Navigating life insurance with epilepsy may sound intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be!
With the right knowledge, and an experienced team of professionals by your side, getting a life insurance policy that fits your budget and your needs is possible.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the best practices when it comes to life insurance for people with epilepsy. We’ll also discuss common policy options available today.
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by recurrent seizures that can vary in frequency and severity. These seizures happen due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain which can cause a wide range of symptoms such as:
- loss of consciousness
- muscle spasms
Even though it is a common condition, epilepsy is often misunderstood. However, with proper diagnosis and treatment, people with epilepsy can lead fulfilling lives.
How does having Epilepsy affect the cost of Life Insurance?
Epilepsy can affect your life insurance rates because it is considered a pre-existing medical condition that may increase the risk of premature death. Insurers will evaluate the severity and stability of your epilepsy to determine your level of risk and the cost of your premiums.
You may qualify for standard or preferred life insurance premiums if your epilepsy is stable with medication and you haven't had any seizures for a certain period of time (usually one or two years). This means that you would pay the same premiums as a person without epilepsy who also leads a comparable lifestyle and is in good health.
If your epilepsy is more severe or inadequately controlled, you can be offered substandard rates and pay greater premiums than someone without epilepsy since you are deemed to be at higher risk. In some cases, you may be declined coverage altogether.
What factors affect my life insurance premiums?
Insurance companies evaluate the risk of insuring an individual based on several factors, including:
- Age: Younger people often pay cheaper premiums because their chances of dying during the policy's term are lower.
- Health Condition: Insurers consider an individual's overall health, including any pre-existing disorders like epilepsy. A history of well-managed epilepsy may result in lower premiums, while frequent seizures or poorly managed epilepsy could lead to higher premiums or a declined application.
- Lifestyle Choices: Insurers consider factors like tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and exercise habits, as these can impact an individual's overall health and life expectancy.
- Occupation and Hobbies: High-risk occupations and hobbies, such as skydiving or working in hazardous environments, can lead to higher premiums due to the increased likelihood of accidents or injury.
Understanding these factors and how they affect life insurance prices can help people with epilepsy find the best coverage and control their expectations throughout the application process.
What types of Life Insurance are available to people with Epilepsy?
People with epilepsy have access to the same types of life insurance policies as those without epilepsy. The main types of life insurance are:
Term Life Insurance
This type of policy provides coverage for a predetermined period, typically 10, 20 or 30 years. If you die during this term, your beneficiaries receive a death benefit. Term life insurance policies are typically the least expensive choice and can provide coverage during the years when you have the greatest financial obligations, such as a mortgage or children’s education expenses.
Permanent Life Insurance
This type of policy provides coverage for the rest of your life and has a growing cash value component. There are several types of permanent life insurance policies, including whole life, universal life, and variable life insurance. These policies provide lifelong coverage and the opportunity to build funds that can be used for retirement and other financial goals, but they are typically more expensive than term life insurance.
Group Life Insurance
This type of policy, which offers coverage for a group of people, is often provided by an employer or organization. Group life insurance policies may be less flexible and have fewer coverage levels than individual plans, but they are typically less expensive than individual plans.
Regardless of the type of life insurance policy you choose, your premiums may be higher or lower depending on the severity and stability of your epilepsy, your general health, and lifestyle choices.
What questions are asked when applying for life insurance with epilepsy?
If you have epilepsy and apply for life insurance, you'll probably be asked a series of questions about your health condition and medical history. These questions may include:
- What type of epilepsy do you have?
- How old were you when you were diagnosed with epilepsy?
- How often do you experience seizures, and what is the severity of your seizures?
- What medications are you taking to manage your epilepsy, and what is the dosage?
- Have you been hospitalized or had any emergency room visits as a result of your epilepsy?
- Have you had any recent changes in your medication or treatment plan?
- Have you ever had your driver's license suspended or rejected because of your epilepsy?
- Have you experienced any accidents or injuries as a result of your epilepsy?
In order to guarantee that you receive the proper coverage and avoid any potential policy difficulties, it is crucial that you provide honest and accurate answers to these questions.
Life Insurance Underwriting with Epilepsy
Today, most insurance companies are open to underwriting policies for individuals with epilepsy. You can still acquire life insurance coverage if you have this condition, though there might be additional requirements or higher premiums.
Before applying, collect all relevant medical records and talk to an experienced insurance agent who can help guide you through the process. With a little extra effort, you can protect your loved ones and achieve peace of mind knowing that you have a safety net in place.
The following are the possible outcomes of the underwriting process:
- Standard or Preferred Rates: Applicants with well-managed epilepsy and minimal additional risk factors may qualify for standard or preferred premium rates.
- Substandard or Rated Policies: If an applicant's epilepsy is deemed to present a higher risk, they may be offered a policy with higher premiums, also known as a rated or substandard policy.
- Declined Application: In some cases, insurers may decline an application if they believe the risk associated with insuring the applicant is too high.
Why is it difficult for those with Epilepsy to get Life Insurance?
Unfortunately, applying for life insurance can be challenging for people with epilepsy. Due to their seizures, which can result in potentially fatal situations, insurers view them as high-risk clients.
However, it's important to know that having epilepsy does not necessarily mean you'll be denied coverage altogether. There are specialized insurers and brokers who specialize in providing coverage specifically to those with epilepsy.
With the right support and knowledge, it is definitely possible to obtain life insurance that protects you and your family's future.
Tips for applying for life insurance with Epilepsy
Taking proactive steps can improve your chances of obtaining life insurance coverage and possibly securing better premium rates.
A. Consult with Your Medical Team
- Importance of Accurate and Up-to-date Medical Records: Ensure your medical records accurately reflect your epilepsy diagnosis, treatment history, and any related complications. Up-to-date records are essential during the underwriting process.
- Discuss Treatment: Speak with your healthcare providers about your treatment plan and prognosis. They can provide insights into how well your epilepsy is managed, which can be helpful during the application process.
B. Research and Compare Life Insurance Providers
- Companies Specializing in High-risk Applicants: Some insurers specialize in providing coverage for those with pre-existing conditions or high-risk profiles. Research these companies and compare their offerings.
- Independent Insurance Agents: Working with an independent agent like Dundas Life can be beneficial we provide access to multiple insurers and help find the most suitable policy for your needs.
C. Prepare for the Application Process
- Gather Relevant Medical Documentation: Compile your medical records, including information on your epilepsy diagnosis, treatment history, and any related complications.
- Be Honest about Your Medical History and Lifestyle: During the application process, be truthful about your medical history, lifestyle choices, and any additional risk factors. Misrepresenting information can lead to policy cancellation or denial of coverage.
What happens if you are diagnosed with Epilepsy after buying Life Insurance?
If you are diagnosed with epilepsy after purchasing life insurance, your policy will typically remain in effect and pay out as specified in the policy. Your insurer cannot cancel or change the terms of your policy based on a new medical condition that arises after you have been approved for coverage.
However, if you have a term life insurance policy and your condition worsens, you may not be able to renew your policy or may be offered higher premiums when your policy comes up for renewal. If you have a permanent life insurance policy such as whole life or universal life, your premiums are typically guaranteed to remain the same throughout the policy term.
If you have a life insurance policy and are diagnosed with epilepsy, it is important to notify your insurer as soon as possible to ensure that your policy remains the same and to update your medical information on file. Depending on the severity of your epilepsy, you may be required to have additional medical exams or provide updated medical records to your insurer.
Having epilepsy does present particular difficulties when it comes to life insurance. Keep in mind that you are not alone and that there are insurers who specialize in providing life insurance for those with epilepsy.
With a little research and the help of an expert at Dundas Life, you can find a product that will meet your life insurance needs.
While there are certainly elevated risks associated with this condition, there is no reason to be discouraged as there are many companies that provide coverage for persons with epilepsy. If you are initially turned down, don't give up because your situation might have changed.
Don't wait until it's too late - take the necessary steps today to ensure you and your loved ones are protected financially by speaking to one of our knowledgeable advisors at Dundas Life!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you get Life Insurance with Epilepsy?
Yes, it is possible to get coverage with epilepsy. The key is to be prepared and take steps to improve your chances of acceptance. It's important to have documentation of your condition, such as:
- A medical history
- A list of medications
- Any seizure activity logs.
Working with an experienced insurance agent who understands epilepsy and the underwriting process can also be helpful. Don't be discouraged if you are initially denied coverage. There are alternative options available, such as guaranteed issue policies or group coverage through an employer.
What happens if my application for Life Insurance is denied?
If your application for life insurance is denied, it's important not to lose hope. The reasons for denial can vary, such as a medical condition or lifestyle choice. Your best course of action is to speak with the insurer and understand the reason for the denial, as well as what steps you can take to potentially appeal the decision.
It's also crucial to remember that being denied by one insurer doesn't mean you won't be approved by another.