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Can I Get Life Insurance After a Stroke?

Jan 24, 2023 | Insurance, Life Insurance

Strokes can happen at any time, at any age, and for any reason. If you’re considering life insurance for stroke victims, whether for yourself or a loved one, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how this ailment affects your life insurance premiums and what to expect during the application process. 

What Causes Strokes?

Strokes primarily occur when a blood clot limits nutrients and oxygen to sections of the brain. As a result, the affected brain cells die, affecting mobility, speech, and cognition. Depending on the extent of damage, the stroke can cause temporary or permanent ailments or death. 

Numerous factors affect whether you’re at risk for a stroke, from genetics to lifestyle. For instance, some common risk factors include your family medical history. If you have one or more relatives that suffer from strokes or stroke-inducing elements, you are at a higher risk. A family history of strokes may mean you have high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure caused by low potassium, stress, or other agents. 

Outside of family illnesses, you may be at higher risk of having a stroke for the following reasons:

  • You’re 55 years of age and up (patients usually consist of those over 60)
  • You’re a heavy tobacco user 
  • You drink heavily or frequently
  • You have a history of strokes
  • You have heart or artery disease
  • You’re overweight or obese

Yes, Stroke Victims Can Secure Life Insurance Policies

We can help you get you covered.

Does a Stroke Affect Insurance Eligibility?

Life insurance companies may charge higher premiums for high risk applicants because more risk translates to a higher chance the insurance company will have to pay out your policy. Even with a claim, your provider may want to avoid providing funds or covering expenses. Therefore, it’s best to apply for life insurance when in optimal health, but if you’re looking for life insurance for stroke patients, you’re probably wondering about your options and requirements. 

The good news is all Canadian residents have some form of insurance available to them post-stroke. However, certain factors affect the type of insurance available to you and from which insurance companies. 

Recovery Period

Since strokes are severe health events, many view them as wake-up calls to purchase life insurance. Still, applying for a claim immediately after your stroke limits your chances of obtaining quality coverage. That’s because 25% of all stroke patients are susceptible to at least one other stroke within their lifetime, especially within the years closely following the first, which may lead to further impairments or death. 

If you apply for life insurance as soon as one year from the original stroke date, it is advised that you choose between guaranteed life insurance and no medical life insurance. Guaranteed life insurance means the company cannot reject your application despite your condition. When applying for no medical, you will have to answer questions without undergoing a medical examination. You will have a higher chance of approval but will have high premiums for around $50,000 or less in coverage. An excellent way to navigate your options for guaranteed issue life insurance, even for stroke victims, is to use an online quoter such as this one. It asks all the same questions as an insurance agent would, and even allows you to assess your personal finances to determine the level of coverage which will be suitable for you.

Unlike guaranteed life insurance, which is whole life insurance, no medical life insurance is term life insurance that comes with high premiums and lower-than-average payouts. 

Life insurance for stroke survivors is more widely available for those with a recovery period of two or more years. Simplified life insurance is a popular choice if you’re not considering traditional insurance since a maximum of $1 million coverage is available with limited medical questioning. You may also receive immediate coverage from certain carriers like Canada Protection Plan.

Stroke Type

The type of stroke you have also affects your coverage plan since a mini-stroke or Transient ischemic attack leaves you with temporary ailments, and a full stroke or Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) usually results in permanent damages. If the insurance companies expect you to recover fully, they’re more willing to provide a claim, so it’s vital to understand your stroke type.

Ischemic, hemorrhagic, and atherosclerosis strokes are all CVA strokes, but transient ischemic attacks are recoverable mini-strokes. 

  • Ischemic strokes originate from artery blood clots, rarely occurring in the veins, and are the most common type of stroke: 87% of stroke victims suffer ischemic strokes. A transient ischemic attack lasts a few minutes and may have minimal symptoms like slurred speech, vision impairments, and weakness or numbness on one body side. These mini-strokes can lead to a future stroke if no medical help or lifestyle changes occur
  • Hemorrhagic strokes are more severe, with only about 66% of stroke victims surviving the first three years after infliction. In a hemorrhagic stroke, one or more blood vessels rupture, causing blood to overflow onto surrounding tissues. This extra blood in the brain is more likely to cause permanent damage and death.
  • Atherosclerosis strokes, like ischemic strokes, happen when an artery buildup affects blood flow. However, rather than creating a clot, it narrows the passageway due to high cholesterol and fat levels. This type of stroke is avoidable with dietary alterations and regular monitoring of buildup. 

Age and Number of Strokes

Canadians over 55 are more susceptible to strokes, so if you have a stroke before that age, the insurance companies will look at you as a high-risk patient as you are susceptible to having more strokes as you age. If you’re under 55, insurance companies typically classify you as a low-risk patient.

Similarly, if you’ve had one stroke, you’ll have more insurance opportunities available than someone who has had multiple. 

Types of Life Insurance Policies for Stroke Survivors

While life insurance companies tend to limit eligibility statuses, life insurance for stroke patients closely resembles policies available to all Canadians. These insurance policy types include term, whole, and universal life insurance, as well as critical illness insurance for those suffering from strokes or other illnesses. 

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is temporary life insurance typically active for one to three decades, depending on your coverage type or preference. While it’s the simple choice for those on a budget since monthly premiums are lower, premiums vary depending on the coverage duration. Therefore, you’ll pay less for a 10-year policy than a 30-year one. 

However, a beneficiary only receives a payout if the policyholder passes away while the policy is active. If the policy expires before your death, your loved ones won’t get a payout.  

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance, a permanent form of life insurance, remains intact as long as the policyholder is alive and paying monthly premiums. Unlike term life insurance, whole life insurance also offers cash value that the insured can borrow against tax-free during their lifetime. Premium payments increase your cash value, but depending on the level of outstanding loans, the policy provider limits your death benefits.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance for stroke patients is a more flexible form of permanent life insurance. You adjust your premium costs and monthly payment dates as you deem fit as long as you have funds in your account. 

This adjustable life insurance also lets you choose the level of death benefits your family will receive upon your death. You can choose to reduce benefits in exchange for smaller monthly premiums or increase it for more coverage. However, you’ll probably need to undergo medical examinations before submitting your insurance change requests. 

Critical Illness Insurance

Critical illness insurance works like life insurance, but instead of paying out for your loved ones after your death, it pays out after you undergo life-threatening ailments. If you’ve had a previous stroke, this coverage will protect you if you have another. It’s also a sensible choice if you’re planning for the future, especially if you have a family history of strokes. 

Critical illness insurance protects you from more than just strokes. While you should examine and compare coverage types since each company’s list of life-altering events may vary across policies, most provide coverage for strokes alongside the following:

  • Cancer
  • Heart attacks
  • Organ transplants
  • Paralysis
  • Renal failure 

Still, critical illness insurance is not a substitute for life insurance and works best when combined with a life insurance policy. Some insurance providers offer this add-on, but not all, so determine your demands and shop for the policy that fits your needs. 

What Are Some Questions to Expect When You Apply for Life Insurance After a Stroke?

As part of your application process, your insurance company asks questions to better understand your situation and risk level. Some questions to prepare for include:

  • What scans or studies did your medical professional conduct? 
  • What symptoms did you have during your stroke? 
  • From what stroke type did you suffer?
  • Do you or your family have a history of strokes?
  • Do you have any stroke-inducing habits?
  • What medication did your doctor prescribe?

Can an Insurance Company Still Deny Your Application?

Unfortunately, if you’re a high-risk stroke survivor, your insurance provider may offer you high monthly premiums or deny your application altogether. Consider a high risk life insurance policy that can still provide coverage but at a higher cost. 

You may also have a denied application if you didn’t answer all questions or provide information fully or truthfully, but sometimes clarification or resubmittal help. 

Want to Know More About Life Insurance and Pre-Existing Conditions?

Read on here.

Alliance Income Can Help You Secure Life Insurance After a Stroke

Should the unexpected occur, from a critical illness to death, your family may struggle to make ends meet. The team at Alliance Income uses an aggregator fintech method to search for the best insurance rates possible for all potential policyholders despite their condition or risk factor. Simply fill out our quote form and compare life insurance quotes from top providers in Canada. If you have questions about how your stroke or medical condition may impact your application, contact one of our insurance brokers.

For an abundance of market insurance products and straightforward financial services, fill out our life insurance quote form at Alliance Income Services Corporation. Receive life insurance for stroke patients by starting with a free quote today! We look forward to working with you.

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