goitre)
- Excess weight
- Feeling cold
- Fluid retention
- Pregnancy complications
- Slow thought processes
- Tingling in the hands and arms
Yes we do. It is unusual to be declined life insurance because of an underactive thyroid, so we can only guess that there has been a recent change in your health that has led to the decline. Without more details it is hard to know why you were declined. But, there should be options for you on the standard insurance market, and if not, there are specialist insurers that will be able to offer you life insurance.
Maybe not. Insurance applications are based upon your health at the time that you apply for the insurance. So you can take out life insurance and find out the next day that you have cancer, and in most cases you do not need to tell them. There is a bit of a but though. If, you were having symptoms and investigations before you took out the life insurance, then you should have made the insurer aware of this. If you didn’t, then it is best that you speak with your insurance provider and tell them that you have been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid; it could invalidate your policy if you don’t.
That’s a tricky one to answer. No one insurer is specifically good for people with thyroid conditions. One insurer may be brilliant for people with an underactive thyroid, but if you are a smoker, they may not like that combination. Another may be ok for people with hypothyroidism, but amazing for people with higher bmis, which could be a much better option. There are lots of factors about you that insurers consider when deciding what to offer you for Life Insurance. No two people are the same, so it’s not possible to say for definite who will be the best insurer for you. As brokers, we look at the whole picture of you and figure out which insurer best suits you.
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