Who can apply for life insurance?

14 May2021

If you are a UK citizen over the age of 18 you should be eligible for life insurance. Some insurers also impose an upper age limit, such as 70. As long as you are in the specified age range you can at least apply for life insurance. It's highly unlikely that you would be rejected for a policy unless there was a very good reason - but you may have to pay more if insurers consider you a higher 'risk'.

It is important to note that, even if one insurer rejects your application, you can always apply to another. One insurer may reject you but another may offer you cover at a higher price. It is important to shop around to see what's available to you.

Here are a few reasons that companies reject life insurance applications:


Certain insurers will not offer you a policy if you are over a particular age. This age does vary from company to company, so shop around. If you are older and looking for life insurance, you will probably be expected to pay more than someone who is younger.


Some insurers will refuse to cover you if they consider your job to be dangerous. Other companies will insure you at a higher cost. It may be perfectly possible to find cheaper cover if you look in the right places.

Terminal illness

Unfortunately if you are suffering from a terminal illness it may be very difficult to find a company willing to insure you. This is because having a terminal illness implies that you are very likely, if not guaranteed, to die during your policy.

Relevant medical history

If you suffer (or have suffered) from illnesses such as cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes, asthma or HIV/AIDS then you may be denied cover. This is because these kinds of illnesses could recur, or even last for the rest of your life. Denial of cover is not universal, however, so it is definitely worth looking for a company who will be willing to cover you, even at a higher cost.

If there are any relevant conditions in your family's medical history that may be hereditary, this may also affect your cover.

Habits and hobbies

If you have any unhealthy habits, such as drug or alcohol abuse, you may be refused cover. Many companies will only insure you at a higher cost, and there may be restrictions on your policy. Smoking will increase the price of your cover. If you have any dangerous hobbies, such as mountaineering, hang gliding or martial arts this may also affect your cover.

It is always worth trying to find a life insurance policy that will suit you. Don't let rejection make you lose hope. If you think you will not be able to afford life insurance, shop around for different quotes. You may be surprised.

Click here to find out more about life insurance.

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