Getting Life Insurance If You Have Asthma


Did you know that approximately 470,000 people in Ireland suffer from asthma? To put it into context, that’s more than 10% of the entire population! There are varying levels of asthma and depending on how it is managed, it is possible to live a normal life, despite suffering from the condition. However, when it comes down to calculating life insurance premiums, asthma is one of the biggest health problems that can impact a premium.

Some life insurance companies may refuse to offer a premium to someone who suffers from asthma but this is very rare, as most insurance companies will quote for life insurance for asthma sufferers. However, the difference in quotes from provider to provider can be phenomenal. The premium quoted by an insurance company will likely depend on the severity of your asthma – best case (childhood asthma), mild, moderate or severe.

Categories of Asthma

Life insurance companies tend to categorise asthma sufferers for insurance purposes as follows:

  • Best case: Only a past history of childhood asthma or only suffers asthma symptoms after exercising.
  • Mild asthma: Suffers only very minimal symptoms that are easily controlled on regular prescription medication. Does not require hospitalisation or need to take oral steroids.
  • Moderate: Experiences asthma symptoms quite regularly where oral steroids and/or hospital admission are needed.
  • Severe: Frequently suffering from asthma attacks requiring hospital admissions and almost on-going use of oral steroids.

Will I pay a bigger premium?

If between yourself and your doctor, you have your asthma well managed, it is unlikely that the potential price of your life insurance cover will be higher than a non-asthmatic sufferer. However, if you’re not keeping your asthma under control and regularly find yourself in the hospital with respiratory issues and requiring heavy prescription medication, life insurance companies will see you as “high risk” and your premium will likely be higher.

Those considered as “best case” or “mild” asthma sufferers should really pay no more for life insurance than those without asthma, so they shouldn’t accept a higher premium too lightly. However, know that premiums can increase by up to 100% depending on the severity of your asthma. If you have any level of asthma and you smoke, premiums can also increase considerably as smoking has been proven to aggravate the condition.

How do I find the best insurer?

You need to find an insurer that is sympathetic towards asthma sufferers, who thoroughly understands the condition and one who isn’t going to hike premiums up by 150% because of your condition. One you’ve put in the time that’s required to find such a company, you should be able to get a reasonable life insurance quote without any hassle or risk of being hit with an outrageously high premium.

For your information, an asthma sufferer should only have to answer a questionnaire before being offered a life insurance quote, unless they have been hospitalised several times, in which case the insurer will request to write to their GP for more info.

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