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Qualifying for Life Insurance with Paraplegia or Quadriplegia

Researcher & Writer
April 06, 2020

When you begin shopping for life insurance, one thing that many people begin to notice particularly if they have a pre-existing medical condition is that qualifying for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy especially from one of the top life insurance companies can be quite difficult.

If you’re trying to purchase a traditional term or whole life insurance policy with a condition like paraplegia or quadriplegia it might feel impossible.

In this article we hope to help shed some light on what the process of applying for a traditional life insurance policy will look like when you have either paraplegia or quadriplegia.  As well as, hopefully provide you with a few tips which could mean the difference between getting insured vs denied coverage.

Let’s drive right into the discussion by first defining both of these conditions and point out a couple of reasons why insurance companies are going to be so concerned about them.

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Paraplegia vs Quadriplegia?

In short, paraplegia is the complete loss of movement (i.e. paralysis) of the lower limbs while quadriplegia or tetraplegia is defined as paralysis of all four limbs.

How does this happen?

There are many reasons why someone can become a paraplegic. Some of the most common include:

  • Accidents (ie trauma to the spinal cord)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Gullian Barre Syndrome
  • Birth Defect
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Spinocerebellar hereditary spastic paraplegia

These are just some of the causes. There are other diseases and issues that could also cause paraplegia and or quadriplegia.

Treatment for paraplegia/quadriplegia

Physiotherapy can be helpful. This can help the patient to control other muscles which in turn increases mobility.

Recovering from paraplegia or quadriplegia

There are very few instances in which a person can recover from paraplegia. Some of the situations wherein a patient may recover include:

  • GBS
  • Demyelination
  • Transverse Myelitis

It’s at this point in the conversation that we would like to remind people that we’re not doctors.  If you do have any specific medical questions about your condition, please call a doctor.  But if all you’re looking to do is find a life insurance policy that you might be able to qualify for, well good news, you’ve found the right place to look.

Qualifying for life insurance with paraplegia or quadriplegia.

If you are applying for life insurance, then the number one thing life insurance companies look at is your risk factor. Do you have a disease or sickness that could lower your life expectancy?

While for the most part, people who are paraplegics can actually go on to life normal expectancies, the extent of neurological impairment does impact the life expectancy of a paraplegic. 

What does this mean for life insurance companies?

Basically, while paraplegia or quadriplegia may not be the direct cause of death, it could result in it. For example, lack of mobility can increase the chance of accidental death. Depression may cause premature death as well.

Will you be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy?

Yes, in many instances both paraplegics and quadriplegics can qualify for both term and whole life insurance, it’s just going to be really tough and you need to know which companies are going to give you the greatest opportunity for success.

Getting the best rate for you

Unfortunately, regardless of whether you have paraplegia or quadriplegia you’re not going to be able to qualify for preferred plus, preferred or even standard rated life insurance.

How life insurance companies determine health ratings

What rate will you get?

The rate a person will depend on many factors in addition to which type of “-plegia” that you have.

With paraplegia will get depends on two major things:

  • Age
  • Current Condition

Of course, other factors will go into determining their rate, such as other health issues and lifestyle choices, but if those are pretty normal, then it’s these two things that matter.

If you are under 60

If you are under sixty years old, then you will get Table D-H.

Please Note: It is very difficult to get a Table D rate as a paraplegic. In fact, the majority of people who do qualify will get a Table H.

Rare cases

If your health is exceptionally good considering the circumstances and you have no other issues, then you may get Table D, E, F, or G.

If you are over 60

Just like people under sixty, your rates will fall in Table D-H. The reason we have separated these two categories is because while it’s difficult to get better than a Table H under 60, it’s important to emphasize that over the age of sixty, it is near impossible to get anything above a Table H.

Life insurance for quadriplegics

When it to applying for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy with quadriplegia, what you’re generally going to find is that the best case scenario will be that you qualify for a Table I-J however most individuals will most likely be denied.

Qualifying for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy will be tough.  

Other options for life insurance if you are denied

For those that do get denied traditional coverage is to take a look at a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.  These types of life insurance policies are “automatic” assuming that you are a US citizen, meet the age requirement and live in a state where they are offered.

How to find the best life insurance company for you

Since you’re trying to get the best possible rate, it’s important to note that not all life insurance companies handle paraplegia or quadriplegia in the same way. Likewise, they don’t even handle simple things like weight or slightly high blood pressure the same.

If you want to have the best chance at getting a rate higher than a Table H, you’re going to have to call an expert.

Give us a call today or visit our Life Insurance Quotes page and see what we can do for you!

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We are a team of life insurance experts with the simple mission of helping you find the best coverage for your unique situation. We research, review, and rank life insurance companies to make that process easier.