I have sleep apnoea: can I get income protection and life insurance?
The answer to this question will depend on a range of factors surrounding your personal circumstances, however, it may be possible for sufferers of sleep apnoea to access life insurance benefits, including total and permanent disablement cover (TPD) as well as trauma and income protection cover.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a serious medical condition. Although it is not a fatal disease, studies have shown that people who live with OSA can be more susceptible to other health problems such as heart disease and stroke.1
With this in mind, life insurance companies will closely review your medical history when assessing your application. Following this review the life insurer will decline or accept your application. In some instances they may accept your application and apply loadings above the standard rate depending on your personal circumstances. A loading is usually a percentage increase to the premium or an increase per thousand dollars insured under the policy.
Insurance companies will also take into account how well you are managing your condition, including treatments you are undergoing, in order to judge your vulnerability to any possible risk factors which might affect your policy
Along with more general questions about your health, pastimes, family medical history, lifestyle and occupation, the insurer will ask you for further, more specific detail about your condition, such as:
- When were you diagnosed with sleep apnoea?
- Have you undergone or had a follow up sleep study?
- Did your specialist describe your sleep apnoea as mild, moderate or severe?
- Do you know your apnoea-hypopnea index (AHI)?
- What treatment are you undergoing? For example, are you using a CPAP machine?
- How diligent are you with your treatment? For example, do you use your CPAP machine every night?
- Do you have any other symptoms, such as daytime drowsiness or morning headaches?
- What is your height and weight (to determine BMI)?
- They may also request a medical report from your doctor or specialist and a print-out from your CPAP machine
The availability of income protection for someone with Sleep Apnoea may be more restricted than life insurance; however, our team here at Lifebroker can complete a pre-assessment for you, so you can make a more informed decision on your cover options before going through the application process.
We’re here to help — contact one of our consultants on 13 54 33 today to discuss some life insurance options you may be able to consider.
1 Harvard Medical School: http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences/sleep-and-disease-risk