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When applying for life insurance cover you should include all relevant information on your application - failing to do so is known as ‘non-disclosure’ and could eventually result in a claim being refused by the insurance company.

When the insurance company receives your application, it will be assessed by specialists. The information you provide on the application form helps the insurance company to decide whether your application is accepted at face value, needs supporting with more information, has exclusions or is deferred for a period of time, or is declined altogether.

If further information is required, usually that takes the form of a written report from your GP, the results of a medical examination, or your answers to a medical, financial or personal activities questionnaire or a tele underwriting conversation with an underwriter.

Another consideration is the amount of cover requested. The insurance company looks at an applicant’s financial circumstances and assess whether they are relative to the amount of cover required. So if for example you request cover that totals 50 times more than your annual income, then the insurance company may ask you why you want to pay for a lot more cover than it appears you need.

Sometimes the life insurance premium initially quoted will increase because some or all of the following points come to light and are factored into the underwriter’s risk calculation.

 If for example, you are overweight, suffer from high blood pressure, or there is a family history of poor health then the initially quoted premium will be subject to a ‘rating’ – it will be increased. 

If you drink alcohol to excess or smoke, then the premium can again be increased.

Premiums can also be increased if your occupation is known to be hazardous to health – e.g. someone who flies a lot will pay higher insurance premiums.

Anyone who participates in dangerous hobbies such as mountaineering may find it hard to get cover or have to pay a significantly higher premium. There are specialist life insurance companies who can provide cover at more reasonable prices.

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