Can someone with epilepsy get life insurance?

The good news is yes, it’s possible to arrange life insurance if you suffer from epilepsy.

It’s often believed that all epileptics experience increased premiums, restricted protection or potentially even being declined, but this isn’t necessarily the case.

The individual circumstances of your condition can impact the policy options available to you, how much you pay for cover and the level of cover you can secure.

This article covers the important topics regarding epilepsy and life insurance, such as:

  • How epilepsy can affect life insurance
  • How epilepsy can affect the cost of life insurance premiums
  • The best life insurance for epileptics
  • Whether or not you’ll need to undergo a medical exam
  • Top tips on securing affordable life insurance with epilepsy

If you have epilepsy and are worried about securing life insurance why not speak to Reassured?

We can guide you through the application process and provide you with all of your available options.

Keep reading for our complete epilepsy life insurance guide…

What is life insurance for epilepsy?

Officially, there’s no such product as epilepsy life insurance or a policy tailored specifically for those with epilepsy.

Therefore, epilepsy life insurance and life insurance for epilepsy are simply terms used to describe a standard life insurance policy that covers someone with epilepsy.

Life insurance can provide your loved ones with a lump sum pay out after your passing which can be used to cover:

  • Mortgage repayments or rent
  • Rising funeral costs
  • Future family living costs
  • Outstanding debts/loans
  • Childcare expenses
  • An inheritance

Some insurers are better equipped than others to cover applicants with pre-existing medical conditions, such as epilepsy.

They’re likely to ask more questions during the application process and take into account the individual circumstances of your condition.

This includes specialist insurers who can provide cover for applicants that are more difficult to insure.

Through Reassured you can compare quotes from both major insurers as well as smaller specialists, helping you find the most suitable cover.

How much life insurance do you need?

Enter your financial commitments to understand the level of epilepsy life insurance you require.

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£121,687 is the estimated average outstanding mortgage per household in the UK.

Our property is generally the largest financial commitment any of us will make.

Your life insurance should cover this significant debt should you no longer be around.

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According to Money Advice Service, full-time childcare in the UK now costs £242 a week.

The loss of a parent could result in the need for additional childcare whilst the surviving parent increases their hours to account for lost income.

Your life insurance cover should factor in this additional required outgoing.

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The average level of debt (minus a mortgage) in the UK is £15,385.

Factoring in any outstanding debts in your name when arranging life insurance ensures this burden is not passed to loved ones.

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You may wish to leave your loved ones an inheritance or lump sum gift upon your passing.

Factoring in the gift amount when arranging your cover will ensure the pay out amount will be sufficient to provide your loved ones with this selfless gesture.

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According to SunLife, the average cost of a UK funeral is now £4,417, whilst the total cost of dying is £9,493.

This is a 130% increase over the past 16 years and shows no signs of slowing down.

A significant cost which should be factored into the amount of life insurance you secure.

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If you are one of the 65% of the UK who are lucky enough to have savings, this could be used as protection if you were to pass away.

Any pay outs from existing life insurance policies and investments can also be used as financial protection for your loved ones if you were no longer around.

Factor this into your required cover amount.

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Your total cover estimate

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Let us find your best available quotes.

Does epilepsy affect life insurance?

Yes, depending on the severity of your condition, declaring epilepsy can have an effect on your ability to secure cover.

Sufferers from Petit Mal epilepsy (no loss of consciousness) who control their condition through medication and haven’t experienced a seizure in the past 5 years are likely to be able to arrange cover on standard terms.

Those who suffer from Grand Mal epilepsy (loss of consciousness) or those who experience Petit Mal attacks more than once a week are likely to be able to arrange cover but will likely experience higher (or loaded) premiums.

For those who’ve recently been diagnosed with epilepsy, it’s usually required that stabilisation of your condition is achieved before cover is accepted.

Sufferers of highly frequent or uncontrollable epilepsy, or those who have required hospitalisation/emergency treatment may find it more difficult to secure life cover.

You’ll be required to provide the following information during the application process so that insurers can gain a better understanding of your epilepsy:

  • Type of epilepsy (Petit Mal or Grand Mal)
  • Severity of attacks
  • Type of attack (focal onset, generalised onset or unknown onset seizures)
  • Date of diagnosis
  • Date of last seizure
  • Medication / control method
  • Hospitalisation
  • Underlying cause
  • Any other medical conditions

Can a life insurance provider decline you if you have epilepsy?

Yes, although rare, it's possible for your application to be declined when disclosing epilepsy.

However, rest assured, simply mentioning your epilepsy is unlikely to lead to your application being declined.

Insurers will judge each application on a case-by-case basis and a decision will be made based on the severity of your condition, your age, any other medical conditions you may have as well as other personal factors.

The exception to this is an over 50s plan, as you won’t be required to provide any medical information.

Does epilepsy affect life insurance premiums?

Depending on the severity of your epilepsy, it can have an influence on the price you pay for your premiums.

Life insurance premiums are calculated based on the level of risk you pose to the insurer. The greater the likelihood of a claim, the higher the monthly premium.

As well as information about your epilepsy, insurers will also take into account key information, such as:

  • Age
  • Health & wellbeing
  • Whether you smoke
  • Medical history
  • Weight/BMI
  • Cover amount (or sum assured)
  • Policy type

Sufferers of mild epilepsy, with no other significant medical conditions, are likely to be able to secure cover on standard terms.

Although, insurers will typically require at least 5 years without seizures to offer standard terms.

Petit Mal sufferers who have recently experienced an attack or Grand Mal sufferers may experience loaded premiums due to the increased risk.

The cost of epilepsy life insurance premiums will differ significantly between insurers, making it essential to compare multiple quotes.

What’s the most affordable life insurance for someone with epilepsy?

The most affordable life insurance for people with epilepsy will be the policy that meets all of your needs and is at a price within your budget.

The price you pay for your premium will vary from person to person depending on your unique circumstances and the severity of your epilepsy.

For those with mild epilepsy, who can secure cover on standard terms, any of the main types of life insurance can be an affordable option.

Keep reading as we’ll be covering term-based life insurance, whole of life insurance, as well as over 50s plans later on in this article…

For those with more severe epilepsy, it may be more affordable to secure cover through specialist insurers who are better prepared for higher risk applicants.

At Reassured, we have a specialist impaired life insurance team who can provide quotes for you to compare to help you find the most-cost effective cover.

What’s the best life insurance for epilepsy?

When applying for life insurance with epilepsy, you’ll be able to choose from the three main policy types. These include:

  • Term life insurance (level and decreasing)
  • Whole of life insurance
  • Over 50s plan

You can also add addition layers of protection to your life insurance in the form of:

  • Terminal illness cover (comes with all our term policies as standard)
  • Critical illness cover (can be added to a life insurance policy for an extra fee)
  • Income protection (can be taken out simultaneously with life insurance)

Your age and the aspects of your life you want to protect can help to determine which policy type will best meet your needs.

For example, if you’re in your 20s, 30s or 40s, have dependants and a mortgage, then affordable term life insurance may be an ideal option.

Whereas if you’re in your 50s, 60s or 70s then whole of life insurance or an over 50s plan may be more suitable.

The severity of your condition may also influence which policy type you choose.

For example, for someone with severe epilepsy, paying inflated premiums for the remainder of your life is unlikely to be a cost-effective option. Whereas term life insurance may be more affordable.

Read on to learn more about the different policy types available to those with epilepsy…

Term life insurance

Term life insurance provides cover for a specified period of time (the term), this can be up to 40 years.

Your loved ones will receive a cash lump sum pay out if you pass away during the term. If you outlive the policy term, your cover will expire.

You’ll need to provide medical information during the application process, meaning you’ll need to disclose your epilepsy.

The severity of your condition, as well as any other conditions you may suffer from and other personal information, will have an impact on the cover you can secure.

There are two different types of term life insurance:

  1. Level term life insurance - Provides your loved ones with a fixed (or level) pay out regardless of when you pass away during your policy.

    As a result, it’s ideal for covering aspects of your life which don’t change in value, such as an interest-only mortgage.

  2. Decreasing term life insurance - Provides your loved ones with a cover amount which reduces over the policy term.

    This means that the further into the policy you pass away, the lesser amount your beneficiaries receive. For this reason, it tends to be the cheapest option and is ideal for covering a repayment mortgage.

Why not let a friendly member of our team provide both level and decreasing term quotes for you to compare to find the best option?

Whole of life insurance

Whole of life insurance provides lifetime cover, guaranteeing your loved ones a pay out.

Due to the fixed sum assured, it can be used to cover the same financial commitments as level term cover.

Alternatively, as cover lasts for life, it’s ideal for providing an inheritance.

You’ll be required to provide medical information, as well as other key information, during the application process. This means you’ll need to declare your epilepsy.

For those with severe epilepsy, who’re likely to experience inflated premiums, whole of life insurance may not be the most cost effective option.

If wanting to provide a guaranteed pay out, and if you fit within the age bracket, you may want to consider an over 50s plan.

Those for those with mild epilepsy, who can secure cover on standard terms, you should be aware that it’s possible to pay more into a whole of life policy than it will pay out if taking out cover at a young age.

Whole of life insurance tends to be well suited to those who’re later on in life but can still secure cover on standard terms.

Compare multiple whole of life quotes using our award-winning broker service.

Over 50s life insurance

Over 50s life insurance provides guaranteed acceptance to all UK residents aged between 50 - 85.

As discussed, it’s rare that your epilepsy would prevent you from being able to arrange cover.

However, if you’ve previously struggled to secure life insurance in the past and fit into this age bracket, an over 50s plan could be an ideal option.

This is because no medical information/exam is required during the application.

Because of this, insurers mitigate their risk by charging higher premiums and a lower sum assured (often a maximum of up to £25,000 compared up to £1,000,000 with other forms of cover).

As a result this policy type is often used to cover funeral costs or leave a cash sum for your loved ones to spend as they wish.

Speak to a member of the Reassured team about our over 50s options.

Terminal illness cover

At Reassured, all term life insurance policies we arrange include terminal illness cover as standard.

This means that if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness during the term of your policy, and are predicted to pass away within 12 months, you can make an early claim.

The early pay out could help to provide you with financial peace of mind, ensuring your loved ones are taken care of, prior to your passing.

Critical illness cover

Adding critical illness cover to your epilepsy life insurance means that if you were to be diagnosed with a serious (yet not terminal) illness you could make an early claim on your policy.

The pay out from critical illness cover can be used to pay for private medical treatment, replace lost income or it can simply be enjoyed with your loved ones.

Once a claim has been made your cover will expire and you’ll need to arrange a new policy.

It’s likely that epilepsy-related illnesses, will be added as exclusions to your policy. For example, if your condition causes a stroke, your policy won’t pay out.

In severe cases, all neurological conditions can be excluded in the disability section of your policy.

You may also experience higher premiums due to your epilepsy, depending on the severity of your condition.

Is epilepsy classed as a critical illness?

No, in life insurance terms, epilepsy isn’t classified as a critical illness.

Although it can be life-changing, if you’re diagnosed with epilepsy you won’t be able to make a critical illness claim.

Read our in-depth guide on what illnesses are covered by critical illness cover if you require additional information »

Income protection

As with life insurance, it’s possible to secure income protection if you suffer with epilepsy.

Income protection is an insurance policy that will pay out to you in the event you can’t work due to illness or injury.

Up to 70% of your income can be paid out and you’ll receive monthly (tax-free) payments.

If your condition is mild, it can be possible to secure income protection on standard terms.

Those with more severe cases may experience exclusions for epilepsy and related illnesses added to their policy and, in some cases, limits to the length of your deferred period (the time in between your first sick day and when your payments commence).

This can all depend on the provider, due to the varying underwriting processes used. This highlights the need to compare quotes to get the most comprehensive cover possible.

Reassured Advice can compare income protection quotes from the UK's leading providers, as well as smaller specialists, to help you find the best policy to meet your needs.

Is epilepsy a pre-existing medical condition?

Yes, if you have epilepsy while applying for life insurance this will be considered a pre-existing medical condition.

This means you’ll need to disclose your condition during the application process.

Failure to do so is known as non-disclosure and it can prevent a pay out from being made later down the line.

What if I have other pre-exiting conditions?

If you have other pre-existing conditions, alongside epilepsy, your application may require manual underwriting (particularly if the conditions are directly linked).

Strokes, TIA/CVA and tumours are very common amongst those who suffer from epilepsy.

As a result, experiencing any of these could affect your ability to obtain cover on standard terms.

Rest assured it can still be possible to secure cover, although this may be with the help of specialist insurers.

Read our comprehensive life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions article for more information »

Will I need to undergo a medical exam?

No, it’s unlikely that you’ll be asked to undergo a medical exam when applying for life insurance with epilepsy.

In most cases you’ll simply be asked to provide details about your condition.

If you have any complications or unusual patterns with your epilepsy, your application may need to undergo manual underwriting and you may need to provide further details.

In some cases insurers have the right to ask for a medical exam although, in regards to epilepsy, this is rare.

What’s more likely is for the insurer to request a GP report, so you may want your GPs details to hand when applying for life insurance.

You have the option to see your GP report before it gets sent to the insurer, you’ll need to visit your GP for this to happen.

What if I have previously been declined life insurance due to epilepsy?

Previously being declined life insurance doesn’t necessarily mean cover is impossible to obtain.

The options available to you will depend on why you were declined.

If the severity of your condition is what caused you to be declined, it may be that you can get cover with a specialist insurer (at Reassured we can help you with this with our in-house impaired risk team).

If you were previously declined and are now over the age of 50, it can be possible to secure cover in the form of an over 50s plan as you won’t be required to provide medical information.

If you were declined because your condition is not yet stable, it may be that the insurer requires your epilepsy to be stabilised for a certain period of time before they’ll provide you with cover.

Once this time period has passed (for example, 5 years with no seizures) you’ll be able to reapply for cover.

What if I am diagnosed with epilepsy during the term of my policy?

Epilepsy can develop at any time of life, so if you’re diagnosed with epilepsy during the term of your policy you may be wondering what to do.

Being diagnosed with epilepsy during the term of your policy is unlikely to have an impact on your existing cover.

As long as all the information you provided at the point of application was correct, your cover will still be valid as per its terms and conditions.

You also aren’t obligated to inform your insurer of your new diagnosis.

If you apply for any additional cover after your diagnosis, your epilepsy will need to be disclosed and exclusions may be written into your new policy.

Epilepsy statistics UK

Epilepsy is a growing illness in the UK, with more than half a million people being diagnosed as epileptic.

  • 1 in 20 people will have a one-off epileptic seizure at some point in their life
  • 1 in 50 people will have epilepsy at some point in their life
  • 87 new people are diagnosed with epilepsy every day
  • Over 600,000 people in the UK have epilepsy[1]

Unfortunately, epilepsy brings added health risks, making it even more important for sufferers to protect their loved ones with life insurance protection.

Compare life insurance quotes for epilepsy

The cost of epilepsy life insurance can vary significantly between insurers.

This makes it essential to compare quotes to ensure you secure the right policy, at the best price.

At Reassured, we do the hard work for you, providing you with all the information needed to enable you to make an informed decision.

For those who’ve struggle to secure cover in the past due to epilepsy, we have a specialist impaired team who have an impressive track record of finding cover for those declined elsewhere.

Reassured are FCA-regulated and our quotes are fee-free, simply get in touch today.

Sources:

[1] https://www.the-insurance-surgery.co.uk/medical-conditions-life-insurance/epilepsy-life-insurance-2/

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