Can I get affordable life insurance with epilepsy?
The purpose of this article is to help you find the most affordable way to get life insurance with epilepsy. To find the most affordable rates for term life insurance with epilepsy you must work with an expert in this specialized insurance market.
It is important to know which insurance companies to talk to and what information they need in order to give you the lowest offer on life insurance with epilepsy. Your agent is your best ally in finding the companies to talk to and to negotiate the best offer.
What are the types and causes of epilepsy that underwriters evaluate?
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder resulting from abnormal electrical activity of the brain. Epilepsy may be acquired or idiopathic. It is termed idiopathic if there is no evidence of an organic brain lesion.
The causes of acquired epilepsy include: genetic and birth factors, infection, toxins, alcohol withdrawal, trauma, tumors and degenerative disease.
A febrile seizure is an episode that occurs with a high fever. In children under age 5, febrile seizures have no real medical consequences.
However, a febrile seizure can be the first epileptic attack in those children who have a family history of epilepsy and experience the initial seizure after age 5.
- Complex Partial Seizure– this type seizure can be partial and localized. It can also be called psychomotor or temporal lobe seizures. These are behavior seizures where involuntary movements occur with loss of consciousness.
- Tonic-Clonic Seizure– this is a generalized type of pattern. It is characterized by loss of consciousness and rhythmic generalized involuntary contractions and relaxation of muscles.
- Absence Seizure– also a generalize type of pattern. Episode characterized by a brief lapse of consciousness that may be so fleeting that the affected person may be unaware of the seizure.
- Simple Partial Seizure– is partial and localized. Characterized by involuntary contractions of muscles of the extremities, trunk, or face without loss of consciousness.
The underwriting insurance company will pay particular attention to how often you have seizures and any drugs that are used to aid the control of your seizures.
Their are a number of drugs that are available and can control most seizures. Many individuals who suffer from epilepsy must take these medications throughout their lives. All drugs, however, have some side affects. Underwriters must also consider these side affects.
Some of the features that may make securing life insurance with epilepsy harder include:
- Seizures not well controlled with medication. Poor compliance with the treatment plan. Need for hospitalization or surgery. Continued use of alcohol in alcohol-related seizures.
- Status epileptics is a severe form of seizures that is characterized by frequent, generalized convulsions and failure to regain consciousness between attacks.
- Metabolic brain disease is a term used when systemic disease such as kidney failure, liver failure, or low blood sugar can cause brain dysfunction including seizures. The mortality risk for this depends on the underlying condition.
How do life insurance company’s classify epilepsy?
When considering life insurance with epilepsy, underwriters will typically place an insured in one of 3 categories assuming their are no other significant medical impairments:
SCHEDULE A- Complex Partial (Consciousness Impaired) Generalized Tonic-Clonic
SCHEDULE B- Generalized Absence- Simple Partial (Consciousness not impaired)
SCHEDULE C- Metabolic Brain Disease- Status Epilepticus
With this schedule, the underwriter will then determine the underwriting classification based on the number of seizures, medications and control that an individual has. They will then assign an additional premium based on the underwriting class. Below is an example of typical risk schedule:
- Schedule A– within 6 months of diagnosis- postpone application. Within 2 years of last seizure 100% additional premium. 3- 5 years since last seizure 50% additional premium. After 5 years since last seizure no additional premium.
- Schedule B– within 2 years of last seizure 50% additional premium. After 2 years since last seizure no additional premium.
- Schedule C- seizure within 5 years typically declined. After 5 years individual consideration.
- Febrile Seizures– Under age 5, not more than two attacks, no family history of seizures typically no additional premium.
So, this is information is meant to give you a general idea of how underwriters review life insurance with epilepsy. The secret to finding out which life insurance company will offer the best class as described above lies with your agent.
You see all life insurance companies offer the same published rates. But, each insurance carriers looks at your health and lifestyle differently.
One insurance company may underwrite diabetics better than another. A different insurance company may underwrite heart disease better than the company that underwrites cancer the best.
So, if you are looking for the absolute lowest rates for life insurance with epilepsy it is best to work with a broker that knows what carriers underwrite what risks the best. Otherwise, you can spend countless hours filling out applications and getting declined or rated.
It’s also important to note that most of the huge well known nationally life insurance companies are typically the most expensive when it comes to offering the best rates on individuals with some pre-exisitng medical conditions.
As an expert in the “special risk” life insurance arena, we know which companies to go to. We know how to present the case to the underwriter in the best light. We know how to shop your coverage with several insurance companies and keep your information out of the medical information bureau.
Here are the questions that an experienced agent should ask a prospect when looking for life insurance with epilepsy:
- Male or Female
- Date of Birth
- Any history of tobacco use?
- What is the date of the first diagnosis?
- What is the type of seizures? I.E. Complex/Partial, Tonic-Clonic, Absence Seizure, Myoclonic Seizure?
- What is the frequency of episodes and date of last episode?
- Are you taking any prescription medications? If so, what type?
- Have you ever been hospitalized for treatment of epilepsy?
- Do you have any other major health problems? I.E. Heart disease, diabetes, etc.?
I hope this article has helped you in determining what an underwriter is looking for and what is needed in order to find you the absolute lowest rate in the country for life insurance with epilepsy.
If you would like to discuss your need for life insurance with epilepsy please call us at 1-888-393-9003 or contact us here.