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Did you know that even if you have had a very serious illness like cancer in the past you may still be able to get life cover?

I was lucky enough to attend the JCI (Junior Chamber International) Ten Outstanding Young People of the Year awards in Clontarf Castle this weekend. Being very passionate about the area of financial advice and my desire to make sure that my clients, friends, family and Junior Chamber colleagues have adequate protection in place, it should come as no surprise that following the discovery that I am a financial advisor that this came up in conversation over the evening.

I told a story of a client who was in his 30s and who was unfortunate to have been diagnosed with testicular cancer a few years ago. He did not have any existing life cover. As he had been cancer free for a number of years and the cancer was caught in time and did not spread, we were fortunate enough to be able to secure life cover for him at ordinary rates.

As this was not a run of the mill case, before applying for cover, I spoke with the underwriters of different insurance companies to gauge the possibility of securing cover. Company A, unfortunately advised that they almost certainly would not offer terms. Of the remaining companies, some indicated that they may apply a small rating, while others advised to submit the case for underwriting purposes before they could comment. As you can see, different insurance companies can have differing opinions when presented with the same case and medical information.

If you have existing cover and have suffered from an illness which may hamper your chances of getting life cover in the future, fear not! Many people that I meet find that they have taken out a policy years ago and in the interim have forgotten about the extra benefits on the policy. A common feature available on most policies is a continuation option. This allows you to convert your existing life policy into a brand new policy without the need for further medical evidence. What this means is that if you took out life cover in the past and your health has since deteriorated, you are still guaranteed the option of being able to have life cover in the future (if you have this option). The price and premium will depend on your age at the time but not your health. This extra option usually costs a few extra euros every month. This is a reason you should meet and review your policies and circumstances regularly.

Finally, if you are aged 50-70, one of the major life assurance companies guarantees to offer cover without the need for medical underwriting. The monthly premium is based only on age and the maximum level of cover is €25,000. So if you are over 50 and have not been able to get life cover, you now have an option.

Naturally, there are always different terms and conditions with the different companies and this means you should always seek advice from an independent financial advisor like me who can best advise you about your options.

You can contact Shona Chambers QFA RPA on 074 9124366 to arrange a consultation.

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