Life insurance serves as a crucial financial safeguard, offering peace of mind and financial protection to individuals and their loved ones. However, for those who have experienced health issues, such as a stroke, obtaining life insurance can be a complex and daunting endeavour.
A stroke, a medical condition resulting from the disruption of blood flow to the brain, often raises questions about eligibility, affordability, and the overall feasibility of securing life insurance coverage. In this article, we will explore the possibility of obtaining life insurance after experiencing a stroke, shedding light on the challenges, strategies, and considerations that can help stroke survivors navigate this important aspect of financial planning.
Stroke Statistics in Ireland
Stroke is the second leading cause of death in middle to higher-income countries and the
leading cause of acquired adult neurological disability in Ireland, according to the Health Service Executive.
Every year, approximately 7,500 people in Ireland have a stroke and around 2,000 die. Strokes can result in various degrees of physical and cognitive impairment, depending on the severity and location of the brain damage. Survivors of strokes may face ongoing health issues such as paralysis, difficulty speaking, and cognitive deficits. These health concerns can understandably raise questions for those seeking life insurance.
According to the Irish Heart, there is a misconception that only “old people” suffer strokes. A stroke, however, can occur at any age. In fact, those under 65 who are working age account for one in four of all stroke cases in Ireland each year. More than two-thirds of these stroke cases among people of working age are men.
How are life insurance applications evaluated by insurers following a stroke?
Insurance providers carefully assess applications for life insurance after an individual has experienced a stroke. The assessment process involves a thorough evaluation of the applicant’s health, medical history, and lifestyle to determine the risk associated with providing coverage. Some of the assessments include:
Type of Stroke
The specific type of stroke, whether it’s ischemic (caused by a blood clot) or hemorrhagic (caused by bleeding in the brain), can influence the assessment, as each type may have different long-term implications.
Insurers will request detailed information about the stroke, including the date of occurrence, its severity, and any ongoing or residual effects. They will also want to know about the treatment received, including medications and therapies.
Time Since the Stroke
The time that has elapsed since the stroke is a significant factor. Insurers typically prefer to see a longer period without recurrence or complications, as this can indicate a lower risk of future health issues related to the stroke.
Age and Gender
Age and gender can impact the assessment. Younger individuals may have an advantage in securing coverage after a stroke, as they are generally considered to be at lower risk. Gender can also play a role, as some factors like age and lifestyle risks may differ between men and women.
Number of Strokes
The number of strokes an applicant has experienced is an important consideration. Multiple strokes may indicate a higher risk and could affect the assessment.
Severity of Neurological Impairment
The degree of neurological impairment resulting from the stroke is a critical consideration. Insurers will assess the impact on the applicant’s daily life and functional abilities.
Type of Policy
The type of life insurance policy being applied for matters. Term life insurance, which provides coverage for a specific period, may have different underwriting criteria than permanent life insurance policies, such as whole of life insurance.
In some cases, insurers may request additional medical assessments or evaluations by independent medical professionals to better understand the applicant’s health status and prognosis.
It’s important to note that different insurance companies may have varying underwriting guidelines and risk tolerance levels. We can shop around on your behalf and seek quotes from multiple insurers to find the most favourable terms for your unique situation.
What is the likelihood of securing life insurance following a stroke?
It ultimately depends on the factors above. Prior to making a decision, the insurance provider will seek a comprehensive medical report from your general practitioner. Each case is unique, and the outcome depends on the specific circumstances and the insurer’s underwriting policies.
For individuals who have experienced a stroke, insurers often perceive a higher level of risk due to potential complications and the likelihood of future health problems. This perception of risk can make it more challenging to secure a life insurance policy, and if approved, the premiums may be higher.
What steps should I take if my life insurance application is declined due to a previous stroke?
Unfortunately, some individuals who have had a stroke may face declination, where insurers refuse to provide life insurance coverage altogether. This is more likely if the stroke was recent or if the applicant has other significant health issues.
If you are declined for life insurance because you have had a stroke, it’s essential to understand your options and take appropriate steps:
Consult with an Insurance Broker
Contact a life insurance broker, such as LowQuotes. We possess a wealth of experience assisting individuals with medical conditions like a prior stroke and can help you find insurers who may be more willing to provide coverage.
Consider Alternative Insurance Products
If traditional life insurance is unavailable or too expensive, explore alternative insurance products like Multi-Claim Protection Cover with relevant exclusions.
Multi-Claim Protection Cover is an innovative policy structured around the severity of health issues, safeguarding your financial stability from a wide spectrum of potential challenges. This policy has the potential to provide multiple payouts, allowing you to maintain a level of coverage even after a claim is made. For the most severe health events, such as death and terminal illness, the full amount is paid out; lesser amounts are paid out for illnesses having a lesser effect on your health and lifestyle.
Learn more by reading our article, What is a Multi-Claim Protection Cover?
Consider Other Financial Planning Tools
If obtaining life insurance remains challenging, explore other financial planning tools to protect your family’s financial well-being, such as creating a will, establishing trusts, or putting money into savings and investments.
Being on track with your pensions and ensuring your family is informed in the event of your passing is a responsible and considerate financial practice. Pensions are a critical aspect of your long-term financial security, and monitoring them regularly helps you stay informed about your retirement savings growth and performance. It allows you to make necessary adjustments to your retirement planning, such as increasing contributions or diversifying investments, to meet your future financial goals.
Reach out to LowQuotes
Low Quotes is a market-leading online insurance broker in Ireland with a 5-star Google rating and over 850 Google reviews. We are proud to be awarded Insurance Broker of the Year 2022 as the result of our team’s dedication to providing market-leading independent advice and exceptional customer service.