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Life insurance for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Your ability to get coverage depends on your current health and family history.

1 - 5 of 5
Name Product Types of Insurance Coverage Range Issue Ages Medical Exam Required Province Availability
PolicyMe Life Insurance
Term Life
$100,000 - $10,000,000
18 - 75
Get fast and affordable term life insurance. Personalize your policy details and get an estimate price within seconds. No phone call, meeting or paperwork required. Get an instant decision.
Walnut Life Insurance
Term Life
$50,000 - $1,000,000
18 - 70
Access budget-friendly insurance plans and get instant coverage in minutes. No medical exam required. Plus, add Walnut member benefits and enjoy access to ClassPass, Headspace, Dashlane and more.
TermLite Term Life Insurance
Term Life
$10,000 - $1,000,000
18 - 80
All of Canada
Get fast and easy-to-understand term life insurance with no medical exam and no paperwork required.
RBC Life Insurance
Term Life
$50,000 - $1,000,000
18 - 70
Select from two unique RBC term life insurance plans to get flexible and affordable coverage that suits your lifestyle and budget. Get a free quote through Walnut.
Whole Life, Term Life, Universal, No Medical
$25,000 - $5,000,000
18 - 75
PolicyAdvisor is a digital life insurance brokerage that has partnerships with 20 insurers in Canada.

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Life insurance can cover dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but options are based on your diagnosis and current health.

How do I get life insurance that covers dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?

Life insurance companies generally treat all forms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease the same. Your approach to finding coverage likely depends on whether you already have a diagnosis or are looking for a policy that covers it in the future.

  • An independent insurance agent.If you already have a diagnosis, you may benefit from working with an independent insurance agent who specializes in high-risk individuals. Someone seeking coverage for later in life can work with a general agent to find a policy that fits their needs.
  • An employer.When you sign on to an employer’s life insurance plan, it’s typically a group policy that includes coverage for pre-existing conditions. This coverage can be helpful for those who are still working and living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. But you may not be able to keep your policy if you leave your job — and if you can keep your policy, you’ll likely pay high premiums. Look into the details of your plan before signing up to be sure it includes the coverage you need.
  • An issuer.Working with a provider directly is also an option. The type of plan you’re shopping for — simplified life, guaranteed acceptance, traditional or instant approval — will likely be different. Traditional plans may be difficult to qualify for if you already have a diagnosis.

What’s the best life insurance option if I have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease?

A good bet may be guaranteed issue life insurance, also called guaranteed acceptance. As the name suggests, acceptance is guaranteed as long as you meet the provider’s qualifications.

You often must be older than 40 to qualify for a guaranteed issue policy. You won’t be subject to a medical exam, though most guaranteed issue policies are limited compared with other types of plans, and you’ll likely find eligibility for a lower amount of coverage.

Applying for a life insurance policy often involves confronting invasive questions about your physical and mental health and your experience with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

The process can stir up fear, worry and other unexpected feelings. Consider leaning on your loved ones if you need support when dealing with questions about your health and confirming any details your insurer asks for.

How do I get life insurance if I have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease?

You may not experience much difference in getting life insurance if your family has a history of Alzheimer’s. You can contact an agent, go through your employer or approach life insurance providers directly.

When will having a family history of Alzheimer’s disease affect my policy?

Life insurance providers may change how your policy is treated if:

  • More than one person in your immediate family has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
  • Someone in your immediate family was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s earlier in life.

This information can lead an increase in your risk class, which may result in a higher premium. The provider may also choose to exclude the condition from the policy, rather that raise the cost.

Can I omit my family’s history of Alzheimer’s disease?

Withholding requested information is strongly discouraged. If the issuer finds out about it later, you could lose coverage or risk a future payout to your family or loved ones.

Do I have to be genetically tested to get insurance coverage?

No. Since the enactment of Bill S-201 in 2017, insurers cannot legally require applicants to be genetically tested to get insurance.

Clause 3(1) of the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act (GNDA) “prohibits any person from requiring another individual to undergo genetic testing in order to be provided with goods and services.”

The Act prohibits insurers from requiring people to be genetically tested in order form a contract or continue receiving specific conditions under a contract. Clause 3(2) further bars insurers from engaging in any of the acts described above because an individual has refused to be genetically tested.

Challenges to the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act

Prior to the GNDA, voluntary regulatory organizations like the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, and the Canadian Life Insurance Medical Officers Association did not require applicants to be genetically tested to get coverage, however they still had to disclose results from previously-taken tests.

Proponents of the law cite privacy concerns and state that, while genetic research may be progressing, tests still only predict health and life outcomes for a few genetic conditions. In short – people may never develop the conditions they’re at risk of having. Those who oppose the law contend that it might cause a widespread increase in insurance premiums and that the matter falls under the heading of insurance industry regulation and should therefore be decided at the provincial – not federal – level.

The Act was unsuccessfully challenged in 2019 when the Supreme Court found that “the GNDA is a valid exercise of Parliament’s power to enact criminal law.” For now, it seems, genetic testing is one less hurdle you’ll have to face if you want to get life insurance but are at risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

What type of medical information will I have to provide?

The information required varies by insurer and type, but you’ll answer common underwriting questions about your:

  • Age
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Current medical conditions
  • Medical history of your family
  • Current medications

How to buy life insurance

Will having dementia or Alzheimer’s disease affect my life insurance rates?

Yes. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are considered a permanent disability due to their effect on a person’s cognitive and physical abilities. Seeking coverage after a diagnosis can come with higher premiums. You can look for insurance policies that don’t require medical assessments – called guaranteed acceptance plans – but note that these are more expensive than traditional life insurance policies.

Can I get an early benefit payout for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease?

Yes, but eligibility to receive money early depends on your policy. Because dementia and Alzheimer’s are often accompanied by chronic acute cognitive and physical impairment, they’re considered a lifelong disability. As such, 2 main options generally apply based on how far along the condition has progressed.

Taking out a loan against your policy

If your policy has a cash value portion that’s invested to earn interest, you may be able to borrow against it after a certain amount of time following that date on which the policy was taken out. This loan is up to a predetermined percentage of your total benefit amount and must be paid back when the policy expires.

Accelerated death benefit

If your loved one received a terminal diagnosis with a life expectancy of 6-12 months, an accelerated death benefit may become available, which allows a payout of a certain amount. You don’t have to repay this benefit, and it’s typically paid out tax-free. Check the policy before requesting a withdrawal to confirm the details of the benefit.

How do I get a life insurance policy for someone with Alzheimer’s disease?

When you’re looking to get your loved one life insurance, you generally have 2 options: apply and purchase it themselves, or take out a policy in their name and be the owner of it.

Going with the first doesn’t mean you can’t help. Part of what makes getting life insurance difficult is finding and comparing reasonable options. Doing the bulk of the research can make it much easier on your loved one when it comes time to decide on and apply for a policy.

To take out a policy in another person’s name, you must get their consent and prove insurable interest. Insurable interest is typically easier to prove when you’re the person’s next of kin and for smaller policies.

Bottom line

You can find life insurance coverage for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The steps you’ll take depend on your needs. Compare your life insurance options to find the strongest coverage you’re eligible for.

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