When looking for life insurance with a cerebral palsy diagnosis, keep in mind that life insurance companies may decide to take your disability into account when calculating the offer and premium costs. This is because disabilities might affect life expectancy and general health. If you have mild cerebral palsy and are currently employed full-time, you will likely be able to qualify for term life insurance. If you were diagnosed with a moderate or severe case of cerebral policy you will likely need to look at other options such as no medical life insurance.
Can I Get Life Insurance with Cerebral Palsy?
When looking for life insurance you may have found that the process seemed difficult or confusing if you have cerebral palsy. Many of the clients we talk with report receiving excessive rate quotes or being completely turned down for life insurance. As such, a common question we get is “can I get life insurance if I have cerebral palsy?”
The answer is yes, you can get life insurance if you have cerebral palsy!
At Protect Your Wealth, we specialize in securing life insurance for individuals diagnosed with pre-existing medical conditions such as cerebral palsy. We will work with you individually and find a policy that best suits your situations whether you have been diagnosed with mild, moderate, or severe cerebral palsy.
Cerebral Palsy Overview
What is Cerebral Palsy?
One out of every 500 people living in Canada has cerebral palsy (CP), a non-progressive yet evolving disorder. The term cerebral palsy is used to describe a variety of conditions that impair muscular coordination and movement of the body.
Early pregnancy is when the brain begins to develop, and it lasts until the child is about three years old. CP might develop if the brain is injured at this period. This injury obstructs communication between the body and the brain. Depending on the location of the brain damage, each person’s experience with CP will be very different.
A person with severe CP may require specialized walking aids or may not be able to walk at all, in which case they may require lifelong care. On the other hand, a person with mild CP might walk a little awkwardly but may not require any specific assistance. Though the precise symptoms can fluctuate during a person’s lifetime, CP does not get worse over time.
All CP patients struggle with posture and movement. Many further suffer from concurrent illnesses like intellectual impairment, seizures, issues with vision, hearing, or speech, and spinal abnormalities. But did you know that individuals with cerebral palsy can enhance their motor functions with the right treatment?
Types of Cerebral Palsy
Spastic Cerebral Palsy: Spastic CP is the most typical kind of CP. About 80% of CP sufferers have spastic CP. The tone of the muscles is higher in people with spastic CP. As a result, the person’s movements may be uncomfortable due to the rigid muscles. The bodily components affected by spastic CP are typically used to define the condition:
Spastic diplegia/diparesis—In this kind of CP, muscle stiffness affects the arms less or not at all, with the legs being most affected. People with spastic diplegia may find it challenging to walk since their legs tend to pull together, curve inward, and cross at the knees due to tight hip and leg muscles (also known as scissoring).
Spastic hemiplegia/hemiparesis—Only one side of the body is afflicted by this type of CP, usually the arm more so than the leg.
Spastic quadriplegia – is the most severe type of spastic cerebral palsy and affects the face, trunk, and all four limbs. In addition to having additional developmental difficulties like intellectual incapacity, seizures, or issues with vision, hearing, or speech, people with spastic quadriparesis typically are unable to walk.
Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy: Dyskinetic CP patients have difficulty regulating their hands, arms, feet, and legs, making it challenging for them to sit and walk. The unrestrained movements can be quick and fast or slow and writhing. Sucking, swallowing, and speech become difficult when the face and tongue are involved. An individual with dyskinetic CP has muscles that can be either overly tight or too loose.
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: Ataxic CP patients experience balance and coordination issues. When they walk, they can be shaky. Quick movements or actions requiring a lot of control, like writing, may be difficult for them. When they grasp for anything, they can find it difficult to keep their hands or arms under control.
Mixed Cerebral Palsy: Some individuals exhibit signs of multiple CP types. Spastic-dyskinetic CP is the kind of mixed CP that is most common.
What do Life Insurance Companies Look for When You Apply with Cerebral Palsy?
Life insurance companies will require specific information about the severity of cerebral palsy when evaluating a CP applicant. Common question you can expect insurers will ask include the following:
- What signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy are you currently experiencing?
- Have you requested or gotten any kind of disability compensation in the last year?
- Do you currently take any prescription drugs?
- Do you currently have a job?
- Have you ever been hospitalized in the last two years for any reason?
- Do you have any more pre-existing medical issues?
- Has there been any paralysis? If so, how serious?
- Have you undergone surgery or been informed that you need to? If so, what kind of surgery was done and when?
- Have you experienced any seizures? If so, when was your last seizure?
Underwriting For People With Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy patients have options for life insurance. Your condition’s severity and other factors will influence your options. The underwriting process gives considerable weight to your financial independence and stability in the workplace. In addition, they examine other health issues that have an impact on longevity, such as:
- Disabilities and impairments
- The degree of seriousness
- Sharpness of vision
- Respiratory health
- Limitations of Mobility
- Issues with eating
- Cognitive function
Additionally, there are different ways to categorize cerebral palsy. Generally speaking, categories can be broken down according to:
- Severity – mild, moderate, or severe.
- Topographical distribution – describes the body sections affected and ranges from modest to severe. For instance, for cerebral palsy, the term monoplegia indicates that only one limb is affected.
It is important to keep in mind that life insurance providers consider everything. There are fewer options for life insurance if a person has moderate to severe conditions. Whereas, the choices for life insurance are generally more numerous for someone who is employed and has a mild case of cerebral palsy.
Life Insurance Options For People With Cerebral Palsy
As previously stated, the extent of your disease and other factors will affect your options. If you have a mild case of cerebral palsy you may qualify for term life insurance. Whereas, for moderate to severe cases, you will likely be declined traditional life insurance. In this case, other policies such as no medical life insurance can be considered.
Term Life Insurance and Mild Case of Cerebral Palsy
Having a mild form of cerebral palsy and being currently employed are both factors that can increase the range of life insurance policies available to you. There is a good chance that you fall somewhere in the middle of the health table, between tables 2 and 4, which is still a very good class. Health-related table ratings are just an additional cost. Keep in mind that your life expectancy is a major factor for insurance companies. Although people with cerebral palsy have a good life expectancy, they are at increased risk for developing secondary medical conditions. Since this may reduce their lifespan. As was previously discussed, the underwriting process takes into account your financial stability and employment status. The underwriting process heavily relies on your cognitive abilities. A mild condition and the capacity for employment suggest an independent lifestyle. This is essential for underwriters.
In this case you will likely qualify for term life insurance. The simplest, purest type of life insurance is a term policy: you pay a premium for a certain amount of time, usually between 10 and 30 years, your family will receive a cash payout in the event that you pass away within that time (or anyone else you name as your beneficiary).
No Medical Life Insurance With Moderate and Severe Cases Of Cerebral Palsy
In cases of moderate cerebral palsy, choices become more complicated. Individuals with moderate cerebral palsy typically require some level of assistance with basic tasks of daily living. It may be difficult to find a job, but it’s not impossible. SSDI is a form of financial aid that may be given to an adult with cerebral palsy.
The need for assistance with daily duties, cognitive deficits, and other conditions are all signs of severe cerebral palsy. There are still options for life insurance even if you have severe cerebral palsy. Of course, the earlier choices we talked about are not. But it’s alright. There is life insurance, as we already stated.
There’s a high chance that you won’t qualify for term life insurance with moderate to severe cases of cerebral palsy. In this case consider no medical life insurance. No medical life insurance is a special kind of life insurance where there is no need for a medical examination during the underwriting process. This is appealing to people who are unable to receive regular insurance due to major medical issues that classify them as high-risk persons, such as cerebral palsy. Although it tends to be more expensive and provides less coverage for the money, it does allow those in dire circumstances some coverage in the event of their passing.
To learn more about no medical life insurance and if it is right for you, check out our Should You Get No Medical Life Insurance in Canada? blog.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Life Insurance with Cerebral Palsy
One factor that makes it difficult for people with cerebral palsy to obtain life insurance is life expectancy. Two aspects of life expectancy are examined by life insurance. They represent your capacity to work and sustain employment as well as carry out daily life activities. For example, the ability to dress oneself and eat are among the activities of daily living. Your capacity to carry out daily tasks is a crucial determinant of your life expectancy. Additionally, it is a sign if you are able to retain a job, preferably full-time, without requiring any sort of government aid.
When we inform people that employment is an underwriting factor, they are often surprised. Being employed and going to work are extensions of daily activities. You will be taken into account during the underwriting process if a carrier notices that you are young and receiving SSDI. One reason is that you will not receive a substantial death benefit. There is no way a carrier will insure you for $250,000 or $500,000 if you don’t work and provide financially for your family.
Life insurance companies can and do offer coverage to individuals who are disabled. There might be minimal or no effect on insurability if the disability has no impact on life expectancy. However, a person’s ability to obtain several types of coverage will also be impacted by any disability that reduces life expectancy. Keep in mind, there are guaranteed issue insurance that offer a limited level of protection regardless of health issues.
When applying for life insurance with any health problem, you will frequently be asked additional questions and have to submit extensive details on your symptoms, treatment, condition, and overall health. However, it need not be complex. We can assist you in simplifying the procedure.
It’s not unheard of for a life insurance application from someone with cerebral palsy to be turned down by a general insurer because the company doesn’t have specific guidelines for accepting such applications. We’ll need more information about your prior application history, but we’re committed to helping you find a solution.
Find a solution for what you’re looking for
Individuals with cerebral palsy will not necessarily face costly premiums and limited insurance options. Depending on the degree of your cerebral palsy, you may receive many different options. At Protect Your Wealth, we work with and compare policies and quotes from the best life insurance companies in Canada to ensure the best solution for you and your needs. We provide expert life insurance solutions, including no medical life insurance, critical illness insurance, term life insurance, and permanent life insurance to build the best package to give you the protection you need.
To schedule a consultation about your income protection goals, or if you have any questions about insurance in Ontario or Canada, please contact Protect Your Wealth or call us at 1-877-654-6119 to talk to an advisor today! We’re proudly based out of Hamilton, and service clients anywhere in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta including areas such as Cambridge, Windsor, Lethbridge, and Vancouver.