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.
What Insurance Companies Are Looking At
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.
Understanding Insurance Quotes
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.
What Happens if You Are Denied
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.