Introduction to underwriting

Underwriting with respect to private health insurance, is the process insurers take to assess the risk and coverage of a policy. When it comes to private medical insurance, there are two main types of underwriting, moratorium and full medical underwriting. 

What is full medical underwriting?

With Full Medical Underwriting, you disclose your entire medical history from the outset and your insurer will take your historical health into account when offering you policy terms.

Do I need to disclose my medical history when taking out health insurance?

Yes, if you opt for full medical underwriting then you’ll need to complete a health questionnaire to buy private medical insurance. You will be provided with a health declaration form which will ask you a set of questions about your health and previous medical conditions. 

Depending on what comes up on the health declaration, the insurer may ask for more information from your GP or for evidence of your medical history.

Benefits of full medical underwriting 

The benefits of full medical underwriting include:

  • You know what is covered - From the outset, you will know what is and isn’t covered which isn’t always the case with moratorium underwriting.
  • You may be able to get cover for conditions that happened during the past 5 years, especially if the condition was minor.

Disadvantages of full medical underwriting

There are some disadvantages of full medical underwriting, such as:

  • It can take longer to get a policy arranged due to the questionnaire and potentially the need to communicate with your GP.
  • Getting exclusions removed from your policy further down the line can be difficult.


If you're looking for a health insurance policy then we'd recommend you read our article "Best health insurance UK" or get in touch for a free quote.