Life Insurance and Multiple Sclerosis

Life Insurance Multiple Sclerosis: Background
Can You Get Life Insurance if You Have Multiple Sclerosis?
Does Life Insurance Cover Multiple Sclerosis?
Does Multiple Sclerosis Increase Life Insurance Costs?
Life Insurance Rates for Different Multiple Sclerosis Types
What Life Insurance Types Can You Get with Multiple Sclerosis?
What are the Best Life Insurance Companies for People with Multiple Sclerosis in Canada?

Life Insurance and Multiple Sclerosis: Background

Currently, more than 2.8 million people worldwide suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS). Sadly, the number of cases has been on rise around the world since 2013, with Canada having one of the highest rates across the globe.

Currently in Canada:

  • 90,000 people are living with MS
  • 4,377 new cases are diagnosed each year
  • 75% of people with MS are women
  • 43 is the average age of an MS diagnosis

Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. MS can cause numbness, weakness, vision problems and difficulty with bowel and bladder function. This disease is progressive and can lead to paralysis. All of this poses a significant risk to life insurers who issue life insurance policies for people with multiple sclerosis.

This article provides a look at the key topics related to multiple sclerosis and life insurance.

Can You Get Life Insurance if You Have Multiple Sclerosis?

The answer is yes. Getting life insurance with multiple sclerosis possible. However, it will depend on the severity of your condition and time elapsed since diagnosis. Policies that are issued in these situations are usually more expensive than the ones with standard premiums.

Most cases will require an Attending Physician’s Statement (APS). Life insurance underwriters will consider a number of factors such as:

  • Your age
  • Definite or possible diagnosis
  • Current symptoms
  • Expanded Disability Status Scale – EDSS
  • Frequency of crisis
  • Date of last attack
  • Duration of remission
  • Treatment (type, dosage)
  • Any limitation of activities

Even if you can’t be approved for a traditional life insurance policy, you always have an alternative option. No medical life insurance policies are an option for many with MS.

There are two options for you to consider: guaranteed issue insurance policies and simplified issue insurance policies. Neither of them requires a medical exam. Note, however, that a guaranteed issue policy is quite expensive, comes with a low coverage cap and does not pay out for any death other than an accident during the first two policy years.

Does Life Insurance Cover Multiple Sclerosis?

If you already have a traditional life insurance policy and you are worried that you are at risk of developing multiple sclerosis in future, it will not affect the cost or coverage of your policy in any way! Your policy will cover your condition. Insurance company have no right to cancel your policy once you are diagnosed, as long as you already have a policy in place.

This is the reason to think about a getting life insurance policy as soon as possible. It is always more affordable and accessible to get a policy while you are young and healthy. So, lock in a good long-term or permanent rate now!

Does Multiple Sclerosis Increase Life Insurance Costs?

Because multiple sclerosis is an important indicator of your potential future health problems, your insurance premiums will depend on how long you have had this diagnosis. The further back multiple sclerosis was diagnosed, the higher your risk for serious health problems or even death. In this case, there is a substantial life insurance risk, resulting in increased life insurance rates.

Life Insurance Rates for Different Multiple Sclerosis Types

Here are a few examples of multiple sclerosis life insurance underwriting as seen with several Canadian insurance companies.

Insurer APricing and policy type depend on severity and date of onset.Rating >150%
(i.e. 150% of standard rates)
Insurer BPricing and policy type depend on a number of factors, including: active stage of the disease, degree of impairment and duration of remission.Standard or ratedDecline
Insurer CPricing and policy type depend on the severity and time elapsed since diagnosis. As severe, considered: > 10 years since diagnosis.Standard to +150%+250% to Decline
Insurer DCases that are accepted will usually be rated.Possible high ratingDecline

What Life Insurance Types Can You Get with Multiple Sclerosis?

The table below gives a brief overview of the types of life insurance policies you can get with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

Insurance TypeMedical
to Know
1. Traditional, Medically Underwritten Life Insurance with PREFERRED RATESYesYesNo$5,000,000+Cannot apply
2. Traditional, Medically Underwritten Life Insurance with STANDARD RATESYesYesNo$5,000,000+Possible with mild cases
3. Traditional, Medically Underwritten Life Insurance WITHOUT A MEDICAL EXAMNoYesNo$5,000,000+ Cannot apply
4. Traditional, Medically Underwritten RATED Life InsuranceYesYesNo$5,000,000+Yes, the most likely scenario for people with mild cases with potential rating of 150% to 250%.
5. Simplified Issue Life Insurance NoNoYes$1,000,000Yes, can typically qualify for this insurance. Questionnaires will vary across providers.
6. Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance NoNoNo$25,000Yes, you can always qualify for this one.

Working with a broker will help you find the best plan for multiple sclerosis and life insurance. A broker not only helps with the preliminary insurance inquiry, they can also email the underwriter to check on the possibility of a rating or decline before the application process gets underway. Brokers match applicants with the policies they will most likely qualify for, within their budget. When you choose a broker, they do the research and inquiries for you. Brokers are free to use; clients only pay for the cost of the policy. The insurance company selected compensates the broker.

What are the Best Life Insurance Companies for People withMultiple Sclerosis in Canada?

Start by considering your avenues for purchasing insurance. You can buy directly from an insurer, work with an agent or broker or use your work or association’s group benefit plan.

All Canadian insurers will have options, including: ManulifeSSQ Life InsuranceEmpire LifeCanada LifeAssumption Life and more.

We recommend working with an experienced life insurance broker who has access to all the best life insurance policies on the market and will compare application criteria across a wide variety of insurance companies to get you the best rate and coverage.

Our experienced life insurance brokers are happy to help. To get started, complete the quote request on the right side of your screen.

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