We know that fibromyalgia is a tricky condition; our MD Kathryn's mother was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in her 50s. It's mainly invisible and it can be exhausting to have to explain to people that you are in pain, or that the fibro fog is making it a bit harder to understand things. Our advisers take the time to listen to you, to explain the insurance to you, and then find an insurer that is considerate of your health.
Things we need to know:
If you have fibromyalgia you should have no concerns applying for Life Insurance. The insurer that you apply to will likely contact your GP, to establish the severity of your condition, and whether there are any other medical conditions that affect your health. Fibromyalgia can be treated with quite strong medication including anti-depressants for their pain killing affect, and the insurance provider will want to make sure that they have a complete picture of your health before offering you Life Insurance.
Companies will look at the condition differently and the final price offered will depend upon the severity of your symptoms. If there has been associated depression then the price offered may be slightly higher with some insurers.
If the condition is mild to moderate and does not have a large impact on your daily activities you are likely to be accepted at normal rates with the right insurance company. If the symptoms are more severe and have a bigger impact on your life, then it is likely that any offer of Life Insurance that you are given will be at an increased premium.
As with Life Insurance, just because you have fibromyalgia, this does not prevent you fromgetting Critical Illness Cover. If the condition is well controlled, then you are likely to have your application for Critical Illness Cover accepted at normal terms. If your symptoms of fibromyalgia are classed as severe and they have a big impact on your life, then you may find that you may be offered Critical Illness Cover at an increased premium.
It should be noted that many critical illness plans have an additional benefit called TPD (Total Permanent Disability). This benefit pays out if you become totally and permanently disabled and are deemed never to be able to work again. TPD unfortunately is often not available for those with fibromyalgia.
Income Protection can be available when you have fibromyalgia in some circumstances. To be eligible for Income Protection, you will generally need to have been symptom free of fibromyalgia for at least one year, and have had mild symptoms beforehand. It is likely that any offer of Income Protection will come with exclusions to the claims set for fibromyalgia. There are some circumstances where insurers may consider a premium loading instead of an exclusion.
You may be able to look a non-medically underwritten policy like Accident, Sickness and Unemployment Cover whereby you are likely to be accepted with no medical questions however anything linked to your fibromyalgia will be excluded.
Are you going abroad? It could be a good idea to speak with a specialist travel insurance broker, that can explain exactly what you are covered for when it comes to fibromyalgia. For more details please visit our dedicated travel insurance page here.
What is Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that has no cure and no clearly defined cause. A popular theory is that pain signals within the brain of fibromyalgia sufferers have become over sensitive, central sensitisation, causing a hypersensitivity to the world and an inability to shut off from external stimuli. It is also believed that elevated levels of substance P that surrounds the brain and spinal cords could be a contributing factor.
Fibromyalgia is diagnosed through a doctors examination of patient sensitivity to the stimulation of specific pressure points. Fibromyalgia is often not an overly 'visible' illness and it can be very difficult for family members and friends to appreciate the amount of pain that a simple handshake or hug can cause. As well as severe pain fibromyalgia can cause low mood due to the inevitable pain caused by general day to day activities.
Also: Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)
Possible Effects on Lifestyle
Some problems that can be experienced by individuals who have fibromyalgia can be:
Medications and Treatments
Further Reading and Research
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1. I have been declined life insurance, I was told it was because I have fibromyalgia. Is this normal?
It really depends on your circumstances. If you are newly diagnosed and are taking strong medication, then the insurer may want to wait until a bit of time has passed, and they can be certain that the condition is well controlled. It could also be that you applied for Life Insurance with an insurer who is not fabulous at offering cover to people with fibromyalgia. No matter what, it is worthwhile approaching at least one other insurer on the standard market for Life Insurance, and if all else fails, there are specialist insurers that can cover you.
2. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 7 years ago. I'm in pain, but I am working and getting on with life. Will it affect my Life Insurance?
It depends. It sounds like your symptoms are quite mild, so we would not expect this to have any effect on your Life Insurance or Critical Illness Cover. But, without knowing more about your circumstances (e.g. medication, therapy) we can't say that for definite. Because you have fibromyalgia it is highly likely that any Income Protection policy that you have will come with a claims exclusion for the condition.
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Review by John and Mary on 30th July 2016
“My wife has fibromyalgia and we really struggled to get life and critical illness cover with many firms not understanding the condition at all. Alan really helped us out and his knowledge and experience with the condition was very impressive. Would highly recommend this company.” - 5
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