Life Insurance for Stroke Victims

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Written by
Bob Phillips
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Stroke victims who are in the market for life insurance may be wondering if they’re even eligible for life insurance coverage, and if it is, how costly it will be. The insurance world can be a confusing place with its unfamiliar terminology and medical language.  We’ve conducted thorough research and gathered our findings here to help you get life insurance that will best fill your needs.

The data we collected on life insurance for stroke victims can help you make a more informed decision about which type of life insurance to purchase. We’ve looked into the ins and outs about life insurance and how it works for stroke victims.

Medical advancements and a better knowledge of the condition has altered life insurance for stroke victims. We will provide you with information about the various types of life insurance, how to qualify for life insurance, coverage, life insurance options, what to do if your application for coverage was declined, and more. This valuable information  should help you find and purchase life insurance that is best for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Life insurance is available for stroke victims

  • The life insurance underwriting process for stroke victims might be lengthier and more complicated

  • Life insurance rates are typically higher for stroke victims

Can Stroke Victims Get Life Insurance?

Yes, they can. Stroke victims can get life insurance, even though it will almost certainly come with higher rates than average.

Stroke victims weren’t always able to get life insurance. Before medical advancements and greater knowledge of stroke victims changed the insurance industry’s viewpoint on this condition, stroke victims were often denied life insurance coverage. Nowadays, many top insurance providers provide whole life insurance, along with term life, for stroke victims.

It’s a positive note that life insurance options are now open to stroke victims, but not all life insurance providers will offer it. But, there are numerous insurance providers that do offer policies for stroke victims. So, if you need life insurance and have a history of strokes, you can get coverage. Your premiums might be higher, but you’ll be able to get the life insurance you need..

Important: Life insurance for stroke victims is available, though the coverage might be limited and potentially more expensive.

How Is Life Insurance Affected For Stroke Victims

Stroke victims may find that traditional life insurance is not available to them. But, there are providers that have specialized coverage and will issue life insurance to stroke victims, especially if their condition is well managed. Stroke victims who can’t get traditional life insurance may also meet the requirements for group life insurance, or guaranteed issue.

Anyone looking for life insurance may find information about it helpful. The research itself can be a little time consuming, but the security of having a life insurance policy is invaluable. Stroke victims who are diagnosed after purchasing life insurance, can’t have their policy canceled. In fact, there are only two reasons a life insurance company can cancel a policy:

  • Failure to pay premiums
  • Fraudulent statements made on your insurance application

Also, an insurance provider can’t raise premiums of stroke victims after coverage was initiated.

Important: A life insurance policy can’t be rescinded or have the rates raised if you’re diagnosed with stroke victims after the policy has been issued.

Life Insurance Underwriting Process For stroke victims

Stroke victims might discover that buying life insurance isn’t that easy. It could be helpful to gain some knowledge of the underwriting process. Here are three factors that will be considered in the underwriting process:

  1. Whether the person is cognitively and physically able to care for himself or herself
  2. Life expectancy
  3. Health assessment, including any pre-existing conditions you might have that accompany the primary diagnosis of stroke victims

Stroke victims sometimes have other health problems that accompany their condition.

What Do Life Insurance Companies Consider With Stroke Victims?

Insurability for stroke victims entails multiple facets.

For example, underwriters will look at other health problems that an applicant might have. They’ll review the cognitive function of the applicant, too. Another important point will be what kind of medication stroke victims are taking, if any.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US, so this will affect underwriting and rates. Insurance companies will want to know what type of stroke you had, along with how many strokes and how long it has been since you had one. Your lifestyle will play a large part in underwriting, as well. For instance, whether you smoke or drink alcohol, are overweight, have a hazardous occupation or hobby, and other things.

Best Type Of Life Insurance For Stroke Victims

Stroke victims have choices for life insurance coverage. There are providers that will decline to insure you, but others that will approve your application.

Below are five types of life insurance that offer alternatives to standard life insurance for stroke victims:

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance offers coverage for a specified period of time, typically ten to twenty-five years. It is less costly than whole life, and might be a better choice for stroke victims. If you want to purchase a large sum of coverage at a lesser cost, term life may be your wisest choice.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance provides life insurance coverage for a lifetime. Unlike term life insurance, it doesn’t end after a specified period of time. A selling point of whole life insurance is that it accrues a cash value over time, and death benefits are guaranteed. Whole life insurance has higher rates than term life, more so for stroke victims.

Group Life Insurance

Group life insurance is a great option if you can get it. It’s normally offered through an employer or other group. If you have access to group life insurance, there is no complicated application or physical exam, making it a potential winner for stroke victims.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Stroke victims don’t need to worry about being excluded by every insurance company. Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance really is guaranteed. Regardless of your health problems, Guaranteed Issue life insurance will ensure you. The rates are high and coverage fairly low, but it is an alternative for stroke victims that have been denied insurance elsewhere.

Final Expense Life Insurance

Final Expense Life Insurance is for final, end of life expenses like funeral or burial costs and more. It will usually have less stringent underwriting than standard life insurance. For stroke victims, this could be an attractive option.

Tip: Living benefit riders can also be a lifeline for individuals living with stroke victims. These optional additions to your policy can allow you to access a portion of your death benefit while still alive to help cover treatment expenses.

How Stroke Victims Can Buy Life Insurance

Below are four tips to help stroke victims buy life insurance:

Research Your Options

To begin, research various types of life insurance to get an idea which might be the best choice for you. Some companies will deny coverage to stroke victims, but others are more lenient. Eliminate the companies that won’t issue a policy, and then narrow your choices down to about three that will.


Understand the Underwriting Process

Applications for insurance will ask questions about your health and medical history. You should understand that the  underwriting is going to be more intensive for stroke victims. The policy may also be more expensive than traditional life insurance.


Consider Employer or Group Coverage

If you can get in on group life insurance through an employer or other organization, go for it. This type of  policy offers coverage no matter what health conditions you may have, making it a good choice for stroke victims.


Apply for Coverage

When you have narrowed your choices down to one main company, it’s time to submit an application for coverage. This may mean answering health questions, and undergoing a medical exam.


How Much Does Life Insurance Cost For Stroke Victims?

Life insurance is probably going to be significantly higher for stroke victims. Rates may vary a lot from one insurer to the next, so shop around before deciding on a carrier.

Below are some rate examples of 20 year term life insurance for 40 year old male stroke victims. Below the Standard Rate are table rates. Each level lower adds 25% onto the standard rate.

Health Class Rating $250,000.00 $500,000.00 $750,000.00
Standard $39.71 $73.40 $106.09
Table 3 $56.24 $106.19 $156.52
Table 5 $70.75 $134.98 $199.68
Table 7 $85.23 $163.74 $242.83

How Stroke Victims Qualify For Life Insurance

Having a stroke in your medical history won’t prevent you from getting life insurance. However, the details of your stroke history will make a big difference on the type of life insurance you’re eligible for.

Much will depend on which type of stroke you suffered, your level of recovery, your lifestyle, whether or not you’re seeing a doctor regularly for check-ups, what type of medication you’re taking, and more.

Can Insurance Companies Deny Coverage To Stroke Victims?

Yes, some insurers might decide to decline coverage for stroke victims. You can find coverage, but you should know in advance that you’ll probably have to pay higher  rates.

Sadly, strokes tend to repeat themselves. More than one-in-four stroke victims will have a second incident at some point in life. The risk of a stroke within five years of the first occurrence is about 40% higher than average.

You need to have an understanding of how life insurance carriers view these things, and wait at least six months to a year after having a stroke before applying for coverage. The reason for this delay is that some carriers won’t consider your application for three months to a year after a stroke. This is referred to as a postponement.

The more time that elapses, the better for your rates and chances of being issued coverage. After one year, your options will broaden considerably in terms of companies you can apply to.

What Will Insurers Ask About Your Condition?

Here are some questions you’re likely to be asked by an underwriter if you make an application for life insurance:

  • Was this your first stroke? If not, when were any others?
  • Was your stroke diagnosed as a mini-stroke (TIA) or s full stroke (CVA)?
  • Your age at the time of stroke
  • Was your stroke diagnosed as a mini-stroke (TIA) or s full stroke (CVA)?
  • What studies were conducted? (MRI, EKG, Carotid Ultrasound, CT Scan, etc.)
  • Date of stroke
  • Describe symptoms at the time of your stroke
  • Did your symptoms linger after the stroke? If so, which ones?
  • For CVA: Was the cause Lacunar, Atherosclerotic, thrombotic, or Cardioembolic?
  • Family history of strokes?
  • Medications you’re taking
  • A diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CVD), diabetes, cardiac disease, or peripheral vascular disease (PVD)?
  • Previous or current use of tobacco

Life Insurance Options For Stroke Victims That Have Been Denied Coverage –

For stroke victims, a graded death benefit policy could be a viable alternative to traditional life insurance. Its benefit increases over time, so the longer you have it, the greater its value.

Group insurance is probably one of the most desirable alternatives for anyone denied standard life insurance coverage. In most cases, there is no complicated application or  medical examination, and best of all, pre-existing conditions are not excluded from coverage.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance is another alternative if you’ve been declined for traditional coverage, since it’s guaranteed to be issued. However, it is accompanied by an increased premium along with a smaller amount of coverage. This means it may not be a first choice for stroke victims.

Important: Guaranteed issue policies are an excellent option if other companies have denied your application for whole, universal, or term life insurance policies.

Tips For Choosing The Right Policy

For stroke victims, choosing a life insurance policy is a pretty big step. Below are some handy tips to help expedite your search:

Here Are 3 Tips To Make Your Search Easier:

  1. Know Your Needs: Knowing how much life insurance you need is important. You don’t need to be over-insured, but you don’t want to be under-insured either. If you’re unclear on how to go about deciding on the right amount of coverage, it might not be a bad idea to meet with an agent who is familiar with life insurance, and can help you calculate your needs.
  2. Explore Policy Types: For stroke victims, a graded death benefit or guaranteed issue policy might be just the thing for your insurance needs. These types of life insurance are geared especially for people with a critical illness.
  3. Use Specialized Services: A specialized service like Insuranceopedia, that gathers quotes from various providers and lets you compare rates, can be helpful in searching out the best life insurance for stroke victims.

Information About Stroke Victims

A stroke is a medical emergency that takes place when the blood flow to your brain is blocked, or there’s sudden bleeding in the brain. A stroke may have long term effects on your health. While it won’t disqualify you from purchasing life insurance, it can dictate your eligibility and options for life insurance.

When you make an application for life insurance, you’ll be asked questions about your health history. If you’ve had a stroke, this will mean sharing details about its severity and any complications or treatment you’ve had as a result.

These are the two types of strokes:

TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack)

Often referred to as mini-stroke, a TIA, or Transient Ischemic Attack is the result of a brief blockage of an artery. Neurological activity is temporarily impaired. The symptoms of a TIA might include dizziness, speech impairments, blurred vision, and generalized weakness.

Since there is no permanent damage from a TIA,  your medical records are made up of observations instead of actual tests. While much less serious than a full fledged stroke, a TIA is still a risk because it may be a precursor to a full CVA at some point.

If you’ve had a TIA, you can usually get better rates than someone who experienced a CVA, or full stroke..

CVA (Cerebrovascular Accident)

A CVA, or full stroke, occurs when one or more blood vessels in your brain are ruptured or blocked. It may lead to permanent brain damage, to varying degrees of severity. Insurance underwriters see this as a substantial risk and will adjust health ratings accordingly.

A CVA will typically be rated lower, with higher rates, than a TIA.

Insurance providers will evaluate an applicant, then calculate the risk factor to determine whether they’ll take the risk of insuring the person. Usually, this involves an application and a medical exam.

Other Health Conditions

Below are seventeen health conditions that can impact being approved for a life insurance policy:

  • Asthma: Asthma, depending on its severity, might impact your life insurance premiums
  • Heart Disease: Heart disease is a common but serious health condition that might cause denial of life insurance coverage or higher rates
  • Obesity: Being overweight with a high BMI (Body Mass Index) may make your rates higher
  • AIDS: Medical progress has caused many insurance carriers to change their view of writing insurance policies for stroke victims individuals
  • Cancer: Dependent on the type and stage of cancer, it can have a major influence on acceptance or denial of life insurance
  • High Cholesterol: If your cholesterol is over a normal level of  200 over a period of several months, you’ll have an increase in your insurance premiums
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia: These conditions may be accompanied by physical illnesses such as kidney failure, so they can affect insurability
  • Diabetes: Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes will usually cause higher premiums
  • Liver Disease: Fatty liver, cirrhosis of the liver, or other liver diseases will increase the cost of your premiums
  • Kidney Disease: A diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Disease usually means higher premiums
  • Depression: Mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, depression and others may have an impact on insurance rates
  • Lung Disease: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, will typically cause increased premiums
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disease, will lead to higher insurance premiums
  • Substance Use Disorders: A history of drug and/or alcohol abuse will affect your insurance rates
  • Liver Disease: Fatty liver, cirrhosis of the liver, or other liver diseases will increase the cost of your premiums
  • Depression: Mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, depression and others may have an impact on insurance rates
  • Sleep Apnea: This condition may cause your premiums to increase
  • Bipolar
  • Epilepsy
  • High blood pressure
  • Multiple Sclerosis


Do Stroke Victims Qualify For Life Insurance?

Some stroke victims are left with brain damage that would make it impossible for them to take out life insurance. Some are capable of all the requirements, while others aren’t. So, it boils down to the individual and if they’re mentally capable of taking out life insurance.

What Insurance Is Best For Stroke Victims?

For stroke victims who have been declined for traditional life insurance coverage, a Guaranteed Issue policy might be an option.

Are Stroke Victims Classed As Having a Critical Illness In Insurance?

Yes, a stroke is designated a critical illness by insurance companies. There can be a variety of both mental and physical impairments following a stroke, and combined with the probability of having one or more repeat strokes, this makes it a critical illness.

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