Life Insurance with Parkinson’s Disease in Canada

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11 minute read

Get life insurance with Parkinson's disease in Canada

Life Insurance with Parkinson’s Disease in Canada

Talk to one of our experienced advisors today!

11 Minute read

Get life insurance with Parkinson's disease in Canada

Getting life insurance with Parkinson’s disease in Canada is possible, but there are some things to look out for. Parkinson’s disease is a serious medical condition that affects the brain, and therefore affects one’s motor functions. Statistics show that Parkinson’s is growing in Canada and there are already thousands of people who are currently diagnosed. Luckily, there are plenty of life insurance companies which can provide coverage to those who are diagnosed. There are also certain things that you should know if you or a loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and are looking to get a policy. In this blog post we will be taking a look at what Parkinson’s disease is, how it can affect life insurance, how to still qualify and much more. 

What is Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a long-term progressing, permanent neurological condition that is characterized by affecting the motor functions. It is a condition that will progress as time goes on, can begin with tremors and can progress into more constant and violent tremors and muscle rigidity. This progress is caused by the death of cells in the midbrain area of the brain. Unfortunately, there is no cure at the moment, but there are medical procedures that can reduce the symptoms.

Luckily, with the vast amounts of life insurance policies available in Canada you can get coverage with Parkinson’s disease. This condition can be potentially serious and it is listed as a condition that life insurance companies will use to determine your premiums while underwriting. To learn more about what underwriting is and how it relates to your life insurance read our complete guide about the different kinds of underwriting that exist.

How common is Parkinson’s disease in Canada?

Parkinson’s disease in Canada is a fairly common condition, as reports have been made that there are over 100,000 Canadians who have been diagnosed with Canadians being diagnosed more frequently. 

Types of Parkinson’s disease

There are a couple of types of Parkinson’s disease, the following are the most popular types of Parkinsonisms:

This is the most common type of Parkinsonism which generally occurs after 50 years old, specifically affecting 55 to 65 year olds mostly. This is a mixture of the continued death of cells, and the drop of dopamine levels. 

Symptoms: 

  • Bradykinesia
  • Tremors 
  • Troubling with walking and balance 

A common form of secondary Parkinsonism, this is when the side-effects of a drug lead to a drop in dopamine levels causing Parkinsonism. The symptoms of this condition are hard to differentiate from Idiopathic Parkinsonism. 

This is caused by a buildup of cerebrospinal fluids in the brain. This is most common in adults over 65 years old. 

Symptoms:

  • Walking disruption 
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Loss of bladder control

This condition is a neurodegenerative disorder, and can slowly lead to degeneration of other parts of your body. This typically affects those who are 50 and over.

Symptoms:

  • Loss of coordination
  • Dysfunction of the nervous system
  • Loss of bladder control

How does Parkinson’s disease affect life insurance coverage

A lot of people who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s wonder if it is possible to get life insurance as a patient. Fortunately, it is definitely possible to get life insurance with Parkinson’s disease. For traditional life insurance coverage which requires underwriting there are some stipulations which can affect your coverage. Primarily underwriting for someone with Parkinson’s disease depends on a variety of circumstances and severity of your symptoms. 

Alternatively, there are great guaranteed life insurance policies that can provide you coverage without underwriting. This is a much easier way to get life insurance coverage with Parkinson’s disease because no-medical and guaranteed life insurance won’t require any medical testing, nor will it require an APS (attending physician statements). 

What life insurance companies look for when you apply with Parkinson’s disease

There are a number of things that life insurance companies look out for during the  underwriting stage of rating someone. People are rated even if they are in good health and don’t have any medical conditions. For someone who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, there is an additional list of things that the underwriter will need to know to determine your life insurance coverage. The following list shows some of the underwriting considerations which determine how Parkinson’s disease can affect life insurance.

What do life insurance companies look for in Parkinson’s patients

Some insurance companies will also require you to fill out a Parkinson’s related questionnaire and will need you to get an attending physician statement. Again, these underwriting questions will decide your rating which in turn will alter the price of your coverage, the kind of coverage, and the amount of coverage you’re eligible for. Remember that there are always other options available that will guarantee you life insurance coverage without medical examination! Find out the difference between Guaranteed Issue vs Simplified vs Fully Underwritten Life Insurance Policies.

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Best life insurance policies if you have Parkinson’s disease

The best life insurance policies for those with Parkinson’s disease range depending on a number of factors, each Parkinson’s patient might have a unique set of factors that might make one kind of life insurance policy more appealing to them. Luckily, people with Parkinson’s are able to get most life insurance policies. It is possible to get a guaranteed life insurance, simplified life insurance and even a fully underwriting life insurance policy. 

Fully Underwritten Policy

To get a fully underwritten policy this will require you to take a medical exam and get an evaluation from a certified physician. This will also require you to answer some questions regarding your Parkinson’s disease. There are benefits to this evaluation because depending on your results, you can get a preferred rate and the cost of your life insurance might just be slightly more than someone without Parkinson’s. This will allow you to have a higher coverage amount and will allow you to have access to different kinds of life insurance policies which have great benefits and features that might better suit your needs and wants. Luckily, there are a couple of life insurance companies that have underwritten policies available for those with Parkinson’s disease.

Guaranteed or No Medical Policy

A guaranteed or no medical insurance policy can benefit those who do not want to go through a medical evaluation, or those who are declined from acquiring an underwritten policy. This would be ideal for those who have a more severe Parkinson’s, but keep in mind that there are many insurance companies that will allow you to get an underwritten policy even if you have severe Parkinson’s. A no medical exam can limit the amount of coverage you can receive for your policy. For example, most no medical exam term life insurance policies will only provide you with $500,000 coverage and no medical exam whole life insurance policies will only offer you $50,000 or less in coverage. These policies typically cost more monthly and they have less coverage features than the underwritten policies. No medical life insurance is offered by most Canadian insurance companies. 

Simplified Policy

Simplified policies are available from many life insurance companies for people who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. These simplified policies have a mixture of traits from fully underwritten policies and guaranteed policies. This is an attractive policy for those who want a higher coverage amount and more features. These kinds of policies will require you to answer limited medical questions, but don’t require you to visit a doctor and get an examination. These policies also can offer higher coverage amounts, depending on your health, age, smoking status and a few other factors.

The cost of life insurance with Parkinson’s disease

Premiums can range depending on your choice of a no medical exam policy, simplified policy or fully underwritten policy and also for term life insurance policies or whole life insurance policies. This price for life insurance can also vary from company to company. There are a number of different factors that can vary the cost of life insurance for those with Parkinson’s disease but the most important to know about is the rating. 

A rating is the percentage that a life insurance company will charge you for your life insurance policy, this is usually used for fully underwritten policies. For example, a standard rating for life insurance will be for someone who has no health conditions, if you have Parkinson’s disease and you get a 150% rating, this means you will pay 1.5x more than someone with a standard rating. This rating is based on questions about your Parkinson’s disease, on your medical exam and an APS. Life insurance companies specifically base this percentage rating on the factors surrounding your Parkinson’s.

Here is a table of what some life insurance companies in Canada are willing to reveal about their underwriting process and what factors they will primarily use to determine your rating, based on you being a Parkinson’s patient:

Life insurance CompaniesUnderwriting factor(s) that primarily determine the cost of life insurance coverage (Rating)
BMO Life Insurance
  • Attending Physician’s Statement (APS)
Canada Life
  • Age of applicant
  • Severity of applicant’s Parkinson’s
Canada Protection Plan (CPP)
  • Recommends simplified insurance plan (no medical exam required)
Empire Life
  • Severity of applicant’s Parkinson’s
  • Age of diagnosis
  • Treatments for Parkinson’s
  • Stability of disease
  • Requires Attending Physician’s Statement (APS)
Humania Life
  • Date of diagnosis
  • Severity of applicant’s Parkinson’s
  • Age of diagnosis
  • Treatments for Parkinson’s
  • Stability of disease
  • Requires Attending Physician’s Statement (APS)
SSQ Life
  • Requires Attending Physician’s Statement (APS)
  • Severity of applicant’s Parkinson’s based on the 5 stages of Parkinson’s

What happens if you get diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease while already insured

If you already have a life insurance policy and you become newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you don’t need to worry about how this will affect your life insurance coverage, because it won’t! Canadian life insurance companies cannot revoke or change your life insurance coverage or policy once it is effective. This gives you peace of mind in the case of a Parkinson’s diagnosis or other health conditions. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is indeed a condition that is covered by life insurance, if you are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and pass away as a result of your Parkinson’s your life insurance company is still entitled to provide you with your life insurance payout. 

Yes, if you want a fully underwritten policy and no, if you want to get a guaranteed or simplified life insurance policies. As detailed above, it just depends on what you are looking for in an insurance policy and how your Parkinson’s affects you. 

Most critical illness insurance packages will cover a list of critical illnesses, some do have Parkinson’s disease listed as a covered illness, while others don’t.  Again, in this circumstance it is best to find out if critical illness insurance is right for you. 

Most underwritten life insurance policies will want to know the severity of your Parkinson’s disease, this list might be helpful in seeing the 5 different stages of severity in regards to Parkinson’s: 

  • Stage 1 – Unilateral involvement
  • Stage 2 – Bilateral involvement but normal stance
  • Stage 3 – Bilateral involvement with mild postural imbalance, but able to lead an independent life
  • Stage 4 – Bilateral involvement with postural instability; requires substantial help
  • Stage 5 – Severe disease; restricted to bed or wheelchair

Parkinson’s is indeed a pre-existing condition. Therefore if you are applying for life insurance with Parkinson’s disease you would be labeled as having a pre-existing condition. 

Finding the right life insurance for you

If you’re diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease you can still find affordable life insurance for your situation! Working with a life insurance advisor can help you create the perfect life insurance plan and package for your needs.

At Protect Your Wealth, we work with and compare policies and quotes from the best life insurance companies in Canada to create the best solution for you and your needs. We’ve been providing expert life insurance solutions since 2007, including no medical life insurance, term life insurance, and permanent life insurance, to build the best package to give you the protection you need.

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, including areas such as Burlington, Oakville, and Hamilton.

Talk to an advisor today.

Contact Protect Your Wealth