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Life Insurance with Pre Existing Conditions

Many Australians assume that they won’t be able to purchase a life insurance policy with pre existing medical conditions. Many people believe that premiums on their life insurance policies will be too expensive, or they won’t qualify because of their medical history. However, by comparing life insurance providers that accept pre existing conditions and working with an insurance broker, you can generally find life insurance cover that meets your requirements.

Russell Cain

Fact Checked

Updated: 19 May 2024

For the purpose of life insurance, a pre existing medical condition is generally any illness or injury that existed any time before you purchase an insurance policy. While a pre existing condition, like stroke, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or cancer, can make buying life insurance more complicated, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be denied cover.

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What is a pre existing medical condition for insurance?

The definition of a pre existing medical condition is generally any illness or injury for which you have now or in the past received medical advice or treatment, prior to taking out an insurance policy, and that may increase the probability that you will lodge an insurance claim. However, definitions will vary from insurer to insurer.

Examples of pre existing conditions for life insurance

  • Diabetes
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Organ transplant
  • Kidney disease
  • Melanoma
  • Blood diseases
  • Metabolic system disorders

Does life insurance cover pre existing conditions in Australia?

Yes, you generally can get life insurance coverage for pre existing medical conditions. However, it depends on your insurer and some medical factors, for example, date of diagnoses, your past and current treatment, the level and type of cover you’re looking for, as well as your health status, age, BMI and if you’re a smoker.

It’s essential that you compare providers, so you know exactly what’s on offer and who provides the cover you want at a premium you can afford.

Before a life insurance company will offer you coverage, they typically first need to decide whether you are an acceptable risk. Depending on the insurer and their specific underwriting guidelines you could receive one of 4 responses.

Life insurance companies might:

How to get life insurance with pre existing condition?

Finding affordable life insurance when you have a pre existing medical condition will usually require more effort. You’ll need to provide the insurer with all the information they require. Questions about your general health, lifestyle, family history and BMI should be answered truthfully and to the best of your knowledge.

Regardless of your health and pre existing conditions, you should still try to find the best protection you and your loved ones deserve. Use the list below to help you find a life insurance policy with pre existing medical condition:

The best life
insurance for
pre existing
medical conditions

When searching for the right life insurance policy with pre-existing medical conditions, it’s not about discovering the best insurance company. Instead, it’s recommended that you perform a pre-assessment, an informal evaluation of how an insurer may view your risk without affecting your insurance history. You can estimate potential ratings by submitting a request for an application and attaching anonymized copies of your medical history. However, this non-binding assessment should not encourage you to leave out important details, as being truthful is crucial when formally applying.

Life insurance for seniors with pre-exisiting conditions

Finding life insurance for seniors with a pre existing medical condition is usually a challenge. Some insurers have a maximum entry age of 50, while others might still accept applicant up to age 75. However, there are life insurance policies available to seniors with pre existing conditions, it generally just depends on the particular condition and its severity.

Busting the top 5 myths about life insurance with pre existing conditions

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Yes, generally, mental illness like depression and anxiety may be deemed a pre-existing medical condition, but this depends on the insurer. For example, some life insurance companies might offer standard rates if you were diagnosed with mild depression 2 years ago and had fully recovered and do not require any follow-up treatments or medications. Other companies might exclude depression when offering cover.

Whether you can get income protection insurance will depend on the type of health condition you have, when it was diagnosed, whether it has been resolved and your specific occupation type. Keep an eye out for income protection policies that offer accident only protection if full income protection insurance is not available.

Because you are usually at higher risk of future heart-related illnesses, insurers will generally ask for more in-depth information regarding your heart condition and your current health. They may also request additional tests, including blood pressure, an EKG and a cholesterol test. It’s usually best to have a broker help you compare policies to find one offering cover at affordable rates.

No, for life insurance, pregnancy is generally not seen as a pre-existing health condition and will typically not influence your ability to obtain cover at standard rates. However, generally, a life, trauma, TPD or income protection benefit will not pay out because of a healthy pregnancy, giving birth or having a miscarriage.

Yes, usually obesity will be viewed as a medical condition that can have a profound negative impact on your health and will likely result in your life cover being more expensive or even being declined.



Russell is the founder and CEO of Life Insurance Direct and has been quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Independent Financial Adviser, Risk Adviser, Adviservoice, and Insurancenews. Russell has over 15 years’ experience in the Australian life insurance & financial services sector and is instrumental in driving the latest innovations in our insuretech platform.

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