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I am 39 years old and was diagnosed with Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy when I was in my late teens. I’ve never had a tonic clonic seizure, only the myoclonic jerks and I haven’t had these since I started taking medicine when diagnosed. I now have a second child on the way so am wondering can I get life insurance?
Imagine you have a puzzle, and you’re trying to figure out how all the pieces fit together to create the whole picture. Epilepsy is a bit like that puzzle. When doctors try to understand why someone has epilepsy, they might find different reasons.
So, just like detectives looking for clues to solve a mystery, doctors classify epilepsy into these groups to better understand why it happens and how to treat it.
To price your cover, the underwriters then factor in whether you have grand/tonic-clonic or petit mal/absence seizures and how long since your last seizure.
But, as with all medical conditions, be careful which insurer you apply to. Some providers are more sympathetic than others.
Once you have decided to apply for life insurance with epilepsy, make sure you use an independent life insurance broker who deals with all five life insurance companies in Ireland (and has a good knowledge of their underwriting criteria)
Usually, it’s the lesser-known insurer that will offer you the best chance of getting life insurance with epilepsy – at the standard price.
Yes, it is possible to obtain Income Protection or Serious Illness Cover if you have epilepsy, but as with all pre-existing conditions, the insurer will not allow you to claim for absence from work due to that condition.
Life insurance companies use 2 main factors to price your coverage.
The more time that has passed since your last seizure the better. Over 5 years is best. If you have had a seizure in the last 12 months, it will be difficult to get cover.
So the final cost of your cover depends on the type of epilepsy, type of seizure and time since the last seizure.
Let’s say the standard price for the cover you need is €50
If your last seizure was over 5 years ago and your epilepsy is petit mal, there’s a good chance you will get cover for €50 too.
On the other hand, if your last seizure was under 5 years ago, then your cover will cost around €75.
More serious type + more severe seizure + recent = higher premium.
You will need to complete an application form and an epilepsy questionnaire.
This is the type of information the insurer needs:
On receipt of sufficiently detailed answers, the insurer may be able to offer you cover without the need for a medical report from your GP.
Otherwise, a detailed PMA report will be required from your GP – this can take forever so we do our best to find an insurer that doesn’t need a GP report.
Before you apply, discuss your epilepsy with your advisor as he/she will know what information is important to the insurers.
They should also help you add comments to your application that accurately reflect your personal experience with the disorder.
This will give you the best chance of getting the best price.
First impressions matter!
Be as up-front as possible.
If there are any special circumstances, let your broker know.
Any adverse and unexplained information uncovered during the underwriting process creates an impression and could put the underwriter on guard while assessing your case.
If you don’t have an advisor, I’d love to help.
Complete this epilepsy questionnaire and I’ll be able to give you a steer as to which insurer is best for you.
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