What is a Stroke and does it affect Life Insurance?
Strokes can be a serious and life-threatening condition that affect the blood supply to the brain. There are three main types of strokes: Ischemic, Haemorrhagic, and Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA). Each type of stroke has different causes, symptoms, and treatments, and each can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to obtain Life Insurance, below is some more information on these three types of strokes:
Ischemic strokes, which account for approximately 85% of all strokes in the UK, occur when a blood vessel that supplies the brain becomes blocked. This blockage can be caused by a blood clot, a build-up of fatty deposits (atherosclerosis), or other factors that reduce blood flow to the brain.
Causes of ischemic strokes include high blood pressure, heart disease, smoking, and a history of stroke or TIA. Other factors that increase the risk of ischemic stroke include age, gender, and family history.
Treatment for ischemic stroke may include medication to dissolve the blood clot, surgery to remove the clot, or other procedures to improve blood flow to the brain. In addition, lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly, can help reduce the risk of future strokes.
Symptoms of ischemic stroke can include sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, sudden confusion, trouble walking, dizziness, and sudden severe headache.
Haemorrhagic strokes, which account for approximately 15% of all strokes in the UK (according to The Stroke Association), occur when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds into the brain. This bleeding can cause damage to brain tissue and lead to serious complications.The most common cause of haemorrhagic stroke is high blood pressure, but other factors that increase the risk include brain aneurysms, head injury, and use of blood-thinning medications.
Treatment for haemorrhagic stroke may include medication to control blood pressure, surgery to repair the ruptured blood vessel, or other procedures to relieve pressure on the brain. In addition, lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress and avoiding activities that could increase the risk of head injury, can help reduce the risk of future strokes.
Symptoms of haemorrhagic stroke can include sudden severe headache, nausea and vomiting, neck pain, sensitivity to light, and sudden loss of consciousness.
Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA)
Transient ischemic attacks, also known as “mini-strokes,” occur when blood flow to the brain is temporarily disrupted. TIAs typically last only a few minutes and do not cause permanent damage to the brain, but they can be a warning sign of an impending stroke.
Causes of TIAs include narrowing of the arteries, high blood pressure, and blood clots. Other factors that increase the risk of TIA include age, smoking, and a history of stroke or heart disease.
Treatment for TIA may include medication to improve blood flow to the brain, surgery to remove blood clots, or lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of future strokes.
Symptoms of TIA can include sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, sudden confusion, trouble walking, dizziness, and sudden severe headache.
Often TIA’s have less of an impact on Life Insurance applications, especially if there are no on-going symptoms and additional risk factors have been removed.
Impact on Life Insurance
Having a history of stroke can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to obtain Life Insurance in the UK. Life Insurance companies use a variety of factors, including age, health status, and family history, to determine a person’s risk. If a person has a history of Stroke or TIA, they may face higher premiums for Life Insurance or be declined cover altogether. The outcome of an application will depend on a number of factors including; the type & severity of Stroke experienced, what impact the Stroke had/has on an individual’s life, along with the treatment received.
It is important for people who have had a Stroke or TIA to disclose all relevant information when applying for Life Insurance, as failure to do so could result in the policy being cancelled or a claim being rejected.
People who have had a stroke or TIA can (in most circumstances) still obtain Life Insurance, but often don’t know where to look for the best policies. Your Life Protected specialises securing Life Insurance for individuals who have suffered with Strokes. We will be able to answer any questions you have and talk through all your available options. If you aren’t sure where to look, get in touch or request a call back here.
More information on the types of Strokes, symptoms and treatment can be found below:
Stroke Association – Types of stroke | Ischaemic, Haemorrhagic and TIAs | Stroke Association