Insurance and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Most insurances, whether it is for life assurance, a mortgage application or pension, etc. are subject to a medical questionnaire. People with chronic illnesses such as IBD may find that they have to pay much higher premiums in order to get satisfactory cover for themselves and their families.

However, studies have shown that the long-term prognosis for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis has improved over the last decades and such people are able to enjoy a full and active life. It is therefore advisable to shop around to find a company who will offer you the best deal possible.

Insurance may be harder for you to obtain than people who do not suffer from the disease and it is useful to seek help from an independent professional before taking out any form of insurance. An expert will be able to look into companies who are sympathetic to your condition and have the experience to rate your risk differently.

When filling in an application for insurance it is important to be honest about your medical status as failure to disclose information will cause the policy to become invalid. It may also help you to be quite specific about your disease, i.e. not to say ulcerative colitis if you only have proctitis as the former suggests extensive disease with an added increased risk of cancer. Proctitis generally causes no increase in the risk. Policies are also rated for surgical interventions, types of treatments and number of relapsing episodes.

Some insurance companies may request a medical examination prior to issuing cover. This would be at their expense and can be carried out by your own GP or an independent doctor.

If your IBD is well controlled, and information from your GP or hospital can support this, there is no reason why you should be heavily penalised for having the disease and should be able to obtain a policy with affordable premiums and which provides more than adequate cover for you and your family.

G.F. Baskeyfield are official insurance advisors to the National Association for Colitis and Crohn's Disease (NACC). They have special arrangements with several leading insurance companies for members of NACC and can offer advice on:

1. Life assurance, pensions, savings and investments

(Regulated by the Insurance Brokers' Registration Council).

2. Redundancy Mortgage Payment Protection

This is inexpensive and existing illness does not affect premiums.

3. Private Medical Insurance

Their insurance companies now underwrite IBD and try to offer immediate cover for pre-existing conditions.

4. Travel Insurance

Unlimited medical expenses and emergency service are offered to NACC members.

For further information call (01625) 610022, or write:

G.F. Baskeyfield and Company
Tudor House
53 Chestergate
SK11 6DG