Life insurance and your medical history
What information do you need to provide when applying for life insurance? Here's your handy guide.
Life insurance can provide peace of mind for you, and financial protection for your loved ones in the event that you pass away unexpectedly.
Applying for life insurance can be easy, especially if you have the right information at hand to help answer any questions that your insurer needs to ask. We’ve put together this handy guide which will take you through what information you normally need to disclose and your responsibilities when applying for life insurance.
What information will you need to provide?
Generally, a life insurance application will involve you supplying personal information about your age, gender, job, health and lifestyle.
You’ll be required to provide details on your relevant medical history, from your birth up until the day you submit your application for cover, such as:
- Your current health. Your current physical health will be taken into consideration when your insurance application is reviewed.
- Body mass index (BMI). Your BMI usually gives insurers an indication of your overall state of health and is calculated using your height and weight.
- Smoking status. Smokers generally pay higher premiums than non-smokers.
- Family history. When assessing your application, insurers will sometimes take a history of hereditary diseases in your family (like cancer or heart disease) into consideration. If you're found to be at a higher risk of certain diseases, this may impact your premiums.
- Your medical history. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you’re required to provide accurate and honest information pertaining to this condition.
What’s a pre-existing condition for life insurance?
A pre-existing condition refers to a medical condition you experienced prior to applying for life insurance, which could affect your health and life expectancy, or your ability to work. In short, if your condition required treatment from a specialist, your insurer should know about it.
Some examples of pre-existing conditions include asthma, cancer and certain mental health conditions.
Disclosing a pre-existing condition is important because it may affect your coverage when it comes time to claim, and in some cases, may affect the outcome of your life insurance application.
Your duty of disclosure
When you apply for life insurance, you’ll be asked to sign a declaration stating you’ve provided all relevant details about your health and any pre-existing conditions.
If a non-disclosure is revealed, it could affect the validity of your cover and policy.
Once your policy is issued, any change in your health that could not reasonably be foreseen won’t affect your cover. You’ll continue to be insured until your policy expires, is cancelled or a claim is made.
Important things you should know: The information contained on this page is of a general nature only and has been provided without taking into account your specific objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of the information in light of your particular needs and circumstances. You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement for full Terms & Conditions (available at medibank.com.au/life). Medibank life insurance products are issued by the insurer, Swiss Re Life & Health Australia Limited ABN 74 000 218 306; Australian Financial Services Licence No. (AFSL) 324908, Level 36, Tower Two, International Towers Sydney, 200 Barangaroo Avenue, Sydney NSW 2000. Medibank life insurance products are distributed by Greenstone Financial Services Pty Ltd (GFS) ABN 53 128 692 884; AFSL 343079, 58 Norwest Boulevard, Bella Vista NSW 2153 and promoted by its Authorised Representative Medibank Private Limited ABN 47 080 890 259; Authorised Representative No. 286089, 720 Bourke Street, Docklands VIC 3008. Medibank Private Limited is also authorised by GFS to distribute Medibank Starter Life Insurance.