If you have epilepsy — a neurological disorder that causes recurring seizures —  life insurance companies won’t automatically decline you for coverage. However, they 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 to determine the type of policy they can offer you and how much you’ll pay for life insurance.
How does epilepsy affect your life insurance rates?
When applying for a life insurance policy with an epilepsy diagnosis, the main factors that affect your rates are:
The type of seizures you get
How frequently you get them
How severe they are
What life insurance health classification will you be assigned based on your epilepsy?
When you apply for life insurance, you get assigned a health classification based on your health history and lifestyle choices. Below you’ll find a quick recap of how your epilepsy diagnosis may determine your health classification.
Life insurance health classification
Qualifying health factors
Preferred: For applicants who are lower-than-average risk to insure.
One or two well-controlled, minor health conditions (like a history of absence seizures five or more years ago).
Standard: For applicants who are an average risk to insure.
One or two moderate or chronic health conditions, or several years out from a more serious health incident (like a history of absence seizures, or one or two per year).
Substandard (table ratings): For applicants who are a higher-than-average risk to insure.
A more serious ongoing health condition (like a recent history of tonic-clonic seizures).
8 questions you’ll be asked about your epilepsy when you apply
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?
What kind of life insurance can you get 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 to 30 years — and doesn’t come with any complex tax restrictions or regulations.
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 high-net-worth individuals who want to use life insurance to diversify their investment portfolio, or people with long-term financial obligations, like dependents who require lifelong care.
Whole life insurance 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.
Best life insurance companies for people with epilepsy
Best overall term life insurance for people with epilepsy: Transamerica
Transamerica consistently offers some of the most competitive rates on the market for people with epilepsy. It also has a history of providing coverage to some people with epilepsy that would be declined elsewhere. Many people with a history of absence seizures will be able to get Standard rates with Transamerica. Standard rates are average and usually assigned to people who have well-controlled or resolved moderate health conditions, and who have an average level of risk.
Best term life insurance for people who have tonic-clonic seizures: Transamerica
Transamerica tends to be more flexible than many other insurers when it comes to tonic-clonic seizures. People who might not qualify for traditional life insurance with other insurers due to the frequency or severity of their 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, which are usually assigned to people with more complex health conditions.
Cheapest term life insurance for people with epilepsy: Legal & General America
Not only does Legal & General America, which also does business as Banner Life and William Penn, have some of the most affordable rates for life insurance across the board, it also has less strict guidelines than many other insurers to insure people with epilepsy, especially people with a history of absence seizures.
If you haven’t had a seizure in over five years, you may qualify for Preferred rates with Legal & General America — the second-best health classification, usually assigned to people with just one or two mild and well-controlled health conditions. If you haven’t had a seizure in two years, you may qualify for Standard rates — the third- or fourth-best rates, depending on the insurer.
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 Legal & General America — and thus pay some of the highest rates — they will pay lower premiums with Legal & General America than they would with the same risk classification at other companies.
Best term life insurance for people who have absence seizures: Legal & General America
Legal & General America can offer Preferred rates — the second-lowest 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, which are average.
If you have more than six absence seizures per year, or have experienced prolonged unconsciousness or hospitalizations, Legal & General America may offer you Substandard rates.
Best guaranteed issue life insurance for people with epilepsy: Mutual of Omaha
Some people with epilepsy won’t be able to qualify for traditional life insurance, including people who have seven or more seizures a year. In that case, a guaranteed issue life insurance policy — aimed at covering end-of-life expenses, like a funeral or medical bills — 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. However, like many guaranteed issue policies, Mutual of Omaha’s option is only available to people age 45 and up.
Comparing the best life insurance companies for people with a history of epilepsy
How much does life insurance cost if you have epilepsy?
A 30-year-old non-smoking female with epilepsy who hasn’t had an absence seizure in the past five years could pay around $23 per month for a 20-year term life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit payout. A 30-year-old non-smoking male with the same health profile could pay around $29 per month for a similar policy.
20-year term life insurance rates for people with epilepsy who have not had a seizure in over five years
$500,000 coverage amount
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 seven moderate seizures per year
$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.
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.
What if you’re denied life insurance coverage because of your 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 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