Applying For Life Insurance With a History of Illness

In today’s hectic world the lifestyle of people has changed drastically. People today have stressful and competitive long working hours and they hardly get time to look after themselves. Getting up early in the morning and giving time for one’s health and body by doing exercise is reducing day by day. The sedentary lifestyle has affected health of individuals. Now-a-days with such sedentary lifestyle it is imperative to buy an insurance policy to cover for oneself and the family from any unforeseen events.

Insurance can easily be purchased by people with no diseases but does that mean that people having existing health conditions like diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, kidney problem or liver diseases are denied of Life Insurance? The answer to this is NO. In India, there are a high percentage of people having pre-existing diseases. Although it is often challenging to get best sum assured from a life insurance but it is better that you explore and weigh all the options and give it a shot. As Now-a-days all life insurance companies understand how much it is important for people with existing health conditions to be insured so companies have come up with various plans that are available and custom made for various pre-existing health conditions. Let us now understand which points should be considered by people having a history of illness before applying for an insurance policy.

What is Pre-Existing Medical Condition?

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) defines pre-existing medical condition as: “Any condition or ailment or injury for which the insured person had signs or symptoms, and/or was diagnosed, received medical advice or treatment within 48 months prior to the first policy issued by the insurer.”

Pre-existing health situation not only includes long term diseases or illness but also covers any history of hospitalization, any signs or symptoms of illness, any skin disorder or history of any major accidental injury.

How will Pre-Existing Medical Condition impact the life insurance cover?

Let us now understand how the pre-existing medicinal situation affect the life insurance policy that an individual wants to avail. It is a known fact that availing a life insurance, term insurance or health insurance policy while having existing health situation is a bit tedious as the insurance providers are hesitant to insure people with pre-existing illnesses as such individuals have more chances to frequent claims and that too it might occur immediately after availing the policy.

So individuals who have a pre-existing health check form have to consider and take a note of certain pre requisites put up by the insurance companies before buying the policy.

  • Individuals with Pre-open health situation have to pay higher premium this is called as premium loading. Premium loading is the extra amount that you pay than any other individual without any medical history. Kindly note that this extra premium is only applicable if the individual is having any pre-existing illness at the time of buying the policy. If the medical condition arises after issuance of policy then the insurance company cannot charge extra premium to its customer.
  • When an individual with Pre-open health situation wants to purchase an insurance policy then the individual would have a waiting period mentioned in the policy. This waiting period is normally of 2-4 years depending on the type of illness and the plan that the individual wants to purchase.
  • Few insurance companies have both waiting period and premium loading on their plans.
  • Medical checkup will be a perquisite while opting for an insurance policy for individuals with pre-existing medical order.
  • Some insurance companies provide an option of giving a cover without considering the prior medical condition. So if you agree to this then insurance company will provide you cover by excluding your existing illness.

Having a Pre-open health situation should not stop you from buying an insurance plan for yourself, so while applying for a life insurance kindly follow the following DOs and DONTs:


  • Opt for an independent insurance agent who will provide you every option under the sun as they can suggest good plans of various companies and would cater your needs perfectly.
  • Explore all plans of all insurance providers and then opt for the best plan which suits you.
  • Get the health check up done.
  • Even if you have a pre-existing health situation try to stay fit with proper diet and exercise as prescribed by the doctor as it important to be healthy, if you are not already.


  • Do not lie about any signs or symptoms of illness or disease.
  • Do not lie about any history of hospitalization or any major accidental injury.
  • Do not hide any pre-existing health situation and be transparent with the insurance company.

Thus after understanding all the perquisites it would be better if every person even with a Pre-open health situation should opt for a life insurance policy as it will safeguard the insured individual from any unforeseen risk and the related expenses.