Medical Underwriting

Did you know that we accept over 90% of people who apply for insurance with us? (1) At AIG, we’re dedicated to giving more people access to insurance - no matter their medical background. That’s why our medical underwriting focuses on how we can say 'yes', not why we should say 'no'. 

Access to insurance, for everyone

We’re continually developing our underwriting to keep up with advances in medicine so that significantly more people can get insurance with us. It doesn’t matter whether someone’s asthmatic, HIV positive, has raised blood pressure, mental health conditions or back pain. We will help them get the cover and protection they’re after - quickly and easily.

Medical underwriting

Watch Helen Croft discuss advancements in medical underwriting.

Medical underwriting

If you have a client with a pre-existing medical condition, they may think they can't buy life insurance because they're seen as too big a risk to be covered, but we want to challenge that perception. Did you know that people with a history of cancer can get Critical Illness, Income Protection and Life Insurance? Figures show that the number of people being diagnosed with cancer is increasing, with one in two people expected to be diagnosed in their lifetime. But we're also seeing more people beat cancer than ever before and survival rates have doubled. So there's a growing pool of people who survive cancer and are living normal healthy lives. So why shouldn't they be able to get financial protection?
Did you know that someone living with well-controlled HIV can get life insurance? Improvements in HIV treatment mean that people with HIV are now living longer. And there are nearly 90,000 people in the UK living with HIV, so why shouldn't they be able to get life insurance? Did you know that people with diabetes can get Income Protection? It's often assumed that they can't, and with diabetes being the leading cause of blindness in the working-age population, the need for Income Protection for diabetics is very real. So why shouldn't they be able to protect their earnings? Well, they can and AIG Life's team of expert underwriters are always looking at how we can open the insurance market to more people having insurance.
Innovation is at the heart of what we do and this is especially the case when it comes to our development underwriting, where we're constantly evolving underwriting philosophies and rules. AIG Life wants to help people get the insurance they need. An important part of that is talking openly and honestly about our underwriting to challenge the perception that people with medical conditions can't get protection.

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How do we underwrite medical conditions?

Cancer

People with a history of cancer can get life insurance, critical illness cover, and income protection.

With one in two of us expected to be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime, cancer will affect most of us in one way - whether we are diagnosed, or a loved one is. However, the future is more positive than it once was.

Survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years and 50% of those with cancer are now surviving for 10 years or more.2

So, with more and more people going on to live normal, healthy lives, why shouldn’t they be able to get protection?

Life cover applications can be considered as soon as one year after treatment for some early-stage cancers. Once it’s been ten years after treatment, most cancer survivors could be accepted for critical illness and income protection insurance. Income Protection could be standard rates, while Critical Illness will usually have a full or partial cancer exclusion. For life cover, they can even be accepted with immediate standard rates terms thanks to our expert online medical underwriting system.

HIV

We’ll help people with well-controlled HIV get life insurance.

There are 101,600 people in the UK with HIV. Thanks to incredible advances in medical treatment, most are now living near-normal lives.3

If your clients are living with HIV, controlled with treatment, our life cover can usually be considered with a premium increase, as long as they meet the following criteria:

  • CD4 count > 350
  • Viral load undetectable
  • Normal liver and kidney function
  • No other significant associated disorders

Blood pressure 

We accept most people with raised blood pressure on standard rates.

One in four people in the UK have hypertension (high blood pressure).4 Yet more than 80% of people with raised blood pressure are accepted at standard rates by us for life and critical illness cover.1

We understand that it’s hard for people to remember their exact blood pressure readings. That’s why we’ve developed a set of easy-to-answer questions in our expert online underwriting system that ask for information they will know instead.

Now your clients can get the cover they need in place quickly and easily - with over 90% of applications receiving an immediate decision.1

Diabetes

We make income protection available for people with diabetes.

There are an estimated four million diabetics in the UK5 - making it one of the country’s most common medical conditions, and income protection is something that’s greatly needed.

Because of the number of diabetes-related complications that may arise (such as eye or feet problems), financial cover is essential should anyone need prolonged time off work.

At AIG, we understand this. That’s why we can offer income protection to diabetics.

 

Asthma

Asthma is the most common medical condition people tell us about on applications.

We’re each bound to know at least one person with asthma. In fact, asthma affects one in every 11 people (and one in five households) in the UK, leading to a total of approximately 5.4 million asthma sufferers.6

At AIG, we want to help. That’s why our expert online underwriting engine can accept almost everyone immediately (94%) and mostly at standard rates (90%).1 Ratings are usually only applied to people who also smoke or have other respiratory conditions.

Mental health

We cover severe mental illness under our critical illness plan.

At AIG, we understand that mental health is just as important as physical health.

One in four people will have a mental health problem each year7 and suicide is the most common causes of death in men under 49.8  That’s why we want to be there for everyone whenever they may need it - and why severe mental illness is included on our Critical Illness proposition.

We also give 90% of applicants get an immediate decision when they apply for life cover and nearly 60% are accepted at standard rates.1

Most people who tell us about mental health problems have mild and controlled depression, stress or anxiety. We tend to increase the premium if we are told there are long periods of time off work, recent onset, recent changes to treatment or where the history suggests a more serious mental health history, such as in-patient treatment or suicide attempts.

 

Back conditions 

Nearly 7,000 applicants in 2018 told us about their back pain.1

As back pain is the leading cause of disability in the UK, we want to help people get the cover they need. Unless it is very severe, back pain will be accepted standard rates for life and critical illness cover.

We would usually exclude insuring for back pain if an income protection application reveals symptoms within the last two years. But if there have been no symptoms for over five years, our income protection would be offered at standard rates.

If symptoms were between two to five years ago, our terms we offer would depend on its severity. If the customer suffers mild one-off episodes, we would insure on standard rates so only those with recurrent or severe symptoms face it being excluded.

 

BMI

BMI is the most common reason for a rating to be applied for life cover.

Over 27% of the adult population is now classed as obese9 but less than 20% of our applications have an increase in premium applied. 1

We increase some premiums if someone is obese because being overweight can increase the risk of other health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

If your client is worried that a pre-existing condition will stop them getting the cover they need, talk to us. We’re always happy to help.