Can you buy life insurance if you have epilepsy?
Yes, many people who have epilepsy can purchase life insurance. However, the type of life insurance policy you can buy and the cost of your premiums will depend on several factors, including the specifics of your epilepsy diagnosis, your age, gender, and any additional health conditions.
If you have epilepsy — a neurological disorder that causes recurring seizures  — life insurance companies will consider factors such as the date of your last seizure, the frequency of your seizures, what kind of seizures you have, and their severity.
If you were first diagnosed with epilepsy in the last six months, or experience more than two seizures per year, your coverage options may be limited to final expense insurance — a type of policy aimed at covering end-of-life expenses, like a funeral, that doesn’t have medical requirements for approval.
But if your epilepsy is controlled with medication, and you haven’t experienced a seizure in the last two to five years, you’ll likely have more options, including the most popular type of coverage, term life insurance.
Best life insurance companies for people with epilepsy
Generally, the more frequent and severe your seizures are, the more you’ll pay, but some insurers offer more competitive rates than others to people with a history of epilepsy.
We’ve helped many people with epilepsy and seizures apply for and get life insurance. In our experience of over 10 years of helping people buy life insurance, the following companies offer the best life insurance options for people with a seizure in their medical history.
Since everyone has a unique health history, a phone call with a licensed Policygenius expert can help you compare quotes and find the company that best suits your needs.
Best overall term life insurance: Transamerica
Cheapest term life insurance: Banner Life
Best term life insurance for absence seizures: Banner Life
Best term life insurance for tonic-clonic seizures: Transamerica
Best guaranteed issue life insurance: Mutual of Omaha
Methodology: How we chose the best life insurance companies for people with epilepsy of 2023
We don’t get paid for our company reviews and use an extensive rubric of criteria covering policy details, price, financial confidence, third-party ratings, and customer experience to assign unbiased ratings out of five stars. Any recommendations we make are based on internal and external expert opinions and data from our Policygenius Price Index, which uses real-time rate data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends.
Our ratings and reviews can help point you to an insurer you can rely on for your family’s financial protection, but the best life insurance company for you is dependent on multiple factors. A licensed agent at Policygenius can work with you through the application process so you’re getting coverage from the best insurer for your circumstances at the most competitive price.
Best overall term life insurance for people with epilepsy
Why we chose it
Transamerica is one of the oldest and largest life insurance companies, with over 12 million active accounts today. It offers affordable rates for almost every age, and you can even skip the medical exam if you fall under a certain age or coverage amount.
Pros and cons
Competitive rates for term life insurance
No-medical-exam available for qualifying applicants, including smokers and people between 60 and 70, which is rare
One of the fastest turnaround times in the industry for traditionally underwritten term policies
Term life not available in New York
Not a good option for people with a history of cancer, alcohol abuse, or asthma
Transamerica consistently offers some of the most competitive rates on the market for people with epilepsy. For example, many people with a history of absence seizures will be able to get Standard rates with Transamerica.
A Standard classification is meant to depict an average level of risk (it offers the third or fourth lowest premiums, depending on the insurer) and is usually assigned to people who have well-controlled or resolved moderate health conditions.
In our experience, Transamerica also has a history of providing coverage to some people with epilepsy that other companies decline to cover, including people who have a history of tonic-clonic (formerly known as grand mal) seizures.
Cheapest term life insurance for people with epilepsy
Banner Life can offer some people with epilepsy the cheapest life insurance rates because it has some of the lowest rates for life insurance across the board. But Banner Life also has less strict guidelines to insure people with epilepsy than many other insurers, especially people with a history of absence seizures.
For example, people who haven’t had a seizure in over five years may qualify for Preferred rates, the second-best health classification, and people who haven’t had a seizure in two years may qualify for Standard rates.
And while people with more recent absence seizures, or a history of tonic-clonic seizures, may get a Substandard or table rated health classification with Banner Life, they will pay lower premiums with this insurer than they would with the same risk classification at other companies.
Best term life insurance for people who have absence seizures
Banner Life can offer Preferred rates to some people who haven’t had an absence seizure in the past five years, and who aren’t being treated for epilepsy with medications. If you haven’t had a seizure in the past two years and your epilepsy is considered well-controlled, you can qualify for Standard rates.
If you have more than six absence seizures per year, or have experienced prolonged unconsciousness or hospitalizations, you may be considered for Substandard rates.
Best term life insurance for people who have tonic-clonic seizures
Transamerica tends to be more flexible than many other companies when it comes to these types of seizures. People who might not qualify for traditional life insurance with other insurers due to the frequency or severity of their tonic-clonic seizures may be able to qualify with Transamerica.
However, if you experience tonic-clonic seizures, you’ll most likely qualify for Substandard rates — meaning you'll pay higher-than-average rates for your coverage.
Best guaranteed issue life insurance for people with epilepsy
Mutual of Omaha
Why we chose it
Mutual of Omaha is a reputable company that offers a variety of life insurance products — including a no-medical-exam option — so that you can select the type of life insurance that best suits your needs.
Pros and cons
No-medical-exam options for older applicants
Strong financial and customer ratings
Policies are more expensive than average
Slow turnaround time
Some people with epilepsy won’t be able to qualify for term life insurance, including people who have seven or more seizures a year. In that case, a guaranteed issue life insurance policy can provide a small amount of coverage without a medical exam or any medical questions.
Mutual of Omaha’s guaranteed issue life insurance policy is one of the most affordable of its kind, and even people with recent or frequent seizures will be able to qualify. Like many guaranteed issue policies, Mutual of Omaha’s guaranteed issue life insurance is only available to people age 45 and up.
Life insurance policy options if you have epilepsy
The type, frequency, and severity of seizures you have, in addition to other factors like your age, gender, lifestyle habits, and your full health profile will determine the type of life insurance policy you may be eligible for.
Term life insurance
Term life insurance is one of the most affordable life insurance coverage options on the market. It only lasts for a set term (usually 10-30 years), and comes with few rules and tax restrictions.
Term life is the best option for most people looking to protect their income and provide their family with a financial safety net to cover any debts — including a mortgage or other types of personal loans. Many people with a history of seizures and epilepsy can still qualify for term life coverage.
Whole life insurance
Whole life insurance and other types of permanent life insurance are good options for people looking to use life insurance to diversify their investment portfolio, or people with long-term financial obligations and coverage needs, like dependents who require lifelong care.
Whole life never expires and comes with a cash value that earns interest in addition to the death benefit payout, but it’s usually significantly more expensive than traditional term life policies. If you’re already maximizing your contributions to investment accounts with tax benefits — like a Roth IRA or a 401(k) — and would like to add another investment option, whole life might work for you.
If your history of epilepsy disqualifies you from traditional term life and whole life insurance policies, a whole life insurance policy aimed at covering final expenses, such as guaranteed issue life insurance, could be an option for you.
How does epilepsy affect your life insurance application?
When you apply for life insurance, you’ll be asked to provide details about your health history, including your epilepsy diagnosis.
You should be prepared to answer questions about your history with epilepsy and seizures, including:
When were you first diagnosed with epilepsy?
When was your first seizure? When was your most recent seizure?
How often do you have seizures?
What type of seizures do you have?
What types of treatment have you had? Any surgeries or implants?
What medications are you currently on?
Have you ever been hospitalized for a seizure?
Have you ever lost consciousness during a seizure?
How your seizures impact your life insurance rates
When applying for a life insurance policy with an epilepsy diagnosis, the type of seizures in your medical history is one of the main factors that will determine your life insurance classification and your rates.
What it means
The second-lowest premiums. You might have one or two well-controlled, minor health conditions (for instance, a history of absence seizures five or more years ago).
Meant to depict an average level of risk. You might have one or two moderate or chronic health conditions, or be several years out from a more serious health incident (for instance, a history of absence seizures, or one to two per year).
Substandard (table ratings)
Meant to depict increased risk. You might have a more serious ongoing health condition (for example, a recent history of tonic-clonic seizures).
Types of seizures
Absence seizures, formerly known as petit mal seizures, cause you to blank out or stare into space for a few seconds. They are most common in children, though they can occur in adults as well. 
If you had absence seizures as a child, you’ll need to disclose them during the life insurance application process, but you may still be eligible for Standard rates. If you haven’t had an absence seizure in the last five years, you may be eligible for lower rates.
But if you’ve had an absence seizure more recently, you’ll likely qualify for a Substandard risk classification. Substandard rates are higher than average and are usually assigned to people with more serious health conditions.
Tonic-clonic seizures, formerly known as grand mal seizures, can cause strong muscle movements on both sides of your body, including convulsions.  People with tonic-clonic seizures are considered higher risk and might not always be eligible for traditional life insurance.
If you have a history of tonic-clonic seizures, you’ll most likely be assigned a Substandard risk classification, which will increase the cost of your premiums. Substandard rates are higher than Standard rates and are usually reserved for people with complex health conditions.
→ Learn more about life insurance classifications
Other types of seizures
There are many other types of seizures, including simple focal seizures, complex focal seizures, and secondary generalized seizures. 
If you have a history of one or more seizures, the life insurance company will want to know more details about your medical history and underlying condition to get a better picture of your insurance risk.
Frequency of seizures
Five or more years since last seizure
If you haven’t had a seizure in the last five to 10 years, you may qualify for a Preferred risk classification, which comes with better-than-average life insurance rates. Your options will depend on the life insurance company you’re applying with and the type of seizure, or seizures, you’ve had.
Six or fewer seizures per year
If you have one or two seizures per year, you may be able to qualify for a Standard risk classification. If you have three to six seizures per year, you may qualify for a Substandard risk classification. Your eligibility and rates will depend on the type of seizures you have and other health factors.
Seven or more seizures per year
If you have seven or more seizures per year, you generally won’t qualify for traditional term life insurance, but may have other options, including guaranteed issue life insurance.
Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of whole life insurance that offers near-certain approval and is meant to cover final expenses, like funeral costs or medical bills.
Epilepsy diagnosis or first seizure in the last six months
If you’ve been diagnosed with epilepsy in the last six months, or you’ve experienced your first seizure(s) in the last six months, your life insurance application will be postponed until you’re at least six months out from either event.
Even then, you may only be eligible for more expensive rates the closer you are to your date of diagnosis, since the insurance company may not have enough information to evaluate the scope of your condition.
Severity of seizures
The severity of your seizures, regardless of the type of seizures you have, will also impact your life insurance options. There are two markers of severity that may make it difficult for you to qualify for traditional life insurance:
Prolonged unconsciousness: If you’ve experienced prolonged unconsciousness during a seizure, you may be declined for traditional coverage.
Hospitalization: If you’ve had multiple hospitalizations related to seizures, you may be eligible for only more expensive rates usually reserved for people with serious health conditions, or your application may be declined.
How much does life insurance cost if you have epilepsy?
A non-smoking 35-year-old woman with epilepsy who hasn’t had an absence seizure in the past two years could pay around $38 per month for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit payout. A non-smoking 35-year-old man with the same health profile could pay around $46 per month for a similar policy.
The year of your last seizure, the type of seizures you have, and the frequency and severity of those seizures will all impact your premiums. One of Policygenius’ licensed life insurance agents can help you find the best rates for your own unique situation.
20-year term life insurance rates for people with epilepsy who have not had an absence seizure in over two years
$500,000 coverage amount
20-year term life insurance rates for people with epilepsy who have fewer than six tonic-clonic seizures per year
$500,000 coverage amount
20-year term life insurance rates for people with epilepsy who have six or more tonic-clonic seizures per year
In this scenario, if you have more than six tonic-clonic seizures per year that involve prolonged unconsciousness, hospitalization, or neurosyphilis, your application may be declined by the insurer.
If you’re not certain if you fall into this category, we recommend having a personalized call with a Policygenius expert to discuss your circumstances and coverage options.
$500,000 coverage amount
How to buy life insurance if you have epilepsy
Every life insurance company has its own guidelines for health conditions, including epilepsy. It’s important to compare quotes from multiple insurers when shopping for life insurance.
At Policygenius, we work with a dozen top insurers, and our licensed experts can help you choose the best company and policy for you.
Here’s how it works.
Get quotes. The first step when you buy life insurance is getting free online quotes. You’ll answer a few questions about yourself, including your medical history, and get estimates on what your life insurance policy could cost. If you have a history of epilepsy, you’ll most likely have to speak with an agent, who will ask a little more about your health history for accurate quotes.
Talk to a licensed agent. Whether you get instant quotes or not, the next step is to speak with an insurance expert on the phone. A Policygenius expert will contact you to discuss your coverage options and ask a few more questions. Your initial quotes may be adjusted based on your conversation. As the agent learns more about you, they can give you a more accurate estimate of your premium costs.
Submit your application. During the call, the agent will fill out the formal application with you, then share it with you to sign electronically.
Schedule a medical exam. If you have epilepsy, you’ll likely need to take the medical exam that’s a standard part of the life insurance application process.
Wait while your application goes through underwriting. During underwriting, the life insurance company may have follow-up questions, or may request medical records from your doctors. If you have epilepsy, you’ll likely receive a questionnaire to answer more detailed questions about your diagnosis.
Get your offer and sign your policy. Once you’ve signed your policy and made your first payment, your life insurance coverage will become active, or in force.
Do you have to disclose your epilepsy diagnosis history when applying for life insurance?
Yes, you should be as honest and forthcoming on your application for life insurance as possible, especially about your epilepsy and seizure history. If you lie on your life insurance application, you could be denied coverage and prevented from applying again, even with a different company.
Life insurance options if you’re denied coverage due to epilepsy
Sometimes epilepsy can disqualify you from term life insurance, the most common type of life insurance. For example, if you have seizures more than seven times per year, or if you have prolonged unconsciousness during seizures, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get a traditional life insurance policy.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get life insurance. You may still have options.
Simplified issue life insurance
Simplified issue life insurance is a type of final expense insurance that’s available to people age 45 and older, and which covers expenses like funeral and medical bills.
Simplified issue rates are higher than traditional life insurance, and available coverage amounts are lower, but the application process is much simpler: You only have to answer a few medical questions, and many people with epilepsy can qualify.
Guaranteed issue life insurance
Guaranteed issue life insurance — another type of final expense life insurance — has an even more flexible application process than simplified issue life insurance. There are no medical requirements; you’ll just answer a few pre-screening questions with a life insurance agent to confirm the product is a good fit.
Guaranteed issue policies are also only for people age 45 and over (or age 50 and over for some companies). Coverage is expensive but permanent, and you can typically apply for a maximum coverage amount of $25,000.
Group life insurance
Group life insurance is a type of policy you can get through your employer or another kind of organization, like a trade organization. Because group policies don’t require medical questions or a medical exam, people who don’t qualify for personal policies will usually qualify for group coverage.
Coverage amounts offered are usually lower than you can get with a personal policy, and you may not be able to keep your coverage if you leave your job or organization.
Other health conditions that can affect your life insurance
Certain pre-existing conditions and other health-related concerns can affect your life insurance options or costs. A Policygenius expert can help you find the right policy for your needs.
Mental health issues such as depression or anxiety
Frequently asked questions
Can you get life insurance with epilepsy?
Yes, many people with epilepsy can get life insurance. But while some people who haven’t had seizures in two or more years may be able to qualify for average or lower-than-average rates, most people with epilepsy will have higher-than-average premiums.
What is the best life insurance for people with epilepsy?
Term life insurance from Transamerica is the best life insurance policy for some people with epilepsy for its favorable underwriting and low prices. Granted, the best policy for you will depend on your personal health factors and financial needs.
Does epilepsy affect life insurance?
Yes, if you have epilepsy or any other medical condition, it will affect your life insurance application. You’ll have to disclose your health history when you apply, and your rates will depend on the types and frequency of your seizures, as well as other factors.