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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?
Epilepsy is caused by disturbances to the brain’s electrical activity and results in seizures. Two types of epilepsy most commonly seen are generalised tonic‑clonic seizures (grand mal) and typical absence seizures (petit mal).
It’s possible to get life insurance or mortgage protection if you have epilepsy.
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.
Life insurance companies use 2 main factors to price your cover.
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.
Whether it be grand mal/tonic-clonic or petit mal/absence.
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.
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.
Before you apply, discuss your epilepsy with your broker as he/she will know what information is important to the insurers.
They should also help you add comments to your application which 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 a broker, I would be more than happy to help you.
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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