Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis, are autoimmune conditions that are frequently misdiagnosed as a bad case of diarrhea with stomach pain. This is not accurate. These diseases are debilitating conditions that can last for weeks or months and affect various parts of the digestive system.
In this blog, we’ll guide you through the process of getting life insurance with UC or Crohn’s disease. We will discuss various types of insurances including traditional life insurance, disability insurance, guaranteed issue insurance, and simplified issue insurance, and how these can work for you. Our goal is to help you find the protection you and your family need in case you can no longer work or require time off due to your condition. So, stay tuned and let’s navigate this journey together.
Overview of IBD (Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis)
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are distinct conditions, both classified under the umbrella term of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus. It typically, though not exclusively, affects the end of the small bowel (the ileum) and the beginning of the colon.
People with Crohn’s disease can experience a wide range of symptoms, but the most common ones include persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain, often in the lower right area, and weight loss. Other symptoms can include fatigue, lack of appetite, and even symptoms outside of the digestive system such as joint pain, skin issues, and eye problems.
The inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease often spreads deep into the layers of affected bowel tissue. The inflammation can involve different areas of the digestive tract in different people.
While the exact cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, it’s believed to result from an abnormal reaction by the body’s immune system. Factors such as heredity and a malfunctioning immune system play a role in its development.
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease of the large intestine, also known as the colon, in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and develops tiny open sores, or ulcers. This condition results in the colon’s inability to absorb water which leads to frequent emptying of the colon.
Its symptoms can include abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea (often with blood), fatigue, weight loss, and frequent, recurring urgency to defecate.
Ulcerative colitis only affects the innermost lining of your colon (large intestine), unlike Crohn’s disease, which can affect the entire bowel wall. Additionally, while Crohn’s can affect any part of the digestive tract, ulcerative colitis typically only affects the colon and the rectum.
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is not completely understood, but it’s believed to result from an abnormal immune reaction. The disease often has a genetic component and is more common in certain ethnic groups.
It’s important to note that both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic conditions. While they can sometimes go into remission and have periods with few or no symptoms, they generally require lifelong treatment. This can often involve medication, and in some cases, surgery might be necessary.
Life Insurance with IBD
When Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis is considered minor, life insurance for people with either disease may be provided at standard rates. If you haven’t had any recent flare-ups and are taking only mild medication, you should be able to get life insurance on normal terms.
It’s possible that your life insurance will have non-standard rates if you have more severe Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis symptoms. This would result in an increase in premiums. Your rating could change due to the potency of your drugs, or if you have any abscesses or fistulas (in case of Crohn’s), or frequent severe flare-ups (in case of Ulcerative Colitis) that are interfering with your daily activities.
If you are scheduled for surgery to treat your Crohn’s disease, such as fistula removal or the placement of an ileostomy or colostomy bag, or if you are scheduled for colectomy surgery related to Ulcerative Colitis, your application for life insurance will most likely be delayed until you have fully recovered from the surgery.
Everyone’s experience with Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis is unique; while these conditions may only cause little discomfort for some, for others they may be severe enough to warrant surgery.
Insurance companies may ask you the following questions:
- When did you find out you have Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis?
- Is it possible for you to work? When was the last time you had a flare-up?
- Have you had intestinal surgery to remove a section of your intestine, or had a colectomy (in case of Ulcerative Colitis)?
- What kind of medicine do you take?
At Protect Your Wealth we are here for you! We will help you navigate your options and find a solution that works for you.
Can I get Life Insurance with IBD?
Yes, you can get life insurance if you have Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis. However, individuals with Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis may pay greater life insurance premiums than the usual. If your disease is under control and hasn’t caused complications like malnourishment, extreme weight loss, or liver inflammation, you’re more likely to be approved.
How Do I Get Life Insurance with IBD?
If you want a low-cost health insurance policy:
- Consult your doctor: Get a physical and any necessary paperwork. If you can provide evidence of a long history of Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis, a pattern of stable health over the last several years, or a lack of recent hospitalizations, you’ll be able to persuade your insurer that you’re not a high risk.
- Coverage should be realistic: Determine how much coverage you require so that you do not overpay for a policy.
- Compare various offers: Compare policies from various brands to find the best deal. When comparing plans, you should consider both the level of coverage and the cost.
Best Life Insurance Policy if you have IBD
It may appear that choosing the best life insurance policy is a challenging job. Spending hours researching and reading pages and pages of terms and conditions, as well as collecting and reviewing quotes, would be exhausting for anyone. At Protect Your Wealth, we are here for you to help you get the coverage that you need!
The following are some of the recommended insurance policies for individuals with Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis. Note that depending the severity of your Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis, and if/how long since you’ve gotten surgery, you may still face some postponements of your application for any of these types of life insurance.
Disability insurance replaces a portion of your income if you are unable to work for an extended period of time due to illness or injury. It can provide you with tax-free monthly income to help you pay your bills if you are unable to work due to illness or an accident. If you rely on a paycheck, whether full-time, part-time, self-employed, or freelancer, protecting your income is one of the best decisions you can make. There are two types of disability insurance that you can apply for if you have Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis: Short term and long term disability insurance.
Short-term disability insurance
Most disabilities keep you out of work for less than a year. Short-term disability insurance, or STD, is intended to provide you with income while you recover from an illness or injury related to Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. Depending on the policy you choose, you can receive benefits for up to six months and even access resources to help you return to work sooner.
Long-term disability insurance
Some disabilities, including severe cases of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, are more severe and, in some cases, permanent. Long-term disability insurance, or LTD, is designed for these circumstances because the benefits can last for years. Higher-income business owners and professionals who want to protect their lifestyle if they are unable to work frequently purchase it as an individual policy.
Guaranteed Issue and Simplified Issue Insurance
Guaranteed issue insurance is intended for people with serious health problems or who are older and do not qualify for traditional or simplified insurance. This may include individuals with conditions such as Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. Many insurers will also offer a 24-month deferral period for guaranteed life acceptance insurance. Because it is also a type of permanent life insurance, guaranteed issue insurance coverage generally has a maximum of $50,000, with some insurers covering less, and has the highest premium of the three.
Simplified issue insurance policies do not require a medical exam but you must answer certain health-related questions as part of your application. This could include questions about your diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. Premiums for no-medical-exam insurance are typically higher than for traditional insurance. The number of questions asked varies by insurer and also by whether or not the policy is deferred. Simplified issue insurance is typically used for term life insurance products and is an option for those who want faster approval or do not want to take a medical exam.
Both of these options make for good alternatives to traditional life insurance if you have Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Life Insurance with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Yes! It is possible to get life insurance if you have Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis. Because individuals with Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis experience a wide range of symptoms, life insurance terms can be straightforward in most circumstances. If your disease is under control and hasn’t caused complications like malnourishment, extreme weight loss, or liver inflammation, you’re more likely to be approved.
Most likely not. If your surgery was recent, some insurers may decline your application for Life Insurance until more time has passed. Even if this is the case, there are specialized insurers with whom you can arrange Life Insurance. Because you have a colostomy bag, the insurer may interpret this as an indication that your Crohn’s disease is more severe, and may offer you non-standard Life Insurance terms (higher premium).
Yes, it may have an impact on the amount you pay each month for insurance. To what extent depends on the severity of your condition, the frequency with which you suffer, and any treatment you have received. Each case is evaluated individually.
This isn’t a problem. Often, this is due to the fact that you did not apply through a specialist broker. At Protect Your Wealth, we can search the entire market for cover, and a previous decline will have no bearing on our decision.
If your application is turned down, you have a few options. You have the option of applying to another provider or waiting a while before applying again. If you were recently hospitalized or diagnosed within the last year, waiting a year before applying again increases your chances of approval.
No, insurance companies cannot cancel your policy even if your health declines. Only if you lied on your application or did not pay your premiums can your insurer cancel your policy. If you get sick, get older, or change your health habits, your insurer cannot cancel your policy or change your policy rate during the term. However, if you buy a term life insurance policy and your health deteriorates, your premium may rise dramatically when the term expires. Check your policy’s fine print to see how long your premium rate is guaranteed for.
Finding the right life insurance policy for you
Finding life insurance with inflammatory bowel disease can be difficult but it isn’t impossible. A life insurance specialist can help you create the best plan and package for your needs.
At Protect Your Wealth, we work with and compare policies and quotes from the best life insurance companies in Canada to ensure the best solution for you and your needs. We provide expert life insurance solutions, including no medical life insurance, critical illness insurance, term life insurance, and permanent life insurance to build the best package to give you the protection you need.
Contact Protect Your Wealth or call us at 1-877-654-6119 to talk to an advisor today! We’re proudly based out of Hamilton, and service clients anywhere in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta including areas such as Kingston, Burnaby, and Medicine Hat.