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UK Insurance Cover - Are we the sick men and women of Europe ?

According to numerous well publicised reports on TV & Radio, the Uk obesity epidemic has set alarm bells ringing at uk life insurers; we are supposedly the fattest nation in Europe, with nearly 25% of Uk adults clinically obese. Uk insurers are starting to clamp down on over weight customers, by rating/loading their premiums significantly or refusing to cover them completely, leading to possibly non disclosure.

Obesity & Insurance

Against this background, Uk life insurance sales have dropped at a time when our consumer debt has soared. Mortgage lenders, Life Insurance Providers and cancer charities are becoming increasingly concerned that today's consumers are borrowing more and more, often secured against the family home, without protecting their nearest and dearest if disaster should strike. They are warning that this could leave their partners and dependants homeless or destitute.

Anna Wood, a policy manager for Breast Cancer Care, said the rise in single mothers meant that many with small children and no financial protection were distraught when diagnosed. She said: "It is all very difficult, because many of these women are very young, and have never thought about breast cancer for a moment. But if they are on their own and they are diagnosed, their first thought is their children, and what will happen to them, particularly if they can't leave them provided for financially."

It's more difficult to get Insurance ~ particularly once a health ailment is diagnosed.

Whereas perhaps most of us would have qualified for "standard" premiums 10 years ago, the numbers facing a higher-risk loading has been reported to have doubled to 40%. Increasingly it seem life insurers only seem to want the best risks. In the past, customers would be loaded for conditions such as diabetes, but now some insurers will reject or load applicants who admit to minor ailments such as stress or depression.

They are also tightening up on family history. They have always taken family history into consideration, and would have been concerned if several immediate family members were struck down by the certain conditions. But now some Life Insurance Providers  if you are insuring for say a critical illness plan may increase premiums if their mother or father, say, had a certain type of cancer especially if they were smokers.

EARLIER detection methods, plus advances in medical treatments, mean survival rates with some illnesses such as cancer have improved significantly. However, finding insurance is getting harder than ever. Need to calculate your body mass index ?

It is still possible to buy cover, provided you have been clear for a set number of years.

The downward pressure on premiums has led to a more cut-throat approach by some insurers. " Some brokers state that you often tend to find some Life Insurance Providers offering the cheapest quotes in the comparison tables are sometimes less interested in insuring anyone with certain health conditions or family history issues at their standard premium rates." eg; You have developed health problems such as had a heart attack, strokedepression, cancer, diabetes or say stress. Please ensure you advise the Term Cover Life Insurance Companies otherwise this may result in none-disclosure & the plan is void.

This could lead to further problems, because consumers could possibly receive a black mark after applying to a cheapest premium company only to be refused. "When they apply elsewhere, they will be asked: 'Have you ever been turned down for insurance?' Now they have to reply 'yes' to that question," he said. However, whereas historically a small group of insurers may have specialised in so-called "impaired or substandard lives", that is no longer the case. Insurers judge each risk on a case by case basis. This could lead to possible non disclosure if a consumer does not honestly disclose the correct answers.

Many brokers do often talk to a good range of Life Insurance Company underwriters about potential clients if requested by that client, to get a feel what insurance terms they might offer. They don't make a possible application then until they get a flavour as to what these terms may perhaps be offered; if it may possibly be accepted and at what indicated premium price."  This could hopefully save you time for waiting weeks [sometimes months] for a possible answer which could have been indicated beforehand, especially if the answer is a "Increased or Rated Premium or a Decline".

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