Diagnosis and Critical illness/life insurance cover

Good Morning,

I’ll try and keep this brief -

I was tested and diagnosed in 1999, (MRI, Lumbar puncture, EP test) (age 21) following a stint in hospital after not being able to walk or use my hands, which came on over the space of a week. I was back to normal within 3-4 months.

The Neurologist said that the next 5 years would show how my MS was likely to progress, and noted ‘Relapsing remitting’ on my medical records.

Fortunately for me, I had a brief relapse a year later, and then for the last 20 years I have been symptom free, which I am so very grateful for.

7 years ago, due to having sky high life insurance premiums and not being able to get Critical illness cover, I asked to have another MRI, to see if the could have misdiagnosed me.

They said that yes I still have lesions on my brain, but my MS may now be ‘Benign’.

Shockingly, and so very sadly, my now 39 year old Brother, following some loss of strength in his legs, was diagnosed with PPMS in December 2018, and is deteriorating rapidly. I have to disclose this on medical forms.

What I don’t understand is why I can’t get any critical illness cover, at all?

I understand that no company would cover me for ‘MS related’ illness, but what if i were to get a cancer, or a back problem etc? Why can’t I be covered for that?

Has anyone found an insurance company who covers for ‘non MS’ related illness?

Does anyone have experience in being symptom free for such a long time?

I am under no illusion, that I am not ‘out of the woods’ and that this cruel disease could strike at anytime, it just seems bizarre that I have been ok for so long?

A good recourse for the hard-to-insure is a group policy of a type offered in one form or another by larger employers to their employees as a group benefit. Some offer coverage in a blanket critical illness policy without the need for individual assessment. Others have a pension scheme with ill-health-retirement provisions, which would cushion the financial impact of a serious illness in that way. Life cover is much easier to get, but I’m sure you know that already. And it’s always worth talking to a Broker, of course, but I’m sure you’ve been down that route too.


I have life insurance via Aviva, but no critical illness cover, they refused point blank, I did ask for critical illness cover leaving out the MS, but their answer was no.

I guess underwriters think of MS as still a bit of an unknown area, after all, theres no cure, no 100% known reason why we get it, and also if you are taking DMD drugs they can sometimes have serious side effects which could in theory bring on other illnesses that might be covered on a critical illness policy, so where do the insurance company draw the line ?

Basically its easier just not to offer critical illness cover to anyone with MS.

My company do offer early retirement due to ill health, I belive it’s something like 66% of my annual salary up until my retirement age, then the pension kicks in.

After my very first MS attack, which lasted about 6 weeks I was then symptom free for about 2 years, and like you I started to doubt my diagnosis, however things started to change when symptoms slowly started to creep back in.

7 years on I’m now SPMS.

Both my sister and 1st cousin have MS, neither can get critical illness cover.

My sister is RRMS, she hadn’t ​shown any symptoms or declined for almost 15 years, then 18 months ago she had a massive attack which has left her in a wheelchair, incontinent (bladder & bowel), and lose of movement in her left arm, it was a totally life changing devastating relapse that came out of the blue…


Does anyone know or can recommend an insurance company who will offer life insurance and critical illness cover to a forms sufferer? Any thoughts gratefully received, it is such a minefield!!! Thanks xx