Is fully medically underwritten insurance right for you?

Fully medically underwritten insurance involves disclosing your medical history to your insurer. This will allow your prospective insurer to assess your degree of risk, and determine whether any of your previous conditions or symptoms are to be excluded from the policy. If something is excluded then it means you can’t claim for it, or anything related to it, although you may be able to review some exclusions after a couple of years.

How do you apply?

  1. Complete a medical declaration form answering all the questions as fully as possible
  2. Your insurer may write to your GP for further medical information if they feel this is necessary.
  3. Once your risk has been assessed, you will be offered a premium and given a list of any applicable exclusions that will then be added to your policy.

Warning regarding non-disclosures

It’s important to be completely upfront with your insurer at all times. The law dictates that you must be honest and open with your insurer regarding any material facts. These facts include your previous medical history, which can influence your level of risk and lead to exclusions being applied to the policy.

If you hold any material facts back from your insurer, and these are later discovered, your insurer is entitled to void the policy, and refuse to pay on any claims you may have made. So don’t be tempted to lie on your application form, these things do get checked, and the last thing you want is a voided policy just as you’re about to make a new claim.


  • Clear – exclusions are applied upfront so you know where you are with the policy and what it will, and will not cover. This can be advantageous over moratorium underwriting, where the process for determining whether a claim is eligible can leave you with some doubt as to whether you’ll be covered. With fully medically underwritten cover you have added peace of mind when you go to make a claim.

  • Upfront – If you apply for fully medically underwritten insurance you’ll know in advance which exclusions will be applied before you take out the policy. If you don’t like them there’s no obligation to pay for the policy, simple as that. This allows you shop around and try to find the right insurer. By getting a number of offers from different insurers, you may find they assess risk differently, and therefore not all the same exclusions will be applied to your policy.

  • Easy to claim – As you’ve provided all your medical information upfront, you often won’t need to give any more when you claim. This can make the claims process much more efficient, than with say moratorium underwriting. You’ll get a quicker decision so you can get the treatment you need sooner.


  • Permanent exclusions – If your policy has permanent exclusions then you’ll never be able to claim for these conditions under the policy. This can be annoying as with moratorium underwriting if you go for a 2 year clear period without advice, medication or treatment, you can be eligible once again for cover.

  • Time consuming application process – There are extensive forms to fill in regarding your medical history. These need to be sent away and assessed by an underwriter, which will take time, and if further medical information is needed you could be waiting over a month for the result of your application. With moratorium underwriting you can often apply on-line, and get a decision straight away, saving you a lot of hassle.

  • Relatively expensive – A lot of work by your insurers underwriting team goes into a fully medically underwritten policy. This human touch makes the product a lot more expensive than with moratorium policies that can just be processed automatically on-line.

  • Potential for non-disclosures – Sometimes people simply forget to include a medical condition on their application form. Even though this is a perfectly innocent mistake it can lead to your insurance being voided, or re-underwritten when it comes to light. This can be a costly mistake, so make sure you take extra care when filling out your medical declaration forms, and always double check them.

Fully medically underwritten insurance is great for offering increased peace of mind compared with moratorium underwriting. You’ll know upfront exactly what your exclusions are, but do bear in mind many of these exclusions can’t be reassessed later. Other kinds of underwriting such as the moratorium are much more flexible. Think carefully about your medical history and choose your underwriting to best suit your needs.

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