Hepatitis isn’t always a death sentence — for you or your life insurance application.
Many insurers are willing to offer policies to customers who have hepatitis, but you could have to pay a higher premium.
Can I qualify for life insurance if I have hepatitis?
Possibly. If you have hepatitis, whether or not you’ll be able to qualify for life insurance will depend on the insurer and its acceptance criteria. If your condition is under control, has spontaneously cleared up or you’ve been through successful antiviral treatment, you may be able to get coverage with little to no increase in cost. This is particularly true for cases of acute hepatitis that have been in remission for several years or more.
If you have an active hepatitis infection you still may be insurable pending a premium loading, or a percentage increase on your premium. Factors considered during the underwriting of someone with hepatitis include age, alcohol consumption, duration of infection, gender and liver function.
Policies for people living with hepatitis
Life insurance underwriting is a process of considering a range of personal indicators to determine the level of risk you pose to an insurance company.
Contrary to popular belief, after the insurance contract has been finalized, subsequent changes to health can’t be reflected in premium or coverage adjustment, and it’s illegal for the insurer to cancel the insurance contract if you get sick. However, your insurer can cancel your policy or deny a claim if:
- You lied on your application or didn’t disclose an illness.
- You breach your contact.
- You fail to make premium payments.
- You make a fraudulent claim.
Different types of hepatitis
|Hepatitis A||One of five viruses that can lead to inflammation of the liver. Contraction of infection from virus is quite high in developing nations and is usually contracted at childhood. The majority of people who contract hepatitis A recover within six months.|
|Hepatitis B||Transmitted by blood or body fluids, Hepatitis B causes liver inflammation, jaundice, vomiting and in some cases, though rarely, death. Infection is preventable by vaccination.|
|Hepatitis C||Many people that have hepatitis C are completely unaware that they actually have it while others may suffer tiredness, fatigue and depression. It’s treatable with medication, but can lead to infection of the liver and cirrhosis if left untreated.|
|Hepatitis D||Symptoms of hepatitis D are similar to hepatitis B and can include fever, jaundice, abdominal discomfort, lack of energy. It can lead to cirrhosis and eventually liver failure. Some cases will have no symptoms.|
|Hepatitis E||Viral hepatitis caused primarily by contaminated drinking water. It occurs mainly among young to middle-aged adults in Asia and India.|
|Autoimmune hepatitis||This is a condition whereby an individual’s immune system attacks their liver. It can lead to inflammation and liver cell death.|
Tips for people taking out life insurance with hepatitis
If you’ve been diagnosed with a strain of hepatitis and want to take out a life insurance policy:
- Speak with a consultant. Each insurer will have different terms and conditions and a consultant can help you compare hundreds of different policy options.
- Know what documentation is required. Your insurer will likely want to know your viral load, current medications, liver function test results and a host of other things. Find out what tests you need before your doctor’s appointment so that you don’t have to go back. A consultant can provide assistance during this process.
- See a doctor. Find out if your condition is under control and compare your test results to those from your last visit. If you’re in remission and can prove that you’ve been in remission for a substantial period of time, it’ll be a lot easier to get insured.
- Be honest in your application. There are hundreds of stories of people paying thousands in premium payments throughout the life of the policy only to be denied the benefit payment at claim time. Take the time to be detailed on your application and know exactly what you’re covered for.
Getting life insurance with hepatitis will require extra documentation, but it isn’t impossible. If you’re in remission you may be able to get a policy with little to no premium loading, and if you’re not in remission but your condition is under control, you may be able to get a policy for a higher cost.
Frequently asked questions
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