Life Insurance and Stroke

Life Insurance & Stroke: Background
Can You Get Life Insurance After a Stroke?
Does Life Insurance Cover a Stroke?
How Does a Stroke Affect Life Insurance Rates?
What Life Insurance Types Can You Get After Stroke?
Best Life Insurance for Stroke Survivors

Life Insurance & Stroke: Background

A potentially fatal medical condition, a stroke can occur when the flow of blood to the brain is obstructed or reduced, causing harm and even death. A recently published report by Heart & Stroke in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences revealed a worrisome increase in the occurrence rate of strokes in Canada. The report estimates that approximately one Canadian experiences a stroke every five minutes, with around 108,707 cases recorded each year.

The risk factors for a stroke in Canada include high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, and an unhealthy diet. Certain medical conditions, such as atrial fibrillation, can also increase the risk of a stroke. In older individuals, the cause is usually arteriosclerosis or a blood clot. In younger individuals, the cause is often bleeding from a ruptured saccular aneurysm.

Treatment for stroke may include medications to prevent blood clots, surgery to repair damaged blood vessels, or rehabilitation to help regain lost abilities.

Life insurance policies in Canada typically cover death due to any cause, including strokes. However, the terms and conditions of the policy, as well as the coverage amount, may vary depending on the insurer and the specific policy you choose. Having a history of strokes will typically mean a higher risk for an insurance company and will determine what type of policy – and the amount of coverage – you can obtain.

Let’s shed some light on this topic and take a closer look at qualifying for life insurance after you had a stroke.

Can You Get Life Insurance After a Stroke?

It is indeed possible to obtain life insurance in Canada after a stroke! However, the terms and premiums can differ widely and hinge on several factors. When going through the underwriting process, life insurance companies generally ask for medical information and may require a medical examination.

 Some of the factors influencing the underwriting decision include:

  • Age at time of episode
  • Current age
  • Details of treatment
  • Number of episodes
  • Severity of neurological impairment
  • Cause of the stroke/TIA
  • Current symptoms/extent of neurological deficit
  • Smoking history
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol readings
  • Active lifestyle
  • Any co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary disease, depression, or other concurrent serious impairments

An APS (Attending Physician Statement) and occasionally an ECG (electrocardiogram) or a paramedical exam will be required when considering standard life insurance. It is important to disclose any relevant medical information accurately and honestly when applying for life insurance to ensure that you receive the coverage you need.

The underwriter will look at your medical records and make a determination based on your current situation. Generally, some proposed insureds can be considered after one year on a rated basis. So, if you wonder, “can I get life insurance after a stroke?” – in many cases, the answer is yes!

Does Life Insurance Cover a Stroke?

In Canada, life insurance policies can provide coverage for strokes, but it depends on the specific terms and conditions of the policy. Typically, life insurance policies in Canada offer coverage for death due to natural causes, including strokes, but only if the policyholder has not intentionally concealed any relevant medical information on their application.

There are two types of policies that make it easier for Canadians to get life insurance after a stroke. These policies are designed to help Canadians with pre-conditions get affordable life insurance coverage.

Simplified issue policies have a short medical questionnaire but no medical exam requirements. On the other hand, guaranteed issue policies do not require a medical questionnaire nor a medical exam. Both policies can cover strokes – but it is very important to speak with a broker or insurance professional so you fully understand the coverage and limitations of the policy.

How Does a Stroke Affect Life Insurance Rates?

The cost of life insurance premiums is not fixed and is dependent on various factors such as the policyholder’s age, medical history, lifestyle, and the type of coverage requested. A few Canadian life insurers use the following parameters to calculate life insurance quotes for stroke.

More than 1 strokeWithin 1 year of episodeOthers, after 1 year
Insurer ADeclineDecline with possible reconsideration after one year.Rated 150% (i.e. 1.5 times higher price) to decline.

Younger stroke patients will usually have higher ratings
Insurer BRated (premiums are significantly higher than for a standard life insurance policy) to decline.PostponeRecurrent episodes of stroke, applicant will be declined.
Insurer CUsually declineLife insurance availability after a stroke could be postponed for 6 to 12 months, depending on the stroke’s severity.

Individuals below the age of 50, who are currently smoking, may have their applications rejected.

If otherwise eligible, they will be subjected to an additional rating, which means higher premiums for the same coverage amount.
Considered but with a rating of typically 150%-200% of the standard premium.

What Life Insurance Types Can You Get After Stroke?

Stroke victims can usually obtain some form of life insurance. However, due to the increased risk associated with stroke history, life insurance policies may be more expensive and have more conditions, such as a maximum term, lower coverage amounts, or rated – meaning higher – premiums.

Policy terms and conditions, and the amount of coverage, will determine the amount of life insurance payout for a stroke.

The following chart broadly summarized life insurance payout after a stroke. Remember, however, that each case is different. Working with a broker helps you find a policy tailored to your situation.

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+Most likely cannot apply
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+Can apply, if you had a stroke more than one year ago and there was only one re-occurrence
5. Simplified Issue Life Insurance NoNoYes$1,000,000Yes
6. Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance NoNoNo$25,000Yes

Best Life Insurance for Stroke Survivors

All the major Canadian brands have life insurance options for stroke survivors. The most recognizable insurers include ManulifeSSQ Life InsuranceEmpire LifeCanada LifeAssumption Life, and more.

Collaborating with a broker who has access to 30 or more insurers guarantees that you receive the best policy at the most competitive rate. By surveying the market, comparing various plans, and evaluating approval chances, brokers will secure a policy that best fits your needs. Our skilled brokers have helped many stroke survivors obtain life insurance and can provide you with the same support. Simply complete the quote request to get started. Remember, the right life insurance policy assures your loved ones’ financial safety and stability in the event of your passing. Give them this gift of security and peace of mind today.

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