Thank you for writing to us raising the concerns of your constituent, Ms Bowler, around access to life insurance for people with Myotonic Dystrophy. I am sorry to hear of the difficulties that she and others have faced. On the specific example which Ms Bowler raises, while we are not able to comment on an individual case, I would highlight that underwriting philosophies can change over time, and the decisions of insurers twenty years ago would be very different to what is done today. Therefore, we would hope that this should not discourage individuals from applying for insurance. I hope that this response on the wider industry position can be of use to you and Ms Bowler.
Insurers will assess each application on an individual bases, with a review of medical history. While it may be that there are some applications which are declined or have some restrictions in policy term length, with the majority of providers there is no blanket decline for all Myotonic Dystrophy types. In fact, there may be some applications which insurers can accept at normal rates depending on the age of the applicant, the type of Myotonic Dystrophy and their symptoms or complications. These factors will all inform an insurer’s assessment of risk.
However, it is important to note that insurance markets are competitive, and insurers have different risk appetites, so may decide to offer terms where another does not. Whether, and at what price, to offer cover is a commercial decision for each individual insurer. We would encourage people to compare policies from different providers and speak to a specialist financial adviser who may provide additional support.
On the question that Ms Bowler raises around mortgages, many mortgage providers will offer a loan without life cover. We would again encourage people to explore and compare different providers when looking for a mortgage.
Thank you again for raising this case with us, and I hope this response is of use. Please do let me know if there is anything else that we can do to help you on this, or any other, case.
External Affairs Assistant
Association of British Insurers (ABI)
Association of British Insurers
One America Square, 17 Crosswall,
London EC3N 2LB
T: 020 7600 3333 | abi.org.ukhttp://www.abi.org.uk