5 November 2013 0 Comments

Can You Get Life Insurance With A History Of Strokes?

heart healthStrokes are typically the result of a blocked or ruptured blood vessel in the brain.  They are classified as a full stroke (also Cardiovascular Accident [CVA}) or mini stroke (also Trans Ischemic Attack [TIA]).

TIA’s resolve themselves without any permanent damage to the brain.  Most TIA’s are due to a small temporary blockage of a cerebral or carotid artery that impairs neurological activity for a short period of time.  Symptoms might include temporary numbness, weakness, dizziness, vision defects, speech abnormalities and fainting.  Duration of these symptoms can be from a few minutes to several hours. A stroke is considered a TIA when symptoms last less than 24 hours and there is no permanent damage.

CVA’s occur when one or more blood vessels in the brain are blocked or rupture.  Symptoms of a CVA are similar in many ways to those of a TIA, but they last more than 24 hours and are more severe.  Full strokes often manifest themselves with partial or total loss of vision, paralysis or numbness of limbs, slurred speech and coma.  Approximately 15% of the people who suffer CVA’s do not survive.

TIA’s and CVA’s tend to recur and thus availability of life insurance will be postponed, typically for a minimum of six months following the episode.  If there are no other incidents, life insurance with extra charges is offered with those charges reduced as more time elapses.  Standard premiums might ultimately be available, assuming there are no other impairments such as heart attack or diabetes.

Even with only a single TIA it is not likely that the individual will ever qualify for Preferred premiums. However, if you build a good case and your agent finds a company that has had good experience with this type of risk, a Standard-Plus category might be possible for TIA’s.  In order to obtain the best premium, whether it was a CVA or TIA, it is imperative that no tobacco products have been used for well over a year; height and weight have been maintained within normal limits for at least a year; blood pressure and cholesterol have been maintained at normal levels since the episode, with medication if it has been prescribed and regular M.D. checkups are maintained.

As with any significant medical history, it is important that your agent has a total picture of you as a serious patient intent upon maintaining proper care.  The agent should know what insurance companies are apt to offer the best premium for your condition and be able to communicate to that company why you should qualify for their best offer.

Next…how life insurance makes sense in an investment portfolio when you might have least expected it to. 

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