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Guide to epilepsy life insurance

We explain the key things to think about when getting life insurance with epilepsy and how this cover works

A photo of Grace Lynch, the author

By Grace Lynch

Published on: 16 May 2023

6 min read

Guide to epilepsy life insurance

Life insurance is the easiest and most cost-effective way to protect your family in the event you pass away. Many insurance providers can offer the insurance cover you need for as low as £5 each month.

There are some key factors insurers will look at though and it can be trickier for people who have medical conditions like epilepsy. You may wonder “can I get life insurance with epilepsy?”. Getting life insurance with epilepsy is possible but epilepsy can affect the options and pricing available to you, which can be frustrating.

Epilepsy facts and figures UK

Epilepsy affects thousands of people in the UK, with more than 600,000 people living with an epilepsy diagnosis currently. This is roughly 1 in 103 people, with over 600 people diagnosed each week. Other key facts about epilepsy include:

  • 65% of epilepsy cases have no known cause
  • 1 in 3 people with epilepsy will also have depression
  • There are over 100,000 people admitted to A&E each year due to epilepsy symptoms
  • 30% of people with epilepsy live with seizures that don’t respond to medication
  • A staggering 21 people in the UK die each week due to epilepsy
  • Epilepsy can be linked to other medical conditions such as brain tumours, head injuries, strokes, and Alzheimer’s disease

Can you get life insurance if you have epilepsy?

Yes, there may be extra considerations involved but people with epilepsy should still be able to get life insurance.

You will be asked questions specific to epilepsy during the application process. This helps insurers make sure your cover is suitable and allows them to apply the correct premium (pricing).

Epilepsy questions for life cover:

  • When were you diagnosed with epilepsy?
  • How severe are your seizures? E.g. do they lead to loss of consciousness?
  • When did you experience your first seizure?
  • What is the cause of your epilepsy (if known)? E.g. other medical conditions, brain injury, medication, drug use etc.
  • What type of epilepsy do you have? E.g. grand mal epilepsy
  • Have there been any changes to your treatment in the last 6 months?
  • Have you ever been admitted to hospital due to epilepsy?
  • Are you waiting on the results of any scans, investigations or tests?

Once you have answered these questions, this helps the insurer work out:

  1. If they can offer you life insurance
  2. If they need further medical information e.g. a GP report (may not be needed if your symptoms are mild and seizures aren’t frequent)
  3. How much your policy will cost each month

This may seem a long process, but it is best for the insurer to be thorough. This means your cover will be suitable for your circumstances and there should be no issues paying out in the event of a claim. Questions can vary between insurers, and it is important you answer all the questions you are asked honestly so your cover is valid.

More on this topic:

While insurers will look at your medical history when you apply, life insurance itself shouldn’t be any different for someone with epilepsy. It will work the same way as for anyone else, you will just need to answer some extra questions when you apply.

The main difference is that you might have to pay slightly higher life insurance premiums compared to someone with no medical conditions.

When it comes to cost, some life insurance companies will be better than others for people with health issues like epilepsy. It is worth researching your options carefully and getting further advice before making any decisions.

Key facts about epilepsy and life insurance

Epilepsy is a common medical condition in the UK. However, symptoms can vary hugely between each person. Your life insurance will be based on your individual symptoms and medical history.

There are few factors that can make getting life insurance with epilepsy more complicated:

  • Multiple hospitalisations due to epilepsy
  • Being hospitalised recently will lead to questions surrounding why this happened and your current treatments
  • The type of seizures you experience can impact your application. Tonic-clonic seizures tend to be thought of as more serious by insurance underwriters, compared to absent seizures.
  • Your application may be declined or postponed if you are waiting on test results or investigations. This allows insurers to have a full picture of your health before agreeing to cover you.

How much does epilepsy life insurance cost?

There are several standard factors that will affect life insurance pricing. You might assume that epilepsy life insurance will be ridiculously expensive, but it can be cheaper than you would think.

Every person will pay a slightly different price, as we all have different medical history and lifestyle factors e.g. occupation and hobbies. When you submit a life insurance application, insurers will calculate the price you pay based on:

  • How old you are
  • How much cover you need (amount of £s)
  • How long you want to be covered for (policy term)
  • The type of life insurance e.g. family protection or mortgage protection
  • If you smoke (smokers will usually pay more)

If you have epilepsy, insurance providers will also look at your medical history when deciding on pricing. The best ways to make sure you don’t pay too much for your cover because of your epilepsy are:

  • Speak to a life insurance specialist (you can save significantly with the right advice)
  • Avoid applying online or through your bank (can be more expensive)
  • Compare quotes from multiple different insurance companies to find the best price

Critical illness cover is a useful policy that pays out a cash lump sum when you are diagnosed with a serious medical condition. This condition must be covered in the terms and conditions of your policy for a valid claim.

If you have mild epilepsy symptoms, it can be straightforward to get critical illness cover through a range of insurance providers. Even with more severe symptoms, it can still be possible to get critical illness insurance.

Before approving your policy, you will be asked questions relating to:

  • Your overall health and lifestyle
  • How frequently you experience epilepsy symptoms or seizures
  • When you were diagnosed
  • If you experience absent or tonic-clonic seizures

You might find that the insurer will only agree to cover with ‘exclusions’ attached. An exclusion is something that your provider states they will not pay out for e.g. a medical condition or activity.

In this case, the insurer could exclude epilepsy related illness or other neurological conditions. This means you cannot claim on your policy for these reasons but can still claim for a range of other health issues.

More about critical illness cover:

There are a few different types of life insurance to choose from when you apply. The life insurance that works best for you will vary from person to person. Your main life insurance options are:

  • Family life insurance (level term life insurance)
  • Mortgage life insurance (decreasing term life insurance)
  • Whole of life insurance (or ‘whole life insurance’)
  • Guaranteed life insurance
  • Over 50s life insurance
  • Business life insurance e.g. relevant life insurance

Some life insurance companies are better than others for offering affordable polcies to people with epilepsy.

Many insurers will offer you cover. It is key to compare what is available across the market to make sure you are getting a fair price. You can speak to an epilepsy life insurance specialist before applying, who will only put your application to the most suitable insurers.

The best life insurance providers for epilepsy include:

How to get affordable epilepsy life insurance

The best way to get epilepsy life insurance at a fair price is to speak to a life insurance specialist. Many insurance companies will be able to offer you cover but not all with be suitable choices and you could end paying more than you need to.

A specialist will be able to look at your health and medical history and support you in the finding the insurer that is the best fit for what you need.

Resources

Epilepsy Action – Living with epilepsy

Epilepsy Society – Living with epilepsy

The Brain Charity – Epilepsy

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