Life insurance for asthma sufferers

You can get life insurance if you have asthma – but it may impact your premiums.

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Asthma comes in many shapes and forms, and while some are more debilitating than others, it is still possible to get life insurance if you have asthma. In many cases, it won't even affect how much your premiums cost – it all depends on your current health and lifestyle.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a condition that impacts the air passages in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. It can be minor and have little effect on your day-to-day lifestyle, or it can require steroids and severely interfere with what you can and can't do.

Is asthma covered by life insurance?

Yes. Asthma is covered by life insurance. Unless your insurer specifically excludes asthma and asthma-related illnesses and injuries from your insurance, you should generally find that you're covered.

For peace of mind, you can always look at the product disclosure statement (PDS) – usually at the bottom of the insurer's website – and check exclusions to see exactly what you're covered for. Some insurers also have different waiting periods for specific causes of death, though this is also quite uncommon.

Can I get life insurance if I have asthma?

Yes, you can get life insurance with asthma. Like all types of medical conditions, insurers will assess the severity of your asthma to determine your premiums. For instance, if your asthma is exercise-induced and you haven't had an attack since you were young, it's likely that you'll be classed as low-risk and your premiums won't be impacted by your asthma. However, you can expect to pay more if you have been hospitalised recently because of asthma, you're on steroids or you suffer from chronic asthma.

When working out what premium to charge you, insurers also take into account other factors like your overall health, age, occupation, family medical history and lifestyle, so it's not just your asthma that's important.

Because asthma is considered a pre-existing medical condition, it may be worth speaking with an adviser. They can help you tailor cover to your needs and shop around for the best deal for you.

Do I have to let my insurer know if I develop asthma while I have cover?

You don't generally need to let your insurer know if you develop asthma while you have cover unless you want to make changes to your policy – for instance, if you move to a bigger house and want to increase your cover amount to be able to pay off the mortgage. This is because your premiums are calculated based on your health, lifestyle and job at the time you apply. If you want to update your policy, you'll need to undergo a similar underwriting process, meaning another medical assessment.

Do I have to declare that I have asthma before taking out cover?

Yes. If you've been diagnosed with asthma, then you need to declare it when you apply for a life insurance policy. For many, having asthma has little effect on their lifestyle and health, and if this is the case, it's unlikely to affect your premiums at all. Either way, you need to be honest when you apply for cover or you risk voiding your policy. If you're worried about what to disclose and what not to disclose when applying for life insurance, it might be worth using an adviser who'll know the ins and outs of the application process.

Is it worth getting life insurance if I have asthma?

Yes. In 2018, there were 389 deaths due to asthma in Australia, so although asthma is very common, it still poses a risk. If you're thinking of buying a life insurance policy, it's a good idea to purchase it sooner rather than later in order to lock in affordable rates while you're young. Not only can a policy provide peace of mind, but it also gives you financial security so you know your debts are taken care of if you die prematurely.

Bottom line

You should be able to get life insurance if you have asthma, and in many cases, the condition won't affect how much you're charged. If you're ready to buy, it's worth putting in a little time and research to get something that works for you. Compare life insurance policies here.


Does TPD insurance cover asthma?

  • Yes. A total and permanent disability policy covers you if you become permanently disabled and can no longer work. If asthma is the cause of this, or most likely an issue related to your asthma, you should be covered.

Does critical illness insurance cover asthma?

  • Critical illness insurance, also known as trauma insurance, only covers specific life-threatening illnesses, like heart attacks, strokes, major head injuries and more, so it doesn't generally cover asthma.

Does income protection cover asthma?

  • Yes. An income protection policy can pay you a monthly salary worth up to 75% of your income if you need to take time off work because of an illness or injury, including asthma. You'll need medical evidence to prove you're temporarily unable to work due to your asthma though.

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