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.
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
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 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.
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.
Best life insurance for people with a history of transient ischemic attack history (TIA): Legal & General America
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.
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
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?
A hemorrhagic stroke is the most severe type of stroke. It’s caused by bleeding in the brain due to a ruptured blood vessel. 
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.
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.  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.
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
$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)
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.
$10,000 coverage amount
$25,000 coverage amount
$10,000 coverage amount
$25,000 coverage amount
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.
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.
Mental health issues such as depression or anxiety