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How to Get Great Life Insurance with Headaches or Migraines

Finding life insurance with a history of severe headaches is luckily much less painful than the headache itself.

Cluster and migraine headaches are the primary concerns of the underwriters. The good news is that most of the time these don't cause issues. Although that can depend on the diagnoses and any medications taken.

How to Save Money on Life Insurance with Headaches and Migraines

If the migraines or cluster headaches are mild or infrequent, you should be fine. They will have no affect on your life insurance rates. Just follow the normal steps for saving money: shop around, consider term insurance over permanent, and know exactly how much life insurance you need.

If Your Headaches are Excruciating, Go See a Doctor

If your headaches are severe and causing you to miss work, that could be a problem. When your clusters impede your life, see a doctor.

Seeing a doctor about your headaches is especially important for life insurance. This is because when you miss work for something that isn't diagnosed, it raises an enormous red flag on your application.

Insurance companies tend to be on the suspicious side. People who apply for insurance with undiagnosed issues often have their application postponed. That way the insurance company avoids people trying to game the system.

Buy Term Insurance Instead of Whole Life

Term insurance is a set amount the insurance company pays the beneficiary if the covered person dies within a certain amount of time. It's simple. Since it is so simple, it's cheaper. Lower administration fees because it's hands off so long as you pay your premiums.

Whole or permanent life insurance covers your for life. Since you are guaranteed to die someday, the whole life insurance is much more expensive. Well, most policies have a clause terminating the insurance around age 121. Only one person has lived beyond their 121st birthday (Jeanne Calment, age 122 and 164 days). So even if you make the list of 100 oldest verified people, a permanent life insurance policy will still likely cover you.

Always Get Quotes From an Independent Agent

You may decide you like someone else better. Maybe a captive agent will offer you a better deal. But always check rates from an independent agent because he or she can save you time.

A captive agent can only sell the insurance products of one company. An independent agent can sell the products of hundreds of companies. There are 850 life insurance companies operating in the United States in any given year. Can you imagine calling 850 different agents?

If you want no obligation quotes from the best rated companies right now, use the Instant Quotes tool on your left. (Top if you're on mobile.) Compare dozens of companies. Experiment with different term lengths and benefit amounts. The tool is there for your information. There is never any obligation to buy.

How Do Headaches Affect Life Insurance Rates?

There are three types of headaches life insurance underwriters worry about:

  • Cluster Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Undiagnosed Headaches

Life Insurance with Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches occur more frequently in men. They occur as a severe pain near one eye. This can cause the eye to water or irritate the sinuses. A cluster headache lasts anywhere from half an hour to three hours. Normally occurring at night. People who suffer from clusters might see these headaches occur every day for a few days or weeks. Then they might not experience any for months or years.

No one has identified any causes of cluster headaches yet.

Your rates for cluster headaches will depend on the frequency you take your medication.

  • No prescribed medication = no rating
  • Occasional use of medication = no rating
  • Prescription and frequent use of narcotics = individual consideration

This means that unless you are taking some hardcore prescription drugs multiple times a week, don't worry. If you are taking narcotics to control the pain, you might see an increase in rates.

Individual consideration doesn't mean that the insurance company will immediately decline you. They might not even require an increased premium. It will depend on what you are taking and how often.

Life Insurance with Migraines

Migraines occur more frequently in women. Often they affect only one side of the head. Migraines occur from altered levels of seratonin (a chemical that makes you feel happy) in the brain. There is a whole list of unpleasant side affects caused by migraines not limited to the following:

  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Tender areas of the scalp
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to sound

An insurance company's underwriting guidelines are the same as for cluster headaches. Although sometimes migraines get associated with neurological issues. This can make them difficult to distinguish from mini-strokes.

If you skipped the above section of cluster headaches, the underwriting guidelines are the following:

  • No prescribed medication = no rating
  • Occasional use of medication = no rating
  • Prescription and frequent use of narcotics = individual consideration

Because there are drugs prescribed to prevent migraines, the type of medication is also taken into consideration.

Life Insurance with Undiagnosed Headaches

Undiagnosed headaches are the worst of the bunch for insurance purposes as we mentioned earlier. If you have severe pain in your head causing you to miss work, go see your doctor.

Assessment of severe headaches without a doctor evaluation are as follows:

  • Non-incapacitating headaches in which the onset was not within the last 6 months = no rating
  • Severe, recently started, lengthy, and/or incapacitating = decline

Notice this is a straight decline. Not a postpone or individual consideration. Insurance companies do not want your business if you suddenly have a severe, undiagnosed problem. It might be nothing. It also might be deadly.

What should you do if this matches your circumstances? Go see a doctor. Get a diagnoses and treatment. Then apply for life insurance. Contact us with your specifics.  We may have an option that will still work such as a guaranteed issue policy or one with minimal health questions.

Underwriting Factors for Life Insurance with Headaches

life insurance with headaches underwriting criteria

If you have all of the information the underwriter will ask for ahead of time, it will make your life easier.

What factors go into consideration for life insurance with headaches? Your underwriter or case manager will likely ask for the following information to determine your risk class.

Date of Diagnoses

This tells the underwriter whether this is a recent occurrence or has been going on for a while. Ideally, underwriters like to see stabilized conditions. Recent onsets make them nervous.

Type of Headache

The type of headache simply gives the underwriter a clearer picture of your health. It shows that you saw a physician and they are confident they know what is happening.

Prescribed Medication

This goes back to making the decision on a health class. It's more difficult to qualify for the best rates if you are taking prescribed narcotics. Occasional use is fine. No big deal. Frequent use, even if it is needed to manage the pain, starts to present problems.

Date of the Most Recent Attack

If it has been several months since the most recent headache, that's better for your rates. Constant attacks present more of a concern than infrequent ones.

Any Missed Work

Missing work means your headaches are so debilitating that you cannot focus on your job. Now most people understand that a migraine makes it almost impossible to do anything else. While an occasional sick day may not affect your rates, frequent sick days probably will.

Other Health Conditions

Many health conditions will not present a problem for life insurance on their own. Yet in combination with other issues, can be cause for alarm.

How Abrams Can Help Get Your Low Cost Life Insurance with Headaches

Underwriting guidelines change all the time. So it's our job to keep on top of those guidelines. That way we can point people in the direction of the best policy for their family. Whether that is advice on which company offers the best rates for chronic cluster headaches or epilepsy.

Our agents have access to over 70 top-rated life insurance companies. We've spent years developing relationships with the underwriters to help our clients get the best health class they possibly can.

Yet say an application review comes back that we think isn't fair. We'll take another look at the market. Shop around. See if anyone is willing to do better. You don't have to do a thing.

Have a question about life insurance with headaches we didn't answer? Give us a call at (888) 905-0333 and we will find you the information right away. You can find more information about life insurance with pre-existing conditions here. Or, if you are looking for quotes, use the Instant Quote tool on the left. There is no obligation to buy. Ever.

About Chris Abrams

Chris and his team work with clients across the country to help them navigate the insurance and financial world. His mission is to help people and businesses have the protection they need at the lowest possible price. He works on behalf of his clients and not the insurance companies. When not researching the latest financial and insurance topics, Chris can be found spending time with his family, traveling, cooking or running on the beach.

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