Being declined life insurance cover is a serious but not very common event. Cover is generally declined because underwriters believe your application poses a higher risk than they are prepared to take on. The risk factors that can cause a declinature are:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Hazardous occupations
  • Professional sports person
  • Extreme sports
  • High risk hobbies/pass times

When underwriting life insurance, insurers must assess the level of extra risk presented in each individual case, where any of the above factors are present. The underwriter classifies those risks and if a policy cannot be issued at standard terms, the insurer can:

  • Postpone the application for a period of time
  • Apply a rating to the case which will cause the premium to increase
  • Decline the application

Postponement usually occurs because you are recovering from an illness or have recently been diagnosed with a new illness. You may also be postponed if you are awaiting the result of any planned medical investigations, scans or tests.

Declinature occurs because you fall outside the level of risk the insurer is prepared to take on. Different insurers have different levels of risk thresholds and may come to a different conclusion and offer you cover.

At Adelphi Financial Brokers, we know what risks each insurer are comfortable looking at and we can therefore place your application appropriately. This reduces the chance of an unfavourable outcome but despite that, declinature can and does happen.

Where there is no insurer in Ireland willing to provide you with life insurance cover, we have access to specialist life insurance underwriters abroad. These underwriters specialise in providing life insurance cover to anyone who has been declined for medical, occupational or other reasons. Naturally, the premium will be higher than for standard applications, reflecting the fact that the risk is also higher. However, for those who otherwise cannot get life insurance cover, it provides peace of mind for them and their families that a lump sum payment will be paid out to help deal with the financial consequences, should a premature death occur.