plonkee money an english-er's thoughts on personal finance

May 1, 2008

remember to shop around for life insurance

Filed under: insurance,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — plonkee @ 12:00 pm

Did you know that if you’re a single man (as in unmarried / not in a civil partnership) you will typically be asked to take an HIV test if you wish to insure your own life for more than £300k?

For all women and married men, the relevant figure rises to £1m. As no data currently exists for men in civil partnerships (they haven’t been around long enough), some insurers will treat them as single men, and others as married – I’m not sure whether this does, or should contravene the anti-discrimination laws that exist in the UK.

Interesting, don’t you think?

As a relatively young, and healthy person, I sometimes forget that insurance is based on risk, and for life insurance, that risk increases if you are more likely to get sick. And if you are HIV positive, you are more likely to get sick (although the risk can normally be controlled by medication at the right stage). But similarly, if you’re older, you are more likely to get sick. Or if you have an *interesting* medical history.

Life insurance is a relatively straightforward product though. It’s pretty clear cut when someone is dead (as in, there’s a death certificate) and all that happens then is that the sum assured is paid out. This means that life insurance is a easy to shop around on. Now, this is important if, like me, there’s nothing particularly special about you but it’s even more so, if you have any (perceived) risk factors.

So, if you’re thinking about taking out life insurance, shop around. Don’t attempt to defraud insurers by neglecting to mention relevant information if asked, but also, if you think that a certain requirement is too onerous (like taking, and disclosing the results of, an HIV or Hepatitis test), it’s perfectly possible that another company won’t have it.

Image by Jan the manson

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