We understand that Anorexia is a very serious condition. But equally, we appreciate that the severity of the condition varies considerably from one person to another and so there simply isn't a standard approach to life insurance here. When you do apply for life insurance as an anorexia sufferer, providers will seek as much information as possible about your condition.
Typically they will ask you:
Generally insurers become concerned if your BMI falls below 17. Where anorexia is involved, you will typically find that insurers offer more favourable terms once your weight has stabilised and your BMI is around 20. If you still have anorexia, your weight is unstable or particularly low, we may have to approach a specialist insurer who will want to get a report from your GP, at their expense, to get a clearer picture of your medical history.
If you have recovered from anorexia and now have what is considered a healthy BMI, you may be able to obtain cover on standard terms. Even if you still have symptoms of anorexia or your BMI is below insurers standard guidelines, you may still be able to obtain life insurance, but this will usually be at an increased premium.
If you're applying for critical illness cover as a current or previous sufferer of anorexia, then again there will be a lot of information required from you (including BMI, lowest weight, any mental health treatment and similar). Your policy could be accepted at normal or non-standard terms, depending upon the severity the Anorexia and your overall health.
If a GP report is requested, this is often at the insurer's own expense. It is also worth noting that critical illness cover policies with specialist providers, may have certain exclusions for claims relating to any pre-existing conditions that you have.
You can still get Income protection insurance if you suffer from Anorexia or if you have suffered from it in the past. The cover provider will want to know as much as possible about your condition and will request the same sort of information as for a life insurance policy. So be prepared to be asked questions about your lowest weight and BMI, any history of self harming, any treatment by psychiatrists or other mental health providers and how long it has been since you were at your lowest weight.
These can be daunting questions for those that have Anorexia and our team will help to make the process as smooth as possible, ensuring that you know at each step of the way what is needed and why.
Whenever you take out travel insurance you should make sure that you know that it covers Anorexia and any associated conditions. Visit our dedicated page for specialist travel insurance here.
What is Anorexia
Anorexia is a serious mental health condition whereby sufferers usually have a distorted image of their bodies and weight. They want to keep their body weight low because they feel too fat or not thin enough. This health condition can last several years and have serious effects on the body, sometimes leading to osteoporosis, infertility and heart problems.
Also: Anorexia Nervosa
Linked with: Depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, alcohol misuse, self-harm, amenorrhoea, obsession, compulsion, OCD, tooth decay, osteoporosis, infertility, heart failure, heart valve disease, low blood pressure, kidney damage, liver damage, anaemia, hypoglycaemia
Possible Effects on Lifestyle
Some people with Anorexia may experience some or all of the following symptoms and problems:
Medications and Treatments
Further Reading and Research
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1. How long after having had anorexia do I have to declare it on a life insurance application?
As with many health conditions, you may need to disclose them indefinitely on life insurance applications. The wording of questions often asks about health conditions you've ever suffered from, things you have had in the last 5 years and anything you have experienced in the last 2 years.
What this means is that, even if you recovered from anorexia and have been a healthy weight for many years, you may still likely to encounter further questioning about it and other related conditions (particularly mental health conditions) on your application.
However, if you have been a healthy weight for many years, there is a good chance of life insurance being widely available, potentially even on standard terms.
2. What weight should I be after anorexia to qualify for standard terms life insurance?
There's no single answer that applies to everyone here. Insurers will be concerned about your BMI and some ask about your dress/trouser size or the size of your waist in inches/centimetres.
If you have had recent symptoms of anorexia, or your weight is quite low, you may have your life insurance application refused by some insurers. But please do not let that put you off looking at insurances. You would be amazed at how many times people have come to us because they have been declined insurance with one insurer, and we have gotten them the cover that they need with another. It's all about finding the right insurer for you.
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Review by Paul on 26th October 2018
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