How to Buy Life Insurance For People Who Have Had A Stroke

Written by Jeff Root

A stroke is when there is a sudden change in the blood supply you have in your brain.

Ischemic strokes, for example, are caused by a sudden blockage in the arteries that lead into your brain. A hemorrhagic stroke is a situation where a blood vessel bursts and bleeds inside of your brain tissue. A transient ischemic attack is a mini-stroke.

After you have a stroke it becomes decidedly more challenging to acquire life insurance. A stroke is considered a serious medical event and as such life insurance companies are cautious about issuing policies after someone has endured so serious a situation.

Now just because you have had a stroke does not mean that you won’t be able to get life insurance coverage at all. The coverage you are able to get and the cost you pay as a result is contingent upon the severity of your stroke and your current level of health.

How To Prepare For Your Life Insurance Application 

Make sure you are visiting your doctor as frequently as recommended for your health condition.  This will show that you are making an effort to keep your condition under control.

You should make your best effort to follow your doctor’s recommendations when it comes to taking your medication and receiving treatment. It is imperative that your medical records are regularly updated because life insurance company will give you a higher risk classification if they see that you are not taking the recommended steps to keep your condition under control.

We will review more on this later. You will also want to do your best to get your other health complications (if any) under control prior to applying for life insurance.

For example, if you also have high blood pressure, make sure it is being treated as well before you apply.

What Do Life Insurance Companies Look For With Stroke Victims?

  • When you were diagnosed
  • What your diagnosis was
  • The age of diagnosis
  • What steps you have taken since your diagnosis
  • The degree of control as illustrated by medical records, height/weight and lab test results
  • What type of treatment
  • Any other medical conditions present
  • Whether you are a tobacco user

Underwriting After A Stroke

When you apply for life insurance you will have to answer certain medical questions that other applicants won’t have to answer.

  • You will be asked the date of your stroke or Strokes.
  • The application will ask you whether it was a full stroke or a mini-stroke.
  • They will ask you what test or studies were completed after the fact such as a CT scan or an MRI.
  • They will ask you about your symptoms at the time of this stroke.
  • You will be asked whether you have any long-lasting neurological deficits or residual effects as a result of your stroke.
  • You will have to disclose whether you have any conditions that will increase your chance of having a second stroke such as diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, or coronary artery disease.
  • You will also have to disclose what medications you are taking specifically related to your stroke.
  • Some common medications that are prescribed after a stroke include high blood pressure medications, anticoagulants, statins, Plavix, and aspirin.

What Impacts Your Application

When you fill out the application it is imperative that you answer these questions and you answer them honestly.

If you submit your application to a life insurance company and you haven’t submitted all of the information that reflects poorly on you as the applicant because it paints a picture of someone who is trying to hide something.

If you don’t disclose everything about your stroke it could increase your chances of being rejected or receiving a very expensive policy.

Getting Life Insurance Quotes After A Stroke

One major factor is whether your stroke was a full stroke or a mini-stroke. A mini-stroke is called a transient ischemic attack is otherwise known as Tia.

These mini-strokes have the same symptoms of a stroke but they don’t cause permanent neurological damage whereas a full stroke will cause permanent brain damage. Underwriting for a life insurance policy becomes significantly easier if you only had a mini-stroke.

However, you do have to take note of the fact that in either case, you are now more likely to have a repeat occurrence which can be problematic for life insurance companies. Most of the time you will have to wait one year after your stroke before you apply for life insurance.

Life Insurance Health Ratings After A Stroke

Of course, the longer you go without having a repeat incident at the time of your application, the better the rating will be. The rating you receive for your health is going to be directly contingent upon the answers to the questions we mentioned above and the underwriting standards for the life insurance company you are using.

Each policy will have very different standards but generally speaking, almost all life insurance companies will use roughly the following:

Preferred Plus

If you have had a stroke, even a mini-stroke, you will not get preferred plus ratings. The health problems which caused a stroke to take place and the future risk you have are simply too much for you to receive a preferred plus rating from any life insurance company.

Preferred

If you have had a stroke it is likely impossible that life insurance companies will give you a preferred status. However in some cases, if you had a mini-stroke and you are otherwise perfectly healthy or your mini-stroke was misdiagnosed then you could qualify for a preferred rating from some life insurance companies.

Standard

After a stroke, the best possible rating you could receive is that of a standard. It has to be 6 years since your last stroke and during that time you must indicate that there have been no other health problems in order to receive this qualification.

Substandard

Most applicants who try to get health insurance within six years of their latest stroke typically applies after it has been one year since their stroke.

If you fall into this 5-year category as an applicant the rating you receive is contingent upon the lasting damage that resulted from your stroke. If you had a mini-stroke you could get a rated policy 6 months after the incident depending on the company.

Declines

If you are applying for Life Insurance within 6 months of a mini-stroke or 1 year of a full stroke you will automatically be declined. Other health problems such as a family history of stroke or repeated Strokes can also be a cause for the decline.

Can I Get Life Insurance Without a Medical Exam?

Yes.  This is a great option for someone who is worried about being declined for life insurance as a result of their stroke history (or other health history).

No exam life insurance usually supports up to $100,000 in coverage.

While these policies are more expensive than traditional coverage on a cost per thousand basis, they are still very affordable life insurance policies for people with health concerns.

Life Insurance Rates For People With History Of Stroke

The rates you pay are based on other health conditions as well. If you are working to effectively manage your issues by meeting with your doctor regularly and taking your medication it can have a positive influence on the premiums you pay.

The rating that you get for your premiums is going to be based upon your table rating and the severity of your health. If you fall below standard underwriting you will be assigned a table reading. Most insurance companies will assign a 25% charge on top of the standard rate for every table.

So, if a company charges a standard premium of $100 per month you would pay the following:

  • Table A or 1: 25% table rating, $125 per month
  • Table B or 2: 50% table rating, $150 per month
  • Table D or 4: 100% table rating, $200 per month
  • Table H or 8: 200% table rating, $300 per month

The severity of the stroke, whether it was a mini or full stroke, and the health conditions you have now will impact what table rating you receive.

The table below shows term and whole life insurance rates for people in otherwise excellent health who have had a stroke. Both term and whole life insurance rates are for $100,000 face value policies.

Age Term Length Male Rates Female Rates
40 10 Years $8/mo. $7/mo.
20 Years $10/mo. $10/mo.
30 Years $17/mo. $15/mo.
Whole Life $80/mo. $80/mo.
45 10 Years $14/mo. $9/mo.
20 Years $22/mo. $13/mo.
30 Years $36/mo. $19/mo.
Whole Life $198/mo. $104/mo.
50 10 Years $19/mo. $33/mo.
20 Years $33/mo. $54/mo.
30 Years $68/mo. $96/mo.
Whole Life $275/mo. $451/mo.
55 10 Years $19/mo. $12/mo.
20 Years $33/mo. $18/mo.
30 Years $68/mo. $28/mo.
Whole Life $275/mo. $143/mo.
60 10 Years $28/mo. $17/mo.
20 Years $52/mo. $24/mo.
30 Years N/A N/A
Whole Life $336/mo. $220/mo.
65 10 Years $52/mo. $23/mo.
20 Years $97/mo. $36/mo.
30 Years N/A N/A
Whole Life $624/mo. $276/mo.

Guaranteed Coverage

Of course, if nothing else there are always companies out there which offer guaranteed acceptance policies. A guaranteed acceptance policy or a burial policy with guaranteed acceptance will provide you with minimum coverage regardless of your stroke history, family history of stroke, or any other medical condition.

This is obviously a more expensive option and if you can’t get coverage through any other company or with any other policy type you will still have this to fall back on.

Graded benefit guaranteed burial insurance from Assurity is one option. You can apply for this plan between the ages of 40 and 80 years old. The plan is available in almost every state and the coverage amounts vary by age.

Anyone between the ages of 40 and 65 can enjoy coverage between $5,000 up to $35,000. Anyone 66 through 80 years of age can get coverage ranging between $5,000 and $25,000. This plan is great for people who had a stroke within the last 12 months.

Below is a sample of the graded burial insurance rates for a female, non-tobacco applicant:

Age $5,000 $10,000 $15,000 $20,000
50 $19.89/mo. $37.58/mo. $55.26/mo. $72.95/mo.
55 $22.88/mo. $43.57/mo. $64.25/mo. $84.94/mo.
60 $26.71/mo. $51.22/mo. $75.74/mo. $100.25/mo.
65 $32.49/mo. $62.78/mo. $93.07/mo. $123.36/mo.
70 $41.38/mo. $80.56/mo. $119.73/mo. $158.91/mo.
75 $57.31/mo. $112.42/mo. $167.53/mo. $222.64/mo.
80 $87.77/mo. $173.33/mo. $258.90/mo. $344.47/mo.

Best Life Insurance for People Who Have Had a Stroke

We can’t let you leave before showing you the best companies for anyone who has had a stroke in the past. These companies TEND to be the best options, but that doesn’t mean they are the best for you. Do your homework before you decide.

Prudential

You’ll recognize the rock logo. It’s become very famous over the years (thanks to all the marketing dollars). For those looking for life insurance after they’ve had a stroke, Prudential could be the way to go. They make buying life insurance simple, even if you have health problems in the past.

They’ve been operating for over 140 years, they aren’t new to the game, which should calm the nerves of any applicant. If you want to learn more about Prudential, you can read more here.

Lincoln

Lincoln usually has some of the lowest insurance rates when it comes to stroke victims. There insurance underwriting is more lenient than other companies. When we work with these high-risk clients, we recommend Lincoln often.

They have over 1,800,0000 customers with over 720 billion dollars in insurance plans. You won’t be dealing with any no-name carrier. If you want to learn more about Lincoln and their policies, you can read more here. 

Finding Affordable Plans

Finding affordable life insurance plans can be done. A past stroke is only one factor when it comes to your entire application. There are plenty of ways that you can polish up your application such as getting in shape, quitting smoking, or reducing other bad habits that you have.

If you can prove that you are taking steps to monitor your health and to show insurance companies that your stroke is just a small blip in your previous record, you can work with a third-party agent to help you find a very affordable plan that gives you the coverage you need.

Our independent life insurance agents can help you find the best life insurance coverage for you and your family if you have had a stroke. Give us a call today, or use our online life insurance quote tool for quick and easy life insurance quotes.

Compare the Best Life Insurance Rates for Stroke Victims

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