Life Insurance


My husband and I recently applied for life insurance and unfortunately we applied too late because they know about my AVM and have denied me because I’m too high risk. I got the letter yesterday. It brought me to tears. I just found out that I have an avm in Dec 08. I am 39. I feel great, no symptoms at all, so it’s like it’s not there but to hear that they think my longevity isn’t so good really freaks me out. In my opinion I’m going to live a very long time!! So my question to you all is have any of you gotten life insurance after you were diagnosed with an AVM and if so with which company? I would like to have some so that if something were to happen to me my husband would have some money to take care of certain things. He does work so he’s got his pay but as we all know there are certain expenses after one dies. It doesn’t seem fair at all. I mean we are all technically dieing right? I could walk across the street and get hit by a car. I just don’t get it. :frowning:

My parents couldn’t get life insurance for me as a child either. Too high of risk! But as an adult I’ve always been able to sign up through the regular insurance options at work and have never been denied. I don’t think anyone ever checked! Not completely sure how it is all supposed to work or why I’ve never been questioned or denied.
Did you just try to go out privately and buy insurance, or was it through yours/hubby’s work??? I am guessing that going through a job may be a little more “stealthy” and under the radar?!
That’s pretty disheartening in general though. And you’re right, we are ALL dieing slowly as we age. I guess they just think some of us are on the fast track. Stop the train, we want off!!! :slight_smile:
I hope you can figure something out to get this insurance. Good luck.

oh and thank God my husband’s went through before his recent diagnosis of thyroid cancer. He does have life insurance through his work but wanted to purchase extra for me and I wanted to get some for him. We used to have life insurance and it lapsed…I guess waiting this long to apply was our fault for sure. I just didn’t think I’d get denied, maybe more money for it but not denied completely.
They said they will re-evaluate in 2 years… THey know I need to have stereotactic radiation which won’t supposedly do anything for at least 2-3 years so hopefully I am one of the 80% whose avm shrinks during the 2-3 year waiting period after radiation.
I’m hopeful. :slight_smile:

The only way I can get life insurance is if an employer offers it and you do not have to qualify medically.

If anyone out there knows of a company that will take those of us with AVM’s and have had surgery, I am sure we would all like to know.

I am now almost 40 and my ruptures were when I was 28 and I have not been able to get life insurance since. My husband and I just looked into this a couple of months ago again and still cannot get it for me.
They see me as high risk and refuse to even consider me.

We just recently tried to get life insurance on me and my husband since we are expecting a baby. And there was NO problem at all for him getting the life insurance. But they wouldn’t even consider it for me. It is really upsetting to know that if something bad happens to you in your lifetime that it will be held over your shoulder forever! I’m not sure I will ever be able to get life insurance and my AVM was removed through two surgeries. It brings me relief to know that at least my husband has life insurance…but if something happens to me I honestly dont know what will be done.
We just have to think positive and pray for the best…I do know that I wish my mother had life insurance when she passed last year because that was some expensive stuff!!! That was just one more expense added to our lives and I know its something she would have never wanted us to have to pay for. I dont want Eric or our little girl to have to worry about the money if something were to ever happen to me. But unfortunately we never know when something will happen. Luckily I just turned 24 and should have a lot more life to live…and maybe by the time I’m in my 50’s something will be available!!! Fingers CROSSED :slight_smile: .

So if what I’m reading is correct, some of you are having problems getting life insurance even after your AVM was removed??!! That’s just insane! I actually haven’t tried recently, I’d always had it through my job, but now I don’t. Hmm, that’s a bit concerning. I should check in to that.

That is really scary my husband and I have been talking about getting more than just what he gets through work. But I never thought that we could get denied. That thought just never entered my mind. I’m only 26 so I thought it might be a pain but not to that degree. If something were to happen to me I want to make sure my family is some what taken care of. Specially my son. I really need to look into it. I don’t/can’t work so I don’t even have that option. Bummer.

We took out policies on all our kids as soon as we could after they were born. In some ways I felt like it was unnecessary, but it was cheap. And my parents had done this for me. The purpose was for insurability. I have no idea if having an AVM that was removed will affect my daughter’s ability to get insurance, but the policy that we got for her gives her 35k of coverage and we can (and will!) increase it at guarenteed rates once she is an adult. I think we can increase it to 135k. It’s not as much as I’d like her to have to provide a safety net for her future children, but I’m so so so glad we took out the insurance on her when she was a baby.

I have often wondered if I would be covered…I have extended benefits thru work which also includes both short and long term disability and have often wondered if I were to have a bleed if I would be covered or if they would classify it as a “pre-excisting condition” hmm makes a girl really wonder now. I am also the benefit administrator at work so maybe I will do an inquiry about coverage for an “employee” who has an AVM…could be interesting.

I also wonder if a doctor could help you fight it and win coverage because of personall health before a bleed, after a bleed or after removal? I am in relativly good health and mine is untreatable so if I were to have a bleed and become dependant on others would I have long term disability thru work and if they denied me could my neuro confirm my good health prior to the bleed to get me coverage?

My husband and I both obtained term life insurance (above and beyond what an employer offers) just before having kids. We each were covered for a period of 10 yrs. and then had to re-qualify for the next term of ten years. (Term is much more affordable than universal or whole life insurance and, at some point, you may not need as much life insurance anymore, like when your kids are grown and your house is paid off).

My husband’s policy was renewed but mine was not. Apparently, I have reached an age where, according to the actuarial tables, I am now an even higher risk with my untreated AVM than before. AVMs have a higher probability associated with them of something going awry. The insurance co. didn’t want to take a gamble on me if the probability of me hanging around and sending them premiums wasn’t too good. It’s nothing personal - just what the actuarial tables say. That’s how the game is played.

Our insurance guy helped me apply to 3 other companies who all turned me down due to the AVM and risk of bleed. Another little blip on the road of life with an AVM.

I don’t know about treated AVMs but I’m sure the life insurance companies don’t like it when folks have had conditions that have required brain surgeries/treatments.

Be sure and sign up for life insurance coverage through work which you do not have to qualify for and look around for other independent companies as well. Each situation is unique and it only takes one life insurance company to say ‘yes.’

I was going to apply for life insurance sometime ago (before being diagnosed with AVM), I kept putting it off and now, after being diagnosed I applied for insurance and was predictably denied. Sadly, life insurance companies exist to make money…

I was going to apply after surgery but it seems (from reading everyone’s posts) I’ll be denied even after post-op.

I do have life insurance with my work but it is only covered for a years pay (not much for my family to live off). You’ll note that if you read the fine print (disclaimer), it will say that the life insurance will not cover you for any known medical condition existing prior to commencement of the policy. Basically in a nut-shell, you may automatically obtain life insurance through work (without a medical) but it will certainly not cover you for a known pre-existing condition. Please keep this in mind.


avmgirl said:

Be sure and sign up for life insurance coverage through work which you do not have to qualify for and look around for other independent companies as well. Each situation is unique and it only takes one life insurance company to say ‘yes.’

I have life insurance through my employer as part of my pension. I am being paid “permanent health insurance” which is part of my pension. This will be paid till retirement age. They know about my AVM and epilepsy when I filled in the forms for acceptance after my first bleed so I presume they know I am a risk but I am still covered by the policy for the life insurance part (3 times salary). I have never looked into having more cover but I have heard of brokers that will cover high risk customers, obviousy at a high premium.
I had no trouble getting travel insurance, cost more than double the basic cost, but they just asked about the epilepsy, and they paid out no problems when i had to cancell a holiday last year because I had a further bleed (and a stay in hospital instead of a week on the beach!) Hope you can get something sorted.

Hi Rachel,

Sorry that you haven’t been able to get life insurance. Coincidentally, I had gotten something in the mail from AARP concerning life insurance, so I checked to see if I was eligible. To try to make a long story short, the questions asked had a time element to them, so if I wait to apply past the time frames indicated in the questons, I might be able to get insurance through them. For instance, one of the questions was about consulting a doctor in the past three months or having diagnostic tests. If I wait to apply at a time when I haven’t visited a doctor in the pat three months or had diagnostic tests run, I could answer that question no and not have to tell them about the AVM.

Since you are only 39, you wouldn’t be eligible to join AARP because you have to be 50 or older. But then I remembered that I also have received life insurance offers from credit card companies and my alumni association through the years. Those offers also tend to have few restrictions attached to them. Maybe you could get life insurance through one of those routes.

Like other people who have posted responses, I currently have life insurance through my employer, but that would end when I retire or leave. However, I was able to buy a small life insurance policy through work that I will be able to take with me when I leave my position for any reason.

Hope you can find a source for life insurance.

Take care,


I could not get insurance when I had the AVM and after it ruptured the insurance made me wait 5 years later.

Wow, good subject.

We had term insurance before our kids were born, and needed to up the amounts. I was ok'ed, but Chari was not, due to having an AVM. After two years, they would reconsider.

The following is my OPINION and UNDERSTANDING, based on what I knew from my employer's insurance:

**The life insurance I had at work (often referred to as 2 times your annual salary or such) did NOT cover if I got sick and died--only covered accidental death.

**As an employee, I was able to buy life insurance for me over and above the 2X amount up to an amount, such as $500K.

**As an employee, I was able to buy life insurance for my spouse up to 50% of the amount I had purchased. Each of these extra amounts were paid by me, but was certainly cheaper than anything I could buy outside, but again, it only covered ACCIDENTAL DEATH, not death by illness. Not sure how it would have worked say with an AVM rupture..........

So if you have insurance through work, I would check to see if this is available to you.

Personally, I've never liked the idea of life insurance. If you think about it, you are betting a company that you are going to die soon, and they are betting that you are going to die later...... Kinda twisted thinking, huh?

Everyone has a right to decide what to buy, but my logic says that anything other than term insurance is a big profit for the insurer. Every notice all the huge building owned by insurance companies? You bought them.

If you want the "investing side" of whole life, buy term and invest the extra yourself--you'll come out far ahead.

If you need to cover expenses at death, you could buy one of these policies on TV for $10K. Probably not as cheap as term on the outside, but much cheaper than whole life. And likely don't have to have a physical. Or just start saving for your funeral expenses and skip the insurance.

If you have a vehicle loan through a credit union, you can purchase life insurance that covers paying off the car, called credit life.

I would suggest anyone thinking about needing insurance to sit down and figure out what you really need to cover (kids college, support for spouse, etc) and then search for the cheapest way to achieve that. And I do understand that companies don't cover AVMs...........

Hope this helps.

Ron, KS

Disclaimer: I am NOT in the insurance business, not a lawyer, not offering advice, nor promoting any product. Your mileage may vary.

my husband has been told his AVM is inoperable posterior fossa, his job means he commutes we have a morgage two teens and TBH because they cant say for def if it will bleed or not, but where his is one bleed and doc says will be bad bad (dont want to say it!) we were told could happen soon may never ! My husband has also been told need dont get stressed, no bashing his head be careful etc.. yet we cant claim on our insurance. So he cant have treatment could go at any time yet because they cant say for def 12months we have to carry on as normal worrying about life rubbish, I just dont get it !! his is life threatening, where the quality of life ???

When you apply for life insurance, the insurance company has you sign a release of information for your medical records. Once the information is obtained by the insurance company, it is held "forever" and shared with other insurance companies. If you are considered "high risk" by an insurance company, you get a rating that either causes you to pay higher premiums or to be outright denied coverage. That denial/rating decision also goes into the record that is shared by insurance companies. All this was explained to me decades ago when I was "rated" and had to pay higher premiums. Although the life insurance coverage I had was private, it was offered through my association with a credit union and, therefore, I received a group rate which was a savings although I paid more than others in the group for the same coverage.

When you are offered life insurance through employment, no health information is collected. The risk in covering you is spread across the group. Folks who cannot take out life insurance privately should target employment with firms who offer it to their employees. Some employers even offer coverage for spouses or children which is helpful if they are high risk. If you are already working at a good job and failed to opt for life insurance coverage during those early, eligible days of your employment, don't give up. Sometimes employers offer open enrollment periods for life insurance much as they generally do annually for health insurance, but not nearly as often. And, sometimes during those rare life insurance open enrollment periods, no health questions are asked. If that's the case, jump at the chance because it could be years--or never--before you get another one.

Instead of focusing on life insurance for you, you and your husband could focus on the coverage for him. If you, by having some health issues, are likely to need funds for support if your husband gets abruptly hit by that car you mentioned, it is important that his coverage is sufficient for you. As for your husband's income in the case of your death, there are options other than life insurance on you that a financial adviser could discuss with you both such as prepaying for your final expenses, taking out a WHOLE life insurance policy on him that would earn cash value to be cashed in rather than waiting until his death (whole life is more costly, though, than TERM life), starting a program of purchasing Roth IRAs, etc. I'm no expert, but I do know there are options for you!

P.S. to others: If you already had life insurance coverage before suffering a major change in your medical condition, don't take it for granted. Be sure to pay your premiums and don't let the coverage lapse. Otherwise, your new health circumstances will come into play when you try to get the coverage back. You could be denied coverage.

Good response, Ron. I do want to add, though, that due to my health I've been denied credit life insurance for a mortgage.

Amanda, do you know why your husband can't claim his avm on your insurance?

Are you referring to HEALTH insurance?

Does your health insurance exclude it for some reason? You seem to say it is because the doctors cannot say whether it will bleed or not, so it has to be left alone for 12 months before the insurance company will pay for it. Is that what you mean?

Or is it because the doctors say it is inoperable? Have you been told about your insurance company's appeals process?

Could you explain a bit more?

Rachel, There are other life insurance companies that don't ask questions about your health. I belong to an AARP insurance...but there are others who will provide you with insurance. I believe one is called Liberty Life Insurance...Go online and try to find one of them. I believe they are expensive for a high amount of coverage tho.