Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. It can cause a wide range of symptoms, including muscle weakness, difficulty with coordination and balance, cognitive impairment, and fatigue. Despite these challenges, Canadians with MS still need to plan for their financial future, including purchasing life insurance. However, navigating the world of life insurance with a chronic illness can be a complex and confusing process. In this article, we’ll discuss what Canadians with MS need to know about life insurance, including their options and how to increase their chances of approval.
What is life insurance?
Life insurance is a financial product that provides a lump sum payment to beneficiaries upon the death of the policyholder. This payment, known as a death benefit, can be used to cover final expenses, pay off debts, provide income to survivors, or fund a child’s education. Life insurance policies are typically purchased for a specific term or for the life of the policyholder, and premiums are paid either monthly or annually.
What are the types of life insurance?
There are two main types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. Term life insurance provides coverage for a specific period, typically 10 to 30 years, and is the most affordable option for most people. Permanent life insurance, on the other hand, provides coverage for the policyholder’s entire life and includes a savings component called cash value.
For Canadians with MS, term life insurance is likely the most practical option, as it is generally easier to obtain and less expensive than permanent life insurance. However, depending on the individual’s health status, it may be possible to obtain a permanent life insurance policy.
What factors do life insurance companies consider when determining eligibility?
Life insurance companies evaluate several factors when determining eligibility, including age, gender, smoking status, occupation, and health status. For individuals with MS, the most significant factor is their health status.
When evaluating a potential policyholder with MS, life insurance companies will consider several factors, including the severity of the condition, the progression of the disease, and any comorbid conditions. They may also request medical records, laboratory test results, and physician statements.
How can Canadians with MS increase their chances of approval?
While it may be more challenging for Canadians with MS to obtain life insurance, there are steps they can take to increase their chances of approval. These include:
- Work with an independent insurance broker: An independent insurance broker can help you navigate the complex world of life insurance and find the best policy for your specific needs. They can also help you find a company that specializes in providing coverage to individuals with MS.
- Choose a shorter term: Term life insurance policies with shorter terms, such as 10 or 15 years, may be easier to obtain than policies with longer terms. Shorter terms may also be more affordable, which can be especially important for individuals with MS who may be living on a fixed income.
- Be honest about your health status: While it may be tempting to downplay the severity of your MS or any related conditions, honesty is always the best policy. Providing accurate information will help the insurance company evaluate your application more effectively and provide you with the best possible policy.
- Improve your overall health: While there is no cure for MS, there are steps you can take to manage the symptoms and improve your overall health. This includes maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, and following your treatment plan. By taking care of your health, you may be able to improve your chances of approval.
- Consider group life insurance: If you are employed, you may be eligible for group life insurance through your employer. Group life insurance policies do not typically require a medical exam, and premiums may be more affordable than individual policies. However, it’s important to note that group policies may not provide enough coverage for your needs, so it’s essential to carefully review the policy and consider supplementing with an individual policy if necessary.
Navigating the world of life insurance with a chronic illness like MS can be a complex and confusing process, but it’s not impossible. By working with an independent insurance broker, being honest about your health status, and taking steps to improve your overall health, you can increase your chances of obtaining life insurance coverage that meets your needs. Remember that the key to obtaining the right policy is to start planning as early as possible, so don’t wait until it’s too late to start considering your options. With the right guidance and support, Canadians with MS can protect their financial future and provide peace of mind for themselves and their loved ones.