Medical Underwriting

83%1 of people who apply for insurance with us are accepted. Giving people more access to insurance is what we’re dedicated to do - 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 more people can get insurance with us. Whether someone’s asthmatic, HIV positive, has raised blood pressure, mental health conditions or back pain - we'll help them get the cover and protection they’re after - quickly and easily.

Medical underwriting

Watch Helen Croft discuss advancements in medical underwriting.

How do we underwrite medical conditions?


With one in two of us expected to be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime2, cancer will affect most of us in one way - whether we're 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?

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


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

There are 106,890 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 three people in the UK have hypertension (high blood pressure).4 Yet almost 80% of people with raised blood pressure are accepted at standard rates by us for life and critical illness cover.5

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 96% of applications receiving an immediate decision.5


We make income protection available for people with diabetes.

It's estimated that more than five million people in the UK are living with diabetes - an all-time high6 - making it one of the country’s most increasingly 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 is the most common medical condition people tell us about on applications5.

We’re each bound to know at least one person with asthma. In fact, asthma affects over 8 million people in the UK7.

We want to help. That’s why our expert online underwriting engine can accept almost everyone immediately (92%) and mostly at standard rates (71%).5 Ratings are usually only applied to people who also smoke or have other respiratory conditions.

Mental health

We cover all types of mental health under our critical illness plan - understanding that mental health is just as important as physical health. 

One in four people will have a mental health problem each year8 and suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 50.9 That’s why we want to be there for everyone whenever they may need it - and why severe mental health is included on our Critical Illness proposition.

We also give 82% of applicants an immediate decision when they apply for life cover and 53% are accepted at standard terms.5

Most people who tell us about mental health difficulties have mild and controlled depression, stress or anxiety. We tend to increase the premium if we're 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 

In 2023 almost 5,712 applicants told us about their back pain.5

As back pain is the leading cause of disability in the UK10, we want to help people get the cover they need. Unless it's very severe, back pain will be accepted at standard rates for life and critical illness cover.

We'd 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'd insure on standard rates so only those with recurrent or severe symptoms face it being excluded.



BMI is the most common reason for a rating to be applied for life cover5.

26% of adults in England are classed as obese with a further 38% overweight11. But just 16% of our applications have an increase in premium applied.5

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.