Insurance protects us from the financial costs of the unpredictable. But people living with MS might find it harder or more expensive to find the right insurance for their needs.

Can I claim on my existing insurance, now that I have MS?

You might be able to make a claim on policies you already hold. But this'll depend on the type of insurance you have.

Some examples of policies that may be able to help you financially are those which:

  • will pay out a lump sum - for example, critical illness cover
  • help with income replacement - for example, income protection
  • pay some medical bills - for example, private medical insurance.

Check the small print to find out if your policy covers MS. And to know under what circumstances it'll pay out.

The claims section of your policy will have details of how to claim and any conditions it covers.

Products like income protection and private medical insurance will have lists of exclusions - things they don't cover. There'll also be detail about what and how it'll pay out.

With most policies, to make a claim you need to tell them about your diagnosis within a certain time.

Conditions like MS aren't usually covered by private health care. But the costs of diagnosis (seeing a neurologist or other specialist and paying for tests) might be covered. Your insurance provider should have a helpline to help answer your questions.


Diagnosed with MS after starting an insurance policy

If you took out insurance before you knew you had MS, you don't always have to tell your insurer, unless you are making a claim, or unless the policy says you have to.

If you're unsure, you can ask your insurer about what you have to tell them.

With some kinds of policies, you do need you to update the insurer about your condition. These could be policies that run for years, like:

  • travel
  • private medical
  • critical illness
  • income protection

If you don’t update the insurer and you have to make a claim, you might not be covered.

Diagnosed with MS while applying for the policy

If you're diagnosed with MS in the 'on risk' period, you must tell your insurer. The 'on risk' period is the time between applying for your policy and when it starts.

The information you gave in your application would've been correct at the time. But your have to tell them about this kind of change right up until the policy is in force.

I have MS and I want to take out insurance

MS will affect your ability to take out some kinds of insurance. And it'll often mean paying bigger premiums. Standard home and motor insurance policies are likely to bump up premiums if you want to add anything outside their ordinary terms. This could include insuring a wheelchair, for example.

Despite this, you must be upfront about your condition when applying for insurance. If you took out the cover knowing you had the condition, but didn't tell them, they're unlikely to pay out on claims that come from having MS.

Do I need specialist insurance?

Standard travel insurance, home insurance and motor policies may not be suitable for people with MS. The cost of insuring equipment, special adaptations to vehicles, or even carers, may not be covered.

Can I get travel insurance with MS?

Most travel insurance policies will exclude all pre-existing medical conditions, including MS. This means you'd be unable to claim under the policy for:

  • any medical expenses
  • cancellation of the holiday due to a pre-existing medical condition.

You could find suitable policies from mainstream insurance providers - policies which don't exclude MS or other pre-existing medical conditions. But you might also want to try specialist brokers who source those kinds of policies. It's worth shopping around if you can.

Learn more about travel insurance for people with MS

Find insurers and your legal rights on the Money Helper website

Check your policy

It's important to check your policy to make sure it gives you the cover you've paid for. If you're unsure, contact your insurer. You can ask them to tell you what's covered for claims that come from anything MS-related.

There are some policies covering the specific the needs of people with MS. This is done by including the person's needs as standard or offering special types of insurance.

Some insurances might be more expensive. But it might be worth the extra cost if they cover all your needs.

Our partnership with insurance broker Arthur J Gallagher has ended

Our commercial partnership with the insurance broker Arthur J Gallagher ended on 1 July 2016. This is because Arthur J Gallagher decided to leave the charity market.

You might've the heard the partnership called 'MS Society Insurance Services'.

If you have an existing policy through Arthur J Gallagher, you’ll still have the same level of cover and protection. Arthur J Gallagher will continue to look after your policy until it ends.

But if you want to move your policy to another provider, please feel free to do so.

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