Clinical trial, Health and Life Insurance

Hi I have been invited to take part in a clinical trial, and one of the items on the paperwork suggests I speak to my Private health insurance and to life insurance about how my policy might be affected. I was looking for a little guidance on what they might ask me before I ring them, and what affects there might be. I have an appoint in a week to decide if I want to do the trial. 

We are currently using my husband health insurance for an NHS cash benefit while I’m receiving Pembrolizumab for metastatic melanoma which is about to stop because of disease progression. I have previously had a cash benefit when going into hospital. I’m assuming that for the 3 weeks I will be in hospital for the trial I won’t get the cash benefit, but I’m now wondering if it may have any longer term knock on affect on my eligibility after the trial. We haven’t used the health insurance for private treatment. My life insurance is a whole of life policy is there anything in particular I should be looking for in the documents. 

I hope you can help so that my phone call is a little less awkward.

  • Hello ,

    Thanks for getting in touch. I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis and the current situation but hopefully we can provide some support at this difficult time. I can appreciate why you wanted to reach out first as there can be so much to think about with insurance.

    As you already know, when it comes to Private Medical Insurance (PMI), there are often cash benefits and nightly allowances for treatment in an NHS hospital. You are right in saying that the policy may not pay this benefit for a clinical trial, but it would depend on the specific policy terms. It is definitely worth asking the insurer about this, just to be sure.

    Most PMI policies are annually renewable and each year the premium increases in line with your increasing age. The insurer may also impose exclusions where certain conditions are not covered in future.  Again, this is something you could mention to the insurer in case there are any specific policy terms and conditions that would be affected by the clinical trial.

    Moving on to your life insurance now, generally whole of life policies are not affected by any diagnoses or treatment you have after the policy has begun. If all the details you gave on the original application are correct, you haven’t missed any payments and the cover hasn’t ended because of a claim, the insurance normally remains valid. Any health conditions which develop after the policy has started do not affect the premium or cover.

    Whole of life policies may be subject to regular reviews where the insurer will check whether the premium level is still sufficient to support the full sum insured on the policy. These reviews are generally done every 10 years but will not take account of any health conditions which have developed since the start of the policy.

    Should you wish to discuss this further, please just reply to this message or call our freephone number 0808 808 0000. The financial guides are available Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm. When you phone, just select option 1, then 2 then 1 again to get through to the right team. Just to clarify, the Financial Guidance Service can provide information and guidance on all aspects of your personal finances to help you make informed decisions in the following areas;

    • Pensions and retirement options
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    Kind regards.

    Chris Harrower
    Financial Guide

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  • Thank you Chris Grinning

    Take care KT