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Can I buy life insurance before surgery?

LifeSearch author Katie Crook-Davies
4 min read

by Katie Crook-Davies, Protection Writer

See author bio

Katie works with insurers and distributors to make protection propositions more accessible, pricing more transparent and marketing messages more simple.See author bio

Guide last reviewed 10 Oct 2023

It’s totally natural to be worried about an upcoming operation - rationally you know that the chances of something going wrong are usually slim, but those little ‘what if’ niggles just won’t go away. You run through the various worst case scenarios - you worry about something happening during the operation, you worry about leaving your loved ones behind and you think about life insurance. Could this product step in if things didn’t quite go to plan? Well usually, yes, but there are a few things you should know if you have an operation planned and are thinking about buying protection.

Should I buy protection insurance before surgery?

We’ll cut to the chase - probably not! But let us explain why.

When you buy a product like life insurance, critical illness insurance or income protection insurance, your insurer will want to know what your chances of claiming on the policy are. Based on this, they’ll work out what price to charge. It’s a little like your car insurance - you’ve probably had to answer questions about what car you drive, how far you drive and your age. If you’re young and drive a Ferrari, we’d bet your car insurance premiums would be much higher than if you were an experienced driver, with a more, dare we say it, sensible car! That’s simply because a young Ferrari driver would be seen as a higher risk by the insurer.

So, the lower your risk of claiming, the cheaper your protection insurance rates will be. And although the risk of something bad happening during surgery is usually relatively small, there’s still a risk, so you could find that your insurance premiums become unaffordable. Of course, different surgeries come with different risks - open-heart surgery would be considered much more risky than dental surgery, for example, so it’s always worth speaking with a protection specialist broker, like LifeSearch, who will be able to explain your protection options and provide a personalised insurance quote. Give us a call on 0800 316 3166, they’re available Monday – Friday 8am – 8pm, Saturdays from 9am – 2pm and Sundays 10am - 3:30pm.

For some types of surgery, you may find that you can’t actually buy protection insurance ahead of the operation. Your insurer would simply postpone your cover until after the surgery, and you’d only start paying premiums once your cover had started.

What questions will my insurer ask?

When you buy a protection insurance policy, the insurer will ask you a number of questions to help them calculate your risk of illness or death. There will be questions around your age, your BMI, your family medical history, and any health conditions that you have. As part of this, it’s important to be really honest, so do mention any upcoming surgeries that are planned, as tempting as it might be not to!

Holding certain information back can sometimes make it easier to get protection insurance cover, but it will really harm your chances of ever being able to make a claim on the policy because insurers can decide not to pay out if they find out that a policyholder wasn’t completely honest when they applied for cover. For us, this is the worst outcome, because your valuable protection policy may not be there for you when you need it most! 

If you have any questions on the application process for life insurance, critical illness insurance or income protection insurance, why not request a callback from one of our friendly protection advisers? We understand that sometimes it can feel a little daunting when faced with questions around things like health, which is why our caring team is on hand to go through these questions with you - working to make sure that you and your family get the best protection cover in place.

What affects the cost of my life insurance?

As we’ve mentioned, your health, any medical conditions that you have, and any planned surgeries can all impact the price of your life insurance and other protection products. But did you know that your age is also a big driver of your insurance premiums? That’s because, the younger you are, generally the healthier you are, and therefore the lower your chance of falling seriously ill or passing away. So if you’re thinking about buying protection insurance, it really is a case of the sooner the better!  

Other things that can impact your protection insurance premiums are whether you smoke, your height and weight and how much alcohol you drink. 

At LifeSearch, we search the market to find the best value insurance for you, and did you know that we work with the biggest UK insurers to get you the best prices?

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LifeSearch author Katie Crook-Davies
Katie Crook-Davies Protection Writer
Katie is an independent insurance consultant who is passionate about protection and wants to share that passion with others through engaging marketing content. She hopes that one day people will get as excited about protecting themselves and their loved ones, as she does!
See all articles by Katie Crook-Davies
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