Fibromyalgia & Life Insurance

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Fibromyalgia & Life Insurance

We know that fibromyalgia is a tricky condition; my 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:

  • When were you diagnosed with fibromyalgia?
  • What medications do you take?
  • Do you require mobility aids?
  • Are you able to work?
  • How does the fibromyalgia affect your daily living?

If you have fibromyalgia you should have no concerns applying for life insurance. Please don’t be surprised if the insurer that you apply to ask if they can speak with your GP. This is to confirm the strength of your symptoms, 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. You will be asked a set of questions about your mental health, but please be assured that this is a standard part of many life insurance applications.

Insurance providers will look at fibromyalgia differently, some will be more open to your application than others.  The final price offered for life insurance will depend upon how much the conditions affects. A good indication of this is how much it affects your ability to do day to day activities and work.

If you have also been diagnosed with depression, some insurers may increase the policy premiums, due to the combination of both health conditions. 

If your symptoms are quite mild and do not have a large impact on your daily activities, you are likely to be accepted at normal rates with the right insurance company.

For people that are experiencing quite strong symptoms that are having a bigger impact on their life, it is likely that life insurance will have an increased premium.

The sound of this can put people off applying and we completely understand that, but the price increases are often not as bad as people think. Plus, the reason you want insurance in the first place is still there.

Our expert advisers will talk you through all of the options and prices that are going to be available to you. There is no obligation or tie-ins when you speak with you. 

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. 

Having mild fibromyalgia, should not prevent you from getting critical illness cover. If your symptoms are well controlled, then you are likely to have your application for critical illness cover accepted at normal terms.

If you are taking strong medications and your symptoms of fibromyalgia are having quite a big impact on your life, then you may find that critical illness cover is offered at an increased premium.

It is worth noting that many critical illness plans have an additional benefit called TPD (Total Permanent Disability). This is a claimable condition that pays out if you become totally and permanently disabled. Many people with fibromyalgia will find that TPD is not available on their policy.

This might not sound ideal, but please bear in mind that this is one condition. Most critical illness plans cover you for the diagnosis of over 50 conditions, including cancer, heart attacks and strokes.

Our experienced advisers can explain all these ins and outs to you.  

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

Income protection can sometimes be available when you have fibromyalgia. To get income protection, you will generally need to have been symptom free of fibromyalgia for at least one year, and have had mild symptoms beforehand.

For many people with fibromyalgia, it is likely that income protection will come with an exclusion. This will mean that you will not be able to make a claim if you are unable to work, due to the fibromyalgia.

Sometimes it is possible to ask an insurer to consider offering income protection with a premium increase, instead of an exclusion. 

You may want to look a non-medically underwritten policy like Accident, Sickness and Unemployment Cover, if you cannot get full income protection.

This policy type is accepted with no medical questions (so no price increases), but any claims 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.

Hi, today I’m going to be carrying on the CuraVision ABC Series, and today is focusing on Miss F.

So Fiona came to us with a medical history of fibromyalgia, ADHD, and anxiety issues. So the fibromyalgia was on the milder side of the condition. She didn’t need to take any medication for it and she wasn’t having any significant flare-ups, that needed any specific attention. The ADHD had been quite a recent diagnosis and there was medication in place to help control that condition. With the anxiety issues, there had been medication taken in the past. That was no longer being taken and she was primarily controlling that with cognitive behaviour therapy.

So Fiona was 25 years old. She was a non-smoker and her BMI fell within the normal range. So she came to us wondering if she needed any protection insurance in place and we identified that it could be useful for her to have some life insurance in place, to provide some protection towards the household for her partner, help cover mortgage liability, etc, and also some critical illness cover in place just in the event that she suffers a serious condition. That would give her a lump sum just to help, say, with anything such as private medical fees or just generally adaptations to the household, like anything that she would need in the event that something like that happened.

So the advisor spoke to Fiona and from their calculations of her income, and what would be needed into the household, they arranged a level life insurance policy of £205,000 that would run until the age of 68. That came to a monthly premium of around £10.30 per month. Did come with a slight premium increase due to the mix of conditions that are in place. The advisor also bolted on some critical illness cover. Because we were working to a specific budget, the advisor put together a critical illness policy of £55,000, a level critical illness policy of £55,000 to the age of 68, and again that came with a slight premium increase, but came to a monthly premium of roughly £16.50.

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)

Linked with: Depressionanxietymigrainesrheumatoid arthritis, restless legs, irritable bowel syndrome, pelvic pain

Some problems that can be experienced by individuals who have fibromyalgia can be:

  • Difficulty getting comfortable due to changes in pressure on the body – a car or chair that was comfortable one minute may feel unbearable to use the next
  • fatigue
  • Fibro fog – a persistent headache that emulates a migraine
  • Physical and emotional isolation
  • Relationship problems – inability to hold hands, hug or have sexual relations
  • Social anxiety
  • Unexplained pain and tenderness throughout the body
  • Codeine/Paracetamol
  • Dihydrocodeine
  • Eucalyptus/Terpineol/Methyl salicylate/Menthol/Camphor
  • Ibuprofen
  • Ketoprofen
  • Naprosyn
  • Naproxen
  • Paracetamol
  • Tiaprofenic Acid
  • Tramadol hydrochloride

Common Questions

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.

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.

Client Reviews

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

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 

You can read more of our reviews here.

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Fibromyalgia & 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

Fibromyalgia & Life Insurance

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