Updated: August 15, 2019

Critical Illness Insurance and MS

Concerned MS could affect your income? We'll explore the critical illness cover polices available to you, and how to choose the right level of cover for your diagnosis

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Richard Angliss

Author: Richard Angliss - Finance Expert

Updated: August 15, 2019

In the UK, there are over 107,000 people currently living with multiple sclerosis (MS), so it’s no surprise that so many people are seeking financial protection in the event that they can no longer work.

For many, an MS diagnosis is an unexpected shock and often financial protection has not been put in place. A troubling concern for MS sufferers without critical illness cover is how they will be able to pay their bills, mortgage and expenses whilst they are unable to earn an income.

We hope you never have to make a critical illness cover claim but, if you do, it’s important that you choose the right level of cover for the amount of financial protection you need.

To help you make an informed decision about MS and critical illness insurance, we’ve created this guide which includes:

Does critical illness cover multiple sclerosis?

Many critical illness insurance policies do cover MS. Although there’s no cure for MS, the various symptoms can come and go for several years. This can make it difficult for some people to make a successful claim, especially if their insurer has restrictive definitions in their policy regarding the time period of which claimants need to have suffered.

The issue that claimants might face is that some insurers only pay out if your illness closely meets the definition in their policy. Some critical illness policies state that they will only pay out if: “A definite diagnosis of MS is given by a Consultant Neurologist.” There must be current clinical impairment of motor or sensory function, which must have persisted for a continuous period of at least 6 months.”

MS might not even be a consideration for many people, but with over 5,100 diagnoses each year, it can be helpful to keep your finances protected with critical illness cover just in case.

Many assume that MS is more likely to affect people in later life, however, the majority of diagnoses related to women are aged between 30 and 50.

Some insurers may not include MS in their list of covered illnesses, diseases and disabilities. To ensure that your critical illness policy includes protection for multiple sclerosis and under what terms, it can be extremely beneficial to work with an insurance advisor.

Using their expertise, they can look into the terms and conditions of each policy to determine which one will be able to offer you the most protection for the best price.

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Can I get critical illness insurance if I’ve been diagnosed?

Finding a critical illness provider that will agree to insure you for multiple sclerosis after you have already been diagnosed may be difficult.

There is no cure for MS and because of the increased likelihood that you would need to make a claim, the majority of insurers will usually exclude you from their policies.

This can dramatically reduce your choice of insurers and if you were to find a critical illness insurer to cover you, you would expect to pay a much higher price for your premiums.

That being said, with the help of the expert advisors we work with, it may be possible to find a critical illness insurer that is willing to offer you cover.

To learn more about this and to discuss your options, speak to an insurance expert.

How much is critical illness cover?

The price you pay for your critical illness cover for multiple sclerosis is heavily based on the insurance company’s assessment of how likely you are to make a claim.

To calculate this, they may look at information about your health, BMI, age and medical history.

For example, if you have a history of MS in your family, the insurer may conclude that they are more likely to have to pay out and therefore, they may charge you more for your cover.

That being said, not all policies are the same and the price of cover can vary between insurers.

Can I reduce the price of my critical illness cover?

With some insurers, potentially yes. To reduce the cost of critical illness insurance for MS, some people adapt their lifestyle in a bid to improve their overall health. Applicants who are non-smokers, with a healthier BMI or lower blood pressure can find that the price of their premiums is lower.

This is because most insurance companies will calculate the risk of you making a claim as lower if you are in better overall health.

That being said, policies differ and therefore the price you pay for your critical illness cover will vary depending on the level of cover you require as well as the range of illnesses you want financial protection from.

If you’re looking to take out a critical illness policy that includes your condition, it’s important to determine which one is suited to your needs rather than basing a decision on cost alone, although the experts we work with will aim to find the cheapest cover possible.

For the best advice, speak to an expert.

How to find critical illness insurance

Read our tips below on how to find critical illness insurance that covers multiple sclerosis.

 Work with a critical illness insurance expert

An insurance expert can compare numerous quotes to find you the most suited deal for critical illness cover that includes MS but, more importantly, they can thoroughly examine your contract to detect any clauses that could prevent you from receiving a payout.

They will have a wealth of knowledge regarding the best insurers to approach based on the average payout, customer service, rate of successful claims and of course, your needs.

Talk to an expert to discuss the critical illness insurers that could most beneficial for you in the event that you are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

 Check how much your insurer will pay out

Frustratingly for many MS sufferers, a definite diagnosis is not usually made until after two relapses have occurred.

During these unfortunate periods, many patients are left financially unstable and are unable to make a claim on their critical illness cover. This is because insurers require evidence from a medical professional for a diagnosis and until this has been provided and processed, policyholders cannot receive a payout.

Many claimants expect to receive a full payout, however, many insurers will only pay a percentage payment dependent on the severity of the condition.

This could result in a payout of just 25% of the total cover amount. Because of this, it is vital that before signing an agreement, you calculate how much your expenses may be during your illness and the likelihood that your critical illness cover insurer will cover those costs.

It can be helpful to sit down with an insurance advisor who can go through the average payout of each of the insurers and compare that against your expenses such as your mortgage payments, utility bills and childcare costs.

Check how often they pay out for claims

The assistance of an insurance professional can be very helpful with this as they have access to a database with information on hundreds of critical illness insurers.

To save you time, they can compare claim statistics, average payouts and policy prices. Once they have found the best deals and contract conditions, they can recommend the insurers to approach or can then further assist you with your application.

Afterall, if an insurer has low payout rates, then it may be worth taking your money elsewhere for a more secure and predictable level of cover.

To learn more about the options that may be available to you, speak to an advisor.

Speak to an expert

Critical illness cover for MS can provide peace of mind in the event that you fall too ill to work but the wrong level of cover can in fact do the opposite.

The advisors we work with understand the importance of finding you financial protection and can take the time to listen to what it is you need from your cover as well as how much you can afford to pay.

Trained insurance experts are on hand to answer your questions and provide you with the guidance you need.

Call us on 0808 189 0463 or fill out an enquiry form to ask us more about critical illness cover for multiple sclerosis.

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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Richard Angliss

Richard Angliss

Finance Expert

About the author

Richard Angliss has made a career in financial services which stretches over 40 years.

His early career was spent learning about the various financial products and applying them to prudent advice, working for one of the largest life assurance and investment firms. After that he joined the financial services arm of a very well-known firm providing independent advice to their 8 million customers.

For the last 20 years he has been involved in building software solutions that help Advisers and clients work together to achieve good financial outcomes and helping to set up three independent advisory firms. He also has written many articles for financial services publications and provided commentary for newspaper journalists.

At an early stage in his career he realised the great satisfaction that comes with being able to help people achieve their goals and protect their families. “Regulation of financial services has hugely impacted on ensuring people get appropriate advice. The issue these days is access to that advice and just as importantly regular reviews to make sure that everything stays on track”.

With the growing development of online resources such as Online Money Advisor he sees a great future for people to access advice to make their pension and investment work harder for them.  Plus, of course, to ensure they have insurance products in place that will be required when unforeseen events happen.

He knows getting that balance right is crucial to prudent financial planning and the wellbeing of individuals and their families.

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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