Basic Life Insurance/ADD Insurance for AVM survivors

Due to my medical condition (an active AVM) I have found it virtually impossible to obtain any basic life insurance. I am told that once I have it (my AVM) treated (either surgically or gamma-knife), there would be a 2 year wait (pre-existing condition) before I could qualify to make a life insurance purchase. I have substantially increased my Accidental Death and Dismemberment policy through my employer. But I would like to have a substantial life insurance policy for my children's benefit. As it currently stands, I have been given three choices, #1, do nothing, and have it monitored, #2, Gamma-Knife, #3, surgical removal. I have decided to do nothing, and just monitor my AVM through MRI's. My original AVM has substantially decreased in size, but, is still there. Any input, advice, or suggestions from the members here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,..


I don’t have any suggestions, just a question: I wonder if Obama’s health care plan addresses life insurance? If so, this might be an answer for you. Good luck.


Good idea, I’ll check into that. Thanks


I had a really really good surgeon, Dr. Gary Stienberg at stanford, I did fly back/forth about 8 times, but ronald mcdonald house took in the kids/husband so there was no hotel fee.
New york life insured me but I dont know if it was because a friend sold it to us. Good luck.
My vote for you is cut it out before it grows, if the docs are opimistic!!!Take care

If you have isurance I would recommend the gamma knife it made mine go away and now no more worries but it’s pretty pricy so I recommend that you have insurance before hand hope to chat with you soon

Oh my email address is hope to chat with you soon

Jason Bergerson said:

If you have isurance I would recommend the gamma knife it made mine go away and now no more worries but it’s pretty pricy so I recommend that you have insurance before hand hope to chat with you soon

Hi William,

We ran into that as well. We had small term life insurance policies before Chari's AVM was discovered. After it was discovered, we decided we should each up our term policies to provide more protection for our young kids. My update was approved, but her's was rejected due to the AVM. We were told a 2 yr wait was required (or maybe it was flat rejected, can't recall).

Most employers with decent benefits provide you at little or no cost an amount of accidental death life insurance like "two times your basic annual salary". Some will allow you to purchase additional coverage up to a dollar limit like $500K or "five times your annual salary". Ours came with the added benefit that the spouse automatically received a policy that was 50% of the employee's policy. I bought $500K coverage, which gave me $250K coverage on her. Generally, this type of employee insurance is the CHEAPEST that you can purchase. Note however that this is ACCIDENTAL death covers, which means like you or she die in a car wreck. Now if the car wreck happens cuz your AVM bled? Don't know. I do know that if you get cancer or such and die, that is not an accident, ergo, NO Life insurance payout from an employee purchased plan.

Mini-Rant on life Insurance: Think about the whole concept for a moment--your are in essence betting the insurance company that you are going to die SOON, and they are betting that you are not going to die soon. Why would any sane person bet against themselves????????????????? Ok, I know, I know--it's to protect your family.

Yes, that is true. You should buy life insurance to provide and protect an income stream to your dependents. PERIOD! (Only in rare cases for estate planning under the advice of a competent financial planner should you consider any type of life insurance other than TERM Life Insurance.) The rest is just fancy term insurance with an savings component that costs you a lot of money to own.

I had a friend with two small children who purchased a large (maybe $1M) whole life policy for he and his spouse and a $5M policy on each of his kids. I know he was paying a lot for this, even though that much insurance on a kid is relatively cheap. Still a lot of money. When I asked WHY did you get that much coverage on the kids, he said "If one of them die, I'll be devastated." Yeah, that's true and I would be as well, but $5M will make you less devastated?????

In my opinion, any of the fancy charts, graphs, and smooth talk the whole life salesman gives you on the benefits of whole life are smoke and mirrors. The truth is a significant portion of your first year or more of payments go to pay the salesman and the company. Long term, they both get a cut of your premium. I don't know the current amounts, but decades ago, the selling agent got like 55% of the first year's premium as his commission. Life insurance companies own tons of very expensive property; I can't tell you if it belongs to them in order to pay it's policy holders or comes from their profits, or some combination, but their holdings are massive. Sorry, rant over. Disclaimer: I have never worked in the insurance business, and have no professional education in that area, other than a degree in Business Administration (back in the personal-typewriter days!) and have studied life lessons for 60 years.

In my opinion, and I recognize that most people posting / reading here have abnormal circumstances to deal with in the AVM, the best approach to take for YOUR economic well being is to purchase term life insurance for both spouses to protect the income stream and to build your own savings program / retirement financial plan such that at some point, you can drop the life insurance and have enough money so that you in effect self-insure. In my 30's, the term insurance was maybe $250/yr for $250K coverage. By 50, it had climbed enough I cut the coverage to $100K. Now at 60, that 100K coverage is $850/yr. We are getting close to dropping it and self insuring.

Of course, this approach requires that you actually SAVE and invest that extra money consistently over the years. Selling agents will probably accurately tell you that most people cannot do that. But I think you are paying them a lot to do what you can do yourself if you purchase anything other than term.

I know this is more than you wanted to hear William, sorry, my mouth runnith over...............................Have a great day.

Ron, KS

I wish they had the gamma knife when I had my surgery.
I would have preferred that to having my skull opened
and after all the poking around, leaving me with scar tissue.
The scar tissue on the brain is why I started to have
Seizures. But my seizures have been under control
Now for 7 years and counting. By the way Phenobarbital is
The least expensive anti-seizure medication.
It is not normally prescribed because there is no
Longer any patent on it. My doctor told me if they
Came out with Phenobarbital today they would
Call it a miracle drug. Drug companies do not
Encourage Doctors to prescribe you have to ask,
Better yet insist . My doctor told me I would be playing
Russian roulette with my life.
2 things were going to happen , one I would
have a bleed, because of the location of AVM.
If I was lucky I would die, or be paraylzised for
The rest of life. My chances of survival were
60/40 for the surgery. I am glad my Doctors
Were honest. It helped me make a difficult choice.