Updated: August 15, 2019

Critical Illness Cover and Crohn's

Are you looking for a critical illness policy that covers Crohn's? We'll look at how to find a policy that covers specific illnesses, such as Crohn's, and how they work

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Expert

Updated: August 15, 2019

The problem that many people face when searching for critical illness cover is finding a policy that covers an extensive list of diseases, illnesses and disabilities, including Crohn’s.

More than 3,000 people are diagnosed with Crohn’s disease each year yet despite this, some policies do not include cover for time taken off because of the illness.

This can be frustrating for many, especially if their Crohn’s has become severe and resulted in financial loss.

To ensure that your critical illness policy covers Crohn’s, we’ve created this simple guide with helpful information and tips, which includes…

Does critical illness cover include Crohn’s?

It can be difficult to find critical illness insurance that includes Crohn’s within their policy as most insurers will only pay out in instances of permanent or life-threatening illnesses.

Although two-thirds of people with the disease usually require surgery for complications associated with Crohn’s, instances of deaths as a result of the disease are relatively low.

The most common symptoms of Crohn’s include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and fatigue and for many sufferers, this is unlikely to be fatal.

Of course, the longer a person has Crohn’s disease, the more likely they are to develop complications that can lead to infections or extreme fatigue and more serious issues such as intestinal narrowing.

Because of the nature of the disease, people with Crohn’s can also find difficulties with digesting food, which often means they are underweight.

These factors can all affect your ability to find suitable critical illness cover for Crohn’s but working with an insurance advisor can help to identify the insurers that are more likely to provide cover.

Talk to an expert for guidance on how to find critical illness cover for Crohn’s.

How will an insurer assess my application?

To assess whether or not they can provide critical illness insurance with Crohn’s, the majority of insurance companies will look at your:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Health
  • Medical history
  • List of medications that you are currently or have previously taken
  • Smoking habits
  • Where you have had surgery for your Crohn’s in the past

Using the above information, an insurer will determine the likelihood that you will make a claim. Factors such as obesity, old age or whether you’re a smoker, can suggest that you may have future health issues and therefore may be more likely to make a claim.

Smoking, in particular, can be a significant factor where Crohn’s is concerned as there’s research to suggest that smokers are less likely to stay in remission than non-smokers.

For an insurance company, this can be a red flag and they may decide to either reject your application for critical illness cover for Crohn’s or increase the price you pay for your premiums.

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Why might a claim for Crohn’s be rejected?

Although the symptoms of Crohn’s can be gruelling and have a major impact on the suffer’s day-to-day life, many insurers won’t approve claims unless:

  • Crohn’s is listed within their policy as a covered disease
  • There is evidence to support that your illness closely meets the insurer’s definition of Crohn’s disease
  • A doctor confirms that the policyholder has ‘severe Crohn’s disease’ that requires surgery

Although there is no standard Association of British Insurers (ABI) model wording, most insurers’ criteria for Crohn’s is, “A definite diagnosis by a consultant gastroenterologist of Crohn’s disease which has been treated by surgical intestinal resection”.

This definition may vary between insurers and unfortunately, if an insurance company were to assess your case and decide that your particular illness doesn’t quite fit their definition, they could reject your claim.

This can be frustrating, especially if you have continuously paid premiums to protect your finances in such an event.

Because of this, it can be helpful to work with an insurance advisor who can carefully read your contract ahead of you signing. This can help to establish whether the critical illness cover can offer you the financial protection that you require for Crohn’s and under what circumstances.

How much will cover cost?

Depending on the severity of your Crohn’s, it could cost you more than a non-Crohn’s customer as the insurer might only be willing to offer you a deal on non-standard terms.

The exact price you pay for your critical illness cover can avary depending on the level of cover you require as well as the range of illnesses you want financial protection from.

Some insurance companies provide what’s known as additional critical illness cover at an additional cost. This can provide a more extensive range of cover and it may be possible to include Crohn’s disease within the list of additional covered illnesses.

It can be tempting to base your decision about which critical illness insurer to go with purely on cost but remember that a cheaper price might not necessarily provide the best cover.

For more information on this, see our guide on critical illness costs.

Alternatively, speak to an advisor today to find out how you can get the best deal for critical illness cover for Crohn’s.

Can I get critical illness cover if I have already been diagnosed with Crohn’s?

Unfortunately, it can be tasking to find a critical illness cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition such as Crohn’s.

Applicants awaiting surgery to treat Crohn’s disease including intestinal resections, fistula removal or the fitting of a colostomy bag, may have their application rejected or postponed until they have fully recovered from the surgery.

Frustratingly for those diagnosed with Crohn’s, 80% of them will undergo surgery at some stage and around 500 will require more than one resection within 10 years. The prospect of future surgery can leave many without critical illness insurance and therefore without a financial safety net.

As well as this, if the strength of your Crohn’s medication is considered high, some insurers may calculate the risk of said medications causing you additional medical problems such as abscesses or fistulas.

That being said, if the condition is considered to be of low severity and you are on mild medication with little history of flare-ups, some insurance providers may consider providing critical illness cover at their standard rate.

Thankfully, the advisors we work with have years of experience when it comes to critical illness insurance and they will be able to tell you which insurers are more likely to approve your application.

Talk to an expert to learn more about how you can find critical illness cover with Crohn’s, even after a diagnosis.

How to find critical illness insurance that covers Crohn’s

Searching for cover can be time-consuming to say the least, especially if you don’t have the current information about each of the critical illness insurance providers that cover Crohn’s disease.

Read our top tips below to save time, money and to reduce the likelihood of being rejected for cover.

Work with a critical illness insurance expert

The advice of an insurance professional who regularly deals with critical illness providers can be reassuring. After all, it’s good to know that after paying your premiums, you can confidently make a claim.

But how else can an insurance advisor assist you?

They can:

  • Compare numerous policy prices to find you an affordable cover.
  • Help you to determine which insurers are most likely to payout.
  • Quickly identify any clauses that could prevent you from successfully making a claim.
  • Recommend the most financially viable option based on the level of cover you need.
  • Guide you through the application process, advising you to provide accurate information about your circumstances and health to avoid any future claim rejections.

Talk to an expert to kickstart your search for critical illness Crohn’s cover.

Check how often they payout for claims

If you feel confident enough to compare the numerous critical illness insurers yourself, a key factor to note is the frequency of payouts for claims.

With only a handful of insurers including Crohn’s disease within their list of covered illnesses, this data shouldn’t be too hard to find.

In fact, critical illness insurance companies are legally obliged to state this information on their website, however it may not be immediately obvious or visible.

If you can’t see it, contact the insurance company and request this information along with their list of covered illnesses or ask an advisor to find it for you.

Think carefully about how much cover you’ll need

Critical illness insurers, including Southern Cross, mostly offer cover as an additional payment for ‘Crohn’s Disease’ although some may also offer a full payment for ‘Severe Crohn’s Disease’.

The minimum and maximum amount that each insurer will pay out should be crucial in your decision as to which provider to turn to.

Many people who make a claim through critical illness insurance feel disheartened when they receive their payout as it might not cover their costs.

Because of this reason, it can be helpful to calculate the amount of payout you would need to cover your expenses in the event that you are no longer able to earn because of Crohn’s.

These may include:

  • Mortgage or rent
  • Childcare costs for time needed for recovery
  • Utility bills
  • Travel expenses to and from doctor’s appointments

Once you know this figure, compare the average payouts of each of the policies you are considering to establish which one is more suitable for you.

If you need a little help with this, the advisors we work with can go through your monthly expenses with you and calculate how much you would most likely need if you could no longer work.

Anything you discuss with them will remain completely confidential and the information you pass over will only ever be used to find you the most financially beneficial cover.

Talk to an expert

The advisors we work with will answer any questions you have to ensure you are aware of the pros and cons of each critical illness policy and can also guide you through the application process.

Call us on 0808 189 0463 or fill out an enquiry form to begin your search for the best critical illness cover with Crohn’s.

Ask a quick question

We can help! We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with brokers who are experts in critical illness cover. Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

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Pete Mugleston

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Expert

About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

FCA Disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms that are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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