Don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t get approved for life insurance with epilepsy.
This article will tell you what is possible and how to pay the lowest rates.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, more people live with epilepsy than autism, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, and muscular sclerosis, COMBINED.
You are certainly not alone here. You are also not alone in wanting to protect your family with life insurance. Now you also are not alone in finding the fairest and most affordable coverage.
In this article we will cover:
- How the life insurance companies look at seizures and epilepsy
- What questions you will be asked about your history with seizures
- What health rate class can you expect?
- Steps to get approval for life insurance with epilepsy and seizures
Hate reading? We can answer questions and walk you through the process. Securing affordable high-risk life insurance coverage for epilepsy and seizure clients is something we are very comfortable (and good) at. Contact us for a no pressure chat about your options.
How the Life Insurance Companies Look at Seizures and Epilepsy
You are probably aware that most people with epilepsy live a full lifespan.
So why do life insurance companies care then?
They go by the numbers, the data, the cold facts. We did say “most” people, so let’s explore why the insurance companies care about seizures…
Studies have shown that life expectancy can be reduced by up to 2 years for people with a diagnosis of idiopathic/cryptogenic epilepsy.
The reduction in life expectancy can be as high as 10 years for those diagnosed with symptomatic epilepsy.
Factors that lead to the risk of an early death
- Accidents that may occur during a seizure (choking, falling, drowning, etc)
- Epilepsy can be a result of an underlying medical condition such as a stroke or a tumor.
- A small percentage may die from Sudden Unexpected Death (SUDEP)
Cheer up! Once you learn what the life insurance companies are looking for and how to properly submit an application, you will be prepared. You can get the best term life insurance coverage available at the most affordable rates possible for your situation.
What Questions You Will Be Asked About Your History with Seizures
In addition to the normal questions about your medical history and lifestyle, underwriters will be looking at the following aspects of your history with seizures.
- Date of initial diagnosis
- Date of most recent episode
- How frequent are the episodes?
- Known cause for the seizures or idiopathic?
- What terms have been used to describe the character of the epileptic or seizure attacks? (Grand mal, Petit mal, Absence, Tonic-clonic, Atonic, Temporal Lobe or complex, Partial seizure – simple)
- Category of seizure (Partial, Generalized, Status Epilepticus)
- The severity of seizures-any hospitalization?
- Any seizures lasting longer than 30 minutes?
- Describe any treatments or medication taken for epilepsy
- What symptoms accompany the epileptic episodes?
- Do you partake any hazardous activities?
Your life insurance broker should prepare you for all of this BEFORE you apply. If they don’t, consider finding someone else. This stuff is too important. It can really impact the rates you pay with epilepsy.
Always be completely upfront with your independent broker. They work only for you and NOT the insurance companies.
What Health Rate Class Can You Expect?
Best case: Standard rate class.
Worst case: A decline or a postponement. A postponement means “check back later”. You can re-apply after a certain amount of time has passed.
Average case: The full range of sub-standard table ratings.
The 3 most important factors underwriters will consider when assigning your health class are:
- Type of seizures
- Recency of the last episode
- Frequency of seizures
It is tough to give all the options regarding frequency. Obviously, less often is better.
The below chart is a guideline for what health class you can expect based on our experience working with clients dealing with epilepsy.
If you do have a condition that signals a likely decline, you can still get approved for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.
|Type of Seizure||Last Seizure < 6 mos||Last Seizure 6 mos to 2 yrs||Last Seizure 3+ yrs|
|Complex Partial (Consciousness Impaired)||Postpone||Table 3-5||Table 2|
|Generalized Tonic-Clonic||Postpone||Table 4||Table 2|
|Generalized Absence||Table 2||Table 2||Standard|
|Simple Partial (Consciousness Not Impaired)||Table 2||Table 2||Standard|
|Metabolic Brain Disease||Decline||Decline||Decline|
A febrile seizure is an episode the coincides with a higher fever. Febrile seizures under the age of 5 typically have no effect on life insurance rates for adults.
If you secure life insurance coverage now and then go a couple years without any episodes, it is time to revisit your current policy. You may be able to get a better rate due to qualifying for a lower health class.
The above health classes assume no other preexisting health conditions or risks. Other conditions such as hypertension, tobacco use, depression, etc will need to be considered separately and may affect your premiums.
Consult with a trusted independent life insurance professional to plot out the best course for you. One that specialized in impaired risk.
Steps to Getting Approval for Life Insurance with Epilepsy and Seizures
Determine how much life insurance you need. (we can walk you through this)
Consult with an independent broker to discuss your epilepsy and overall health history. Every insurance company views certain conditions differently. Some are friendly in some areas and unfriendly in others. The job of the independent broker is to know the ins and outs of each company and their life insurance underwriting guidelines.
Life insurance rates are fixed by law. You don’t save any $$ going direct. You just add a ton of hassle on your part and have nobody representing you.
Step 3 IMPORTANT (often skipped by lazy brokers or those working in call centers)
Your independent agent will reach out directly to underwriters at multiple life insurance carriers. The companies chosen initially will be based on your agent’s knowledge of the industry. The ones most likely to respond favorably to your unique situation. This is especially important in high-risk cases.
These will be anonymous applications to test the waters. This is considered a “pre-approval”.
Discuss options with your independent broker. Submit an application at the insurer of your choice that returned the best initial decision.
Decision – If nothing else turns up in the medical records or on the medical exam, you are approved. If something comes back unfavorably, your broker will discuss options with you.
Depending on the result, you can accept the lower health class or it might be a good idea to look at the next best company based on the initial review.
If you are serious about finding affordable life insurance with high epilepsy and seizures, we can help.
There is NO reason to go it alone vs the big insurance companies.
The secret to finding the best coverage is:
- Knowing all the insurance carriers underwriting guidelines, inside and out.
- Working directly with the underwriters.
We know EXACTLY how to do this. We can help if you are ready. There is NO cost to use our service. Life insurance is our only business so we know it well.
We welcome the opportunity to have a no pressure chat about your options.
I hope your day is going well.