Life Insurance Problems

Hi all.

I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia in March.

I’ve just remortgaged and like any sensible person I thought I should get life insurance given that I have three small children and I work full time.

I went through Tom and got a stonewall no, in that no insurers will offer to cover me.

I’m 42 and otherwise fit and well. Consider myself to be lucky in that respect.

Obviously I’m a bit miffed that they seem to think I’m too ill for them even though the specialists say it shouldn’t affect my lifespan.

But in a practical sense it’s a bummer because I can’t offer my family a bit of security.

Anyone got any experience of this, or know any solutions or more flexible insurers?


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Hi @BlueBoar and welcome to the forum. After my diagnosis (I was 41, now 45 with a diagnosis of Follicular lymphoma) I was able to make a claim on my critical illness cover but my life insurance then became invalid and I wasn’t able to get this anywhere else. I did try an independent broker but had no luck - the same with medical insurance as well. I understand your frustration and that need to protect your family. I also had two young children (aged 8 and 11 at the time) and my first concern was how I could provide security for them and my husband. This was so important to me and that need to make sure they will be ok is still so strong 4 years down the line.
Macmillan have some good Information on insurance and a financial helpline/insurance brokers you can call with questions. This may be worth a look? Also, the Blood Cancer UK helpline may also be able to offer some advice.
I hope some of this helps and fingers crossed you get some helpful support and advice. Please keep us updated on how you get on. I’m sure other people in the forum may have some useful input into this discussion.
How are you doing since your diagnosis, especially during lockdown which had been so challenging for us all?


Hi @BlueBoar, a great big welcome to our forum and what a really important dilemma/ question you have raised. @Nichola75 has given you good advice and I hope others will be able to share their experiences. It must be so worrying for you with a mortgage and a young family, a bit miffed probably doesn’t cover it. Take care and please keep posting what it is like to be you.

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Hi @BlueBoar a warm welcome to the forum. I’m so sorry you’re having these issues getting life insurance, I imagine it must be really frustrating for you. Like @Nichola75 mentioned, Macmillan have some information around this and they also have financial and welfare advisors on their helpline who may have further information.

There’s also some general information from the Money Advice Service -

Hopefully you’ll get some responses from others who have some tips or recommendations!

May I ask how you’ve been doing since your diagnosis?


Hi @BlueBoar, just wondered how you were doing and if you had got any further with this?

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Thanks folks. I’ve been doing pretty well to be honest. I know I’m very lucky in that respect.

I’m no further forward insurance wise. I tend to find that you speak to a broker, they act all helpful and then get back to you and say they can’t help!

I’m grateful for all the advice above though.

I’ve spoken to Macmillan who are bloody marvellous aren’t they! They will look into it and ring me back tomorrow.

The thing that gets me is that if they bothered to speak to my doctor they would understand. But I just get a flat no. I wish I had taken it out before!


Hi @BlueBoar. I’m glad you are doing well. I know how you feel, it’s very frustrating. Fingers crossed Macmillan can help. Keep us updated. I’m interested to hear what they say.

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Thanks @Nichola75👍 Will do.


How did it go @BlueBoar?

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Well @Nichola75 it’s still a work in progress. I have been advised to contact a company called the insurance surgery. They at least have taken some medical details.

A number of insurers want me to be “in remission” for five years which of course doesn’t really fit with a chronic condition.

I’m very lucky that CML hasn’t affected me unduly. I read some tough stories on here. But it has been a sobering experience to be 42 and to learn that so many people reckon I’m heading for the knackers yard!

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It must be so frustrating at 42 yrs old @BlueBoar. I have actually not needed such insurance since diagnosis. Please keep letting us know how you are getting on as I am sure it will assist many others !!

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I’m glad you have made a little progress. Fingers crossed you get somewhere. Like you, it wasn’t something I ever thought I’d be thinking about - and having so much trouble with - in my early forties! Remission and blood cancer don’t really work do they. You definitely don’t sound like you are ready for the knackers yard yet. It does make me mad though!

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I was recently diagnosed with CML and made an insurance claim under critical illness on an existing policy. This has now ended and I have been looking into taking out a new Life Insurance policy but I’m being told this is not possible while undergoing treatment. Does anyone know of any companies that do offer policies for persons with existing conditions?


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Hi @PK3266, unfortunately I cannot help but I wanted to welcome you to our community forum and I hope you will find it as supportive as I do and you can see the variety of posts on here and if you would like to talk to someone you can contact the wonderful Blood Cancer UK Support Services Team on 0808 2080 888 10am-7pm Monday-Friday and 10am to 1pm Saturday and Sunday or via email at
What I would say is what I realise is most types of insurance are a problem for us and travel insurance is also a big one for us.
It often does not matter what blood cancer we have most of us seem to share similar feelings, thoughts, symptoms and practicalities. Take care and I look forward to hearing more from you.

Hi @PK3266 and welcome to the forum. The same happened to me. I had a broker look into it for me and was unable to find anybody who would offer life insurance. Sorry I couldn’t give a more positive response. How are you doing at the moment? X

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Thank you for the welcomes


Hope you don’t mind @PK3266 I’ve merged your thread with another life insurance thread . There might be some tips in this thread that could offer some guidance. Sorry you’re having trouble with this! Hope you’re doing okay.


Hi …I’d first like to say how beneficial supportive and interesting the many contributions are on this forum.

I found the forum earlier this year when I was having investigations that lead to a diagnosis of Classic Hodgkin Lymphoma. It is five weeks today since my last chemo treatment - I have my PET-CT scan booked for next Monday, bloods and then fingers crossed, my last consultation on the phone the following week.

Blessed and lucky is how I feel. The hardest part for me this year - my 17 year old son not with me every other weekend and half of all holidays - thank god for FaceTime!

Anyway - life insurance; it will only be considered by a few of the larger insurers, and this would be best understood by using a regulated adviser who has access to ‘under-writing’ help lines. A rating/loading to standard premium rates is inevitable if terms are even offered. Gaining cover can often be very difficult when applicants have suffered from heart disease, cancers or strokes, and survived, and subsequently been advised they have no more of a risk to their life expectancy than someone who hasn’t suffered and recovered from the same.

Every individual is individual, and their medical journey and experience is also very individual, although inevitable similarities will be present. Insurers are in the business of risk. Risk needs to be assessed, and in spite of our belief and anger when declined for such cover, it is no ones fault, just a reflection of the level of ‘risk’ an insurer is prepared to take to provide a worthwhile level of benefit in return for an acceptable and affordable premium.

I have provided advice to private clients for over 30 years. I reckon 9 of 10 clients decline my offer of advice when I identify a shortfall in their protection needs (life health or income). The majority of people respond with, ‘it won’t pay out so it’s a waste of money’ or ‘I’m too young for that’. It is not my job to force people, but I feel for them when life takes a turn and they do not have the correct cover which might of had a modest cost attached when previously suggested.

There is no easy response to this issue. I have often secured terms for clients who have suffered ‘serious or critical’ illnesses. Unfortunately the terms offered have often been so much more than a ‘standard quoted premium’ and therefore declined as feelings of being ‘taken advantage of’ rise up and skew the rational thinking process.

I would recommend finding a ‘regulated’ adviser, being honest and open in opening discussions, and tell them how much per month you are willing to spend, and ask them to source the best level of cover they believe they can secure. This will avoid seeds being sewn as to how much cover would be provided without any medical issues.

I hope this provides some help!

Keep safe, eat well and healthily, and drink as much water as you can!

Kindest, Adam


Hi @AdamM, a great big welcome to posting on our forum, yes, insurance is about risk and with a compromised immune system I realise there would be a risk to the insurer.
After all your chemo treatment, I was really struck by you saying that the hardest part for you this year was not seeing your 17yr old son, yes, what would we do without Face Time, Skype, Zoom etc, but it is certainly not the same as seeing someone in person.
Please let us know how your PET-CT scan, bloods and then your telephone consultation goes. Telephone consultations are become the normal now. Take care and stay safe.

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welcome @AdamM! it’s really good to hear from you! like @Erica i was so moved to hear your comments about your son and how tough it has been being apart. Like you say, it’s really reassuring that we have other options in the form of modern technology! :slight_smile: but of course, as others have touched on- it’s not quite the same as seeing someone in person- we can completely appreciate that. How have you and your son been doing?