Life insurance companies will take the family medical history of an applicant into account.
If more than one family member has a medical history of serious illness such as cancer, heart disease or other hereditary conditions such as diabetes then it may well affect the price of a policy. This will however depend on what the medical history is and at what age it occurred or was diagnosed.
Typically the only family members an insurance company will be interested in are ‘direct relatives’. This means fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters.
In many cases, if only one of the direct relatives was affected it may have little or no impact on a life insurance policy.
Many insurance companies are only concerned if the family member was diagnosed with an illness before the age of 60 or 65. If the family medical history relates to illnesses or conditions diagnosed or contracted after the age of 65, most insurance companies will not require any information.
If both parents of an applicant have or had a history of the same illness such as cancer or diabetes there is an increased risk of the applicant contracting or suffering from the same condition and the cost of life insurance may be higher.
If both parents have completely different medical history and the illness or conditions are completely unrelated there may be no impact on the price of life insurance.
Insurance companies may sometimes choose to ‘exclude’ certain illnesses from cover if there is a history of illness within the family.
To establish if family medical history will have an impact on life insurance it makes sense to discuss the details with an adviser who can talk directly to insurance underwriters on your behalf.