Can I get life insurance with epilepsy?

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Yes, life insurance is available for those that suffer from epilepsy, which is a fairly common condition in both the UK and NI. Over 600,000 people in the UK are living with epilepsy, and 87 people are getting diagnosed each day. However, some insurance companies don’t categorise epilepsy as a critical illness: creating a more rigorous procedure for epileptic people to get insured. While getting life insurance NI or UK is possible, it is not clear— your condition may affect your premium rates. 

Disclose to your agent / underwriter your condition

Insurance companies want to disclose what type of epilepsy you live with; whether it be Grand Mal (generalised tonic-clonic seizure) or Petit Mal (absence seizure). In addition to this, they’d like to know the frequency and severity of your seizures. They’d also like to know if the causes of your seizures are unknown or if there is an obvious trigger. Most British insurance providers have a policy where epileptic people suffering less than 12 seizures per year would receive minor loadings to their insurance plans. For those with more frequent attacks, loading rates would typically be higher than a healthy person’s. Even if you’re applying via an agent or broker, explaining your condition would be crucial for receiving an appropriate insurance plan. 

Does life insurance for epileptic people cost more?

Again, this would depend on the intensity of your epilepsy. With ‘milder’ epilepsy, you would typically be granted the same premium rates just like a healthy person. This will depend on which insurance provider you apply with. You can also apply for an Income Protection insurance programme, though it would be harder to purchase as someone with epilepsy. Those with a Grand Mal would typically find their covers have exceptions.

Extra measures to ensure your life insurance request doesn’t get denied

Life insurance shouldn’t have to be a privilege— but there is still a risk your application is denied by an underwriter. To minimise the chances, consider:

  • Show insurance companies your treatment plan: Show insurance companies your medication plans, frequency of doctor visits and commitment to a ‘healthier lifestyle’. This can make you a more ideal candidate for insurance providers.

What if my application gets denied?

In a scenario where an underwriter denies your claim: you're entitled to know the reasons why an insurance company has made this decision. This might reveal an aspect of your lifestyle, such as a risky habit, that needs to be corrected. If you find the insurance company’s verdict to be unjust, you have a right to repeal. Other options to seek, if you’re not interested in the above, are as follows:

  • Insurance without an exam: Though pricier, this is a good package to receive as an epileptic person who hasn’t had a seizure in about a year. This option may be less time consuming as well, since epileptic people are not required to take a health exam. All you need to do is disclose your condition.
  • Guaranteed Issue Policy: This is usually viewed as a ‘last resort’ for epileptic people Who have exhausted their other options. You can skip health exams and / or health questions, but please bear in mind that coverage may be low. Often around £25,000, many find that these only cover funeral expenses.
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