What if I have been refused insurance?

One of the most common questions we get asked by patients is ‘why have I been rejected’. This can be for a variety of reasons including previous health and family medical history. Here we discuss these reasons in detail, and suggest ways that you can challenge a decision if you think it is unfair. 

Why was I rejected?

There are a number of reasons why you may be rejected (not offered a policy) or have a high premium. Some of these include:

  • Disclosures about health – height, weight, smoking, drinking.
  • Occupation, dangerous hobbies, sports and activities.
  • Family medical history.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions.

If I am rejected insurance cover by a particular insurance company, will this affect future attempts?

Some insurance companies may ask if you have been refused insurance or special terms applied elsewhere, if so you must tell them.

This is so the insurance company can process your application correctly and fairly, and to prevent any chances of your policy becoming void.

You only have to answer what is asked for by the insurance company, or requested on the application form. Answering all questions truthfully will prevent any chances of your policy becoming void.

Insurance companies are aware that a prognosis can change so a decision made in the past would not automatically be used. A new application will be looked at afresh.

If your application has been rejected or if your premium is increased, you are entitled to know the reasons for these. You can request a written explanation from the insurance company.

What if I think the insurance company has made a mistake?

If you feel you have been treated unfairly over something to do with your genetic risk or genetic condition first contact your insurance company, who will try to sort it out.

If this does not resolve the situation the insurance company will give you contact details for the free arbitration service that will look at all underwriting complaints, including decisions, under the Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance.

Who can help me make a complaint?

Which, the Money Advice Service and the Association of British Insurers  all have information about making a complaint about insurance on their websites.

You can make a complaint to the:

Financial Ombudsman Service

Telephone: 0800 023 4567

Website: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

Email: complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk