Paraplegia & Life Insurance
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We know that having paraplegia does not stop you from having a full and active life. Yes, you may have to do adapt your home, your work environment and plan your holidays with a bit more detail, but it doesn’t need to hold you back from living. Here at Cura, it is our job to listen to you, to how you life with paraplegia, and find an insurer that is supportive of your health.
Things we need to know:
- When did you become paraplegic?
- Is your paraplegia complete or partial?
- Have you had surgery?
- Do you have a catheter fitted?
- Do you have any complications e.g. frequent urinary tract infections?
- Do you require a carer?
Life Insurance for paraplegics is available with a number of insurers on the standard market. It is likely that the insurer will want to see a report from your GP to confirm the cause of your paraplegia and how you are manage your health on a regular basis. You will need to detail how long you have had paraplegia, if you have any additional health conditions and how much it affects your day to day living. Sometimes insurers consider your ability to work, as a good indicator of how much paraplegia affects you. Where Life Insurance is available, it will probably come at non-standard terms, in the form of a premium increase.
Another potential consideration is your weight. If you have had one or two limbs removed, this can affect your BMI score (your height to weight ratio). If you have had one limb removed your BMI can fall lower than a standard insurers acceptance criteria, if you have had two limbs removed your BMI can fall above the standard acceptance ranges. It is important to explain to insurers the current situation so they have a full picture and therefore assess your application fairly.
If you are in this situation or your paraplegia is causing problems other complications, such as kidneys complications, it is possible that you may need to look at a specialist provider for your Life Insurance.
Critical Illness Cover for paraplegics may be available with some insurance providers. The insurer will be particularly interested in whether the paraplegia is causing any secondary complications. This could be if your renal function is being affected, you have a low or high BMI, if you are paraplegic due to a loss of one or two limbs, and other factors. The reason that the insurer will want to know these details, is because kidney failure and loss of a limb, are claimable conditions under many critical illness contracts. Your circumstances could lead the insurer to exclude these conditions from the policy claims set.
If you find that Critical Illness Cover is not available on the standard market due to your paraplegia, there are specialist insurers that we can arrange the cover with for you.
Income Protection for those with paraplegia is usually unavailable with standard insurance providers. There are some specialist income protection policies that you could be able to arrange, but the acceptance criteria is quite strict. It is always worthwhile exploring this option if you do want to protect your income, before considering alternatives like those discussed below.You may want to look at Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover if you are unable to work due to ill health or involuntary redundancy. This type of policy is arranged without any medical underwriting, meaning that you will be accepted for cover without detailing your paraplegia. Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover provides replacement of your monthly income, for between 12 and 24 months. Whilst the policy is not medically underwritten at the time of the policy being set up, any claims are. This means that any claim that you make will exclude inability to work due to your paraplegia.
Are you going on holiday? It is a good idea to plan ahead and one way of doing this is getting your travel insurance in place. We work alongside a specialist travel insurance broker that can help you find the right insurance for you. For more details please see our dedicated travel insurance page here.
What is Paraplegia
Paraplegia can be caused from a number of factors such as genetic inheritance, spinal cord injury. The condition will typically result in an individual having a weakness in the leg muscles and a stiffness to their gait. Whilst some who are diagnosed with paraplegia may require a wheelchair to move around, others can also have the condition in a mild form without the need for walking aids. Paraplegia cannot be cured or prevented but with effective management those with the condition can live full lives.
Linked with: Kidney disease, monoplegia, triplegia, quadriplegia (tetraplegia), Spina Bifida, Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), Familial spastic paraplegia (FSP), Strumpell-Lorraine syndrome, Idiopathic Spastic Paraplegia, spinal cord injury
Possible Effects on Lifestyle
Some potential problems experienced by individuals who have paraplegia include:
- Ataxia (involuntary movement)
- Difficulty walking
- Foot drop
- Leg muscle weakness
- Muscle spasms
- Problems with balance and falling
- Problems with bladder control
- Stiffness in leg muscles
- Visual or hearing impairments
Medications and Treatments
- Botulinum injections (Botox)
- Electrical muscle stimulation
- Lower leg brace (ankle-foot orthosis)
Further Reading and Research
Yes we can. It is quite common for people to be refused life insurance if they have an existing medical condition. We have arranged life insurance for paraplegia and know the best insurers to talk to you on your behalf. Please don’t be disheartened if you have been declined life insurance before, we can arrange the cover for you.
That’s a tricky one to answer. We would need a bit more information about yourself to let you know which insurer would suit you best. Your age, smoker status, BMI, overall health, occupation, travel and any sports that you do, can greatly influence which insurer to go to for Life Insurance. It is only once we have a complete picture of you, that we can feel comfortable with choosing which insurer is right for you. There are a few insurers that we could tell you are a no go straight away, but picking the best Life Insurance for paraplegics, requires a bit more detail.
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Review by Michael on 9th August 2018
“Helpful and informative representative on the telephone. Gave me time to consider my options, then made further contact to check if I had any other questions. Once i accepted the policy, paperwork followed very quickly, no hassle.” - 5
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