Scoliosis & Life Insurance
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We know that scoliosis is never the exact same for two people, for some it can cause some minor discomfort, for others it can cause significant mobility issues. However your scoliosis affects you, we can get you the insurance that you need.
Things we need to know:
- When was your scoliosis diagnosed?
- Have you had surgery to correct the scoliosis?
- Are you due to have surgery?
- Do you take any medication?
- How does having scoliosis affect your daily living or ability to work?
Life Insurance when you have scoliosis can be available at standard terms. The insurer will want to know the severity of your scoliosis and if you have had, or are due, to have surgery. You will probably need to detail any medications, mobility aids and treatments that you use to help your symptoms of scoliosis.
If you are waiting for surgery to correct your spinal curve, then standard insurers are likely to wait until after you have had the operation, before they can offer Life Insurance. You will need to speak with specialist insurers to arrange your Life Insurance.
When you have scoliosis, Critical Illness cover may be available at standard rates. The insurer is going to ask you details about how the scoliosis affects you on a daily basis, and if you have any associated medical conditions e.g. cerebral palsy. Again, if you have surgery scheduled to correct the scoliosis, standard insurers will ask you to wait until after your operation, before you submit your application for Critical Illness Cover. There are specialist Critical Illness policies that you can take if this is the case.
Critical Illness Cover often comes with a claim definition called Total Permanent Disability. It is likely that there will be an exclusion for claims related to the scoliosis, under this heading.
Income Protection for people with scoliosis may be available at normal terms in very good cases. To have access to normal terms, the symptoms of your scoliosis will need to be stable, with no recent flare ups or changes to treatment. You should ideally arrange an Income Protection policy on an own occupation basis. If you are still having flare ups, seeking treatment or undergoing investigations, then your options for Income Protection will be more limited, and may come with an exclusion for scoliosis related claims.
If you find that Income Protection is not available to you, due to your scoliosis, you may want to look at Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover. This policy gives you income replacement for between 12 and 24 months, if you are unable to work due to ill health or redundancy. Accident, Sickness and Unemployment policies are not medically underwritten, so your diagnosis of scoliosis will have no bearing on your eligibility. You should however be prepared that the policy will exclude claims for being unable to work due to the scoliosis.
What is Scoliosis
Both children and adults can get scoliosis, and with treatment, it generally goes away. Scoliosis is the diagnosis of a curve in the spine, that can cause discomfort and mobility difficulties. In most cases, it is not known how someone can develop this condition. However in more rarer cases, it can be linked to development in the womb, a nerve or muscle condition, or even wear and tear of the spine due to age. X-rays are carried out to determine the severity of the curve, and treatments can include back braces, painkillers, and in some cases operations. Most people with scoliosis can lead normal, independent lives, and taking part in sports. Once you stop growing, the condition tends to stay the same.
Also: Idiopathic scoliosis
Possible Effects on Lifestyle
Common problems experienced by people with scoliosis:
- Back pain
- Curved spine
- Uneven stature e.g. shoulders uneven, ribs sticking out
Medications and Treatments
- Back brace (older children)
- Plaster cast/brace (babies, toddlers)
- Spinal Injections (adults)
- Surgery (adults)
Further Reading and Research
- CuraVision – The ABCs – Juvenile Scoliosis
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It isn’t something that we think should cause you any concern. Most Critical Illness policies come with at least 50 conditions, some well over 100. Total Permanent Disability is often one of the conditions listed as a claimable condition. Each insurer has different criteria as to how ill you need to be in order to successfully make a TPD claim. The main point is, that it is very very difficult to make a TPD claim, you have to be seriously ill in order to qualify for it. The insurer may say that you cannot make a claim under TPD if its related to the scoliosis, but it’s highly unlikely that you would become ill enough to make a claim on it, regardless of your current health. We don’t think that the exclusion detracts from the other 49 or more critical illnesses, that you could insure yourself against.
It’s hard to say without a bit more information. If you are due to have surgery or have recently changed your treatment or medication, the insurer may want to wait on offering you Life Insurance, until your scoliosis becomes more stable. There are options to arrange specialist Cover, if you are refused Life Insurance with standard insurers.
It’s a difficult one. There are some Income Protection policies that might cover you for claims related to the scoliosis, but there are quite strict criteria for having these. Most of the time Income Protection insurers will not provide insurance for health conditions that you already have, that could cause you to stop being able to work, as it is pretty much certain that at some point you will make a claim because of it.
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