When applying for life insurance, it can oftentimes be difficult to qualify for coverage if you have certain types of health conditions. This may be the case if you have been diagnosed with narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy is a type of neurological condition that is typically characterized by a person’s inability to regulate his or her sleep and wakefulness. Those individuals who suffer from this condition will oftentimes experience very disturbed sleep patterns during the night, as well as an abnormal pattern of sleep during the day as well.
With this condition, there are three primary symptoms. These include the following:
- A sudden weakening of the muscles, yet without a loss of consciousness. This is referred to as cataplexy.
- Hallucinations while the individual is asleep, a condition that is referred to as having hypnogogic hallucinations. This can also occur while the individual is awake – a condition known as hypnopompic hallucinations.
- Sleep paralysis upon the individual awakening.
There are additional symptoms that come with this condition as well, such as potential problems with memory, excessive sleepiness during the day, and an unusual fatigue during the daytime hours.
While narcolepsy is not typically considered to be a life threatening condition, it can have an effect on many areas of one’s functioning – and because of that, it can also affect an individual’s ability to obtain life insurance.
What the Underwriters Want to Know If You Have Narcolepsy
Those who are seeking life insurance with narcolepsy will typically need to answer certain questions that pertain specifically to your condition. This is so that the life insurer can get a clearer idea of your condition in determining whether or not you may present a higher risk of claim to them. If so, the insurance carrier may need to charge you a higher amount of premium for your coverage.
Some of the questions that you are likely to be asked will include the following:
- When were you initially diagnosed with your condition? The underwriters will need to know when you were initially diagnosed with narcolepsy. This is because if your condition was detected early, you are more likely to have control over your symptoms – which is a positive in terms of life insurance underwriting. In this case, you could qualify for a mild substandard underwriting classification.
- How often are you experiencing the symptoms of your condition? It is also important that the underwriters know how often you are experiencing the symptoms of narcolepsy. Here, if your symptoms are occurring less frequently – and especially if they tend to be mild in their intensity – then it is likely that you could qualify as a mild substandard underwriting classification.
- What, if any, medications are you taking in order to control your condition? The underwriters will need to know if you are taking any type of prescription medications in order to help in controlling your narcolepsy. The need to take medication in order to treat your symptoms could be necessary – and those individuals who take regular medication could still qualify for a mild substandard rating classification category.
- Do you know what the primary cause of your condition is? In many cases, individuals have an understanding of what the underlying cause of their condition is. If this is the case, you may be able to control your symptoms better – and, that being the case, you may have a better chance of qualifying for a mild substandard rating.
- Do you have any other medical conditions in addition to narcolepsy? The life insurance underwriters will also want to know if you have any other medical conditions such as a heart issue, mental illness, and / or a metabolic condition that could have an influence on the frequency of your narcolepsy attacks. If so, this may require additional evaluation before an underwriting and / or policy approval decision can be made.
In addition to your condition-specific information, the life insurance underwriters will also review the information that you submit on the application for life insurance coverage. This information typically includes details regarding your:
- Height and weight (more specifically, your weight as it relates to your height)
- Smoking habits / tobacco usage
- Alcohol usage
- Occupation and income
- Marital status
- Whether or not you have children
- Overall health history
- Family health history
- Whether you participate in foreign travel
- Whether you participate in any dangerous or risky hobbies (such as rock climbing, scuba diving, hang gliding, etc.)
It is also likely that you will be required to take a medical exam as a part of the overall life insurance underwriting process. This will consist of meeting with a paramedical professional who will take heart monitor and blood pressure readings. He or she will also take a blood and urine sample from you in order to test them for certain types of health issues that could pose additional risk of claim to the life insurance company.
Once all of the information has been submitted to the insurance company, it can be reviewed more thoroughly and a decision regarding coverage – and an appropriate premium amount – can then be made.
How Much Does It Cost to Buy Life Insurance for Narcolepsy?
The cost of buying life insurance when you have narcolepsy can vary, depending on your overall health condition, as well as the severity of your narcolepsy. Once your information has been reviewed, the underwriters will be able to make a premium cost determination.
Typically, while all life insurance companies work a bit differently, most will have three primary rating categories for their insureds – which also reflects the pricing of their insurance policies. These include the following:
- Preferred – For those individuals who are in superior health – and who also have a family history of excellent health – obtaining a Preferred rating is possible. This means that the individual is in a better health condition than the “average” insured, and because of this, they will be charged a lower rate of premium.
- Standard – Those who fall into the Standard category are considered to be average in terms of health. These individuals will therefore pay an “average” rate of premium. In some cases, if your narcolepsy is well controlled, and you are otherwise in very good health, you may qualify as a Standard rating.
- Substandard – Those who are in the Substandard category are considered to be below average in terms of health – yet not in poor enough health to be declined for life insurance coverage. There is usually several different levels of Substandard. Usually, if you are controlling your narcolepsy, you are likely to fall into a mild Substandard category. The only way you would not qualify or get a low substandard rating is if your narcolepsy were not controlled, if you are a smoker, or if you have some other health condition.
How to Purchase Life Insurance
If you are ready to purchase life insurance and need assistance, we can help. We work with many of the top rated carriers in the industry, and we can help you to find the policy – and the premium – that’s right for you. In order to get the process started, just use the form on this page.
If you have any questions regarding how to qualify for life insurance with narcolepsy, how to obtain a premium quote, or even about life insurance in general, we’re here to help. You can reach us, toll-free, by calling 888-229-7522. We want to ensure that you get the right answers as you make this important coverage decision, so contact us today!