Life Insurance and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – Ultimate Guide

When getting diagnosed with a serious illness many of us quickly jump to worst case scenario, even  contemplating death. We start thinking about the impact this will have on the loved ones we leave  behind. 

This was the case for a recent client of mine, a 33-year-old single mother to an 11 year old daughter. 

She had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and was now thinking of her daughter’s future  with her worst fear of not being there for her and not able to provide the support she needed. 

Like any mother my client wanted to ensure her daughter would be financially looked after, in the  event of her premature death, and that she could complete her education without being at a  financial disadvantage to her peers or a financial burden on other family members. 


Multiple Sclerosis is a condition affecting the central nervous system (CNS), which is mainly  comprised of the brain and the spinal cord. The CNS controls the motor, sensory and cognitive  functioning of the body by processing and transmitting messages through a network of nerves. 

“More than 9,000 people are living with Multiple Sclerosis in Ireland. Multiple Sclerosis (MS), is the  most common disabling neurological disease affecting young adults in Ireland. MS is usually  diagnosed between 20 and 40 years of age.” 

here are different types and severities of MS, which will of course have an impact when applying  for Life Cover. 


1) RELAPSING REMITTING MS- This means they experience a relapse or flare up of symptoms  followed by remission. 

2) SECONDARY PROGRESSIVE MS- In secondary progressive MS, symptoms do not go away  completely after a relapse and there is a steady increase in disability. On average, 65% of  people with relapsing remitting MS will have developed secondary progressive MS within 15  years of diagnosis. 

3) BENIGN MS- It is only possible to make a diagnosis of benign MS once a person has  experienced little or no disability for a period of 10 to 15 years. However, a diagnosis of  benign MS does not mean they will be free of problems; a relapse may occasionally occur  after many years in which the MS has been inactive. 

4) PRIMARY PROGRESSIVE MS- Primary progressive MS is a relatively unusual form of MS  which tends to be diagnosed in older people, usually in their forties or later. Those with  primary progressive MS experience steadily worsening symptoms and an increase in  disability. Approximately 10-15% of people with MS have the primary progressive form.


MILD- Stable with no minimal disability 

MODERATE- Moderate disability but may still be self-sufficient and socially active

SEVERE- Requires assisted ambulation or may be restricted to a wheelchair. 

My client had been diagnosed with Mild MS. She had been in good health otherwise and has a  healthy BMI of 26.3, all of which stood to her when we applied for Life Cover. 

After a discussion with the client, I contacted all the Life Companies which we work alongside. The  most common factors which would determine whether a client who has been diagnosed with MS  gets accepted for Life Cover, along with the premium of the life cover were; 

∙ The type of MS (previously mentioned) 

∙ When did the client first experience symptoms? 

∙ How Frequent are the client’s symptoms? 

∙ When did the client last experience symptoms and what was the nature of these symptoms?∙ Which part(s) of the body were or are affected? 

∙ Have the client’s symptoms become worse or more frequent in the last 12 months? ∙ Details of all current or previous treatment/ medication 

∙ Has the client undergone any tests/ investigations or been advised to have any  tests/investigations? 

∙ Is the client due to attend for any reviews, further tests or investigations? 

∙ Has the client taken time off work in the last 5 years due to this condition or been unable to  carry out daily activities?  

Once these questions have been answered and submitted to the Life Offices, the underwriters then  review the information and base their decision for acceptance and premium as below(this is a guide and different companies will have different outcomes); 

MILD/MODERATEAccepted with a 50-150% loadingDecline Decline
SEVEREAccepted with a 150% upwards loadingDecline  Decline


With my client’s age, BMI and diagnosis of mild MS, for €150,000 Life Cover, guaranteed for a term  of 14 years (a specific target so that her daughter would be financially supported to age 25) with a  convertible option (option to continue the policy in 14 years if she so wishes) the monthly premium  was €22.71.


Here at Financial Life we have expertise in working with clients with a range of medical issues. 

We work along all the major Irish Insurance providers and have developed excellent working  relationships with, for example, Irish Life, New Ireland, Royal London, Aviva and Zurich Life among  others. We know which Life Company will be best suited to your needs based on the medical  information you provide. Our team are trusted by these providers to develop accurate and  appropriate assessments for our clients, and as a result we can confidently predict the best possible  prospect for placing cover.  

We will work hard to provide you with as much peace of mind as possible should the unthinkable  happen and a seriously debilitating or life limiting illness has been diagnosed. The stress of such an  event is something none of us want to experience, but knowing that there can at least be a measure  of financial support for you and your loved ones will help in some small way to cope with such a  trauma should it reach your family.  

If you think we could help you or someone you know please do not hesitate to contact me at  donna@financiallife.ie

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