After experiencing a stroke, it is important to know that you may still be eligible for life insurance.
About 878,500 adults in Canada above 20 years old have experienced a stroke, and the risk of suffering a stroke increases after the age of 55.
Most life insurers offer coverage for people who suffered a stroke, but the policies and premiums vary widely.
This post will give you an overview of life insurance for stroke survivors, including what to look for in a policy and how to get the best rates.
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting the oxygen and nutrients it needs. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. A stroke is a medical emergency and can be fatal.
There are two main types of strokes:
Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
This type of stroke, also known as a mini stroke, is caused by a temporary clot. Although symptoms of a mini stroke are similar to those of a full stroke, they usually resolve within 24 hours with no lasting effects.
Cerebrovascular accident (CVA)
A CVA, also known as a full stroke, is caused by a clot that blocks or bursts a blood vessel supplying the brain. Unlike a mini stroke, CVAs can result in permanent brain damage, disability, and even death.
If you experienced a stroke, you may be worried about your life insurance options. The good news is that life insurance for stroke survivors is available from many different insurers.
Do stroke survivors need life insurance?
The answer is yes!
The truth is, life insurance can be a great safety net for people of all ages – including those who survived a stroke.
Here are a few reasons why life insurance may be a good idea for stroke survivors:
- Protect your family financially: A life insurance policy can provide much-needed financial security for your loved ones in the event of your death. This can be especially important if you are the primary breadwinner in your family.
- Cover final expenses: Funerals are expensive and can be a great burden for your family to bear financially. Life insurance helps to cover these costs.
- Pay off debts and other financial obligations: If you have any outstanding debts, life insurance can help ensure that they are paid off in the event of your death. This can provide peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.
- Create a financial legacy: You can use life insurance to leave a financial legacy for your loved ones (or even donating to a charity).
No matter your reasons for getting life insurance, it is important to shop around and compare policies to find the right one for you. Be sure to ask about any discounts that may be available to stroke survivors.
How does life insurance work for stroke survivors?
Life insurance pays out a sum of money to your loved ones (beneficiaries) in the event of your death.
Generally, life insurance for stroke survivors works the same as life insurance for anyone else.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- You likely have to undergo a medical exam: Most insurers will require you to complete a medical exam before they approve your policy. This is to ensure that you are healthy enough to qualify.
- Your premiums may be higher: Because stroke survivors are considered to be higher risk, an insurance company often charges higher premiums for their life insurance policies.
- You may need to get a policy with a lower death benefit: An insurance company usually limits the amount of coverage they are willing to provide to stroke survivors. However, there are some life insurance companies that specialize in providing coverage for high-risk individuals, so it’s important to shop around and compare policies.
The different types of life insurance policies available to stroke survivors
The policies available to stroke survivors are similar to those available to the general population.
Here are the most common options available:
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is the most simple and affordable type of life insurance. It provides coverage for a specific period of time (usually 10-30 years), and pays out a death benefit if the policyholder dies within that time frame.
Because it is less expensive than other types of life insurance, term life insurance is a good option for those who are on a budget.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that provides coverage for the policyholder’s entire life. It typically has higher premiums than term life insurance, but it also has a cash value component that grows over time.
Universal Life Insurance
Universal life insurance is another type of permanent life insurance. It has many of the same features as whole life insurance, but it also offers more flexibility in terms of premiums and death benefits.
Does the length of time after your stroke affect life insurance rates?
In short, yes.
Some people who experience a stroke suffer from additional strokes during their lifetime. When determining rates, the insurance company takes into account the date of your most recent stroke.
If it has been more than five years since your last stroke, you are considered lower risk, and will pay lower life insurance rates. This is because you have been able to maintain good health despite your previous medical history.
If it has been less than five years, you are considered higher risk, and you will likely pay higher life insurance rates.
The insurer will also consider the severity of your stroke when determining your rates. If you had a TIA, or mini stroke that did not cause any lasting damage, you will pay lower life insurance rates than someone who had a more serious stroke that caused paralysis or other lasting effects.
The good news is that life insurance rates are generally lower for those who made a full recovery from their stroke and have no residual effects. So, if you made a full recovery, you may be eligible for lower rates.
How does age at the time of the stroke affect life insurance rates?
If you are younger than 55 years old when you have a stroke, you are considered higher risk, and you will likely see higher rates.
If you are older than 55 years old when you have a stroke, you are considered lower risk, and you will likely see that the stroke has a lesser effect on your rates.
How to get life insurance as a stroke survivor
If you’re a stroke survivor, there are a few things you need to know about getting life insurance.
First of all, it’s important to shop around and compare policies from different insurers.
When you’re ready to apply for life insurance after a stroke, the application process varies depending on the insurer you choose. However, most applications require you to answer some basic questions about your health and medical history. In some cases, you may also need to undergo a medical exam.
If you have any questions about life insurance for stroke survivors, be sure to speak with a life insurance agent or financial advisor. They can help you understand your options and find the right policy for your needs.
What to look out for when buying life insurance for a stroke survivor
First of all, it’s important to find an insurer that is willing to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions like strokes.
It’s also important to find an insurer with life insurance underwriting experience for stroke survivors. This way, you can be sure that they understand the unique risks involved and are offering you a fair price for your policy.
Finally, be sure to read the fine print of any policy you’re considering. This is especially important for those with pre-existing medical conditions, as some policies may have exclusions or limitations that could affect your coverage.
Critical illness insurance and strokes
Critical illness life insurance is a type of insurance that pays out a benefit if you’re diagnosed with a critical illness like a stroke. Even if you haven't experienced a stroke yet, you will be covered by a critical illness policy if you have one in the future.
This can be an important coverage to have if you have a family history of strokes or if you are at risk of strokes, as it can help cover the costs of treatment and other expenses.
Not all life insurers offer critical illness insurance, so it’s important to compare policies from different providers before you decide on one.
Questions to expect when applying for life insurance as a stroke survivor
When you apply for life insurance after a stroke, the insurer will want to know about your medical history and the details of your stroke.
They may also ask about your current health, lifestyle, and medications. In some cases, you may need to undergo a medical exam.
Be sure to answer all questions truthfully and accurately. The insurer uses this information to determine your rates. If you don’t disclose important information, it could result in your policy being denied or canceled.
Here are a few examples of questions to expect, specific to stroke survivors:
- When did you have your stroke?
- What type of stroke did you have? Ischemic or hemorrhagic?
- What was the cause of your stroke?
- What kind of treatment did you receive?
- How has your health changed since the incident?
- Are you currently taking any medication for your stroke?
- Have you applied for life insurance before? If so, were you denied coverage?
What are your chances of being declined for life insurance after a stroke?
Even if you followed the steps above, there is still a chance that your application could be denied.
This is more likely to happen if you do not disclose all of the information about your stroke, or if the insurer feels that you are too much of a risk. In some cases, the insurance company may offer coverage with higher premiums or smaller policy limits.
If you are denied life insurance coverage after a stroke, you may still be able to find coverage through a high-risk life insurance policy. These policies are designed for people with pre-existing medical conditions and usually come with higher premiums.
The cost of life insurance for stroke survivors
The cost of life insurance for stroke survivors varies depending on a number of factors, including the type of policy you choose, your age, health, and smoking status. However, it’s important to remember that there are affordable life insurance options for everyone, even those with pre-existing medical conditions like strokes.
So, do you need life insurance after a stroke? The answer is likely yes.
Survivors of strokes often have medical expenses that continue long after the initial event. In addition, many survivors find they can no longer work due to the effects of their stroke. This can leave families struggling financially if the survivor dies prematurely or becomes disabled.
That’s where life insurance comes in – it can provide much-needed financial security for loved ones in the event of a stroke survivor’s death or disability.
There are different types of policies available, and we can help you find the best one for your needs. We understand that applying for life insurance after a stroke may seem daunting, but our licensed insurance experts are here to help.