In Focus: Advice for Women  

What aspects of fertility treatment might policies cover?

This article is part of
How to help clients cover the cost of IVF

What aspects of fertility treatment might policies cover?
 Photo: Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

Generally, protection policies currently do not list fertility treatment among the list of conditions covered, but there are some areas where an adviser's knowledge of various policy conditions can help clients. 

While it is important to explain to clients why certain conditions are not covered, there may be areas where clients could potentially claim, or products that might include elements of treatment.

Kathryn Knowles, co-founder of Cura Financial Services, says when it comes to protection policies such as critical illness cover, the policies tend to cover physical conditions that are not already active.

Once someone knows that they have a health condition, this can potentially affect the choices that they have.

She says: "It’s all about what a person knows about their health at the time they take the policy out. You could have someone with high blood pressure, or atrial fibrillation or cancer, and they might not know about it. They could potentially apply for CI cover without any difficulty at all.

"If someone does know these things, it will have an influence upon their options for CI cover. So maybe there is an argument that infertility could be classed as a claimable condition, if someone has no knowledge of any fertility-related health diagnoses."

Knowles adds that CI cover, like most insurance policies, is all about the financial impact someone might face by their new health condition.

So, while fertility treatment can come at a phenomenal cost, she says: "I imagine claims would be restricted to partial payments, such as 25 per cent of the sum assured to a maximum of £25,000.

"This might seem incredibly unfair, but I think an argument would be presented that fertility difficulties do not have the same impact as a diagnosis of stage 3 cancer.

"This is of course a highly emotive topic and I do not want to negate the significant hardship that infertility can cause, I just want to explain the barrier that I think would be there."

Implications of IVF that can be covered

However, Emma Walker, chief marketing officer at LifeSearch, says there are instances where the implications of IVF can be covered.

She explains: “IVF is often a long and sometimes emotional journey for many couples, and this can have implications on their mental health, which could be covered by an income protection policy.

"The family carer benefit that comes included in some IP [policies] could be useful if there was a need to take time off to take care of a pregnant spouse or for a child.

"With CI cover it feels like a relatively level playing field. There are female-specific payouts (cervical, breast and ovarian cancer) and those for males (testicular and prostate cancer). Enhanced children CI cover policies really do a good job protecting mother and child too."

One area where treatment for infertility might be covered is in the world of private medical insurance, but it would depend on the definition of an 'acute medical condition'.