Buying Life Insurance with Epilepsy (4 things you need to know)

By:  Ben Bendall

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Reassured is an insurance company based in the United Kingdom. The purpose of this article is to educate individuals with epilepsy on the steps of applying for life insurance. If you have any questions, please contact

Life insurance is an important product to secure in anyone’s life, especially if you have young children who rely on you. It offers vital financial protection to your loved ones if you are no longer around to provide. It can help cover mortgage repayments (allowing your family to remain in their home), financial debt, funeral costs, household bills, university expenses, and rising living costs.

Having epilepsy or other health issues, can leave many worried that life insurance is either unaffordable or simply unobtainable, but this is not necessarily the case.

While having epilepsy can affect the cost of your monthly premium, it does not mean you will always be declined for a policy. The effect epilepsy has on your life insurance application will be down to the severity of your condition, how well it is managed, as well as your general health and lifestyle.

According to Epilepsy Research UK, over 600,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed with epilepsy, that’s 1 in 103 people.

Below, leading life insurance broker Reassured has written an article to talk you through the 4 things you need to know when applying for life insurance with epilepsy.

  1. You will need to provide medical information (be 100% honest)

With every life insurance application, you will be asked about your medical history as well as your current health (except with an over 50s policy). You are also asked about your family medical history.

This is so the insurer can understand the level of risk involved in offering you a policy. It will also help them calculate the cost of your premiums. For example, having epilepsy, depending on the severity, could increase the price of the premiums you pay.

It is important you are truthful when disclosing medical information as, if you are not, it can be seen as non-disclosure and you run the risk of jeopardizing a future payout (as it will invalidate your policy).

Insurers sometimes request medical records from your GP; however, they cannot do this without your prior permission. This is so they can gain a greater understanding of your condition.

Just be 100% open and honest with the insurer during the application process to ensure your selfless investment is not wasted.

2. Your premiums could be affected

As previously mentioned, the severity of your condition can affect the price of your premiums (although this will also be calculated by the insurer using several other key factors detailed below).

Epilepsy is a complex condition with many different seizure types; therefore, insurers will take your personal circumstances into consideration to calculate the exact cost. Every application is judged on a case-by-case basis, so do not assume because you have been diagnosed with epilepsy, you will automatically pay higher premiums.

We have listed the types of epileptic seizures that could affect your premiums (from less severe to most severe) depending on how frequently they occur and their severity.

Absence SeizuresUnconscious for a short time- less severe
Focal aware seizures (FAS)Will remember the seizure after
Focal impaired awareness seizuresComplex partial seizures can affect a bigger part of one hemisphere
Myoclonic SeizuresBrief but can happen in clusters
Tonic and atonic seizuresMuscle suddenly become stiff (aka drop attack)
Tonic-clonic seizuresA more severe seizure, loss of consciousness (previously known as a grand mal seizure)

Below we describe two very simplified examples of how your premiums could be affected:

  1. If you do not experience the loss of consciousness, are controlling your condition well through medication, and have not experienced a seizure in the past 5 years, you may be able to secure cover on standard terms without any inflation to your premium.
  2. If you regularly experience a loss of consciousness and experience seizures more than once a week, then you could be able to arrange cover but will likely experience higher (or loaded) premiums.

Your premiums can also be affected by other factors, such as:

  • Age
  • Smoking status
  • Being overweight/High BMI
  • If your occupation/hobbies are high-risk
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Your general health and wellbeing

Again, it is important that you are open and honest with the insurer about your lifestyle and condition, because if you aren’t you can risk loved ones not receiving a payout due to non-disclosure.

3. There are still multiple options available

There are many different life insurance policy options available. Your personal circumstances, what you are looking to cover, and your available budget will determine what policy is right for you.

Here are some of the most popular options:

Level Term:

Term limit can be up to 50 years

Max sum assured up to £1,000,000

Free terminal illness cover included

Medical information is required so you will need to provide details about your condition

Can help to cover an interest-based mortgage/large debts

Payout remains the same

Decreasing Term:

Term length can be up to 50 years

Max sum assured up to £1,000,000

Free terminal illness cover included

Medical information is required so you will need to provide details about your condition

Can help to cover a repayment mortgage

Pay out decreases over the policy term

Whole of Life:

Lifelong cover with a guaranteed pay out

Max sum assured up to £1,000,000

Medical information is required so you will need to provide details about your condition

Can provide loved ones with an inheritance and funeral costs

Could become costly if paying inflated premiums

Over 50s:

Guaranteed pay out

Max sum assured £20,000

No medical information is required (meaning your condition won’t affect the price that you pay) – Commonly used to help cover funeral costs

Acceptance is guaranteed to UK residents aged 50 – 85

4. If you’ve been declined before, you could still secure cover

If you have previously been declined, do not worry, this does not mean you won’t ever be accepted for a policy.

If you are between the ages of 50 to 85 you can secure a ‘guaranteed over 50s plan’. This means you will definitely be accepted (without needing to provide medical information) and will have cover in place for life.

This is a good option for those looking to cover smaller costs (as the maximum sum assured is £25,000), for example: helping toward a funeral and/or providing a small inheritance. However, this is not suitable for those under 50 or those looking for a larger sum assured.

There are also specialist impaired risk teams available who can assist those who have been previously declined to secure a suitable policy. Reassured has a dedicated impaired team who help those previously refused cover, completely free of charge – working with specialist insurers such as The Exeter and Met Life. Please note that coverage through these insurers will be more expensive.

Life insurance brokers deal with applicants diagnosed with epilepsy every single week and therefore they have the necessary knowledge to put you in touch with the insurers most likely to accept your application (and at the best price).

Finding an affordable policy

The best way to find affordable quotes is by shopping around, and comparing quotes from multiple providers. This can be done by using a comparison website, going directly via an insurer, or using an FCA-regulated broker. This will maximize your chances of finding a suitable policy at a great price.

Each and every insurer employs a different underwriting criteria so even if you have previously been declined cover by a major insurer it does not necessarily mean you will be declined by another.

You could save yourself valuable time and potentially money by using a life insurance broker to compare quotes on your behalf (free of charge). What’s more the application process will naturally be more complicated if you have epilepsy and will likely be lengthy and include insurance jargon. A broker can also guide you through the application unpicking the jargon and answering any questions you may have.

Regardless of which avenue you choose to secure life insurance, the important thing is that you have the reassuring financial protection in place to provide for loved ones in a worst-case scenario.

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