Gastric Bypass & Life Insurance

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Gastric Bypass & Life InsuranceWe understand that deciding to have gastric bypass surgery is not always a quick decision. It takes a lot of  determination to get through the surgery and recovery process that you will face.

Having weight loss surgery requires a lot of preparation and often the commitment to completely overhaul your lifestyle.

No matter where you are on your weight loss journey we are here to support you. We will clearly chat through the insurance options that are available.

Things we need to know:

  • What is your current weight?
  • Are you currently waiting to have a gastric bypass?
  • Have you already had weight loss surgery?
  • Are you fully recovered from surgery with no complications?

People that have had gastric bypass surgery in the last 5 years, will need to detail this in most life insurance applications. If you surgery was over 5 years, it may not even pop up in the insurers questions.

The terms that you are offered for life insurance will depend upon the time since the weight loss surgery, your current weight and it you may be asked your pre-surgery weight too.

If your surgery was over 5 years ago and your weight is now within a healthy BMI range, you might be able to get life insurance at normal terms.

Life insurance after gastric bypass surgery done within the last few years, may be available. If your weight is now what the insurers consider to be a good level, life insurance can often be offered at non-standard terms. This will mean a premium increase. Before that turns you off, these increases are not usually as high as people think.

If you still have a high BMI, your surgery was performed recently or you have been left with complications post-surgery, your life insurance premiums may be increased further or your application declined with some insurers. 

This is where our services really standout. Our advisers are trained to find you insurance with standard or specialist insurers, to suit your individual needs. 

If you are currently waiting for surgery, you are on the waiting list and your BMI is still quite high, it can be trickier to arrange life insurance. That’s not to say that it is impossible!

The reason for this is that you are due to have surgery. Most life insurance companies will delay offering cover to people that are due to have surgery. This is because surgery in itself, can be dangerous. We have access to specialist life insurance policies, if you are in this position. 

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.

Critical illness cover for people who have had a gastric bypass can be available with some insurers. Like life insurance, insurers are going to want to know when the weight loss surgery happened, if you are fully recovered and your current weight.

You will probably find that having had gastric bypass surgery, critical illness cover is likely to come with an increased premium, if it is available.

The more time that has passed since the weight loss surgery, the lower your premium is going to be.

You may find that if your gastric bypass surgery was over 5 years ago, that it may not even come up in the application questions. This is fine, as long as you make sure that you are careful about the dates of your surgery, and the timeframes that the insurer asks.  

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

Income protection for people that have had a gastric bypass, is sometimes possible. You may find that the insurer asks permission to speak with your GP, to confirm details of your weight loss surgery and recovery.

If you are now within a healthy BMI range and you have not been left with no complications, income protection may be available at non-standard terms. This could be a premium increase.

Sometimes income protection policies come with exclusions for medical conditions that you have had. It is more likely that you will be offered income protection at a higher premium, than with an exclusion.  

With income protection, insurers are particularly interested in any extended absences that you have had from work, due to your health. 

If you find that long-term income protection is not available to you, you might want to look at Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover. This type of policy is not medically underwritten, which means that you can have it and your weight and surgery will have no impact on the cost.

It’s really important to be aware that your health won’t affect you getting the policy, but claims will exclude any inability to work due to medical conditions you have had in the last 12 months.

These policies are useful for a lot of people, but it’s important to understand how they differ to full income protection. Our expert advisers can talk you through the specifics of the cover. 

Are you planning on traveling abroad after a gastric bypass? Visit our dedicated travel page here, to make sure that you get the cover that you need.

Hi and welcome to episode W of the CuraVision ABC series. And today, I’m going to be talking about Wendy.

Wendy came to us a non-smoker, she was 57 years old, and one year prior to speaking with us about her insurances, she had had weight loss surgery. She’d had a gastric band fitted and her BMI was currently at around 35. So, Wendy had an interest only mortgage. It was £267,000 over nine years and she already had some life insurance in place but not to cover the full amount of that mortgage.

So what we advised her to do was to keep the existing cover in place because that had been put in place before she’d had the gastric bypass surgery and there hadn’t been any kind of rating on the policy. And, the policy that we did was arrange a top up on the original cover.

So we arranged her to have level life insurance of £147,000 over nine years for an approximate monthly premium of £68. 

What is a Gastric Bypass?

Gastric bypass surgery is generally made available to individuals who are classed as having life threatening obesity, typically over a BMI of 40. Other health factors such as type 2 diabetes can result in the surgery being offered to those with a BMI of 35 or above. Gastric bypass surgery can effectively help an individual to lose weight quickly, but it should always be treated as a last resort.

Also: Gastric bypass procedure (GBP), Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, gastric banding

Linked with: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, type 2 diabetes, high BMI, gastroesophageal reflux disease, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, sleep apnea

Some potential problems experienced by individuals who have had weight loss surgery:

  • Too much weight loss
  • Discomfort eating
  • Low self esteem
  • Infection
  • Haemorrhage
  • Hernia
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Anastomotic leakage, stricture and ulcers
  • Dumping syndrome
  • Gastric banding (the stomach is divided into two using a band)
  • Gastric bypass (a small section of the stomach is diverted directly to the intestines/bowels)
  • Stomach stapling

Common Questions

Yes you can, but there are a few things that are really important to chat about. We have been asked this quite a few times. When people find out that they are having surgery, it can often make them feel a bit nervous about what might happen and they want to get life insurance as a just in case.

This is where it can get a bit tricky. Insurance is all about risk and surgery is a risk. Most insurers will not offer life insurance to people that are due surgery, are outstanding investigations or waiting for the results of a test to come back.

There are life insurance policies that should be available to you, but it’s a good idea to be prepared that it’s likely to come with an exclusion relating to the surgery.

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The Special Risks Bureau has been rated 5 out of 5 based on 374 reviews.

Review by Rebecca on 12th May 2020

Alan was so friendly and helpful from the moment he replied to my email. The service was professional and yet friendly and kind, and I felt cared for and looked after. I was able to get the cover I needed when I hadn't expected to be able to, and Alan carefully explained every step. I would recommend Cura to anybody. - 5 

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Gastric Bypass & 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

Gastric Bypass & Life Insurance

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Gastric Bypass & Life Insurance

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