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        0808 189 0463

        Updated: April 19, 2024

        High Risk Life Insurance

        Are you a high-risk life insurance applicant? In this guide we explain what constitutes high risk, how this affects policy costs, and how to find a suitable provider

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

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        Ever wondered why life insurance companies charge higher rates for certain customers but not others? In short, the price you pay for a life insurance policy is calculated based on the probability of your death and how likely you are to make a claim.

        So, if you’re an adrenaline junky, have a dangerous profession, a serious health condition or are older when you apply for cover, you may be considered high risk.

        But do you have to compromise your lifestyle to find affordable life insurance or are there high risk life insurance companies willing to provide the cover you need?

        The experts we work with are independent financial advisors with access to every insurance provider in the UK. They have the tools and expertise to ensure you’re getting the right cover for the best possible price.

        To talk to an expert about high risk life insurance, call 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry for a free, no obligation chat.

        What is high risk life insurance?

        High risk life insurance is a term used to describe a life insurance policy that covers a riskier applicant.

        Although some life insurance companies will provide cover to people they deem a risk, they will most likely charge higher premiums. Furthermore, if you’re categorised as high risk, you may find that there are fewer insurers to choose from.

        Speak to an expert today

        How does high risk life insurance work?

        When you find a high risk life insurance company who is willing to provide you cover, you will need to decide which type of cover you want.

        Your application is usually done over the phone or online. When you complete your application, you will be given options which affect how much your agreement costs, how much your beneficiary is paid when you pass away and how long the agreement lasts for.

        You will also be asked a range of questions about your health, lifestyle and medical history.

        Usually, the healthier the policy holder, the less chance of having to pay out for a claim, so the price for your premiums could be lower.

        If you have poor health or lead a lifestyle which puts your life at risk, you may be charged more.

        What is deemed as a high risk on a life insurance application?

        Banks and high street insurance providers may be able to offer high risk life insurance cover but it may come at a cost.

        Some providers are unable to offer such a niche service and lack the understanding needed to assess applicants with ‘high risk’ factors. This can lead to high life insurance premiums.

        That’s why it’s a good idea to speak with a high risk life insurance expert, like the ones we work with.

        So, on that note, what can affect the price you pay for high risk life insurance and is there anything you can do to help reduce your costs?

        Alcohol consumption

        The amount of alcohol you drink can have a significant impact on your health. A high alcohol consumption can lead to serious health issues including liver disease, heart failure and cancer.

        Men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis, so the majority of life insurance companies may increase the cost of their cover if you exceed this limit.


        Today, we’re all too familiar with the risks associated with smoking. Lung disease, increased risk of stroke and stunted growth in children through second-hand smoke are just a few.

        In 2017, it was reported that 15.1% of UK citizens smoked, and if you happen to be one of them, getting life insurance could come at a higher cost. As a smoker, you’re likely to be charged more than a non-smoker for your premiums.

        Kicking the habit could help to reduce your cost but if you’re not quite ready for that, a life insurance broker can find you the cheapest and most financially beneficial option.


        Yes, even your leisure activities will be taken into consideration.

        Some hobbies may work in your favour and help to reduce your life insurance premiums as exercise, for example, suggests you lead a healthy lifestyle.

        However, extreme sports such as bungee jumping, motorcycle racing and scuba diving may result in you paying higher premiums.

        The associated risks that some sports expose you to may be too high for some high risk life insurance companies but the life insurance experts we work with can help you find a policy that’s right for you.


        As you age, the likelihood that an insurer will have to pay out on your policy increases. Therefore, you may find that the older you are, the higher the price you pay for your life insurance cover.

        The good news is that there are some life insurance companies that specialise in protection for elderly customers. Their policies can be more expensive and it’s always important to have a professional check the terms and conditions of the agreement before signing.

        Check the list of covered medical conditions too as some insurance companies only cover a specific list of illnesses which could affect your beneficiaries’ ability to make a claim.

        Talk to an insurance advisor to find an affordable high risk life insurance policy or see our guide on life insurance with no medical exam.


        Many people are surprised to learn that the job they do can affect the amount they’re charged for life insurance cover.

        Even office jobs that are considered pretty safe can come with their own risks. Your insurer may ask questions about the location of your office and cross check crime rates in the area to determine how safe you are at work as well as the risk to them of having to pay out for a claim.

        Action-packed roles such as a police officer or a firefighter can of course come with their own risks. Despite high levels of training and safety equipment, these roles are undoubtedly risky, so some life insurance companies will charge higher rates.

        Pre-existing medical conditions

        Some pre-existing medical conditions might not affect your day to day life too much and therefore may not pose a great risk to your life expectancy.

        However, there are conditions such as cancer (1002), Multiple Sclerosis and epilepsy which can have a significant impact on how long you live.

        Life insurance companies will need to determine exactly how your condition affects the likelihood that they will have to pay out, so make sure you provide accurate information that reflects the extent of your condition.

        Yes, you may have to pay more for your cover but if you accidentally leave out information about your condition and the effects it has on your health, your beneficiaries may be left with nothing if they should have to make a claim.

        If you pass away, the life insurance company will require a copy of your death certificate to determine how you died.

        If it is discovered that your pre-existing medical condition could have contributed towards your death, your life insurance policy could become invalid if you didn’t disclose all of the relevant information.

        How much is life insurance for high risk customers?

        What can be frustrating is that each life insurance company can take a different stance on what they deem as risky and therefore, the prices of policies can differ heavily between providers.

        For example, one company may charge a higher fee for a policy if the applicant has a dangerous job. However, the same person could apply for another life insurance policy elsewhere and have no problem.

        This can make the process of finding a good life insurance deal tasking. Nobody wants to spend hours trawling through comparison sites, especially when often the final policy quote you receive can differ so much to your initial life insurance quote.

        We work with independent financial experts who have access to every insurance provider in the UK. Call 0808 189 0463 for a free, no obligation chat and save time, hassle and money by letting them do the work of finding you the right life insurance cover for the best possible price.

        Where can I find cheap high risk life insurance?

        Cheap life insurance is appealing but remember that the cheapest policy isn’t always the best.

        Price should always be a considered factor when comparing high risk life insurance companies but it’s more beneficial to focus on the range or cover that each company provides.

        You’ll also want to focus on the rate of successful payouts. You don’t want to spend your money on a policy that might not pay out, especially if your policy is in place because you want to leave money to your loved ones.

        A good tip is to look at the life insurance company’s website. Their payout rate should be stated on their website and if it isn’t easily visible, contact a life insurance expert who can source this information for you.

        What are the best high risk life insurance companies?

        There are hundreds of life insurance providers on the market and their reviews can be found fairly easily online. The problem is, just because one policy worked well for one person, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be a good fit for another.

        To determine whether a high risk life insurance company is the best match for you, chat with a life insurance specialist who can quickly establish which companies can offer you the level of protection you need for your budget.

        Using their experience and knowledge of the industry, they can compare numerous life insurance companies based on their:

        • Price.
        • List of covered illnesses and diseases.
        • Customer reviews.
        • Minimum and maximum payouts.
        • Rate of successful payout.

        Call 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry to talk to one of the expert insurance advisors we work with.

        Speak to an expert today

        Are there any alternatives?

        If life insurance is too costly for you because you are deemed high risk, these are two alternatives you could consider:

        Impaired risk life insurance

        Similarly to life insurance, impaired risk life Insurance provides cover for customers with pre-existing conditions as well as individuals who are suffering from health issues. As expected, the premiums charged can be higher than the cost of a standard policy.

        Critical illness cover

        Critical illness insurance is designed to provide financial protection upon diagnosis of a specific illness, medical condition or disability specified within the policy.

        In the event of a claim, a critical illness insurance policy will provide a tax-free lump sum to the policyholder who can then spend the funds as they see fit.

        How can an independent life insurance expert help me?

        Here are just a handful of the reasons why you should choose the experts we work with…

        • They have access to the entire market, including specialist life insurance companies. This allows them to find the best deal on the market, including life insurance quotes that might not be visible to the public.
        • An expert can prepare you for the extensive list of questions you will need to answer when you apply for life insurance.
        • The can offer assistance with filling out your life insurance application. An insurance advisor can thoroughly check that all information provided is accurate to prevent any claim issues in the future.
        • A trained professional can examine your contract and raise issues directly with the company if they discover any unfavourable terms or conditions.

        Speak to an expert about arranging high risk life insurance

        Finding affordable high risk life insurance doesn’t need to be difficult and with the help of the insurance experts we work with, you may be able to find a policy that provides a suitable level of cover and a sufficient payout that can be left to your beneficiaries.

        Talking about why you might need high risk life insurance can be a difficult subject and an independent advisor will understand this.

        They can guide you through the process from start to finish, ensuring that you understand all aspects of the insurance policy and are clear on how much you need to pay each month.

        Call 0808 189 0463 or send your questions to an advisor by making an enquiry with us. We aim to respond to all enquiries within two hours, although usually an expert will be on hand to get back to you as soon as possible.

        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 higher-risk life insurance. Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

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        Pete Mugleston

        Pete Mugleston

        Mortgage Expert, MD

        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.