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International Epilepsy Day 2024

Every year on the second Monday of February, International Epilepsy Day is celebrated to show support for people all over the world who are living with epilepsy. This day provides an opportunity for people with epilepsy to share their experiences and advocate for the best possible outcomes.

Approximately 65 million people around the world have epilepsy, with 600,000 of those cases being reported in the UK. An epilepsy diagnosis can have a big impact on your life but having the right support can make a massive difference. There are many brilliant epilepsy charities in the UK including Epilepsy Action UK, Epilepsy Society and Young Epilepsy.

There are also resources available to help people with epilepsy protect themselves and their families financially. Epilepsy life insurance policies can provide financial support for your loved ones in the event of your death, whether this is due to epilepsy or another cause.

It can be harder to find the right life insurance policy and fair pricing if you have epilepsy. This is why it is crucial to speak with an epilepsy life insurance specialist who can provide expert advice and guidance for free.

A picture of a stopwatch

60-Second Summary – International Epilepsy Day 2024

International Epilepsy Day happens on the second Monday of February, aiming to raise awareness and support for individuals worldwide who are living with epilepsy.

  • Epilepsy is a serious medical condition which can have a huge impact on a person’s life. Epilepsy causes frequent seizures and the types of seizures experienced can vary from person to person.
  • If someone you care about has epilepsy, it can be useful to understand what they are going through and what you should do if they experience a seizure. You can find resources about this from various sources online including the NHS and British Red Cross.
  • On International Epilepsy Day, you can easily show your support by using the hashtag #EpilepsyDay on social media sites like Facebook or Instagram or by donating to an epilepsy charity.
  • If you have epilepsy, life insurance can provide financial security to protect your family or mortgage. The best way to find a fair price for life insurance with epilepsy is by speaking to a medical life insurance expert.

Epilepsy is a neurological condition which can cause frequent seizures and is often a lifelong condition. Epilepsy is most commonly diagnosed in children or people over 60, but can happen at any age. The condition can sometimes develop as a side effect of other conditions such as a stroke or brain tumour.

The most common symptoms of epilepsy include uncontrollable jerking and shaking (known as an epileptic fit), stiffness, loss of awareness, collapsing, and strange sensations such as tingling.

Epilepsy symptoms and their severity can vary from person to person and there are various treatments available to help control seizures.  Seizures can occur in any part of the brain, though they often occur in the frontal lobe in children.

This video by UK charity Epilepsy Action explains more about what epilepsy is and its impact.

What is epilepsy?

International Epilepsy Day is a global event that was first established in 2015 by the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) in partnership with the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE).

The goal of International Epilepsy Day is to raise awareness, reduce stigma and provide support to those diagnosed with epilepsy.

This day is an opportunity for people across the World to come together and encourage better access to treatment and support for people with epilepsy. You can get involved whether you are a charity, healthcare professional or simply anyone who wants to help make a difference.

The founders and managing directors of iam|INSURED unfortunately lost a close friend to epilepsy a few years ago. As a result, our experts are highly aware of how serious epilepsy can be and are committed to providing the best resources for those affected.

International Epilepsy Day is held on the second Monday of February each year and is a chance to advocate for the best treatment and outcomes for people with epilepsy. There are many ways to get involved including:

  • Posting on social media with the hashtag #EpilepsyDay to show your
  • You can also share a more personal message using the hashtag #MyEpilepsyJourney to explain your own experiences of living with epilepsy
  • Share important resources (in person or online) such as information about how to help if someone experiences a seizure
  • Donate to or fundraise for an epilepsy charity of your choice – there are many great ones to choose from

Is February 13th Epilepsy Day?

While February 13th was International Epilepsy Day last year, this year the celebrations are occurring on the 12th.  The date of International Epilepsy Day changes annually, as it occurs on the second Monday of February instead of a fixed date.

There are many ways you can support a loved one or friend who has been diagnosed with epilepsy. This can be as simple as being there for them and allowing them to talk to you openly about their experiences.

It can be useful to be aware of what you should do if they have a seizure, to ensure they are as safe as possible. This video from the British Red Cross shows a demonstration of what you should do including the steps for during and after a seizure.

How to help someone who is having a seizure (epileptic fit) #FirstAid #PowerOfKindness

There are also different types of seizures which means not everyone with epilepsy will experience seizures in the same way. If someone close to you has epilepsy, you may want to find out what type of seizures they experience so you can recognise any warning signs.

The main types of epileptic seizures are:

  • Simple partial seizure (focal seizure or ‘auras’) – These can often occur before another type of seizure and can cause symptoms like an unusual smell or taste, tingling in arms and legs and stiffness or twitching in one body part.
  • Complex partial seizureThe person loses their sense of awareness and makes random body movements (e.g. moving their arms). They will be unresponsive and won’t remember what they were doing afterwards.
  • Tonic-clonic seizureThese used to be known as ‘grand mal’ seizures and are the most well known form of epileptic fit. The person will lose consciousness and will become stiff and their limbs will jerk about.
  • Absence seizures These used to be known as ‘petit mal’ seizures and they cause the person to lose awareness of their surroundings. The person will often stare blankly as if they are daydreaming and may flutter their eyes and make small jerking movements.

Other types of seizures include clonic seizures, tonic seizures, and atonic seizures. All types of epileptic seizure and their symptoms are fully explained on the NHS website: NHS – Epilepsy (symptoms)

Can people with epilepsy live a normal life?

It’s definitely possible for people with epilepsy to live normal and happy lives. The right treatments can help to control seizures, to minimise their impact on your lifestyle.

It can also be useful to understand any triggers for your seizures so you can avoid them. Possible triggers for epileptic seizures include stress, tiredness, alcohol, drugs, periods or flashing lights.

Can epilepsy go away?

While epilepsy is often a lifelong diagnosis, in some cases symptoms can get better over time or even stop completely.

Epilepsy Society describes this as symptoms going into ‘spontaneous remission’ depending on the underlying cause of the epilepsy. You may then be able to gradually stop any treatment, with the support of a specialist.

Epilepsy Society – Just diagnosed

Does epilepsy get worse with age?

Epilepsy symptoms can get worse as you get older, but this won’t be the case for every person who has epilepsy. If you feel like your seizures are becoming more frequent, you should discuss this with your doctor.

In some cases, epilepsy symptoms can get better with age rather than worse and more epilepsy treatments may be developed in the future.

Getting life insurance is the best and easiest way for someone with epilepsy to ensure their loved ones are taken care of in the event of their death. Policies are more available now than they were previously, but it can still be useful to speak to a medical life insurance specialist.

Some insurers will be more suitable than others for people with epilepsy and an expert will be able to find the best policies and prices for you.

Does life insurance cover seizures?

If you were to die due to a seizure caused by epilepsy, your insurance provider will pay out a cash lump sum. This money can be used by your loved ones to cover key expenses like funeral costs or mortgage repayments. A life insurance pay out can provide financial support to families during an already difficult time to make things easier.

The only reason that your life insurance policy may not pay out for seizures is if you knew you had epilepsy when you applied and didn’t disclose this on your application.

Is epilepsy classed as a critical illness?

Critical illness insurance is a useful policy which will pay out a cash lump sum on diagnosis of a serious or ‘critical’ medical condition. The condition would need to be covered within the terms of your policy for a valid claim and what is covered can vary between insurance providers.

Epilepsy is not usually considered a critical illness by most insurance providers, but you should check your policy documents to be certain. It can still be possible to buy critical illness cover if you have epilepsy, which would protect you if you were diagnosed with other serious conditions.

The fastest way to find the right life insurance policy and provider for epilepsy is by speaking to a medical life insurance expert. Our team can compare the best prices across the market to make sure you never pay more than you need to.

For free, friendly life insurance advice, you can talk to our experts on 0800 009 6559 or by clicking here.

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Can I get life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

Yes, you will be able to get life insurance with almost any pre-existing medical condition, as long as it is not terminal. If traditional life insurance is not available due to the severity of your symptoms, then there are other guaranteed and specialist life insurance options, such as:

  • Accidental death
  • Over 50s life insurance
  • Guaranteed life insurance

Some of the most common examples of life insurance with pre-existing conditions are:

  • Overweight or High BMI life insurance
  • Diabetes life insurance (e.g. Type 2 or Type 1 diabetes)
  • Cancer life insurance
  • Heart attack or heart disease life insurance
  • Mental health life insurance
  • Multiple Sclerosis life insurance
  • Autoimmune disorders life insurance
  • HIV life insurance

There are literally thousands of types and variations of pre-exisiting medical conditions and so your situation is likely to be different to someone else. Life insurance with pre-existing conditions will take a number of elements in to account:

  • Severity and type of symptoms
  • Dates of diagnosis, episodes or attacks, and treatments
  • Any ongoing treatment and medications

Your life insurance premiums will be based on your own individual circumstances and how much cover you need. You should be able to adjust the levels of cover to suit your budget and it’s just as important to make sure that you at least have some cover in place.

What does Martin Lewis say about life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

MoneySavingExpert.com suggests that life insurance will ‘cost a lot more’ with a pre-existing medical condition. This is not true and it really does depend on your own individual circumstances so don’t be put off by this as they are not experts in this area.

It is true that some circumstances where the pre-existing medical condition is serious or severe, premiums can be higher to reflect the additional mortality risks. Ultimately, your life insurance premiums are unfortunately based on how likely you are to claim or if you have a higher chance of death within the policy term.

Martin Lewis doesn’t provide any real substance to his comment about pre-existing conditions life insurance and that’s not good enough. You should speak to a medical life insurance specialist to get a fully underwritten quote before you make any final decisions about whether or not you can afford to protect your family.

How much is life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

Most traditional life insurance providers will accept applications for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Often, you will have a number of potential options from several different insurance providers so you can usually save money as well by shopping around.

Historically you might have had less offers when you apply for life insurance with pre-existing conditions, but fortunately that is changing. Most of the more well-known high street life insurance brands are now offering more competitive rates and more flexible underwriting.

Top tips to save money on life insurance with pre-existing conditions:

  • Speak to pre-existing medical conditions specialist (these companies will understand the market better and should know which insurers will be cheapest for you)
  • Shop around and get different quotes (same as everything else, by shopping around you’ll get a better idea of what a good price is and what different companies offer)
  • Apply at the best time (timing can be important when applying for life insurance with pre-existing conditions, usually when symptoms are stable and not before or after treatment)

There are also other things to take into consideration, such as if you’re a smoker or if your weight is higher than normal. Can you do anything to improve your situation that might help to reduce your life insurance premiums.

Best life insurance for pre-existing conditions?

The best life insurance for pre-existing conditions will be different for each individual, based on their circumstances and the details of their health or medical history. There are certainly some insurance providers who are better for people with pre-existing medical conditions than others, such as:

  • The Exeter (better for people with more severe symptoms and serious health problems)
  • Legal & General (can sometimes be good for certain pre-existing medical conditions, especially mild to moderate symptoms)
  • Royal London (offers a number of specialist products and policies for certain pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes and mental health)
  • Scottish Widows (sometimes good for moderate medical conditions and offers flexible underwriting for certain conditions)
  • The Guardian (also offers flexible underwriting towards some pre-existing medical conditions)
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