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Life Insurance With Epilepsy: What Are Your Best Options?

Jan 18, 2023 | Insurance, Life Insurance

If you have epilepsy, you might wonder: “Can I get life insurance with epilepsy?” While seizure disorders have many effective treatment methods, they have no cure. Therefore, many insurance companies will charge higher premiums for people with epilepsy. You might struggle to find a life insurance policy that fits your budget and unique needs. As your questions about life insurance options pile higher, you might even want to put your search off or avoid it altogether. 

You can find affordable life insurance, even with an epilepsy diagnosis. Life insurance offers crucial peace of mind for you and your loved ones in the event of a premature death. Without life insurance, an unexpected passing can result in unmanageable expenses and struggles for your family, making the grieving process more difficult. When you purchase a life insurance policy, you save your family from this stress. Besides, your search does not need to include a gauntlet of obstacles. 

Many people with epilepsy qualify for excellent policies when they understand how insurance companies rate them. At Alliance Income Services, we have the tools and information you need to navigate the process more easily.

How Does Epilepsy Affect Your Health?

Also known as seizure disorder, epilepsy affects nearly 50 million people around the globe and according to the Canadian League Against Epilepsy, 300,000 of those people are in Canada. People with epilepsy experience repeating disruptions in neurological activities and symptoms, including unconsciousness and convulsions lasting up to two minutes.

Types of Seizures

Four different types of seizures may occur during an epileptic episode.

  • Grand mal seizures: Also referred to as tonic-clonic seizures, grand mal seizures have a more physical manifestation. Their symptoms include an unconscious state and can last longer than two minutes. 
  • Petit mal seizures: Sometimes called absent seizures, petit mal seizures occur rarely and commonly last around 15 seconds. They typically present as brief unresponsiveness from abnormal activity in the brain. 
  • Focal onset awareness seizures: These seizures affect one side of your brain and last up to two minutes. You generally remain aware of your surroundings. 
  • Focal onset impaired awareness seizures: Like focal onset awareness seizures, focal onset impaired awareness seizures affect one side of your brain. However, you will not stay conscious during their duration. 

Types of Epilepsy

The four types of epilepsy include unknown, focal, generalized, and combination. 

  • If you have unknown epilepsy, your doctor can’t find what caused it. As a more severe type of epilepsy, unknown epilepsy can cause long-lasting tonic-clonic seizures and non-motor symptoms like an inability to move.  
  • Focal epilepsy causes seizures that disturb only one part of the brain. It manifests in either focal onset impaired awareness seizures or focal onset awareness seizures. You may experience symptoms like prodromal auras that signify an oncoming seizure.
  • When you have generalized epilepsy, your entire brain feels the effects of a seizure. Your seizures may induce twitching movements or a complete inability to move. 
  • Combination epilepsy consists of aspects from generalized and focal epilepsy. Frequently misdiagnosed, this rare condition is associated with Dravet syndrome.

Epilepsy may occur as a result of genetic factors. If you have a family history of seizures, you are more at risk of inheriting the condition. Strokes or head injuries can also cause an epileptic condition to develop.

Some diseases, such as meningitis, put you at higher risk of epilepsy. The type of seizure and what may have caused it will play an important role in the life insurance for which you qualify. 

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What Do Insurance Companies Want to Know About Your Epilepsy?

If you have epilepsy, you’re probably wondering, “Can I get life insurance with epilepsy?” The answer is yes.

When shopping for life insurance, you should start by understanding what insurance providers want to know about your condition. Like any chronic health condition, epilepsy carries a higher risk of death for those who struggle with it. Therefore, insurance companies may charge higher premiums, which are the monthly or yearly payments you make to the insurance provider for your insurance policy. 

Insurance providers will want to know the following information after receiving your application:

  • What type of seizures do you have? Different seizure types carry varying risks. For example, grand mal seizures can cause you to lose consciousness. This puts you in more danger of hitting your head or getting in a car wreck when one happens, so you might have a higher insurance premium.
  • What caused your epilepsy? For example, strokes often cause epilepsy in adults over 30. They can also precede other major health conditions like heart disease. If you had a stroke that resulted in epilepsy, you could have a greater risk of diseases related to strokes. 
  • At what age were you diagnosed? Older age often precipitates other kinds of neurological conditions. Some of these ailments may worsen epilepsy or affect your current treatment method. 
  • How often do your seizures surface? If your seizures occur frequently, your risk of accidents and other medically significant events may increase. 
  • Do your seizures cause loss of consciousness? Unconsciousness can escalate your chances of deadly injuries.
  • Has a healthcare provider diagnosed you with any related conditions? Insurance companies will factor in any other medical condition during your application process. 
  • How do you manage your condition? If you consistently treat your epilepsy with medication and other types of treatment, you may enjoy lower premiums.
  • How well does your treatment plan work? If you don’t have an effective treatment plan in place, you could experience complications related to your condition.
  • Have you ever gone to the hospital as a result of your seizures? Intense, long-lasting seizures can hospitalize you, affecting your daily life. Your risk factors for premature death increase because of this. 
  • How long do your seizures last? The longer an episode lasts, the more likely an accident can happen during a seizure. 

Try answering the questions above for yourself. This will give you a more detailed perspective of the policies you’ll qualify for while narrowing your search. 

In addition to these answers, insurance providers also consider several other factors when writing coverage, such as:

How Do You Search for Life Insurance for Epilepsy Patients?

If you answered the above questions and are ready to explore your options for life insurance with epilepsy, explore online tools to narrow down your search results. While you found answers to questions like “Can I get life insurance with epilepsy?”, you can also find answers about life insurance policies for which you may qualify.

Ultimately, your results will depend on the severity of your epilepsy, its cause, and how long you have had your diagnosis. Insurance companies will also consider other factors like your lifestyle and habits. Speak with your doctor about long-term changes to your routine that may improve your condition. When you stabilize or improve epilepsy, your insurance options will increase over time. 

Explore Your Options for Life Insurance with Epilepsy Using an Online Quoter

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What Types of Life Insurance Policies Can You Get?

Insurance providers offer two common types of life insurance: no-medical and traditional. No-medical refers to policies with easy application processes and no required medical evaluations. Traditional or underwritten life insurance consists of policies with a complex application process usually requiring a medical evaluation. 

If you have a more serious type of epilepsy, you may find obtaining a no-medical life insurance policy easier. While these policies offer lenient and broad acceptance, they have more limited coverage with expensive premiums.

If you have a milder case, you may qualify for traditional life insurance. The in-depth application process requires medical examinations and reports on your health history. However, the premiums cost less, and the coverage provides a higher payout. 

Depending on the severity of your epilepsy, you may have options in each category:

No-medical Guaranteed Life Insurance

Guaranteed life insurance policies offer insurance for people with high-risk cases of epilepsy. With no required medical evaluation, these policies are accessible for people who have trouble managing their condition. A healthcare provider may consider your diagnosis a high-risk case if your seizures last several minutes, occur frequently, or have no known cause. 

You may also have a high-risk case if you remain unconscious or go to the hospital as a result of seizures. Consistent grand mal seizures from unknown epilepsy fall into this category. If you haven’t found an effective treatment for your condition, you may qualify for a guaranteed policy. 

Guaranteed policies have their negative aspects, however. Your payout will only average $50,000 with expensive monthly payments. This will typically cover any funeral expenses a premature death incurs. Despite the cost, a guaranteed policy still offers some coverage for your family in the event of your premature passing. 

No-medical Simplified Life Insurance

Even if you don’t have severe epilepsy, you might find it difficult to qualify for traditional policies and ask, “Can I get life insurance with epilepsy?” This often happens to people with moderate conditions. A simplified policy offers a decent middle ground in such situations. 

Like other no-medical policies, it doesn’t require a medical exam. You also benefit from lower rates than a guaranteed policy with a payout that generally caps at $500,000. Consider a simplified life insurance policy if you have frequent but predictable seizures. If you have a history of severe seizures with effective medical treatment, this may also provide a good option for your needs. 

Traditional Rated Policies 

Rated policies can combine attributes of no-medical and traditional or underwritten policies. While many insurance companies require a medical evaluation, some providers won’t. Even though rated policies fall under the traditional category, they still tend to cost more than the average traditional policy. They offer a bigger payout than no-medical, with up to $300,000 in coverage. Therefore, people with moderate to mild epilepsy usually seek a rated policy.

If you have lower risks associated with your epileptic condition, you could qualify for a rated policy. This will cover funeral expenses and your family’s lifestyle in the event you pass away. 

Traditional Standard Life Insurance 

While standard policies almost always require a health exam from your healthcare provider, they sometimes don’t in certain circumstances. You’ll pay lower monthly premiums than the above options. Plus, you will have coverage up to $300,000,000. 

If you manage your epilepsy well and have had few seizures since your diagnosis, you may qualify for this type of life insurance. Rated policies provide good fits for individuals with a generally clean bill of health.

How Much Are Life Insurance Premiums for People with Epilepsy?

An epilepsy diagnosis will likely mean higher monthly premiums, but other factors affect your payments, including: 

  • Your age
  • Your overall health outside of epilepsy 
  • Any substances you use, like alcohol or tobacco

While you can’t easily estimate a rate without getting quotes, you can get a general idea about how your current condition will factor into your premium. If you generally have good health with a mild epileptic condition, your rates could stay standard. 

An Epilepsy Diagnosis Won’t Affect Your Existing Life Insurance

If you receive an epilepsy diagnosis after you’ve purchased a life insurance policy, your provider cannot drop you or raise your rates. If your life insurance is active through your group benefits provider however, it’s wise to take out a separate policy in the event you leave your current employer. You may also want to switch to a policy with more coverage. In this instance, your provider will include your condition in the underwriting. Therefore, epilepsy will affect your rates. 

Related Article

Read more about the key facts of understanding life insurance with pre-existing conditions.

Compare Life Insurance Quotes from Top Canadian Insurance Providers

At Alliance Income Services, we provide a way for you to find solid answers and compare your insurance options. While no one wants to think about premature death, doing so demonstrates forward thinking and loving planning. No matter how severe your condition, you’ll find what you need to give your family peace of mind in all circumstances. 

You asked, “Can I get life insurance with epilepsy?” We answer, “Yes, you can!” Fill out our simple quote form to discover policies that fit your budget. Shop around with us to find insurance options with fewer limits. Prefer to speak to a licensed insurance advisor? We can do that, too. We look forward to working with you.

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