How Does Your Family Health History Affect Your Life Insurance?

Going through a life insurance application can seem intimidating. There are a few questions that might make you wonder why an insurance company might need to know these things. Generally speaking, these questions tend to be a mix of health and lifestyle questions. It can also be the case that they ask you about your family’s medical history. While this might seem a little invasive, there are a couple of good reasons behind this line of questioning. 

Why would a life insurance company need to know your family’s medical history?

From the perspective of a life insurance company, providing life insurance is all about assessing the risk. When they are asking you questions like ‘are you a smoker?’ or ‘how much do you weigh?’ they are trying to figure out the risk associated with insuring you. At Smart, when we ask you questions like this we aren’t trying to catch you out. 

This is why it’s important for insurance companies to know what health conditions could be present in your family. For example, a life insurance company might ask you if anyone in your family suffered from diseases like Cancer, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, Heart disease or Parkinson’s. By asking this they are trying to determine if a disease or disorder could be passed down. 

What happens if my family’s medical history is poor?

The important thing to remember in this situation is not to panic. When an insurer is weighing up the options on accepting your application they can look at a number of factors. These things can include your age, sex, health and whether or not you smoke. 

You should bear in mind that there are plenty of insurance options out there that don’t depend on your health status. For example, with Smart Insurance you have the option of going with Smart Guaranteed Life Insurance. As long as you are a UK resident and aged 30-80 you can avail of this life insurance. You won’t have to provide a medical and you won’t have to answer health questions. 

Honesty matters when it comes to health

All this being said there is one vital point that you need to remember when filling out a life insurance application. You have to be 100% honest and truthful about your health status. This means disclosing any and all conditions that could have an impact on your health. One of the principal reasons why people get life insurance is to help protect their loved ones. 

When you lie on a life insurance application, you could be leaving your loved ones vulnerable. If you pass away as a result of a condition that you haven’t disclosed on the application form it could be the case that your family won’t receive the payout amount. This could potentially leave them vulnerable to financial difficulty. 

What are some of the hereditary conditions that can affect life insurance?

While it is necessary to be as honest as possible, you should be aware of the kinds of diseases that can affect a life insurance application. There is no comprehensive list of disorders and as mentioned previously there are other factors that life insurance companies will look at. Here are some of the most common diseases that life insurance companies will need to know about:

Heart disease or heart attack

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HOCM)



Polycystic Kidney Disease

Breast cancer

Ovarian cancer

Colon cancer

Multiple sclerosis

Motor neurone disease

Polycystic kidneys

Polyposis of the colon

Huntington’s disease

This is by no means a comprehensive list and is subject to change depending on the life insurance company you are applying to. The thing to remember with these applications is to be 100% honest.

Smart Insurance is here to support you

Making time to get life insurance sorted out could be one of the most important things that you do for your family. At Smart Insurance, our UK-based call centre is ready to help you get the right insurance policy for you. You might well have doubts about the application process but rest assured that we are here to help you. 

Protect the life you’ve built, the Smart way

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For new Family Life Insurance policy holders only, once a minimum of 6 successful monthly premiums have been paid and the total premiums paid exceed the face value of the gift card. View full terms and conditions. Restrictions apply, see