Life insurance and strokes
Having a stroke is a serious and potentially life-threatening medical emergency, and whether you or a loved one have been directly affected, you may wish to know how life insurance for stroke patients works. In this guide we’ll explain the implications for a life insurance policy after a mini-stroke, or indeed an even more serious haemorrhage.
What are the types of stroke?
More than 1.3 million people in the UK have experienced a stroke, according to the Stroke Association, so it’s a more common medical condition than you might think. But looking beyond this headline statistic, there are actually three main types of stroke:
- Ischaemic stroke. This is the most common type of stroke, and refers to situations where the blood supply is cut off to the brain.
- Transient ischaemic attack (TIA). Sometimes referred to as a ‘mini stroke’, a TIA is similar to an ischaemic stroke in that it’s a blockage that stops blood from getting to the brain. However, in these cases the blockage is temporary, so the symptoms do not persist.
- Haemorrhagic stroke. A type of stroke where there is bleeding to the brain.
Yes, you could get life insurance if you’ve had a stroke, but this will depend on the severity of your stroke symptoms, among other factors like your age, health history and smoker status. Life insurance pays out on the death of the insured person during the length of the policy, and could help help their family meet ongoing costs, such as the mortgage or rent, household bills and childcare. So a Life insurance payout for a stroke would only be triggered if the policyholder was deceased and a valid claim is made.
You can get life insurance even if strokes are a prevalent medical condition in your family. However, you will need to disclose information about your family medical history when you apply for life insurance, and this includes whether you (or close family members) have had a stroke. Moreover, Legal & General’s underwriters will take this medical history into account before deciding whether to issue a policy. Life insurance premiums are ultimately based on risk, so the amount you pay is determined by the perceived risk that a payout will be triggered. Read the Legal & General guide to family medical histories and life insurance.
Does Critical Illness Cover pay out for strokes?
In many cases, a Critical Illness Cover policy will pay out if you experience a stroke. The stroke symptoms – meaning a neurological deficit with persisting clinical symptoms – will normally need to last for at least 24 hours before a claim can be made. You should refer to your policy documents for more information, including whether you're covered for strokes and the definition that would need to be met in order to make a valid claim.
Can I get Critical Illness Cover if I’ve already had a stroke?
Yes, having a stroke does not automatically preclude you from getting Critical Illness Cover, but as with Life Insurance, your application will be assessed to help us decide whether we can offer you a policy. Our Critical Illness Cover can be added when taking out life insurance for an extra cost. It's designed to pay out if you were diagnosed with or undergo a medical procedure for one of the specified illness that we cover during the length of your policy and you survive for 14 days from diagnosis.
Can I get income protection insurance if I’ve had a stroke?
Yes, you can still get income protection insurance if you’ve had a stroke. Income Protection Insurance, such as Legal & General’s Illness and Injury Insurance or Income Protection Benefit, is designed to pay you a monthly benefit if you couldn't work due to illness or injury which resulted in a loss of earnings. But as with any life insurance with a stroke, your application will be assessed before a decision is made, and eligibility criteria and terms and conditions apply.
If I’ve had a stroke, what questions will I be asked when I apply?
If you’ve experienced a stroke in the past, you should disclose this in your life insurance application, otherwise your policy may become invalid should you or your loved ones need to claim for a payout. When you apply, some of the questions we are likely to ask include:
- When did the stroke occur and on how many occasions?
- Were you advised of a specific cause?
- What did your treatment involve, and have you had (or are waiting to have) any surgery?
- Are you experiencing any residual symptoms or restrictions in your daily activities?
- Do you have difficulty breathing; chest pain on exertion; angina, or pain in your calves when walking?
Whether you’re applying for life insurance after a mini-stroke, or a life-threatening incident, we can often assess applications online by asking a few simple questions. In some cases, we may ask for a GP report to give us a full picture of your condition before a final underwriting decision is made. Read our guide to life insurance and medical records.
It's essential that you answer all the questions we ask in your application fully and accurately. If you fail to mention something like a medical condition, for example, we may not pay out in the event of a claim.