TIA & Life Insurance
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For many having a transient ischaemic attack (mini-stroke) can be an unnerving experience. With the same symptoms as having a stroke, it can be a worry not knowing what is happening and why you are suddenly feeling a certain way. When it comes to getting insurance in place, we are here to chat you through the types of information that insurance companies will ask about your TIA. We are here to make the process easier for you.
Things we need to know:
- When did you have your TIA?
- How many mini-strokes have you had?
- Do you have any lasting symptoms from the TIA?
- Was your TIA linked to another condition e.g. diabetes, high cholesterol?
- Do you now take medication to reduce the risk of having a mini-stroke?
In some cases it is possible to arrange life Insurance after a TIA at standard terms (this means no price increase). This will be dependent upon the severity of your mini-stoke, when it happened and the insurer you apply to, for the life insurance.
It is likely that the insurer provider that you apply to may ask to see a report from your GP, to support your application. This is arranged at the insurer’s expense and is done so that they can get an accurate record of your health, before they make their decision. I quite like it when insurers ask for this as it means that they have confirmation from your GP about your health, which means that at the point of a claim it can’t be said that you missed something out from your medical history.
If you have applied for life insurance before and hit barriers to getting cover, please do not worry. There are a number of options that can be looked at away from the standard market of insurers. They don’t have to cost silly amounts, it is worth having a chat to see what you can access.
It is also worth checking if your employer offers something known as group life insurance. This is arranged by a company to provide life insurance cover for its employees and pays to their next of kin. If you own a company or are in a position to suggest this cover to your employer, it can be a good option, as it comes with a certain level of non-medical underwriting. This means that your TIA will not need to be discussed for you to be eligible for the cover.
Critical illness cover pays out a cash lump sum of money, if you are diagnosed with a medical condition that is listed in the insurer’s claims set e.g. cancer, heart attack, stroke.
Arranging critical illness cover after having a TIA is trickier than life insurance, but not impossible! It is harder to arrange as having had a TIA places you at a higher risk of having a stroke, which is a claimable condition on these policies. It is one of the highest claimed on conditions (alongside heart attacks and cancer).
It is sometimes easier if you are over the age of 45 and if you have had only one TIA, or if the TIA was due to a specific event such as taking the contraceptive pill. There are a number of different options to look at, if you don’t fall into these groups. If you are able to arrange critical illness cover within the standard insurance market it is most likely to have a stroke and cardiovascular exclusion to the policy claims set.
Specialist policies that can be looked at for you, that do not require medical underwriting to arrange, will likely exclude anything linked to strokes or TIAs. There are a few technicalities with these policies and it is a good idea to speak with an adviser to help explain the ins and outs of the cover.
Group critical illness cover arranged through your employer, or your own company, can be a good option. The policy will likely have an exclusion for claims relating to strokes for you, but that will not apply to the rest of the employees covered under the scheme (unless they have also had a TIA or stroke). It is definitely worth checking if your employer offers this kind of insurance to you through your employment.
Income protection pays you a replacement of some of your monthly income, if you are unable to work due to ill health.
When you apply for income protection after having had a TIA, it is a good idea to be prepared that there could be a cerebrovascular exclusión on the policy claims set. This can include exclusions for strokes and brain hemorrhages, for example. I understand that this might not sound ideal, but I am just trying to be open about what is going to be available to you, without giving false expectations. The policy will still cover you for anything else healthwise, that causes you to be unable to work, which is quite a lot of scenarios.
With income protection the insurance company that you apply to will be quite interested in knowing details about any time you have had to take off work in the last few years, due to your health. They will want to know the same medical information that is needed for the other insurances on this page, which will include details of your blood pressure and cholesterol, amongst other factors.
There are also income protection policies that can be arranged through your employer, that can sometimes offer more options for arranging this type of insurance. Some options will not include exclusions relating to strokes. These are quite specific policies and will need to be discussed with an adviser who can give you access to them, if your employer is willing to look at the cover.
The charity-led campaign, Seven Families, had a specific mission to show the value of income protection insurance. The work of the charity was incredible. They chose seven people that had experienced life changing medical conditions and gave them the support of income protection for 12 months.
This isn’t just about money. It’s the extras like specialist support nurses, taking the stress away that comes with income loss and reducing the pressure to try and rush back to work. In this video Graeme Snell talks about how much this support helped him after his double stroke.
When income protection isn’t available, you may wish to consider accident, sickness and unemployment cover that is not medically underwritten, as an alternative. An accident, sickness and unemployment policy will provide you with a short-term income replacement for between 12 and 24 months. You must be aware that these policies exclude claims related to any pre-existing conditions.
What is a TIA
A transient ischaemic attack (also known as a mini-stroke or TIA) typically occurs when a blood clot blocks the supply of blood to a person’s brain. Less frequently a TIA is caused by a haemorrhage, that causes bleeding on the brain. A TIA will often last a few minutes with little to no permanent symptoms after 24 hours. In some cases a TIA has such little impact on the individual that doctors can struggle to diagnose that one has actually occurred. TIAs last a shorter period of time than a stroke and recovery is usually quicker.
A TIA can occur before a full-blown stroke and it is important that measures are taken to minimise this risk.
This page focuses upon TIA and does not provide details in regards to policy options for those individuals who have experienced a stroke. Please visit our dedicated page to insurance following a stroke for further details.
Also: Transient Ischaemic Attack, mini-stroke, embolism.
Some potential problems experienced by individuals who have had a TIA include:
- Ability to drive
- Facial muscles stop working
- Heightened risk of a stroke
- Inability to lift arms
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
- Speech problems
- Weakness of limbs
- Blood pressure medication
- High cholesterol medication
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Hi, it’s nice to hear from you. There are a number of options that we can look at for you. It’s quite hard to let you know exactly what insurances will be available to you, without a bit more detail. If we can arrange a time to call, we will be able to advise you on the right options for you.
The main things that we need to know is when you had your mini-stroke (month/year), what medications you take and the dosages, and if it has left you with any lasting symptoms that affect your ability to work or do day-to-day activities. There are quite a few options to look at and once we have spoken we will be able to let you know which insurer will be right for you.
2. I had a mini-stroke towards the end of last year, just before Christmas. I want life insurance, are there any options for me?
Yes, there are options that we can look at for you. In insurance terms, your TIA was quite recent, with it only being a few months ago. But, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t options available to you. Being completely honest, some insurers are going to say no to offering you life insurance. But that is why we are here. We are here to do that research so that you don’t hear ‘no’, we’ll be trying to come to you with the options that say ‘yes’.
The Special Risks Bureau has been rated 5 out of 5 based on 417 reviews.
Review by Khye on 17th March 2020
“From start to finish, Cura were great in working hard to get me cover that was very limited, and difficult to find for me with my condition. I am pleased that with what I could get they found me and we're so easy to go ahead with. Definitely recommend Cura” - 5
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