Most people know that yes, having a stroke does affect your ability to get life insurance. However, many people mistakenly think that this means a stroke victim can’t get life insurance at all. Although it is true that a stroke is a very serious health event, many people who have had them still manage to get insured.
Life insurance is a fundamental investment that everyone should consider making for their family. It’s one of the best ways that you can ensure that your family will have the money that they need, regardless of what happens to you.
When you apply for life insurance protection, the insurance company is going to review dozens of different factors to calculate how much they are going to charge you in monthly rates. One of the most important factors that they are going to review is your health and any pre-existing conditions that you have. If you have a severe health problem, like a stroke, then you’re going to be considered a high-risk application.
This article is going to look at the ways that a stroke is going to impact your life insurance coverage and how much you pay for your protection. Hopefully, this post will answer any questions that you have about strokes and life insurance coverage.
Life insurance providers will be more on their toes if you have had a stroke, but they are far more likely to cover you when you know what to expect and are able to give them all the information they need. We at Chooseterm.com have access to many different insurance carriers, and you should be prepared to answer the following questions so we can help you get the best policy available to you:
1. When was your stroke (or strokes)? Be as specific as possible.
2. What kind of medical examination did you have after your stroke (MRI, CAT scan, Carotid Ultrasound, etc.)?
3. Did you have a regular stroke or a Transient Ischemic Attack (also called a “mini stroke” or “TIA stroke”)?
4. What symptoms did you experience before and during your stroke?
5. Do you now have any lasting effects (neurological disorders, physical disabilities, etc.) resulting from the stroke?
6. Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions (such diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, etc.) as that could increase your risk of having another stroke?
7. What medications are you taking due to your stroke (Aspirin, Anticoagulants, Plavix, Statins, etc.)?
Be as honest as possible when answering these questions. For example, whether you’ve had a regular stroke or a mini stroke can make all the difference in an insurance provider’s decision. If discrepancies are found later on, insurance companies will hesitate to give you a policy, and they could end up denying you coverage.
Term life insurance rates largely depend on which health class you are placed into. These range from Preferred Plus (the best rates) to Substandard (higher rates). The class you are put in is a result of your medical history. Unfortunately, it is impossible for stroke victims of any kind to get Preferred Plus rates, and only in extremely rare cases do people who have had a stroke get Preferred.
If you’ve had a stroke, the best rates you can realistically hope for are in the Standard or Regular class. However, even with this your stroke must have been at least five to six years ago, and you must be healthy and incident free since that time. Now, if it has not been over five years, you will likely be offered Table or Substandard rates. The exact rates will depend on your current state of health and the severity of the stroke. In most cases, you will have to wait at least a year after your stroke to get approved for coverage, but people who have only had a mini stroke without lasting damage may be able to apply within six months.
The following are real-life case studies of stroke victims applying for life insurance:
1. A 47-year-old male non-smoker had a single mini stroke six years earlier. He has had no lasting damage, but is currently taking aspirin regularly as a precaution. It is possible that the mini “TIA” stroke was a misdiagnosis, since his symptoms during the incident were not 100 percent indicative of a stroke. This man was initially offered Standard insurance rates, but after new medical exams showed him to be in perfect health, he applied again and received Preferred rates.
2. A 55-year-old female had a stroke two years earlier and is currently taking medication for high blood pressure. She used to smoke for years but had since quit, and she had also lost a considerable amount of weight since the stroke. This person’s stroke was brought on by an unhealthy lifestyle, which she then changed. With a letter from her doctor, she was able to receive a substandard life insurance rate.
One of the most common reasons that people with a stroke don’t buy life insurance is because they assume that even if they can get life insurance, that it’s going to be too expensive to fit in their budget. In most cases, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are several ways that you can secure better rates from the company and keep more money in your pockets. Making a few simple changes can save you thousands and thousands of dollars every year.
The first thing that you should do is cut out any tobacco that you currently use. If you’re listed as a smoker on your life insurance application, then you can expect to get drastically higher premiums for your plan. In fact, smokers pay at least twice as much for their coverage. As an applicant with a stroke in the past, smoking could cause you to be declined for life insurance.
The next thing that you should do is improve your overall health. Before the insurance company gives you life insurance coverage, they are going to require that you take a medical exam. The results of your exam are going to play a huge role in how much you pay every month for your life insurance. If you want to save money, you need to get better results, it’s as simple as that. The two best ways to do that are to get regular exercise and cut out any extra junk food that you’re eating.
The best way to ensure that you’re getting the lowest rates is to compare dozens and dozens of plans before you decide which one is going to work best for you. Every insurance company is different, and all of them are going to give you different rates depending on their medical underwriting and rating system. Some companies have more experience working with applicants that have had strokes, while other companies are going to charge you premiums through the roof. Finding the perfect company for you is the difference in getting a cheap life insurance plan or one that breaks your bank every month.
There are hundreds and hundreds of companies on the market, which means that you could spend weeks calling different companies to get quotes. Instead of wasting your valuable time, let one of our independent insurance agents do all of that hard work for you. We work with dozens and dozens of highly rated companies across the nation, which means that we can bring a personalized set of quotes directly to you.
The first thing you need to know if you are denied insurance coverage is that it’s not necessarily the end of the road. If possible, you should find out why exactly you were denied, because some situations are fixable. For example, you may just need to wait longer (at least a year) after you’ve had your stroke until you apply again for life insurance, or consider a graded benefit or high risk life insurance policy.
We can help you prepare the best application possible for life insurance. To get started, fill in our request form on this website to start comparing quotes. We are here to work with you to get the best term life insurance rates.
We know that nobody wants to think about his or her death, but you can’t avoid it. Losing a loved one is never going to be simple, but not having life insurance is going to make the situation a thousand times worse. Don’t wait another day to get the life insurance protection that your family deserves.