If you have Cerebral Palsy and search for life insurance, you know there is a “wrong way” going about it.
You’ve probably been declined and discouraged.
Or other websites and agents point you to a dead end.
I’m here to tell you that if you have Cerebral Palsy, you can get life insurance.
Without a doubt!
I’m honest and transparent, and it is tricky. However, it is not impossible.
- Why People With Cerebral Palsy Have A Hard Time Getting Life Insurance
- Life Insurance Options
- What About Coverage For Children?
- Now You Know People With Cerebral Palsy Can Obtain Life Insurance
Feel free to click around and jump to a section as needed. I know time is money, so here is a summary of our article. Essentially, you can get life insurance. It just depends on a few different factors.
Let’s start why it’s hard for people with cerebral palsy to obtain life insurance.
Why Do People With Cerebral Palsy Have A Hard Time Getting Life Insurance?
People with cerebral palsy have a hard time getting life insurance because of one reason: life expectancy.
While many websites suggest otherwise, people with cerebral palsy have, on average, experienced a lower life expectancy compared to other individuals.
Of course, every situation is different.
Life insurers examine two areas of life expectancy. They are your ability to:
- perform activities of daily living, and
- work and maintain employment
Activities of daily living include the ability to dress oneself and eat. Your ability to perform activities of daily living is a key indicator of your life expectancy. Additionally, if you can work and maintain employment, preferably full-time and without any need for government assistance, that is an indicator as well. Many people are a little surprised when we say that employment is a factor. Think about it. A person going to work with a sense of drive and purpose generally has a better expectancy outlook compared to someone who does not work.
Let’s take a look at underwriting in deeper detail, and you’ll see what I mean about these two factors.
Underwriting For People With Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy can be classified in a number of ways. The most common classifications are based on:
- severity – mild, moderate, or severe
- topographical distribution – this describes the body parts affected. For example, monoplegia (in terms of cerebral palsy) means the condition affects one body part
Life insurance carriers look at all of this. If someone has mild to severe conditions and topographical distribution, then life insurance choices are more limited. Contrast someone who is working and has a mild case of cerebral palsy, his or her life insurance options are likely more plentiful.
Life insurance underwriting departments look at the big picture. As we discussed, your level of independence and employment play a huge role in the underwriting process. Moreover, they also look into co-morbidities (i.e. other health problems) which affect life expectancy, including:
- Number of impairments and number of key disabilities
- Severity level
- Mobility restrictions
- Feeding difficulties
- Cognitive functioning
- Visual acuity
- Respiratory functioning
If you have any of these conditions affiliated with cerebral palsy, you’ll pay a higher amount, and your options are limited. Limited, but not impossible.
How Does Employment Play A Role?
People are usually surprised when we tell them that employment is an underwriting factor. It has nothing to do with my health, they say.
True, on the surface, it does not. However, going to work and being employed is an extension of the activities of daily living. If a carrier sees you are young and on SSDI, that’s going to play a role in the underwriting process. For one thing, you simply are not going to get a high death benefit. I know other agents say otherwise, but there is no way a carrier is going to insure you for $250,000 or $500,000 if you don’t work and contribute monetarily to your family.
Life Insurance Options For People With Cerebral Palsy
People with cerebral palsy have life insurance options. As we discussed earlier, the options depend on the severity of your condition and other variables.
We discuss these options next.
Mild Case Of Cerebral Palsy
If you have a mild case of cerebral palsy, and you work and employed, you’ll likely have some more life insurance options. We have helped a few families with mild cases this way. I’ll tell you; it’s still tricky. Not impossible, though.
Other websites state that a standard rating is available. That health table classification is not impossible, but it is unlikely. Likely, you may be in the table 2 to 4 range, which is still a very good class. Table ratings are just an extra premium paid to account for health concerns. Remember, the carriers are looking at your life expectancy. While people with cerebral palsy can live a long life, they are predisposed to other co-morbidities. This could shorten their life expectancy. As we mentioned earlier, your independence and employment situation matters for underwriting.
Your cognitive functioning is an important aspect of the underwriting process. A mild case and the ability to work indicates an independent life. You can make your own decisions.
Moderate Case Of Cerebral Palsy
If you have a moderate case of cerebral palsy, that’s when options become trickier. Most people with moderate cerebral palsy need some assistance with daily living activities. Opportunities for work employment might be limited, but not impossible. An adult with cerebral palsy might receive SSDI.
In this case, term life insurance may not be available. More likely, a person with a moderate cerebral palsy can obtain burial insurance or final expense insurance.
Qualifying for burial insurance is much easier. All you need to do is answer “yes/no” on a health questionnaire and go through a quick, phone interview with an underwriter. After that, the underwriter makes a decision on the burial insurance. If your agent discussed and pre-qualified you correctly, you should be approved and no surprises of a decline. (Contact us if you have trouble with your current agent. We can help.)
For moderate cases of cerebral palsy, a burial insurance policy might be the best choice.
Severe Cerebral Palsy
Severe cerebral palsy indicates the need for activities of daily living, cognitive impairments, assistance with everyday tasks, and more.
If you have severe cerebral palsy, life insurance is still available. Of course, the prior options we discussed are not. But, that is OK. As we said, life insurance is available.
The type of life insurance available is called guaranteed issue life insurance. The benefit of guaranteed issue life insurance is there are no health questions. You just apply, pay your initial premium, and you have life insurance.
Most agents discredit guaranteed issue life insurance. They say it is way too expensive. It can be. Remember, there are no health questions. The carrier doesn’t know the health or mortality risk (i.e. life expectancy) of the applicant. So, the carrier needs to mitigate its risk somehow. One way they do this is with a higher premium.
However, we at My Family Life Insurance do work with a very affordable guaranteed issue life insurance carrier. Premiums are very competitive. Moreover, they allow a guardian or power of attorney to sign if you can’t due to mobility or cognitive reasons. That is huge. Most carriers don’t allow this option.
Regardless of your situation, I am confident we at My Family Life can help you secure life insurance.
Life Insurance For Children With Cerebral Palsy
We all want the best for our children. Purchasing life insurance for your children is one way to do that. When constructed properly, it sets up a lifelong protective foundation for their children and family.
If you didn’t purchase life insurance on your child when they were born, no worries. We outline a couple of options. The first option is life insurance for your child directly. The second option is life insurance on you. (Yes, you heard me right.)
Life Insurance On Your Child With Cerebral Palsy
Getting life insurance on your child with cerebral palsy is a bit more difficult, but not impossible.
Carriers will review your child’s situation similar to that as we described above. Underwriters will want to know your child’s severity, independence, and assistance with any activities of daily living.
Here are questions from 2 popular carriers. You’ll need to go into detail about your child’s situation. This doesn’t mean your child’s condition is an outright decline. However, what it does mean is a likely table rating (as we discussed before).
Regardless of your child’s situation, we have the knowledge to find him or her life insurance. If your child has severe cerebral palsy, we do work with one carrier that offers guaranteed issue life insurance for children and young adults.
Contact us to learn more.
Additionally, many term life carriers offer a child rider for a low cost. Of course, that means you need to obtain life insurance on yourself. What you may not realize is a handful of carriers don’t ask health questions on the child term rider. You can purchase up to $10,000 or $25,000 for your child. The life insurance can “convert” to permanent insurance later on, with no evidence of health insurability.
That brings us to a nice segue.
Life Insurance On Yourself
Many parents overlook life insurance on yourself. Sure, you might have life insurance through work, or your own individual plan. Chances are, however, it is not enough.
Purchasing life insurance on yourself is simple, and likely a more affordable option.
You could purchase a term or whole life insurance policy. True, whole life or other types of permanent life insurance have a negative connotation. However, in this case, having a permanent type of life insurance or whole life insurance is a good idea. You can set up a trust as beneficiary. Upon your death, the death benefit money flows into the trust. The money would then be used for your child’s needs. How great is that?
If there is something you learned in this article, is that you do have options.
Now You Know People With Cerebral Palsy Can Obtain Life Insurance
If someone says people with cerebral palsy can’t get life insurance, now you know that’s not true. They can.
As we discussed, type and amount of life insurance depend on the severity and other factors. However, you can obtain some type of life insurance.
Do you need to speak with a trusted agent? You can contact us or use the form below. We are much different than the agency down the street. First, we truly care about you and your situation. Next, we do have your best interests at the forefront. That’s the only way we know how to work with clients.
Finally, there’s no risk to contact us. If we can’t help you, you’ve learned a little more, and we’ll part as friends. Seriously! We’ll do our best to point you in the right direction. Can your agent say that?