Alcoholism, alcohol related conditions and life insurance.

My daughters partner is an alcoholic and has recently been diagnosed with liver disease. He's been advised to give up drinking but shows no sign of doing so.
They have life insurance to cover their mortgage but the liver disease isn't on it. Should she contact the insurers to have it added and what would the likely outcome be? presumably the premiums would increase but might the insurers simply cancel the policy? Also if he continues to ignore doctors advice would that invalidate the policy regardless of whether the condition has been disclosed? Any advice would be welcome, there are small children involved so we have to do what we can to protect them.
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  • Flugelhorn
    Flugelhorn Posts: 5,426
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    I doubt they would add pre-existing disease to a policy if it wasn't on there before.

    when you say it is on the insurance - is it excluded? 
  • Emmia
    Emmia Posts: 2,969
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    I can't see that insurers will add liver disease to the policy now, since he's already been diagnosed with it, and has habits which have almost certainly created the disease, and I'm sorry to say will probably lead to his death from the disease.

    If they did add it to the policy, then it almost certainly be a hefty premium increase.

    I don't have any advice for how your daughter and the kids could be protected. Does your daughter's partner work, are there any death in service benefits or pension entitlement for her - either as a nominated partner or that she could access if they married (whether getting married is a good idea for other reasons is a different question)
  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,140
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    Life insurance is based on your health at the time the policy starts - there is no requirement to inform the insurers of changes to your health after the policy has commenced. What matters is whether you answered the questions accurately at the time you took out the policy.

    So did he have alcohol issues/liver disease at the time that they took out the policy? If not then in theory there is no problem and he is fully covered - though I'm the event of a claim the insurer might of course have some questions about exactly when the excessive drinking started and whether he answered the questions about his drinking habits truthfully when the policy was taken out.

    If he did have documented alcohol problems and didn't declare then then it may be too late to do anything about it - I'm not sure that the insurer will retrospectively adjust the policy after a non-disclosure, if they would even agree to keep his cover going at all.
  • gmje
    gmje Posts: 24
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    Definitely dont mention it now they could find a loophole to avoid paying. Your daughter needs to ensure she is named on any benefits,house,  pensions,etc but it could be sometime before any serious consequences of the alcohol come to term. An acquaintance was at deaths door 5 years ago and stopped drinking,then started again. has been in and out of hospital  very seriously ill  including this xmas and went to the pictures yesterday and is still drinking. this person even had the meds that make you vomit if you take a drink but it hasnt worked. sadly. I feel for your family its a tragic path.
  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,140
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    gmje said:
    Definitely dont mention it now they could find a loophole to avoid paying.
    What on earth are you taking about?

    If it wasn't an issue at the time the policy was taken out then there is no "loophole" - the insurer cannot cancel a life insurance policy because of a medical issue that started after the policy commence.

    OTOH if it was an issue at the time the policy was taken out and he didn't mention it, the fact that he lied on his application isn't a "loophole" - it's something that fundamentally defeats the object of taking out an insurance policy. He needs to face up and deal with it one way or the other because as things stand here paying good money for a life insurance policy that will result in a declined claim as soon as the insurer asks to see his medical records (which they certainly will if he dies of an obviously alcohol related illnesses).
  • Nearlyold
    Nearlyold Posts: 2,236
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    edited 3 February at 8:43PM
    When he applied for the life insurance he would have been asked to complete an application, this would include answering health related questions in a medical questionnaire.

    There would have been questions related to alcohol consumption such as - Have you ever been advised to reduce your alcohol intake? What is your average alcohol consumption. etc.?

    If these were answered honestly along with any other questions asked at the time and he was accepted the policy should pay out in the event of his death. Subsequent changes in health do not matter.

    There might be a delay while the claim is  checked particulaly if excessive alcohol consumption/alcohol related illness is believed to have contributed.

    Any false information given on the application (if it would have affected the insurers decision to accept the application) could lead to the claim being declined
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,260
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    The OP says that liver disease isn't included in the life policy.  That would suggest that the problem was known to the insurers at that time the policy was taken out. That or the policy is actually a critical illness policy, many of which have a very specific list of what is covered and what is not.
    Either way, an insurer is very unlikely to provide cover now for a pre-existing condition.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,377
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    TELLIT01 said:
    The OP says that liver disease isn't included in the life policy.
    I'm not sure that's what they mean by "not on it" - I thought they might mean it wasn't declared on the proposal form?
  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,140
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    TELLIT01 said:
    The OP says that liver disease isn't included in the life policy.  That would suggest that the problem was known to the insurers at that time the policy was taken out.
    He actually said "the liver disease isn't on it", which could mean any number of things - not disclosed, not mentioned in the policy documents, specifically excluded etc etc?

    He really needs to give some more details of what has actually happened and what the timelines are before anyone can give meaningful advice.
  • paulb22
    paulb22 Posts: 6
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    user1977 said:
    TELLIT01 said:
    The OP says that liver disease isn't included in the life policy.
    I'm not sure that's what they mean by "not on it" - I thought they might mean it wasn't declared on the proposal form?
    Apologies, I've not been very clear. The alcoholism and the liver disease were not an issue when the policy was taken out and have developed over time.
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