Anorexia & Life Insurance

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Anorexia & Life Insurance

We understand that anorexia is a very serious condition. We appreciate that everyone is individual and the condition varies considerably from one person to another. 

There simply isn’t a standard approach to life insurance here. You need to have your personal story listened to, so that the right insurer can be chosen for you.

When you do apply for life insurance and have anorexia, providers will want to know as much information as possible about your condition.

Typically they will ask you:

  • What your lowest weight has been?
  • How long it has been since you were that weight?
  • Your BMI?
  • Whether you have ever self harmed or needed to be admitted to hospital ?
  • Whether or not you’ve ever needed support from a community health team or a psychiatrist?

Generally insurers start to consider applications more closely, 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. This is not always the case, so if your BMI is still low please do not be put off asking about what insurance will be available to you. 

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. 

Critical illness cover pays out a cash lump sum of money, if you are diagnosed with a medical condition that is listed in the insurer’s claims set e.g. cancer, heart attack, stroke.

If you’re applying for critical illness cover as you currently have or previously had anorexia, there will be specific information required from you to complete the application.

This will include details about your BMI, lowest weight and any mental health treatment you have received. Your policy could be accepted at normal or non-standard terms, depending upon the how much anorexia has and is possibly still affecting your current 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 will be available with some specialist providers, or through your employed, but it is worth checking for any claims exclusions relating to pre-existing conditions. 

Income protection pays you a replacement of your monthly income, if you are unable to work due to ill health.

You can still get income protection insurance if you have anorexia, or if you have had this condition in the past. The insurance provider will want to know as much as possible about your health and will request the same sort of information, as they would for a life insurance policy. 

It is a good idea to 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 comfortable 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.

The transcript for this video can be found at our dedicated mental health page.

What is Anorexia

Anorexia is a serious mental health condition whereby people 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: Depressionanxiety, 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

Some people with Anorexia may experience some or all of the following symptoms and problems:

  • Abdominal
  • Anaemia
  • Bloating or constipation
  • Concentration and memory difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Dry skin
  • Fertility issues
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Heart problems (heart failure, heart valve disease, poor circulation, irregular heartbeat)
  • Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low self-esteem
  • Oedema (swelling in face, hands or feet)
  • Pain
  • Problems sleeping
  • Social withdrawal
  • Tiredness 
  • Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Counselling
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
  • Family Therapy: Maudsley Model
  • Focal Psychodynamic Therapy (FPT)
  • Group Therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
  • Life Coaching
  • Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Olanzapine
  • Psychotherapy
  • Refeeding
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements

Common Questions

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 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. 

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. 

Client Reviews

The Special Risks Bureau has been rated 5 out of 5 based on 373 reviews.

Review by Paul on 26th October 2018

I dealt with Nick who was very helpful and professional. He managed to get me a good insurance for less than I was willing to pay. I would use him again and will recommend him to anyone I know who needs life insurance. - 5 

You can read more of our reviews here.

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Anorexia & Life Insurance

Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd

Author
This page was written by Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd, an award-winning insurance adviser. To read more about Kathryn please see her bio here

Anorexia & Life Insurance

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Anorexia & Life Insurance

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