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Life Insurance with Cerebral Palsy in Canada

Life Insurance with Cerebral Palsy
Life Insurance with Cerebral Palsy

More than 80,000 Canadians are living with cerebral palsy. This complex condition presents obstacles in daily life, including qualifying for affordable life insurance. (Source:

This guide examines cerebral palsy’s impact on insurance eligibility in Canada. It provides hard-won insights to help you get life insurance with cerebral palsy.

Understanding Cerebral Palsy in the Canadian Context

Cerebral palsy refers to a group of disorders affecting movement and coordination due to brain damage. The first step is understanding CP itself.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy (CP) is not one single condition. Rather, it is an umbrella term describing brain injuries leading to movement and posture impairments.

While not degenerative, CP does cause lifelong challenges. Specific symptoms and severity vary widely between individuals.

Key Types of Cerebral Palsy

There are four primary CP types classified by motor function abnormalities:

  • Spastic: Stiff, tight muscles in arms, legs or both
  • Dyskinetic: Involuntary, uncontrolled body movements
  • Ataxic: Impaired balance and depth perception
  • Mixed: Combination of multiple types

Spastic CP accounts for around 80% of cases, with dyskinetic and ataxic making up most of the remainder.

Prevalence and Impacts of CP in Canada

Cerebral palsy affects approximately  2-2.5/1000 children in Canada. (Source:

While not degenerative, CP causes lifelong motor challenges. Treatments aim to manage symptoms and maximize independence.

Secondary Conditions Associated with Cerebral Palsy

Alongside movement impairments, CP often includes other issues like:

  • Intellectual disability
  • Seizures
  • Speech and language deficits
  • Vision, hearing and dental abnormalities
  • Spinal problems such as scoliosis

These additional conditions further impact the quality of life and prognosis.

How Cerebral Palsy Affects Life Insurance Eligibility in Canada

How Cerebral Palsy Affects Life Insurance Eligibility in Canada
How Cerebral Palsy Affects Life Insurance Eligibility in Canada

For Canadians with CP, qualifying for affordable life insurance is extremely difficult. Insurers view CP as heightening mortality risk, leading to rejections or increased costs.

Focus on Projected Life Expectancy

In underwriting, insurers zero in on applicants’ projected life expectancy. Significant physical or cognitive impairments often generate quick declines.

Independent living and financial self-sufficiency are key factors indicating a longer predicted lifespan. Reliance on caregivers or disability benefits hints at greater impairments.

Evaluating Case Severity and Health History

Specifically, underwriters assessing CP investigate:

  • Type and severity of symptoms
  • Mobility levels
  • Manual dexterity
  • Speech capacity
  • Intellectual abilities
  • Associated health conditions

The milder the case, the better one’s chances of qualifying for coverage. Co-occurring conditions also influence projections.

Employment Status Matters More Than Medical

Surprisingly, employment often matters more than medical status itself. Insurers value working regularly as a sign of independence. This outweighs being on disability benefits.

Group vs. Individual Policy Considerations

Underwriting is also more flexible on group policies through employers. Pre-existing conditions can often be covered, whereas individual underwriting is stringent.

Grasping risk assessment approaches is crucial to securing affordable life insurance with cerebral palsy.

Life Insurance Options for Cerebral Palsy in Canada

Life Insurance Options for Cerebral Palsy in Canada
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Life Insurance Options for Cerebral Palsy in Canada

Despite hurdles, Canadians with CP do have life insurance options. Availability and affordability improve the milder one’s symptoms.

Potential Options for Mild Cases

With mild cerebral palsy, regular individual life insurance may be within reach. Term life policies offer lower-cost temporary coverage, starting around $25 monthly.

Expect to pay 25-100% higher premiums than average, though. Insurers will rate mild CP cases somewhere between Table 2 and Table 4.

Permanent insurance, like whole life or universal life, is also an option, albeit more expensive.

Read more: What is permanent life insurance?

Securing Coverage for Moderate to Severe Cases

As CP symptoms become more significant, individual policies get difficult to obtain affordably. However, secured issue products without health screening open doors.

Final expense insurance provides modest payouts to cover end-of-life costs. Guaranteed issue life insurance also offers limited no-medical coverage.

For kids, some insurers provide guaranteed juvenile policies for those with disabilities. Riders on parents’ policies are another choice.

Creative Alternatives to Explore

Beyond regular life insurance, consider:

  • Group insurance through work or associations
  • Family policies listing a spouse or parent as the primary insured
  • Accidental death insurance requires only death by accident

Getting creative can help secure some coverage when options are limited.

Alternatives Life Insurance Options for Cerebral Palsy in Canada

Life Insurance for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Some insurers provide guaranteed issue juvenile life insurance policies designed specifically for children with disabilities like cerebral palsy. These can help cover costs of medical care, equipment, and future financial needs.

Another option is adding a rider for cerebral palsy children to a parent’s individual life insurance policy. Many child riders allow for up to $25,000 of coverage without needing medical underwriting.

Read more: Life Insurance for Kids in Canada

Life Insurance for Parents of Children with Cerebral Palsy

For parents who have a child with cerebral palsy, purchasing an individual life insurance policy is often the simplest and most affordable way to secure coverage.

Term life, whole life, or universal life policies can all provide income replacement and financial security for the family if a parent were to pass away prematurely. Having adequate parental life insurance is especially critical when special needs children are involved.

Working with an expert insurance advisor can help parents determine the ideal policy type and amount to meet their family’s unique needs.

Read more: Life Insurance for Canadian Parents

How Life Insurance Works with Cerebral Palsy

Obtaining life insurance with a cerebral palsy diagnosis requires navigating a complex underwriting process. Knowing what to expect can help maximize your chances of approval.

Underwriting Process and Factors Assessed

When reviewing a life insurance application for someone with cerebral palsy, key factors underwriters evaluate include:

  • Type and severity of CP symptoms
  • Level of independence with daily living activities
  • Mobility levels and use of assistive equipment
  • Manual dexterity and arm/hand function
  • Speech and communication abilities
  • Cognitive capabilities and intellectual disabilities
  • Associated health conditions and comorbidities
  • Employment status and income sources

The milder the case, the more likely an applicant is to qualify for individual coverage. More severe cases often get declined for traditional policies.

Read more: How Does Life Insurance Work In Canada ?

Importance of Employment Status

Surprisingly, current employment and income sources are weighted heavily, even more than medical factors in some cases. Insurers value full-time work as a sign of independence and function. Reliance on disability benefits hints at greater impairments.

Even with significant CP symptoms, having steady employment can improve eligibility.

Pros and Cons of Getting Life Insurance with Cerebral Palsy

Pros and Cons of Getting Life Insurance with Cerebral Palsy
Pros and Cons of Getting Life Insurance with Cerebral Palsy

There are some key advantages and potential drawbacks to consider with life insurance for those with cerebral palsy:


  • Provides income replacement and financial security for dependents
  • Offers final expense funding for end-of-life costs
  • Gives parents coverage for special needs children’s future care
  • Peace of mind knowing family is protected financially


  • Typically, more expensive premiums than for healthy individuals
  • Often limited to certain policy types depending on severity
  • More difficult to qualify for preferred rates
  • Requires going through the extensive underwriting process

Overall, the benefits tend to outweigh the downsides when planned properly. An experienced agent can help maximize advantages.

Cost of Life Insurance with Cerebral Palsy

Cost depends heavily on the severity of CP symptoms and resulting life expectancy estimates. Those with mild forms can often get term life policies at Table 2-4 rates, or 25-100% higher than preferred premiums. More severe cases will pay higher premiums for guaranteed issue insurance without medical underwriting.

On average, expect to pay $30-60 per month for $100,000 of term life coverage with mild cerebral palsy, depending on age and other factors. Secured issue policies range from $15-$50 monthly for more limited death benefits.

Working with an independent broker allows comparing quotes across multiple insurers to find the best value.

Read more: What Factors Determine Your Life Insurance Premiums?

Comparing Life Insurance Companies and Policies

When evaluating insurers and policy options with cerebral palsy, key factors to compare include:

  • Premium costs for a given death benefit amount
  • Underwriting approach and applicant acceptance rates
  • Policy types are available, such as term, whole, guaranteed issue, etc.
  • Maximum coverage amounts offered
  • Financial stability ratings of insurance company
  • Ease of submitting claims when the time comes

Consulting an independent broker lets you compare quotes and options from over 15 top life insurers in Canada to find the optimal solution.

Who Needs Life Insurance with Cerebral Palsy?

Any Canadian with dependents who want to protect their financial future in case of premature death can benefit from life insurance – cerebral palsy or not.

Specifically, those who should strongly consider coverage include:

  • Parents of children with cerebral palsy
  • Spouses or family members providing care for someone with CP
  • Adults living independently with mild symptoms
  • Young children with severe cerebral palsy

Coverage provides security and replaces lost income in case of an untimely passing.

Tips for Getting Life Insurance with Cerebral Palsy

Optimizing the application process is key to obtaining affordable coverage for cerebral palsy. Strategic tips include:

  • Work with an experienced, specialized independent life insurance broker
  • Learn how underwriting works and what factors are assessed
  • Gather thorough medical records from your physicians
  • Highlight your independence and stable functionality
  • Be patient and committed through a potentially long process
  • Consider creative alternatives like group or family coverage
  • Apply to multiple insurers to compare quotes

With proper preparation, persistence and expertise, approval odds are strong.

In addition to Cerebral Palsy, other common pre-existing conditions like Liver Cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cirrhosis, Brain Cancer, Alcoholism, etc, can significantly impact your ability to obtain life insurance. Each illness affects insurability in different ways based on severity and treatment status. Check out these helpful guides for tips and strategies on navigating the life insurance application process when managing such health conditions with some cases of Life Insurance with Pre-Existing Conditions in Canada:

How to Buy Life Insurance with Cerebral Palsy

The best approach for purchasing cerebral palsy life insurance includes:

  • Consult an independent brokerage specializing in high-risk cases
  • Review your specific situation and needs with an advisor
  • Have the broker shop quotes from multiple top insurers
  • Complete full medical underwriting if pursuing individual coverage
  • Provide complete medical records and test results
  • Submit supplemental statements about your functionality
  • Compare policy options and premiums with guidance
  • Secure the optimal policy providing the value and benefits you need

Having an advocate simplifies the complex process of researching, applying and qualifying.

Where to Buy Life Insurance with Cerebral Palsy

Specialized independent insurance brokers are the best choice for purchasing life insurance with cerebral palsy. Avoid captive agent channels.

Brokers have access to policies from over 15 of Canada’s top insurers. This allows you to find the right fit based on your underwriting appetite and the policy types offered.

Some direct purchase options also exist but without personalized guidance. Hybrid brokerages like PolicyMe can provide both tailored advice and an easy online purchasing process.

How to Make a Claim on Life Insurance with Cerebral Palsy

To make a claim on a life insurance policy:

  • Notify the insurance company of the death as soon as possible
  • Request the necessary claim forms from the insurer
  • Complete the claimant’s statement providing details of the death
  • Submit a certified copy of the death certificate as proof
  • Supply any other requested medical records or coroner’s reports
  • The insurer will review the claim and request more information if needed
  • Payout occurs in a lump sum to the designated beneficiaries once approved

Having an advisor assist with the process helps ensure everything goes smoothly.

The key is providing prompt, accurate notifications and documentation. This allows the claim to be processed and paid efficiently at a difficult time.

Take Control of Your Coverage Options

While often challenging, Canadians with cerebral palsy can obtain affordable life insurance through the right approach. Mild cases expand possibilities, while secured issue policies offer solutions for more severe forms.

With specialized support, preparation and persistence, coverage is within reach. Protect your family’s financial future by taking control of your options.

Ready to discuss your specific insurance needs? Connect with a specialist at Life Buzz to review your options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about life insurance with cerebral palsy

Can I get life insurance with cerebral palsy if I have a feeding tube?

Yes, you may be able to qualify for guaranteed issue life insurance if you have a feeding tube due to severe cerebral palsy. The underwriting process focuses more on functionality than specific medical treatments.

What if my life insurance with cerebral palsy application gets declined? Should I appeal?

If declined, first find out the exact reasons before appealing. Consider reapplying later if your health or independence improves. Or explore guaranteed issue policies that don't require medical underwriting.

Is juvenile life insurance with cerebral palsy renewable?

Many juvenile policies can be extended or converted to permanent coverage later in life. Check with the insurer about renewal terms before purchasing juvenile insurance for a child with cerebral palsy.

Does my cerebral palsy life expectancy affect the cost of life insurance?

Yes, insurers will estimate your life expectancy based on CP severity. A shorter predicted lifespan means higher premium costs to compensate for perceived higher mortality risk.

Should I apply for life insurance with cerebral palsy at multiple companies?

Applying to several insurers improves your chances, as underwriting criteria vary. Work with a broker to efficiently compare quotes from top insurers.

How does my career impact qualify for life insurance with cerebral palsy?

Steady employment in a CP-friendly career indicates higher functionality and often improves eligibility and rates compared to being unemployed or on disability aid.

Is burial life insurance with cerebral palsy guaranteed issue?

Typically, yes. Final expense and burial insurance policies only require simple eligibility screening without intensive medical underwriting, making approval more likely with cerebral palsy.

Can I receive my life insurance with cerebral palsy benefits while still living?

Some permanent life policies allow you to take an advance on your death benefit while living if you develop a terminal illness or for retirement income. Term life only pays upon death.

What is the best age to buy life insurance with cerebral palsy?

Apply as early as possible, such as when you start working, to lock in lower premiums. Every year of delay results in higher insurance costs due to age and more medical history.

Can my guardian apply for life insurance with cerebral palsy for me?

For those lacking legal capacity, certain insurers allow a guardian to handle the application process. Consent may be required from a trustee or power of attorney.

Will getting Botox affect my eligibility for life insurance with cerebral palsy?

No, cosmetic Botox injections are not a factor in underwriting cerebral palsy life insurance. Disclose the usage but focus discussion on the functionality impact of your CP.

Can I receive life insurance with cerebral palsy death benefits if I pass away overseas?

Yes, your designated beneficiaries will still receive payouts even if death occurs abroad. The insurer may need to confirm the cause of death and identity.

What is the difference between accidental death and life insurance with cerebral palsy?

Accidental death insurance only pays if you die from an accident, not natural causes. Regular life insurance pays out regardless of how you die.

Can my power of attorney apply for life insurance with cerebral palsy for me?

Yes, a legal power of attorney has the authority to handle financial affairs like insurance applications if you are unable to do so yourself due to CP impairments.

Does my degree of independence qualify me for life insurance with cerebral palsy?

Yes, being capable of independent living and activities like working, driving, and self-care indicates milder CP. This results in more favourable underwriting terms over fully assisted living.

Who is the ideal beneficiary for my life insurance with cerebral palsy?

Consider a special needs trust for proceeds to fund future care costs if you have dependents requiring lifelong support. Otherwise, choose loved ones wisely.

What care profession helps the most in applying for life insurance with cerebral palsy?

A highly specialized independent insurance broker will best guide the application process from start to finish. Avoid captive agents with less underwriting experience.

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Written by Ben Nguyen

Ben Nguyen is an award-winning insurance expert and industry veteran with over 20 years of experience. He is the chairman and director of IDC Insurance Direct Canada Inc., one of Canada's leading online insurance brokerages.

Ben is renowned for his extensive knowledge of life, health, disability, and travel insurance products. He is the prolific author of over 1,000 educational articles published on LifeBuzz, BestInsuranceOnline, and InsuranceDirectCanada. His articles provide Canadians with advice on making smart insurance decisions.

With a Bachelor's degree in Actuarial Science and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA) designation, Ben is frequently interviewed by media as an insurance industry spokesperson.

He has received numerous honors including the Insurance Council of Canada’s Pivotal Leadership Award, the Canadian Insurance Hall of Fame induction, and the President’s Medal from the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Ben continues to shape the vision and strategy of IDC Insurance Direct as chairman. He is dedicated to advancing the insurance industry through his insightful leadership.

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