Why cover?
  • affects 1 in 4 women / 1 in 5 men before retirement
  • 94.1% of the critical illness claims are paid
  • protect yourself and your family if you get seriously ill
Why us?
  • get the cover that will pay when you need it
  • save up to 35%, cover from £5 a month
  • free, fast and without obligation quotes
Insurers: Aviva, Legal & General, Liverpool Victoria, Scottish Widows, Vitality, Zurich

Can I still buy critical illness insurance if I have already been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis?

If you have already been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it is highly unlikely that you will get critical illness insurance coverage. It doesn’t make any sense for insurance companies to issue policies to one who is already diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Yet, it is possible under certain conditions. Read further below to learn about them.

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Multiple Sclerosis Facts

  • Some 100,000 people in the UK have MS.
  • 2,500 people are diagnosed with MS every year.
  • One out of 5 people are stricken with a benign form of MS while 15% have the progressive kind.
  • The average age when MS strikes is 30, where symptoms are first seen between 15 to 45 years of age.
  • MS attacks more women than men, at a 2:1 ratio.
  • Based on the Scottish Provident Critical Illness Claims report for the first half of 2012, MS comprised 5% of all critical illness claims.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease that attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. A malfunction in the way the brain sends signals to the body results in:

  • Vision loss (although temporary) or blurred vision
  • Tingling or numbness in specific body parts
  • Spastic movements and stiffness of the muscles
  • Difficulty in coordination and balance
  • Dizziness and fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Incontinence and constipation
  • Cognitive impairment

There is no known cure for MS. Therapy can help slow the progress and aid the patient in making day-to-day living easier by relieving the symptoms. A relapsing remitting type of MS will usually progress and develop into secondary progressive MS.

MS can result in complications such as pneumonia. The illness results in a lower life expectancy than the normal population – where 10 years is shaved off from the average life expectancy.

Does critical illness insurance cover MS?

Yes, it does. MS is considered a critical illness, but to be sure, check the list of covered illnesses of your selected provider to make sure that it is included. According to the definition provided by the Association of British Insurers, MS is payable if:

  • It is marked by persisting clinical impairment of motor or sensory function
  • The symptoms have persisted for at least 6 months
  • The illness is diagnosed by a Consultant Neurologist

Of course, there are some providers that have an improved definition of multiple sclerosis. Usually, with ABI+ definitions, you don’t have to show that the symptoms persisted for 6 months.

Why get critical illness insurance for MS?

Multiple sclerosis is a condition that is emotionally and psychologically frustrating to the patient. With therapy and aid, a patient’s life can be made more comfortable.

The costs of having MS include:

  • Treatment
  • Medication and medical tests
  • The cost of adaptive equipment
  • The cost of paying a carer or the necessity for one family member to leave work to care for the person with MS

You can avail of state benefits such as disability benefits and carer’s benefit. Read the article Critical Illness Insurance and State Benefits to know more.

Claiming for multiple sclerosis if you already have a policy

If you already have an existing critical illness insurance policy (which was issued before you got sick), you can expect to get a lump sum payment.

Usually, multiple sclerosis is covered. Once you make a claim on your multiple sclerosis, however, this will mean that the insurance policy will terminate along with the coverage for other serious illnesses.

Applying for critical illness insurance if you already have multiple sclerosis

Can you still get critical illness insurance if you already have MS? As we said above, it is highly unlikely.

You don’t need to fret, though. There are some insurance companies that may issue a critical illness insurance policy, but will treat the multiple sclerosis as a pre-existing condition. Also, you can expect that the premiums will be expensive.

Pre-existing conditions. For the purpose of issuing the policy, the pre-existing condition will be excluded from the cover. This means that any condition related to your multiple sclerosis will not be payable under the policy. The advantage of this is that you can still get a policy and get coverage for other unrelated critical illnesses.

For instance, if you are diagnosed with cancer or have a heart attack, you can claim under your policy, since this is not related to your multiple sclerosis. However, if you get into an accident (you are run over due to your paralysis), the insurance company may deny your claim due to the fact that the multiple sclerosis was the underlying condition that resulted in the accident.

Waiting period. Also, there is a waiting period where any critical illness incurred within that time will not be payable. After you have been diagnosed, you also need to survive the illness for at least 30 days after diagnosis.

Applying for critical illness insurance if your relatives have multiple sclerosis

Can you still get critical illness insurance if your parents or relatives have MS? Yes, but multiple sclerosis will usually be excluded, especially if:

  • the close relative is an identical twin
  • the close relative is a parent or a sibling (not an identical twin) and you are younger than 40 years of age
  • two relatives have MS

Additional premium loading may also apply if the insured is already older than 40 and has 1 parent or sibling that has MS.

Buy critical illness cover while you can

Getting critical illness cover while you are still in the pink of health will mean that you are assured of cover and that premiums will be lower at the onset. Once you have a diagnosis of MS, it may be harder for you to get the cover you want.

Last updated on: 18.1.2013

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