Epilepsy and seizures are two closely connected medical conditions. Though seizures are a symptom of epilepsy, they also occur from a variety of other disorders.
One question many of those struggling with epilepsy or seizures ask is “how does this affect my life insurance eligibility?” While it’s true this medical condition makes it more difficult to receive low-cost life insurance, it certainly isn’t impossible.
Work with an independent life insurance agent, like us, to find the companies most likely to offer you low premiums for insurance. Depending on the specifics of your condition and your overall health, you might even qualify for a Preferred rate.
Here are the most important things you need to know about life insurance with epilepsy or seizures.
Buying Life Insurance with Epilepsy or Seizures
Epilepsy is among the most common neurological conditions in the world. It sits in 4th place behind migraine, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, roughly 1% of Americans develop epilepsy during their lifetimes. They go on to state between 2.5 million and 3 million people struggle with epilepsy every year.
What’s important to understand is there are several different types and levels of epilepsy. The most common is controlled epilepsy. As the name implies, the related seizures can be controlled with medications, brain surgery, or other treatments.
It’s relatively easy to find quality life insurance with controlled epilepsy. Because the seizures are controlled, it doesn’t reduce your projected lifespan. The key is finding a life insurance company who also understands this.
Refractory epilepsy, on the other hand, isn’t controlled. Medications, brain surgery, and other treatments haven’t been able to prevent seizures. The risk of sudden premature death is very serious.
As you might suspect, it’s very difficult to find traditional life insurance with refractory epilepsy. In fact, finding traditional coverage is all but impossible. Fortunately, we can direct you to several alternatives which don’t even include a medical exam. These include guaranteed issue life insurance.
Another factor to keep in mind is you can reapply for life insurance on a regular basis.
Just because you’re denied coverage at first, doesn’t mean you will be denied coverage several years later. Constant advances in medical treatments and technology means refractory epilepsy might be controllable sometime in the near future.
The Application Process
It’s essential to understand how insurance underwriters think when they review life insurance applications.
The main objective of an underwriter is to assess the risk of each applicant. Most importantly, whether the applicant has a higher-than-normal risk of passing away before their average life expectancy.
As we briefly mentioned above, this is where controlled versus uncontrolled epilepsy comes into the picture. Controlled epilepsy is considered a much lower risk than uncontrolled (or refractory) epilepsy. Because it doesn’t usually reduce your life expectancy, many underwriters accept those with controlled epilepsy.
No matter the specifics of your condition, you can expect your life insurance application to cover several topics. The most important to take note of include:
Overall Health – How is your health aside from your epilepsy or seizures? Good health is necessary to qualify for the best rates.
Diet, Exercise, Lifestyle – A good diet and regular exercise factor bigtime into your overall health. Life insurance underwriter highly value clients who actively work to maintain their health. Not smoking is especially important.
Date of Diagnosis – When was your first seizure? When were you first diagnosed with epilepsy?
Type of Epilepsy – What type of epilepsy do you have? Is it controlled or uncontrolled? What type of seizures do you experience? Are they petit mal, grand mal, simple partial, or complex partial seizures?
Condition History – How many seizures have you had? When was the last one you had? How often do they occur? Have you ever been hospitalized because of a seizure?
Treatments – What are your current treatments for epilepsy or seizures? List the medications you’re taking. Make note of any surgeries or other treatments you’ve received for your condition.
Those who have more serious forms of epilepsy will be outright rejected by traditional life insurance companies. This is a sign it’s time to explore life insurance alternatives.
Common Results You May See
Life insurance results for epilepsy and seizures vary wildly. The rates you receive, and whether you’re accepted at all, depend on the specifics of your situation.
Most of those with controlled epilepsy are eligible for traditional coverage from a life insurance company. If your condition is under control, your last seizure occurred years ago, and your overall health is fantastic, you might even qualify for a Preferred rating.
Much more commonly, however, is a Standard or Sub-Standard rating. More serious suffers can still qualify for traditional coverage but it will be well below the Standard rating. You must expect to pay more for life insurance if your condition is worse.
Some people with serious epilepsy will be denied altogether. These people should look into life insurance alternatives. Guaranteed issue life insurance is an example. These policies don’t require a medical exam. The downsides are much higher premiums and much lower death benefits.
We generally recommend looking at traditional options first. Like we mentioned above, you can also reapply for traditional coverage every few years. If you don’t experience a seizure during that time, you might be eligible for a traditional policy.
What to Do Next
Start your research for life insurance right away. There’s no reason to wait even if you feel hampered by your epilepsy or seizures.
We make the application process much easier. Rather than waste time on companies who will deny you outright, we direct you to those who will actually review your application. Thus, we increase your chances of finding the lowest premiums. While we can’t guarantee it, we often get our clients better results than most other agencies.
No matter the specifics of your epilepsy or seizures, we can help you find the best coverage for your individual situation.