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Life insurance with family history

Posted by

Hi, has anyone any experience of insurance companies that will provide life insurance without an exclusion on breast and ovarian cancer due to family history? 

Basically I have a joint policy with my husband but we are now separated. I need a single policy. The current policy I have has me covered with no exclusions, i simply pay a premium.  Unfortunately my husband is refusing to come off policy so my only option is to start a new one. 

Turns out that insurance companies appear to have changed their underwriters and will no longer insure me even though nothing has changed bar my separation. 

My mother died at 45 of breast cancer (Brca 2) - I am not a gene holder. 

3 of mums sisters have also had breast cancer.

Anyone any experience recently of insurance companies willing to cover? 

Posted by

  Hi  just love the username.

Welcome to the online community and I am sorry to see you here looking for advice on life insurance.

You may wish to post your question to one of our financial experts by using Ask a Financial Guide group or by phoning our telephone support line on 0808 808 0000 and asking to speak to someone on the financial team the lines are open between 8 am and 8 pm every day but for the financial team it might be better to phone between 9 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday you could also try asking your question on the Ask an Information and Support Adviser

I hope you are successful in obtaining your life insurance and if you are perhaps you could revisit us and update your thread with details.

For your information we have very active Breast cancer and Ovarian cancer that you might want to join at some time in the future..


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Posted by


That seems extraordinary - and discriminatory. As the daughter of a BRCA2 carrier who is known not to carry the gene defect, I believe you are at exactly the same risk of cancer as the general population. As the BRCA1+ mother of two daughters, I also find it disturbing. 

You do seem to have hit a gap in the current situation regarding life insurance. The Association of British Insurers has a code on genetic insurance agreed with the Department of Health which says you shouldn’t have to disclose the results of genetic testing (https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/choosing-the-right-insurance/health-insurance/genetics-and-insurance/ ). However that doesn’t help your situation where your family history works against you but your negative result means you’re not at the same risk as your mum. Am I making sense? 

Heck, I’m not an underwriter or risk adjuster and I haven’t looked into this in detail, so what do I know? 

There is some information on life insurance and cancer on the main Macmillan site 


You could ask our financial experts. They are a team of specially trained advisers and you can contact them in person on the Macmillan helpline or online via our ask a financial expert section.


I do hope you can find an answer - and some life insurance. Of all the things for your ex to dig his heels in over this seems a particularly trying one to have to deal with. 

Best wishes 

Posted by

Hi Poo2

If you could get your ex to be reasonable there is  sometimes a clause on joint life 1st death policies to allow them to be split to two separate policies on divorce without further underwriting.

If not you are stuck with a policy that your husband would benefit from if you died and vice versa as the proceeds go to the surviving policy owner.

Different life offices use some different reassurers which mean they will have a different approach to medical conditions. So not all life offices may come up with the same decision. 

Have you thought of using a financial adviser who can do the leg work for you and contact a number of life offices and speak to the underwriters to get an indication of their decision before applying?

From experience I have been told a company wouldn’t insure me to they would be willing to look at cover for me (albeit with a significant increase in premium) and that is after having leukemia and a stem cell transplant. 

Good luck in your search and as I say perhaps get someone else doing the research. 


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