Epilepsy – Grand & Petit Mal (Tonic-clonic & Absence)

In most cases epilepsy is unlikely to prevent someone from having life insurance completely but depending on the severity of the condition it could affect the price.

If symptoms are mild it may be possible to obtain cover at standard prices but if symptoms are severe and not very well controlled insurers may choose to ‘postpone’ cover until better control has been achieved.

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The symptoms of childhood epilepsy can fade over time and a former suffer who has not had an attack for several years should not have any trouble getting insurance.

As you might expect, absence (Petit Mal) seizures are less of a concern to insurers compared to Tonic-clonic (Grand Mal) seizures and most Petit Mal sufferers who have not had a recent attack should be able to set up life insurance without any difficulty.

Tonic-clonic (Grand Mal) sufferers should also be able to obtain life cover but if symptoms are ongoing then a ‘loading’ may be applied which will increase the price.

Critical illness cover is also usually available to epileptics but due to the physical nature of Tonic-clonic seizures some of the disability definitions of the cover may not be offered or the price could be increased.

Frequent seizures, a recent diagnosis or ongoing investigations are likely to lead to an application being postponed.

The good news is epilepsy can normally be treated with medication and seizures can be controlled (although it can sometimes take a while to get the exact treatment or dosage correct).

If a policy has been ‘loaded’ due to poor control it will be possible to re-apply once good control has been achieved and the price could be reduced.

Despite cover being available in most cases, each insurer will look at an application differently which will mean a different decision in each case and therefore a different price.

Finding competitive cover can be a lengthy process.

A broker with experience in the industry will be able to gather facts from you to discuss your condition with insurance underwriters and determine which companies can offer cover and who can offer the best price or the highest level of cover.

Life insurance advisers don’t typically charge fees so it’s free to get help and advice.