Life insurance for stroke patients

Just because you’ve had a stroke doesn’t mean you can’t get life insurance.

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Finding life insurance for stroke patients can be really tough but it is possible, not to mention important if you want peace of mind and financial security. We've put together some of the options out there.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a sudden interruption in the blood supply and vital nutrients to your brain. Most strokes are caused by a blockage of arteries leading to the brain; others are caused when a blood vessel bursts and bleeds into brain tissue.

Any stroke is regarded as a medical emergency. It can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability and even death. Signs of a stroke include sudden weakness and severe headaches, paralysis, difficulty with sight and speech and numbness on one side of the face or body.

Are strokes covered by life insurance?

Yes. All causes of death are generally covered by life insurance, including strokes. Although rare, it's worth being aware that there are some policies that only cover you for accidental death.

When you buy a policy, it's also worth checking if there are waiting periods for causes of death. A waiting period is the time you have to serve before you can be covered. Generally, the only waiting period that applies to life insurance is in relation to suicide. Otherwise, most will cover all causes of death after the cover commencement day. To be sure though, you can ask the insurer about waiting periods.

Can I get life insurance if I have had a stroke in the past?

It can be difficult depending on the severity of your condition, but it's possible. A stroke is considered a pre-existing medical condition, so it's crucial that you let the insurer know about it. Otherwise, you risk future claims being rejected. That's also why it's best to go with a brand that provides medical underwriting.

Once you've let them know about your condition, one of the following is likely to happen:

  1. The insurer will cover you but will charge you a higher premium.
  2. The insurer will add an exclusion related to strokes to your cover.
  3. They will refuse to cover you.

If you're struggling to find a policy, it's worth speaking with an adviser to find out the best way for you to get cover with a pre-existing condition. They can be helpful because they know the ins and outs of the industry and they aren't tied to one company so are able to offer you quotes from multiple companies.

Do I have to let my insurer know if I have a stroke during my cover?

Your life insurance premiums are based on your health, occupation and lifestyle at the time you take out a policy – not whilst you have a policy. So once your cover is in place, and you've honestly disclosed all the necessary information, future changes usually should not affect your premiums or your policy's status.

The only reason it can change is if you want to alter or update your policy. At this time, you'll need to go through the underwriting process again.

Do I have to declare that I have had strokes before taking out cover?

Yes. You need to disclose that you've had a stroke before taking out cover because it's a pre-existing medical condition which you need to declare.

But it shouldn't stop you from getting cover. Asking questions about your health are all part of the underwriting process insurers use to work out how much you'll need to pay. They'll also take into account your family medical history, your age, occupation and lifestyle habits.

Is it worth getting life insurance if I have had a stroke?

Yes. If you've had a stroke, the last thing you want to do is assume that life insurance isn't worth it. If anything, it's a reminder of just how important it is to have your and your loved ones' financial future secured.

The cost of your cover will be based on the severity and type of stroke you had, so it's crucial you're truthful or you risk invalidating your policy. But even if your policy costs more because of your condition, it's a price worth paying if you don't want to leave your family with lots of debt and expenses to pay.

Bottom line

Life insurance can pay off debts including mortgages, car loans and school tuition fees, plus everyday living expenses. If you've had a stroke, it's still possible to get life insurance. Begin comparing here.

Frequently asked questions

Does TPD insurance cover strokes?

Yes. Total and permanent disability policies generally cover strokes. A TPD policy pays you a one-off lump sum if you suffer a stroke and become permanently disabled and need to stop work.

Does critical illness insurance cover strokes?

Yes. Critical illness insurance, otherwise known as trauma insurance, generally covers strokes.

Does income protection cover strokes?

Yes. Income protection should be able to cover you for strokes. It can pay you a monthly benefit if you suffer a stroke and need to take some time off work to recover.

Picture: GettyImages

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