By Rakesh Goyal
Obtaining life insurance after suffering a stroke can seem like a daunting task. However, there are still options available for coverage, even though you may have to pay higher premiums due to increased health risks. Here are some tips for understanding the process of applying for life insurance after stroke.
Understand the impact of stroke on insurability
Life insurers view stroke as a serious medical condition that increases the risk of mortality. The severity of the stroke and any long-term harm will affect the underwriting decision. Even with full recovery, the impact of a mild stroke may be less than that of a severe stroke which may result in permanent disability. Honestly disclose your stroke history with all health details to the insurers.
Apply for Variable Term Insurance
If you had term life insurance before your stroke, check if it includes a conversion option that allows you to switch to permanent coverage without additional medical screening. The conversion must be made before the expiry of the tenure for this privilege. The premium will be higher than your previous period’s rates.
Get Fully Underwritten
For customers seeking higher life insurance coverage, full medical underwriting directly with insurers may be an option. The underwriting process will include submission of comprehensive health records, reports from the treating physician(s), and possible additional testing or evaluations.
Insurers will consider factors such as the type and severity of the stroke, recovery timeline, current health status and management of risk factors in their evaluation. People who have made solid progress in managing their health after a stroke may receive more favorable terms. However, be prepared to pay a higher premium due to the increased risk profile.
maintain a healthy lifestyle
Demonstrating healthy habits such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, not smoking/drinking, and medication adherence can aid in favorable underwriting. This reflects a commitment to actively managing stroke risk factors. Request your doctor to include this in the medical report submitted to the insurers.
Negotiate for riders
To make the policy more comprehensive, insurers offer riders like waiver of premium (premium waived off if disabled due to stroke), return of premium (partial refund of premium paid if the policy is not claimed), accidental death benefit, etc. can do. These come at additional cost but provide valuable coverage enhancements.
be patient and firm
Applying after a major health event requires additional paperwork and testing. Don’t be discouraged by initial rejections, if any. Get help from your agent/advisor in applying to multiple insurers simultaneously to increase the chances of acceptance from at least one. With the right underwriting approach and carrier, it is very much possible to secure life cover after a stroke.
Here are some additional points for getting life insurance after stroke:
Consider your budget and financial needs carefully. Work with an advisor to determine the affordable coverage amount that best suits your family’s long-term protection needs.
Recovery progress matters: Demonstration of an active recovery program through regular follow-up, medical adherence, and improved health markers over time supports favorable underwriting decisions in the future.
Review coverage periodically: Needs keep changing with the stages of life. Regularly review coverage amount, riders and premium expenses with advisors to ensure continued suitability as recovery from stroke progresses.
Timeline Effect Options: The length of time after a stroke affects the options available, so starting the application process early helps expedite coverage arrangements best suited to your current health condition.
Take help from colleagues: Connecting with stroke support groups and communities helps to gain valuable insight from others in their recovery journey.
Consider your family history: Genetic risks such as family history of heart disease or stroke are also taken into account during underwriting. Advance disclosure helps in transparency.
Insurers have improved: While stroke coverage was challenging in the past, insurers now offer more personalized options reflecting the latest medical advances and management approaches. Early planning allows one to make the most of the evolving options.
It is possible to obtain a life insurance policy after a stroke, but it may require patience and persistence. Although it may involve higher premiums and extensive testing, being transparent about your medical history and adopting a healthy lifestyle can increase your chances. Remember that each insurance company has its own underwriting guidelines, so it’s important to explore multiple options. Life insurance is an important financial tool, and it is possible to protect the future of your loved ones with the right policy, even after a stroke.
The author is Director, Probus Insurance Brokers.
(Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and views expressed by various authors and forum participants on this website are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and views of ABP News Network Pvt. Ltd.)
Check out the health tools below-
Calculate your body mass index (BMI)
Calculate age through age calculator