Understanding the Impact of Fibromyalgia on Life Insurance

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16 Minute read

Originally published: May 16, 2023

 Life Insurance with Fibromyalgia in Canada

Talk to one of our experienced advisors today!

16 Minute read
Originally published: May 16, 2023

Life Insurance with Fibromyalgia in Canada

Living with fibromyalgia brings its own unique set of challenges, one of which is securing a life insurance policy. This chronic condition, characterized by widespread pain and fatigue, can often be misunderstood, leading to complexities when applying for life insurance. However, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia does not mean obtaining life insurance is out of reach.

In this blog, we delve into the intricacies of securing life insurance with fibromyalgia, from understanding its impact on premiums to exploring strategies for improving your insurance prospects. Through insights, expert tips, and a real-life case study, we aim to demystify the process and provide practical guidance for individuals with fibromyalgia seeking life insurance.

Overview of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas. It’s a common and complex chronic pain disorder that affects people physically, mentally, and socially. The exact cause of fibromyalgia remains unknown, but it’s often thought to be related to a variety of factors working together, including genetics, infections, and physical or emotional trauma.

Some common symptoms include:

  1. Widespread Pain: The pain associated with fibromyalgia is often described as a constant dull ache that has lasted for at least three months. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.
  2. Fatigue: People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they report sleeping for long periods of time. Sleep may be disrupted by pain, and many patients with fibromyalgia have other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
  3. Cognitive Difficulties: A symptom commonly referred to as “fibro fog” impairs the ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks.

Other Problems: Many people with fibromyalgia also experience other symptoms, such as irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, anxiety, depression, and certain autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Case Study: Securing Life Insurance with Fibromyalgia – Evelyn’s Journey

Case study on Fibromyalgia life insurance in Canada

Evelyn, a 42-year-old woman living in Ontario, Canada, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia five years ago. She experienced regular bouts of chronic pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances, common symptoms associated with this condition. Despite her diagnosis, Evelyn was determined to secure a life insurance policy to protect her two children’s future.

When she started her journey, she found that some insurance companies were hesitant to offer coverage due to her chronic condition. Some offered policies but at significantly higher premiums, which was a financial strain for her. Evelyn, however, was not discouraged. She knew she needed to demonstrate that she was managing her condition effectively to negotiate a better premium.

Evelyn had been following her doctor’s treatment plan diligently, taking prescribed medications, attending regular check-ups, and maintaining a comprehensive record of her health status. She also adopted a healthier lifestyle, incorporating regular exercise and balanced nutrition into her daily routine. Stress management became an integral part of her life, with mindfulness meditation helping her cope with the fibromyalgia symptoms.

Recognizing the complexity of her situation, Evelyn sought the help of an experienced insurance broker who specialized in high-risk cases. The broker was able to guide her towards insurance companies known for their more accommodating underwriting practices for applicants with chronic conditions.

After comparing several policies, Evelyn applied for a term life insurance policy with a company that had a reputation for its understanding approach to chronic conditions. She was upfront about her fibromyalgia diagnosis, her symptoms, and the steps she was taking to manage her condition. Her detailed medical records, showing her proactive management of her fibromyalgia, played a significant role in the process.

After a comprehensive assessment, including a medical examination and review of her health records, Evelyn was granted a life insurance policy. Although the premiums were somewhat higher than average due to her fibromyalgia, they were more affordable than the initial quotes from other companies.

Evelyn’s story illustrates that securing life insurance with a condition like fibromyalgia is indeed possible. It requires persistence, proactive health management, the right professional guidance, and a thorough search for the most understanding and accommodating insurance provider.

How Does Having Fibromyalgia Affect a Person’s Ability to Get Life Insurance?

Fibromyalgia can potentially affect a person’s ability to get life insurance in several ways:

  1. Higher Premiums: Insurance companies determine premiums based on risk assessment. If you have fibromyalgia, insurers may consider you a higher risk due to the chronic nature of the condition and its potential complications. This could lead to higher premiums than someone of the same age and gender without a chronic condition.
  2. Underwriting Process: During the underwriting process, insurers evaluate your health status, medical history, lifestyle, and other factors to determine your risk level. They will likely require a full disclosure of your fibromyalgia diagnosis, symptoms, severity, treatment, and how well your condition is managed. If your fibromyalgia is severe, poorly managed, or associated with other health conditions (like depression or other autoimmune diseases), it could affect your eligibility or premium rates.
  3. Exclusions and Limitations: Some insurance companies may offer policies with certain exclusions or limitations for individuals with chronic conditions like fibromyalgia. For example, they might exclude coverage for health complications related to fibromyalgia.
  4. Potential for Denial: In extreme cases, if the fibromyalgia is severe and associated with significant health complications, an insurer might deny coverage. However, this is generally rare and usually associated with other significant health issues.
  5. Waiting Periods: Some insurers might require a waiting period before coverage starts for those with chronic conditions like fibromyalgia.

It’s important to note that insurance regulations and practices can vary widely between different regions and companies. Therefore, individuals with fibromyalgia seeking life insurance should explore various options, consult with insurance professionals, and be prepared to provide detailed medical records. Also, remember that maintaining a regular treatment regimen, living a healthy lifestyle, and effectively managing fibromyalgia symptoms can potentially improve the outlook for life insurance applications.

Are There Specific Challenges People With Fibromyalgia Face When Trying to Get Life Insurance?

Yes, people with fibromyalgia can face specific challenges when trying to get life insurance. These include:

Challenges People With Fibromyalgia Face When Trying to Get Life Insurance
  1. Lack of Understanding: Fibromyalgia is a complex condition that’s not always well understood. Some insurers may not have a clear understanding of the condition, its prognosis, or its management, which can lead to challenges in the underwriting process.
  2. Subjective Symptoms: Fibromyalgia symptoms are often subjective, such as widespread pain and fatigue, which can be difficult to quantify or validate with medical tests. This can make it challenging for insurance underwriters to assess the risk associated with the condition accurately.
  3. Variability of Condition: Fibromyalgia can be highly variable from person to person. Some individuals might have a mild form of the disease and function well with treatment, while others may experience severe symptoms that significantly impact their daily lives. This variability can make it difficult for insurance companies to generalize or predict the impact of the condition.
  4. Associated Conditions: Fibromyalgia is often associated with other conditions like depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. These associated conditions may also be taken into account by insurers, potentially leading to higher premiums or difficulty getting coverage.
  5. Difficulty in Diagnosis: Fibromyalgia is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning it is diagnosed when other potential causes of symptoms have been ruled out. The lack of a specific diagnostic test can make it harder to provide “proof” of the condition for insurance purposes.
  6. Perception of Higher Risk: Some insurers may perceive individuals with fibromyalgia as being at higher risk of disability or other health complications. This perception, whether accurate or not, can make obtaining affordable coverage more challenging.

These challenges highlight the importance of working with insurance agents or companies that understand fibromyalgia. Individuals with fibromyalgia looking for life insurance may benefit from shopping around, comparing policies from different companies, and seeking the help of professionals to navigate the process.

Applying for Life Insurance with Fibromyalgia

Applying for life insurance when you have fibromyalgia involves several key steps:

  1. Researching Insurance Providers: Not all insurance companies approach fibromyalgia in the same way. Some are more understanding and accommodating of this condition. Do your homework, compare different companies, and consider consulting with an independent insurance agent who can guide you towards the most suitable providers.
  2. Understanding the Policy: Before applying, ensure you fully understand the policy, its terms, the coverage it provides, and any limitations or exclusions it may have, especially concerning chronic conditions like fibromyalgia.
  3. Completing the Application: Fill out the insurance application honestly and thoroughly. You’ll need to provide personal information, medical history, lifestyle habits, and details about your fibromyalgia diagnosis, including symptoms, severity, treatment plan, and how well the condition is managed.
  4. Medical Examination: Most life insurance applications require a medical examination. This typically includes basic measurements like height, weight, blood pressure, and sometimes blood and urine tests. It’s crucial to have your fibromyalgia under control at this time, as the results will impact your insurance premiums.
  5. Underwriting Process: During the underwriting process, the insurance company assesses your overall health and the risk you pose. They will consider the information from your application and medical exam, along with other data such as your credit score.
  6. Policy Issuance: If your application is approved, the insurer will offer a policy at a certain premium rate based on the assessed risk. Review the offer carefully before accepting and paying your first premium.

Remember, the key to applying for life insurance with fibromyalgia is transparency and management of your condition. Regular visits to your doctor, consistent treatment, and a healthy lifestyle can all contribute to a successful application process.

The Impact of Fibromyalgia on Life Insurance Premiums

Fibromyalgia can potentially lead to higher life insurance premiums. The primary reason for this is that life insurance premiums are calculated based on risk factors, and fibromyalgia, being a chronic condition, can be considered an increased risk. The condition is characterized by widespread pain and fatigue, which can impact a person’s overall health and quality of life.

Moreover, fibromyalgia is often associated with other health issues like sleep disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, and mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. These can further increase the perceived risk for insurance companies. The variability of the condition, with symptoms fluctuating over time and varying significantly in severity from person to person, can also factor into the risk assessment.

It’s important to note that while fibromyalgia can lead to higher premiums, the extent of the increase can vary greatly depending on the specific insurance company’s underwriting guidelines, the individual’s overall health, and how well their fibromyalgia is managed.

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Insurance Companies for Applicants with Fibromyalgia

In Canada, the process of finding life insurance as an individual with fibromyalgia follows the same general principles: you want to find a provider that understands chronic conditions and offers reasonable rates. However, identifying specific companies can be challenging due to fluctuations in policies and underwriting practices.

Several Canadian insurance companies are known for their comprehensive coverage options and potential flexibility with chronic conditions. Providers such as Sun Life, Manulife, and Canada Life are among the largest and most established insurers in the country and could be starting points for your search.

Still, it’s important to consult with a knowledgeable insurance broker or agent who has experience in working with clients with chronic conditions like fibromyalgia. They can provide updated information and guide you towards the most accommodating insurers based on your specific circumstances.

Remember, getting life insurance with a chronic condition like fibromyalgia may require some extra effort, but it’s certainly possible. By exploring your options, seeking professional advice, and effectively managing your health, you can improve your chances of securing a policy that suits your needs.

Choosing the Right Life Insurance Policy

People with fibromyalgia can consider several types of life insurance policies, each with its own benefits and considerations:

  1. Term Life Insurance: This policy offers coverage for a specified term, such as 10, 20, or 30 years. If the policyholder passes away within this term, the death benefit is paid out to the beneficiaries. Term life insurance can be a good option for individuals with fibromyalgia as it’s typically cheaper than permanent life insurance.
  2. Permanent Life Insurance: This policy provides lifelong coverage and has a cash value component. Although premiums are usually higher, they often remain the same over the policyholder’s lifetime. Whole life and universal life insurance are types of permanent life insurance.
  3. No Medical Life Insurance: This policy is an option for those who might have difficulty getting traditional life insurance due to health issues. There are two types: simplified issue life insurance (requires answering health questions but no medical exam) and guaranteed issue life insurance (requires no health questions or medical exam). However, premiums are typically higher, and coverage amounts may be lower.

For individuals with fibromyalgia, guidance from an experienced insurance broker or agent is essential in identifying the most fitting policy that aligns with their health status, lifestyle, and financial capacity. Exploring and comparing various policies across different insurers can further ensure they secure an accommodating and cost-effective coverage option.

Improving Your Chances of Securing Favorable Life Insurance with Fibromyalgia

Individuals with fibromyalgia can adopt several strategies to enhance their chances of obtaining a favorable life insurance policy. Firstly, maintaining regular medical care and following prescribed treatment plans is paramount. Insurers look favorably upon applicants who actively manage their health conditions and follow their doctor’s recommendations.

Secondly, adopting a healthy lifestyle can help. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, and stress management techniques can contribute to better overall health and potentially less severe fibromyalgia symptoms. Avoiding harmful habits like smoking and excessive alcohol can also positively influence insurance assessments.

Thirdly, keeping detailed and up-to-date medical records is vital. This provides evidence of your health management efforts and gives insurers a clearer picture of your health status. If your fibromyalgia is well-controlled and documented, insurers may offer more favorable terms.

Furthermore, consider working with an experienced insurance agent or broker. They can guide you to insurance providers who are more understanding of fibromyalgia and help you navigate the application process. Finally, don’t limit yourself to just one quote. Explore multiple providers and policies to find the best fit for your needs and budget. Remember, persistence and proactive health management are key to obtaining favorable life insurance with fibromyalgia.

Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep can improve overall health and potentially reduce the severity of fibromyalgia symptoms

Effective Strategies for Managing Fibromyalgia and Enhancing Life Insurance Prospects

Individuals with fibromyalgia can employ several strategies to manage their condition, which can potentially improve their outlook for obtaining life insurance:

  1. Consistent Medical Care: Regular visits to your healthcare provider can help monitor your condition and adjust treatment plans as necessary. Demonstrating consistent medical care shows insurance companies that you are actively managing your health.
  2. Medication Compliance: If medications are prescribed, it’s important to take them as directed. This can help control symptoms and prevent flare-ups.
  3. Healthy Lifestyle: Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep can improve overall health and potentially reduce the severity of fibromyalgia symptoms.
  4. Stress Management: Chronic stress can worsen fibromyalgia symptoms. Techniques like mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and other relaxation exercises can help manage stress levels.
  5. Avoid Harmful Habits: Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and other harmful habits can exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms and negatively impact overall health, which may affect insurance premiums.
  6. Support Groups and Counseling: Emotional support can be beneficial in managing fibromyalgia. Consider joining a support group or seeking counseling to help cope with the condition.
  7. Comprehensive Documentation: Keep detailed records of your health status, treatments, and progress. This documentation can be helpful when applying for life insurance and demonstrating your proactive approach to managing your health.
  8. Work with a Knowledgeable Insurance Agent: A good insurance agent can help navigate the complexities of applying for life insurance with a chronic condition like fibromyalgia. They can guide you towards insurance providers that are more understanding and accommodating.
  9. Explore Multiple Providers: Don’t limit yourself to one quote. Shopping around and comparing policies from different companies can help find the most accommodating and cost-effective option.

By effectively managing fibromyalgia and demonstrating a proactive approach to maintaining health, individuals can improve their chances of obtaining a favorable life insurance policy.


Finding life insurance when living with fibromyalgia can pose its own unique challenges. By maintaining consistent medical care, adhering to treatment plans, leading a healthy lifestyle, and keeping comprehensive medical records, individuals with fibromyalgia can significantly enhance their prospects of obtaining a favorable policy.

Remember, the landscape of life insurance providers is diverse. Some companies have a better understanding of chronic conditions like fibromyalgia and offer more accommodating underwriting practices. Working with a knowledgeable insurance broker or agent, as Evelyn did, can help guide you towards these providers.

The key takeaway is that while fibromyalgia may complicate the process, it doesn’t negate the possibility of securing life insurance. With a proactive approach to managing your health and a persistent search for the right insurance provider, you can find a policy that aligns with your needs and provides the financial security you seek.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about  Life Insurance with Fibromyalgia

Yes, having fibromyalgia does not automatically disqualify you from obtaining life insurance. However, it might affect the underwriting process and potentially the premiums. The key is to find an insurance company that has a good understanding of fibromyalgia.

It’s possible. Insurance companies calculate premiums based on risk factors, and chronic conditions like fibromyalgia might be viewed as increasing risk. However, the extent to which it affects your premiums can depend on the severity of your condition, your overall health, and the specific insurance company’s policies.

The type of life insurance that’s best for you depends on your individual circumstances, including your financial situation and coverage needs. Options might include term life insurance, permanent life insurance, or no medical life insurance. Consulting with an insurance broker or agent can help determine the most suitable policy for you.

Maintaining regular medical care, following prescribed treatments, adopting a healthy lifestyle, keeping detailed medical records, and working with an experienced insurance agent can all enhance your chances of securing a favorable life insurance policy.

Some insurance companies may have a better understanding of fibromyalgia and more accommodating underwriting practices for applicants with this condition. It can be beneficial to work with an insurance agent or broker who can guide you towards these insurers.

Find a solution for what you’re looking for

Despite the challenges, with proactive health management and diligent exploration of insurance options, individuals with fibromyalgia can secure the life insurance coverage they need, providing both peace of mind and financial security for their future. 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. 

To schedule a consultation about your income protection goals, or if you have any questions about insurance in Ontario or Canada, please 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 Brampton, Mississauga, Edmonton, and Victoria

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