Life insurance policies pay out a lump sum if you die while you’re insured. This means that when insurers consider your application, they’ll weigh up how likely it is that you will die in that time (i.e. how likely it is that they’ll have to pay out).

Having a pre-existing medical condition like Crohn’s disease will definitely cause insurers to consider this even more carefully during the ‘underwriting’ process that all applications go through. For people without a health condition, the decision about whether or not to insure you can usually be reached automatically. For someone with a health condition, depending on the severity, the application is more likely to be handed over to an underwriter for closer review.

Depending on how severe your Crohn’s disease is, you might find it more difficult or more expensive to get insured. This is because insurers may consider you higher risk to insure (so they’ll charge more to carry that risk) or too high risk (so they won’t be willing to insure you at all).

Can I buy life insurance if I’ve got Crohn’s disease?

You should be able to buy life insurance if you’ve got Crohn's disease. Anyone who applies for life insurance has to answer questions about their health and lifestyle, which includes questions about their:

  • Personal health history
  • Family health history
  • Height and weight (BMI)
  • Smoking status

All of this will be taken into account during the underwriting process, as the insurer evaluates how much of a ‘risk’ you are to insure and how much you should pay to be covered.

Getting help from an adviser can really help if you’ve got a health condition, as they’ll quickly be able to filter out the insurers most likely to accept your application, who offer the best terms for you and your circumstances.

What will insurers ask about my Crohn’s disease?

If you’ve got Crohn’s disease, it’s likely you’ll be required to provide the following info during the underwriting process:

  • When you were diagnosed with Crohn’s disease
  • How you treat your Crohn’s disease
  • How often you have a colonoscopy
  • Whether you’re waiting for surgery, a referral, tests or test results for your condition
  • Whether you have any other complications caused by your condition – i.e. liver disease or cancer
  • When you last required treatment for a symptom flare-up

How will my Crohn’s disease affect my life insurance application?

Typically, there are a few possible outcomes when you apply for life insurance but disclose a pre-existing health condition like Crohn’s disease. These include:

  1. Your application being accepted as normal, with standard pricing rates – i.e. the same as they’d be for someone without Crohn's disease (this usually only happens if your condition is very mild)
  2. Your application being accepted but with a ‘loading’ on the price  – i.e. your rates will be higher than they would be for someone without Crohn's disease
  3. Your application being postponed (this happens if the insurer thinks your health condition poses too much of a risk right now, but has the potential to improve in the future)
  4. Your application being declined (this tends to happen if your condition is severe and the insurer deems you too high risk to insure)

Why it’s important to disclose your Crohn’s disease

When applying for life insurance, it’s extremely important to answer all the health questions honestly. If you don’t disclose that you’ve got Crohn’s disease when you have, regardless of whether it’s mild, you risk invalidating your policy and it not paying out in the future (this is the most common reason for claims not being paid out by insurers).

  • You can apply for life insurance even if you have an existing health condition like Crohn’s disease
  • If you have Crohn’s disease, you must disclose it during the application process, even if it’s mild, otherwise you risk invalidating your policy in the future
  • If you disclose your Crohn’s disease while applying for life insurance, extra medical information may be required from you during the underwriting process
  • Depending on how mild or severe your Crohn’s disease is, insurers may accept your application as normal; accept it but charge a higher premium; or decline your application

This guide is intended for informative purposes only and doesn't constitute advice.