In this article you will learn the information you need to know when looking to obtain life insurance after a stroke, even if you are in your 50’s or older.
You may be surprised to know that the older you are when you had your stroke the better when it comes to qualifying for life insurance.
So yes you might very well be able to get affordable life insurance over the age 50 even after you’ve suffered a stroke.
With most companies if you had a stroke when you were under 40 or 45 years old you would actually be declined for coverage.
Health Matters When Getting Life Insurance After a Stroke
As I am sure you can imagine life insurance companies are very concerned about their potential policy holders’ health.
Obviously, this is because if they die, the insurance company is on the hook to pay out what might be a very large death benefit.
Therefore, the insurance company wants to get a complete understanding of your medical history to determine if they can approve you, and if so what rates they would be able to approve you for.
The time since you’ve suffered your stroke is an important determining factor on whether a life insurance company will insure you.
Here’s a major reason why…
Studies presented by the National Stroke Association state that 1 in 4 stroke survivors will have another stroke at some point in their lives. This isn’t the only risk factor.
Most people who have a secondary stroke will have it within the first five years after the initial episode.
Understand that every insurance company has different underwriting guidelines that they follow.
So it’s important to know upfront which company will look at your medical history most favorably before the application process even begins.
For example, some insurance companies will refuse to insure anyone that has had a stroke in the past six years.
However, other companies might be willing to insure you after one year and some even after only six months have passed.
Generally speaking the longer it has been since you had the stroke the better rates you can get approved for.
Of course this assumes that you haven’t any other strokes since then and that you haven’t experienced any other significant health issues either.
Rates for people over 50 that have had a stroke.
These are some general guidelines as to what rate class you might expect to qualify for if you’ve had a stroke…
Preferred plus – probably impossible no matter how much time has passed or how mild the stroke was
Preferred – not impossible, but not likely at all. A scenario where this can happen is if you’ve had a TIA that was either misdiagnosed, or you’ve had no health issues since the TIA.
Standard – if it has been 6 years or longer since your stroke and if you have not had any other incidents since then
Table 2 to 4 – this is likely going to be the case if you had a mild stroke and have had minimal residual effects since. The younger you are and more severe the stroke the higher the rating.
The Type of Stroke You Had Matters When Applying For Life Insurance
Generally, those who have experienced TIAs, or Transient Ischemic Attacks, will get approved for a better rate and pay less for coverage than the categories of other stroke sufferers.
However, they are still considered to be a significant risk, as a TIA is a warning sign of a more major stroke to come.
A TIA occurs when a blood clot forms in the body, but the body flushes it out before it causes major damage. In some cases, this can be a precursor to a major stroke.
The two major stroke types are hemorrahagic and ischemic. They are full-blown strokes, which may or may not occur after a TIA.
These categories will significantly affect your ability to get coverage and the price you have to pay, especially if not enough time has elapsed since the stroke.
The most common type of stroke is the ischemic stroke. Essentially, this type of stroke blocks the flow of oxygen to the brain.
In this scenario, plaque builds up in blood vessels and eventually blocks them completely.
If this has already occurred in the brain, it will stay in place. If not, it will travel to the brain, disrupting blood flow.
A hemorrahagic stroke is the second most common type of stroke. This occurs when the blood vessels in the brain rupture.
After the blood vessel has ruptured, the sudden rush of blood to the brain damages brain cells and harms brain tissue.
The two latter types of strokes generally mean that it will be much more difficult to get approved for coverage.
What You Should Know Before You Apply
Certainly if you are over 50 and need life insurance you should apply for coverage as soon as possible.
However, there are still a few things you can do to increase the chances that you will be approved at better rates before you apply.
Firstly, you must make sure you visit the doctor often. This is an important step for showing insurance companies that you care about your health.
Neglecting this means that you’re not having your risks assessed, and therefore you could become a greater risk.
Other changeable factors can also lead to even higher premiums.
If you smoke, quit as soon as you can.
You should also have a record of taking your medication regularly, as this shows you are proactive when it comes to your health.
When you apply for life insurance, know that the insurance company is most likely going to want to obtain your medical records related to your stroke.
These are necessary to help insurance companies understand the bigger picture of your health. They generally won’t just take your word for it and will need to see documentation.
The Insurance Company Will Obtain All Information About Your Stroke
They need all the information they can get to make a determination as to what rate class they can approve you for, assuming they can approve you.
They will most likely review you medical records and there may be questions you need to answer for clarification.
Insurance companies will take into consideration a number of factors.
In order for me to help determine which company will offer the best life insurance rates for you I will need to ask you several questions including:
- the age you were when you had the stroke. The younger you were, the more likely the rates you will qualify for will be higher. If a member of your immediate family had a stroke at a young age, this will also be considered.
- What types of symptoms are you currently experiencing and what is the extent of the neurological effect?
- What type of treatment are you receiving?
- What medications are you taking?
- Have you had more than one stroke. If so, how many. And when did you have the strokes?
- Are you a current tobacco user and/or have you used tobacco in the past.
- What is your lifestyle like? Are you active, etc…?
- What is your blood pressure and what are your cholesterol levels?
- Do you have any other serious types of health issues?
- What is your family history like?
- Do you see your doctor on a regular basis and how well has your health been managed since your stroke.
Are Guaranteed Life Insurance Policies a Good Option?
If you can’t get approved for traditional life insurance coverage you may want to consider a guaranteed life insurance policy.
Guaranteed policies certainly exist. With these policies, everyone is accepted, regardless of any health conditions.
The only requirement with most companies is that you are between the ages of 50 and 85.
While these policies are around, they are certainly not ideal. They often only pay out a maximum of $25,000.
Also, typically you are not fully covered for the first 2 years of the policy.
For some people, $25,000 is enough, but others may have outstanding debts or medical bills at the time of their death that the amount does not cover.
Additionally, these policies often come with high premiums and a 2 year waiting period before you are fully covered.
This can be a good solution, but only as a last resort.
Increasing Your Chances of Getting Affordable Coverage
For anyone, but especially stroke survivors, it is incredibly important that you keep a healthy lifestyle. Factors such as a being overweight, smoking or not visiting your doctor regularly can cause higher premiums or denial.
Getting life insurance after a stroke may be difficult to obtain, but it is possible.
Give me call.
I can help you determine whether you can qualify, and if you can qualify what rates you might receive.