Finding life insurance should not have to be difficult but the unfortunate truth is that finding the right product is rarely easy if you have a disability. Do not be disheartened though, because there are options available.

By Matt Sanders

In fact, thanks to the Equality Act 2010, insurance companies are not allowed to discriminate against disabled people. Under this legislation, a disability is defined as ‘a physical or mental condition which has a long-term and substantial effect on your daily life’. Insurers can, however, legitimately charge higher premiums depending on the nature of the disability. And if the disability is deemed too great a risk, they may not insure the individual at all.

It could be tempting, in view of high premiums or the possibility of rejection, to withhold medical information, but this is never a good idea. Doing so could nullify your policy and result in no pay-out being made.

Factors determining policy acceptance and premiums

The chance of a disabled person being offered an affordable policy by an insurer depends on four main factors.

1. The severity of the disability.

2. The degree to which the disability affects vital organs and/or increases the potential of future health issues.

3. If the disability affects the individual’s life expectancy.

4. How greatly the disability affects the daily routine of the individual.

If the disability is relatively minor, for example, or the individual is capable of living a normal life without increased risk of death, then insurers might offer them an almost standard policy rate. Conversely, if the disability impacts a major internal organ then the increased risk of illness or death will usually be reflected in a much higher premium. For an application to be rejected entirely, the insurance agency must prove that the disability in question decreases the life expectancy of the individual. So those with a terminal illness are unlikely to be insured through standard life insurance.

Other Options

There are alternatives for those unable to find affordable life insurance. One such alternative, known as life insurance with exclusions, will pay-out in the event of a death, but not if the death is a result of the insured person’s disability.

A second solution, called group life insurance, enables disabled people to be included in a larger plan(such as one offered by a company or professional organisation). These policies require no medical information from the individuals. The disadvantage is that all coverage ceases if the person leaves the employer or terminates their membership in the professional organisation.

It is important to research the various options available, bearing in mind that the rules relating to disabilities differ among insurance companies. So get as many quotes as possible before making a decision.

Finding the right insurance may be a struggle, but there are plenty of advisers who specialise in finding life insurance for those with disabilities. They have the experience and specific knowledge needed to make the process as uncomplicated as possible.

There are lots of resources online for disabled people seeking insurance but Scope’s excellent PDF guide to financial well-being is a great place to start.

About the author: Matt Sanders is a spokesperson on life insurance for He has commented extensively on a whole range of money matters and closely follows the latest changes and trends in the sector.