Once you’ve experienced a stroke, it’s common to see the world through a different lens.
By nature, we ignore signs of our mortality, until we experience a life-threatening ordeal like a stroke. After such an ordeal, it makes sense to consider life insurance as a way to protect your family.
However, after a stroke, your options for getting approved for life insurance dwindle significantly.
Can I Still Get Life Insurance After Having a Stroke?
You should AVOID applying for life insurance with every company with the goal of getting a reduced rate for life insurance.
With that out of the way, here’s the silver lining; by remaining informed, you can learn the ins and outs of what insurance companies are looking for when it comes to writing policies for stroke survivors. Armed with this information, you can reduce the cost of your life insurance.
The following are questions we will cover so that you can be prepared for your life insurance application:
- Do life insurance companies view you negatively following a stroke?
- What questions will you be asked following a stroke?
- Does the time since your stroke matter when you apply for life insurance?
- Will my age at the time of the stroke impact the insurance application?
- Am I eligible for life insurance after experiencing multiple strokes?
- What’s the cost of life insurance for stroke victims?
- How can I lower the cost of life insurance after experiencing a stroke?
- What life insurance company is best for individuals who’ve had a stroke?
On an even brighter note, strokes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Congratulate yourself for being a survivor!
Never believe you are alone. There are millions of other people who are in the same place.
Likewise, you are not alone when it comes to finding a life insurance policy that fits your situation.
Do Life Insurance Companies View You Negatively Following a Stroke?
Your health is a determining factor in your application for life insurance. As such, life insurance underwriters will consider the type of stroke you had to assess your application.
Mini-Strokes Also Known as Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
If you’ve experienced a TIA, then you had a temporary blockage in an artery. While the blockage was present, your neurological activity was impaired. This impairment may have resulted in dizziness, speech impairments, weakness, and blurred vision.
With no permanent damage to note, medical professionals will document observations they’ve made while they’ve talked to you, instead of conducting tests.
However, a TIA doesn’t mean you are in the clear. To the contrary, a TIA is considered a precursor to a Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA), also known as a full stroke.
Typically, a person who has had a TIA will pay less in life insurance premiums than a person who has experienced a CVA.
Cerebrovascular Accident or Full Stroke
If you’ve experienced a CVA, then one of your blood vessels were blocked, or one may have ruptured. When this happens, you will likely experience permanent brain damage. Once discovered, underwriters will view your stroke as a health risk and rate your life insurance based their assessment.
As a survivor of a CVA, you will be rated lower than other individuals, which means you will pay more for your life insurance than someone who experienced a TIA.
What Questions Will You Be Asked Following a Stroke?
One of the main purposes for the life insurance underwriting department is to determine how much you will pay for your life insurance if your application is approved.
You may be asked any of the following stroke-related questions in addition to typical health questions:
- When did you stroke happen?
- How old were you when you had your stroke?
- Was your stroke a mini-stroke or a full stroke?
- Did your medical professional conduct in studies following your stroke? (CT Scan, MRI, EKG, Carotid Ultrasound, etc.)
- What symptoms did you experience during your stroke?
- Was the cause of your CVA Lacunar, Cardioembolic, or Atherosclerotic/Thrombotic?
- What symptoms remained briefly or permanently following your stroke?
- Do you have a family history of strokes?
- What medications are you taking?
- Have you been diagnosed with hypertension? Diabetes? Coronary Artery Disease? Peripheral Vascular Disease?
- Have you ever used tobacco products?
It’s imperative that you remain honest and upfront while you are being interviewed by your life insurance agent. By being transparent, your independent life insurance agent can begin the process of finding a reputable life insurance company that will cover you.
Does the Time Since Your Stroke Matter When You Apply for Life Insurance?
Timing is everything when it comes to life insurance. And the time that passes since your stroke matters a great deal to underwriters.
Research shows that if you’ve had one stroke, it’s likely that you will suffer another stroke. Twenty-five percent of people who have strokes have a second stroke.
Additionally, odds are 40% of the people who had a stroke will have another stroke within five years.
Although your medical provider reviewed this with you, it’s worth reiterating so that you can understand how your underwriter views your life insurance application.
Based on the numbers:
There are a few life insurance providers who will not consider your application during postponement. A postponement is considered the 3 to 12 month-timespan after you’ve experienced a stroke. Like other health conditions, you’ll find that you have significantly more options once it’s been a year since you’ve experienced your stroke.
It’s important to note, you may be eligible for coverage sooner if you’ve had a TIA compared to if you had a CVA.
Once six years have elapsed, and you haven’t had any complications, you’ll find that many insurance carriers are willing to provide you with life insurance. Even though you will remain a risk, the cost of purchasing insurance is significantly less after six years.
After ten years of good health and lifestyle choices, most carriers will increase your health rates. Few will ding you only slightly. Of course, securing a great premium is predicated on your ability to prove that you’ve been leading a healthy lifestyle and making healthy food choices.
Although getting coverage gets easier over time, don’t delay getting life insurance coverage. Some coverage is always better than no coverage. A plan for a better life includes getting the life insurance coverage you need for your family’s future.
Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that our clients have some sort of life insurance coverage. As time passes, and you become healthier, we will help you get reconsidered for your life insurance.
Filing a reconsideration request or re-shopping you at a later date to multiple insurance companies can result in the same or better coverage at a significantly lower cost.
Will My Age at the Time of the Stroke Impact the Insurance Application?
Underwriters consider the age you were when you experienced a stroke. If you are younger, underwriters may consider this a sign that you may have other life-threatening conditions.
Older adults who are rated higher due to having a stroke later in life may still pay more for their life insurance policy. For one, they are older. And two, they will typically have other medical conditions that negatively affect the rating underwriters give them. Ultimately, it’s better to have a stroke later in life than at an early age when you consider the cost of life insurance.
For some insurance carriers, if you are 55 or 60, you may not be penalized much for having a stroke. However, if you are younger, most underwriters will consider it. Therefore, they will likely rate you lower.
It’s important to bear in mind that this same measure for age will be used to examine your family’s history with strokes. Immediate family members who’ve had strokes early in life will lead to an increase in the cost of your life insurance.
Life insurance is a complicated matter, as such, it’s impossible to examine all the niches and nuances that affect the rate you pay for premiums. With the support of an independent insurance agent, we can help you navigate the maze so that you can get the life insurance that suits your situation.
Am I eligible for Life Insurance After Experiencing Multiple Strokes?
If you’ve experienced multiple CVA, then your best option for coverage may be life insurance that covers final expenses. These are smaller policies that are easier to be approved for.
In the case of having multiple TIAs, you may be able to get coverage with the right carrier. Of course, they will consider:
- How long it’s been since the last stroke.
- How many strokes you’ve had.
- The symptoms that linger after your strokes.
- The underlying cause of your stroke and whether or not it’s been resolved.
In most situations, people who’ve experienced multiple strokes will be declined for life insurance, unless their situation is unique.
What’s the Cost of Life Insurance of Life Insurance for Stroke Victims?
The cost of your life insurance depends on the rating assigned to you by your underwriter. You could get one of sixteen total ratings.
The cost of life insurance for an individual who had a mini-stroke over three years ago with no ongoing symptoms is about $70.74 for a $250,000 policy. Again, everyone’s situation is different and other health conditions are taken into account when rating a life insurance policy.
The below chart shows the health classification you can expect depending on several factors in your stroke history.
|Time Since Stroke||Mini Stroke (TIA)||Full Stroke (CVA)|
|4-6 Months||Table 7-10|
Possible addl postpone
|7-12 months||Table 5-10||Postpone|
|1-5 years (YES, ongoing symptoms)||Table 5-10||Table 6-10
Possible addl postpone
|1-5 years (NO ongoing symptoms)||Table 1-5||Table 4-8|
|6-10 years (YES, ongoing symptoms)||Standard - Table 4||Table 4-10|
|6-10 years (NO ongoing symptoms)||Preferred - Standard||Standard - Table 4|
|10+ years||Preferred - Standard Plus||Standard - Table 2|
How Can I Lower the Cost of Life Insurance After Experiencing a Stroke?
When it comes to lowering the cost of life insurance following a stroke, the lifestyle choices you make will have a positive impact on your rate.
You can do any of the following to reduce the cost of life insurance:
- Quit using tobacco products
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Exercises regularly
- Reduce your intake of saturated fats
- Reduce your blood pressure
It’s important to chart your lifestyle changes because you will need proof for your life insurance application.
What Life Insurance Company Is Best for Individuals Who’ve Had a Stroke?
When you are in the market for life insurance following a stroke, you can’t simply choose the cheapest provider. The following are a few of the leading insurance providers for individuals who’ve experienced a stroke.
It’s important to know that underwriting guidelines can and do change.
- American General
- Principal Financial Group
- North American Company
It’s critical that you understand the process that will help you get insurance following a stroke. You should start by having a broker assist you with your specific situation.
If you are in the market for insurance, we encourage you to reach out to us so we can help you. We understand the marketplace and will work with underwriting to increase your chances of getting the coverage you need for your policy.
I hope this article was helpful. Please reach out with any questions.
Ty Stewart – Ty@simplelifeinsure.com