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Getting life insurance after a stroke

You can get life insurance if you have a history of stroke, but your options will be based on the recency and severity of your stroke.

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By

Tory CrowleyAssociate Editor & Licensed Life Insurance AgentTory Crowley is an associate editor and a former licensed insurance agent at Policygenius. Previously, she worked directly with clients at Policygenius, advising nearly 3,000 of them on life insurance options. She has also worked at the Daily News and various nonprofit organizations.

Edited by

Antonio Ruiz-CamachoAntonio Ruiz-CamachoAssociate Content DirectorAntonio helps lead our life insurance and disability insurance editorial team at Policygenius. Previously, he was a senior director of content at Bankrate and CreditCards.com, as well as a principal writer covering personal finance at CNET.

Published|9 min read

Policygenius content follows strict guidelines for editorial accuracy and integrity. Learn about our editorial standards and how we make money.

A stroke is a medical emergency that happens when blood flow to the brain is blocked or there is sudden bleeding in the brain. While a stroke can have long-term effects on your health, it won’t disqualify you from getting life insurance — but it can determine your life insurance eligibility and options.

When you apply for life insurance, you’ll be asked to disclose information about your health history. If you’ve had a stroke, this will mean sharing details about its severity and any complications or treatment you’ve had as a result. Based on the information you provide, a life insurance agent can help you find the right coverage for you.

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Key takeaways

  • Having a history of stroke won’t prevent you from being eligible for life insurance. However, the severity and recency of your stroke will determine the type of life insurance you may be eligible for and how much you’ll pay for your policy.

  • The older you are when you have your stroke, and the longer you’ve shown stable health history following a stroke, the better rates you’ll be eligible for.

  • Many people with a history of stroke can be eligible for traditional term life insurance, although their rates might be higher than average. For people with more complex stroke histories, other coverage options include guaranteed issue, simplified issue, and employer-sponsored life insurance.

Can you buy life insurance if you have had a stroke?

Having a stroke in your medical history won’t prevent you from getting life insurance. However, the details of your stroke history will make a big difference on the type of life insurance you’re eligible for, the insurer that can be a good fit for you, and how much your coverage will cost

The life insurance agent you work with will ask you questions about how recently you had your stroke, the severity of the stroke, and any ongoing care you require.

Make sure to share the details of your stroke history with your agent and be as thorough as possible when you apply. Your agent will consider the unique details of your case and match you with the insurance company that will be able to give you the best rate.  

At Policygenius, our experts are licensed in all 50 states and can walk you through the entire life insurance buying process while offering transparent, unbiased advice.

Best life insurance companies for people who have had a stroke

Methodology

Why you can trust our picks

Our recommendations are based on internal and external expert analysis, as well as our Policygenius Life Insurance Price Index, which uses real-time data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends. When reviewing a life insurance company, our editorial team uses a proprietary scoring rubric with five factors — price, policy details, financial strength, transparency, and customer experience — to assign an unbiased rating between one and five stars. These ratings are also taken into consideration as part of our company recommendations. We don’t get paid for our reviews.

Our reviews and recommendations can help you find a reliable insurer for your family’s financial protection, but the best life insurance company for you depends on multiple factors. A licensed agent at Policygenius can support you during the application process to ensure you get the right coverage for your circumstances at the most competitive price.

Read more about our reviews methodology

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2024 Policygenius award winner

Prudential

Prudential logo

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starEmpty gray star

4.1

AM Best rating 

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A+

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

No-medical-exam option

Why we chose itchevron icon

With nearly four million policyholders and 150 years to its name, Prudential offers competitive coverage options for seniors, as well as people with some of the most common medical conditions, including asthma, depression, and fibromyalgia.

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • Good for people over 60

  • More flexible income requirements than some other insurers

  • Considers applicants with a variety of immigration statuses (visas and green cards)

Cons

  • Younger applicants will likely find better prices elsewhere

Best overall: Prudential

Prudential is one the best insurers for people who have had a stroke. Your chances of getting approved for coverage will be greater with Prudential than with other insurers. It’s possible to be approved at a Standard health classification — usually reserved for people without major medical issues — depending on your age and the recency of the stroke.

Best for smokers who have a history of stroke: Prudential

If you have a stroke history and you smoke, Prudential will give you smoker rates but it won’t alter your health class. 

This is uncommon, as most other insurance companies consider smoking an additional health risk factor for people who have had strokes. Most insurers won’t even offer you coverage if you’re a current smoker with a stroke history. 

Protective

Protective logo

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.8

AM Best rating 

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A+

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

30+ year terms

Why we chose itchevron icon

Protective has some of the most affordable and comprehensive life insurance options available.

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • Competitive rates for all ages and health classifications

  • Good for people with mental health conditions, kidney conditions, and some cancers, including prostate cancer

  • Term lengths up to 40 years

Cons

  • Not available in New York

  • Not great for people who have had bankruptcy, marijuana users, or visa holders

  • No no-medical-exam policy options

Cheapest: Protective

Protective offers some of the most affordable life insurance rates for people who have had a stroke. In many cases, Protective will be able to give you a better health class than other insurers. 

No matter what health class you’re approved at, Protective is usually able to offer cheaper rates than other insurers at the same health class. 

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2024 Policygenius award winner

Corebridge Financial

Corebridge Financial logo

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.6

AM Best rating 

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

30+ year terms

All 50 states

Why we chose itchevron icon

With competitive pricing and a range of flexible term periods for its Select-a-Term product, Corebridge is a solid option for many life insurance shoppers. Note: We are currently using AIG’s financial strength ratings until Corebridge has its own rating..

Pros and conschevron icon

Pros

  • Competitive pricing for all ages

  • Favorable underwriting for people with heart conditions and diabetes

  • Good for current and recently pregnant people, including people with gestational diabetes

Cons

  • Not the best for people with mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression

  • No no-medical-exam term option

Best if you had a stroke before age 40: Corebridge Financial

It will be difficult to get traditional term life insurance coverage if you’ve had a stroke before the age of 40. This is because, statistically, your life expectancy might be lower if you had a stroke when you were younger. 

Corebridge Financial (formerly AIG Life & Retirement) does offer term life insurance options for people who have had a stroke before the age of 40. But keep in mind that you’ll likely only be eligible to be approved at a Substandard table rated health classification — usually assigned to people with complex health profiles — and may need to pay a flat extra fee.

A transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes called a “mini-stroke,” is considered less severe than an ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke. In a TIA, the blood flow to the brain is blocked only temporarily, and there is no permanent damage. If you’ve experienced a TIA, Legal & General America, which also does business as Banner Life and William Penn, will likely be the best option for you. 

With Legal & General America, it’s possible for someone who’s had a TIA to be approved at a Standard health class after two years of no health issues following the episode.

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha logo

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.5

AM Best rating 

AM Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A+

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

No-medical-exam option

Why we chose itchevron icon

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 conschevron icon

Pros

  • No-medical-exam options for older applicants

  • Strong financial and customer ratings

Cons

  • Policies are more expensive than average

  • Slow turnaround time

Best guaranteed issue life insurance for people who have had a stroke: Mutual of Omaha

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of policy usually aimed at covering end-of-life expenses, like a funeral, that offers near-certain approval regardless of your health profile. If you need this type of insurance, Mutual of Omaha will likely be able to offer you the best rates on the market. 

If you apply for Mutual of Omaha’s guaranteed issue option, you can usually get your policy approved the same day you apply.

Comparing the best life insurance companies for people who have had a stroke

Company

Policygenius rating

AM Best rating

Best for

Banner Life

4.9/5

A+

People with a history of TIA

Protective

4.8/5

A+

Affordability

Corebridge Financial

4.6/5

A

People who had a stroke before 40

Mutual of Omaha

4.5/5

A+

Guaranteed issue life insurance

Prudential

4.1/5

A+

Best overall, smokers

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How does having a stroke affect your life insurance application?

If you’ve had a stroke, in most cases you’ll still be eligible for life insurance, but you’ll probably have to pay more for your coverage. Details like the recency and severity of your stroke and any treatment you have will determine if you can get insurance coverage and how much you’ll pay.

In some cases your options may be limited, but in my two years as a licensed life insurance agent, I always encouraged my clients to at least consider term life insurance options first, unless they were specifically looking for coverage only for end-of-life costs. If you can qualify for an affordable premium, term life typically offers more coverage than final expense life insurance, which means more protection for your loved ones.

In many cases, my clients were surprised that they actually qualified for an affordable term life policy once we compared quotes across several companies.

What are your life insurance options if you have had a stroke?

In most cases, term life insurance will be your cheapest option, as long as you’re eligible. If your health profile keeps you from being approved for term life, your next best option available will be guaranteed issue life insurance — but you have other options, too. 

Term life insurance

Term life insurance is typically the most affordable type of life insurance because it only lasts for a set period of time and doesn’t accumulate a cash value. Term life is easy to understand and comes with few rules and tax restrictions.

Simplified issue life insurance

Simplified issue life insurance is a type of whole life insurance that doesn’t require a medical exam for approval but does require a medical questionnaire. It’s one of the most cost-effective types of final expense policies, but it’s only available to people age 45 and older — and your application can get denied because of your health history. 

If you had a mild stroke, or more than three years have passed since your stroke, you’ll likely be eligible for simplified issue life insurance — as long as you meet the age requirements. 

Guaranteed issue life insurance

Guaranteed issue life insurance is another type of final expense life insurance policy that doesn’t require a medical exam or questionnaire to apply. Unlike simplified issue life insurance, guaranteed issue policies offer near-certain approval.

Because insurers take on more risk by guaranteeing acceptance, these policies tend to be much more expensive than a term life policy with the same death benefit — but you can get approved regardless of your health profile.

If you’ve had multiple strokes or have had a stroke within the last year, guaranteed issue life insurance will likely be your only option.

Group life insurance 

Group life insurance is a type of policy that’s usually purchased by a company or organization to offer coverage to its employees or members. Because most group plans guarantee coverage, this type of insurance can be a good option for you if your health profile — including your stroke history — would keep you from being eligible for individual life insurance.

Depending on the details of your policy, if you have employer-provided group coverage and you leave your job, you may lose the coverage, or you may have the option to continue paying for it on your own. 

How does the type of stroke you’ve had affect your life insurance rates and options?

Hemorrhagic stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke is the most severe type of stroke. It’s caused by bleeding in the brain due to a ruptured blood vessel. [1]  

If you’ve had a hemorrhagic stroke, the insurance company will ask for a lot of information regarding your health history and current health status. This type of stroke carries the greatest risk because it can cause permanent brain damage and other lingering side effects. It’s known to have severe symptoms and get worse quickly.

If you’ve had a hemorrhagic stroke, you may still be eligible for term life insurance with a few insurers, including Legal & General America, Lincoln Financial, and Mutual of Omaha. However, you’ll likely receive a Substandard health classification. Substandard rates are usually assigned to people whose insurance risk is considered higher than average and usually come with some of the highest premiums.

During the application process, the insurance company will want to know details about the severity of your hemorrhagic stroke, any treatment you’ve had, and if you have any current symptoms. It will also probably request an attending physician statement (APS) to verify your medical status.

Ischemic stroke

The most common type of stroke, an ischemic stroke is caused by a blockage in one of the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. In most cases, you’ll be able to get term life insurance even if you’ve had an ischemic stroke. However, you’ll probably receive a Substandard health classification, usually assigned to people with complex health profiles, resulting in some of the more expensive premiums. 

During the application process, the insurer will want to verify the severity of your stroke and any current or past treatment you’ve received. 

Transient ischemic attack (TIA) 

A transient ischemic attack or “mini-stroke” is one of the least severe stroke-like events. A TIA is typically caused by a temporary blockage in blood flow to part of the brain. [2] If you’ve had a TIA, depending on the recency, severity, and frequency, you’ll likely be able to get term life insurance coverage at an affordable rate. 

Some companies, including Legal & General America, Lincoln Financial, and Mutual of Omaha may even be able to approve your policy at a Standard health rating, usually assigned to people with well-controlled or resolved moderate health conditions. If you receive a Standard health class, you can expect to page average premiums for your coverage. 

Ready to shop for life insurance for people with a history of stroke?

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How much does life insurance cost if you have had a stroke?

A 60-year-old female who had a stroke more than five years ago would likely be able to get a 10-year term life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit for less than $200 per month. A 60-year-old male with similar health would expect to pay less than $300 per month for the same amount of coverage. 

The recency of your stroke(s) and your ability to show stable recovery over time will impact how the insurers evaluate your risk. The longer you’ve gone without any episodes, the more confident the insurers will be in giving you a more favorable rating. Most insurers will be able to give you the best rates that will be available to you five years after your last stroke. 

Term life insurance rates for people who have had a stroke

Age

Gender

$100,000 coverage amount (no strokes in the last five years) 

$500,000 coverage amount (no strokes in the last five years) 

$100,000 coverage amount (incident of stroke in past five years) 

$500,000 coverage amount (incident of stroke in past five years) 

50

Female

$40.08

$135.35

$53.81

$188.12

Male

$45.70

$164.25

$61.60

$228.31

60

Female

$57.99

$198.84

$75.70

$264.94

Male

$75.41

$297.39

$99.08

$397.37

70

Female

$155.84

$572.57

$207.22

$767.09

Male

$228.08

$933.99

$304.22

$1,252.98

Collapse table

Methodology: Average monthly rates are calculated for males and females in a Substandard health classification obtaining a 10-year, $100,000 or $500,000 term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from Prudential and Protective Life. Rates may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rates valid as of 10/01/2023.

Final expense life insurance rates for people who have had a stroke

Your history of stroke won’t have an impact on how much you pay for final expense insurance. A 60-year-old female can expect to pay less than $106 per month for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy with a $25,000 death benefit. A male of the same age could get the same coverage for about $141 per month.

Age

Gender

$10,000 coverage amount

$25,000 coverage amount

$10,000 coverage amount

$25,000 coverage amount

50

Female

$24.31

$55.96

$30.39

$74.47

Male

$30.68

$71.89

$40.18

$98.96

60

Female

$32.87

$77.36

$42.68

$105.21

Male

$43.76

$104.60

$56.88

$140.69

70

Female

$53.24

$128.29

$63.87

$158.19

Male

$74.61

$181.72

$86.67

$215.16

Collapse table

Methodology: Sample monthly rates are calculated for males and females obtaining $10,000 and $25,000 simplified issue and guaranteed issue life insurance policies. Life insurance samples are based on policies offered by Policygenius from Mutual of Omaha. Rates may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rates valid as of 10/01/2023.

How to buy life insurance if you have had a stroke

If you’ve had a stroke, the process of getting life insurance is the same as it is for everyone else. Connecting with a licensed agent is the best way to get the coverage you need at the most competitive rate. 

  1. Get quotes You can get a free sample quote from many different insurers with just a few pieces of personal information, like your location, age, gender, and basic medical history. The best life insurance company for you will depend on your specific profile and unique needs.

  2. Talk to a licensed agent Next, you’ll connect with a licensed agent. They’ll ask you more detailed questions about your health and lifestyle to determine the best insurer for you. They can also help you compare quotes so you’ll know how much the coverage you need will cost, and pick the best insurer for you.

  3. Submit your application You’ll go through some basic application information with your agent. They’ll help make sure you provide the insurance company with all the necessary information and prepare all of the required paperwork for you.

  4. Schedule a medical exam Your insurance agent will arrange a medical exam for you. The exam is similar to an annual physical, usually takes about 20 minutes, and a representative will come to your home to examine you. If you’re applying for a simplified or guaranteed issue policy, you won’t have to take a medical exam.

  5. Wait while your application goes through underwriting Underwriting is the process during which insurers evaluate your health class to determine how much you’ll pay for insurance and approve your application. It can take around four to six weeks. During this time, the underwriter will verify all of the information you provided on your application so that the insurance company can make you an official offer.

  6. Get your offer and sign your policy Once you receive an official offer from the insurance company, you’ll have the option to officially accept the offer and activate your policy.

Other health concerns 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.

Frequently asked questions

Can I get life insurance if I’ve had a stroke?

Having a stroke won’t disqualify you from getting life insurance, but it could affect how much your coverage will cost and what type of life insurance you’re eligible for.

Do I have to take a medical exam if I’ve had a stroke?

If you’ve had a stroke, in almost all cases you’ll have to take a medical exam when you apply for life insurance. The insurer will see this as an increased health risk and require an exam as an extra precaution to verify your current health risk.

Do I have to disclose my life insurance company if I’ve had a stroke?

It’s important to share pertinent information regarding your health history and lifestyle when you apply for life insurance. If you have ever had a stroke – even a minor one several years ago – this is something you’ll need to share. 

Withholding relevant information like this could be considered fraud and will likely result in a rejected application.

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of oureditorial standards.

  1. Cleveland Clinic

    . "

    Hemorrhagic Stroke

    ." Accessed October 10, 2023.

  2. Mount Sinai

    . "

    Transient ischemic attack

    ." Accessed October 10, 2023.

Author

Tory Crowley is an associate editor and a former licensed insurance agent at Policygenius. Previously, she worked directly with clients at Policygenius, advising nearly 3,000 of them on life insurance options. She has also worked at the Daily News and various nonprofit organizations.

Editor

Antonio helps lead our life insurance and disability insurance editorial team at Policygenius. Previously, he was a senior director of content at Bankrate and CreditCards.com, as well as a principal writer covering personal finance at CNET.

Questions about this page? Email us at .