Life Insurance and Crohn’s Disease

Life Insurance and Crohn’s Disease: Background
Can You Get Life Insurance with Crohn’s Disease?
Does Life Insurance Cover Crohn’s Disease?
Does Crohn’s Disease Affect Life Insurance Rates, and How?
What Life Insurance Types Can You Get with Crohn’s Disease?
What Are the Best Companies for People with Crohn’s Disease?

Life Insurance and Crohn’s Disease: Background

Crohn’s disease affects about 135,000 Canadians.

Crohn’s disease falls in the same category of diseases as ulcerative colitis. It describes a group of health conditions related to inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), meaning chronic inflammation of person’s digestive tract.

Crohn’s is a serious condition that can affect the gastrointestinal track anywhere between the mouth to anus. Typically, the area affected is the lower bowel and upper colon. The inflammation attacks the healthy parts of the guts and can also affect the inner and outer lining. Some also experience symptoms in the mesentery (a network of tissues surrounding the guts).

Can You Get Life Insurance with Crohn’s Disease?

Yes, you can get life insurance with Crohn’s disease and, depending on your condition, there are multiple options available to you. The following factors will typically determine which life insurance policy you can qualify for:

  • Current age
  • Date of diagnosis
  • Weight stable or loss
  • Symptoms and severity
  • Frequency of flare-ups
  • Treatment (type, medication, dosage, any surgery)
  • Any hospitalizations, ER visits or surgeries
  • Any limitation of activities
  • Any complications or other medical condition, such as anemia, arthritis or other inflammatory disease
  • Extra-intestinal symptoms

The more health pre-conditions you are experiencing, the higher the chance that you will not be able to qualify for traditional life insurance with standard rates. You will be able to qualify, though, for standard life insurance with increased rates.

One of key items that will be requested from your doctor as a part of your application for a traditional life insurance policy is an APS (Attending Physician Statement). This is a report that is issued by your treating physician or a treating facility that clarifies your condition. This report is provided directly to the insurance underwriters.

In most cases, you still will be able to qualify for non-medical life insurance with Crohn’s disease.

Does Life Insurance Cover Crohn’s Disease?

Yes, life insurance does cover Crohn’s disease. If an applicant has a mild or moderate case of Crohn’s disease, then the only change to the standard application would be higher insurance rates (up to a 200% rate increase).

If an applicant has severe Crohn’s disease (e.g. less than six months after remission) or applies right after the surgery, a life insurance application can be declined until a more stable condition is established.

In those severe cases, you can still decide to go for one of the no medical life insurance policies, which come with some limitations. These either asks a very limited set of questions about your medical condition (simplified issue no medical life insurance) or do not have a questionnaire (guaranteed life insurance).

Does Crohn’s Disease Affect Life Insurance Rates, and How?

Most companies treat Crohn’s disease applications based on the severity of this health condition. The more severe is the condition, the higher the life insurance rates. In the most serious cases (e.g. after a surgery) a standard life insurance application can be declined.

Here is an overview how three insurers treat Crohn’s disease in their underwriting.

Mild CasesModerate CasesSevere Cases
Insurer AConsidered to be a standard risk if over 2 years since diagnosis (minimal abdominal symptoms with no bowel obstruction, no significant weight loss or systemic symptoms, no hospitalization, no corticosteroid treatment, no surgery).All cases within 2 years of diagnosis will be rated moderate to severe.

For moderate cases, minimum pricing starts at 200% and may be reduced after 6 months from the last flare-up/in remission.
Considered after 6 months in remission; the pricing would start at 300%. Likely to be declined.Also, if surgery is performed, the applicant can be considered after 6 months post surgery.
Insurer BStandard rates.Depending on severity, time elapsed since of last flare-ups and without surgery: standart rates up to 200%With < 6 months post surgery: postponed. Afterwards: standard rate up to 200%
Insurer CStandard rate is possible if the health condition is stable for 3 years.Insurance rates of 200%-225%.Insurance rates of 200%-300% or postponing the application, depending on the age of client.
Insurer DCurrent health condition – possible rates of 175%.

Within 1 -2 years of last flare up – possible rates of 150%.

No issues for over 2 years – possible standard rates.
Health condition within one year of the last flare up – possible rates of 200%.

1-5 years with no flare ups – possible rates of 150% to 175%.

No issues for over 5 years with no flare ups– possible standard.
If severe condition, within 2
years – possible rates of

No issues for over 2 years
with no flare ups – possible

Any surgery – decline for
6 months.

What Life Insurance Types Can You Get with Crohn’s Disease?

There are a variety of life insurance policies you can get with Crohn’s disease.

Insurance TypeMedical ExamDetailed Medical QuestionnaireShort QuestionnaireCoverage LimitsImportant to Know
1. Traditional, Medically Underwritten Life Insurance with PREFERRED RATESYesYesNo$5,000,000+Cannot apply.
2. Traditional, Medically Underwritten Life Insurance with STANDARD RATESYesYesNo$5,000,000+Quite unlikely but possible in the mildest cases where the mild case diagnosis is more than several years back.
3. Traditional, Medically Underwritten Life. Insurance WITHOUT A MEDICAL EXAMNoYesNo$5,000,000+Possible but the rate can be increased. Though there is no exam, underwriting will request an APS (Attending Physician Statement) to inform the final application decision.
4. Traditional, Medically Underwritten RATED Life Insurance Yes Yes No$5,000,000+Yes, the most likely scenario for people with Crohn’s disease. Rate range can vary between 150% and 300% of standard life insurance rates.
5. Simplified Issue Life InsuaranceNoNo Yes $1,000,000+Yes, can typically qualify for this insurance. There might be a question on Crohn’s disease (e.g. how far back was your last hospitalization or diagnosis).
6. Guaranteed Issue Life InsuaranceNoNoNo$25,000Yes, you can always qualify for this one.

What Are the Best Companies for People with Crohn’s Disease?

Pretty much every life insurance company offers life insurance for people with Crohn’s disease including Manulife, SSQ Life Insurance, Empire Life, Canada Life, Assumption Life and more.

If you are looking for a no medical life insurance policy for an applicant with Crohn’s disease, often Canadian Pension Plan or Assumption Life are a good choice.

We recommend working with an experienced life insurance broker who has access to most life insurance policies on the market and can compare Crohn’s disease application criteria across a wide variety of insurance companies to get you the best rate and coverage.

Our experienced life insurance brokers are happy to assist you on this journey – simply complete the quote request on the right side of your screen.

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