Life insurance question


My wife has a life insurance policy through ManuLife, and we have been paying monthly premiums for a few years now.  Recently, she developed a medical condition that would have disqualified her if it had been known when she took out the policy.
Do we have to disclose this to the insurer, and what are the chances of collecting on the policy if she dies from it?
Mar 16, 2012 @ 02:23 pm

8 Replies


really depends

This really depends on the insurer, your policy, and the jurisdiction (e.g. which country you live in).

My life insurance policy specifically says that if I develop a condition that neither my docs nor I knew about prior to the policy being taken out, I'd be covered. However, if there were precursors or signs of possible trouble, that might be a different story. Your best bet is to ask your agent on a hypothetical basis. Your agent is not the adjuster - it's the adjuster you'd be worried about because they look for reasons to disqualify you.

If you're really worried, have an anonymous friend call on your behalf to Manulife's toll free number to ask about it. Now, chances are the customer service agent will say "it depends", but you might be able to get some sense of where you stand.

If this is something very life threatening like cancer or something, you will want to have a lawyer in your back pocket ready to help if the adjuster causes problems. I used to work in corporate insurance (as an adjuster's AA) and as soon as a lawyer was involved we reacted more quickly and often, more favourably. I don't believe my company was ever dishonest or unethical in their treatment (from the files I worked on at least), but it was our job to identify if someone was trying to make a fraudulent claim. That meant we usually stonewalled the insured person while we dug for information.
Mar 16, 2012 @ 03:24 pm

Re: Life Insurance question

Thank you very much for your informative reply. I was thinking it would not be a good idea to speak to an insurer about this because I would be bound to get a biased answer. Next step is to read the fine print in the policy I guess. We are just trying to avoid paying premiums for nothing.
Mar 16, 2012 @ 03:51 pm

read carefully

Yes, definitely review your policy carefully. They will try to determine if this was pre-existing and if your wife failed to disclose that. Pre-existing usually means as far as your wife or her doctor knew about a problem or potential problem.

As we all know, illnesses can be lurking in the body without noticeable symptoms for a long time before you find out, so my understanding is that if your wife was not yet diagnosed nor had any reason to suspect her illness at the time you purchased your policy, then you bought the policy "in good faith".

Please please please keep in mind that "my understanding" is based only on my limited experience in corporate bodily injury and auto insurance adjusting. I have no industry certification nor am I a lawyer, so you should certainly consult a licensed professional for the appropriate advice!
Mar 16, 2012 @ 06:06 pm
Ali de Bold

Agree with anonymous

I don't know for certain either but from my understanding it depends on what you knew at the time you applied. If there was no reason for you to have reasonably foreseen that this could happen they can't really penalize you for it or that would mean everyone would loose their insurance as soon as they develop a condition, which we all eventually will since we are all going to die. Not to sound morbid ;)
Mar 16, 2012 @ 08:23 pm

life insurance

Thanks for sugesstion i really like it .
Mar 23, 2012 @ 03:35 am

Re: Life Insurance

Thanks, Denise, for your reply. It's a disturbing thought that all of that money one pays over the years may go for nothing.
Apr 02, 2012 @ 08:44 am

Call Manulife!

Hi there, first, sorry to hear about your wife's medical condition, hope she recovers soon. I'm an advisor with Sun Life in Toronto & from what you've said about the situation, I believe she will be covered as you said that she had no knowledge of this condition at the time of application.

Call Manulife to get the peace of mind you need - there's no need to try & hide anything. This is why we take out Life insurance - so that it's there for us when we need it.

Most policies do have a 2 year 'contestable' period, but that's only if there was known relevant information that was not provided to the insurer at the time of application...which could have affected the underwriting decision if it was disclosed.

People who have bank-issued mortgage or creditor insurance should be more wary, as I understand that these types of policies are not fully underwritten at time of application & these policies sometimes do have problems at claim time. Always best to take out fully underwritten insurance plans (i.e. complete detailed medical questionnaires & sometimes medical tests are required for fully underwritten plans).

Take care & good luck.
Apr 02, 2012 @ 11:58 am
Ali de Bold

Great info!

Thanks to DeniseM and Sunlifechick for helping this poster out!
Apr 02, 2012 @ 02:01 pm

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