Life Insurance with Anxiety Disorder…What You Need to Know

Life Insurance with Anxiety Disorder…What You Need to Know

If you are interested in learning about obtaining life insurance with anxiety, whether mild ,well controlled, anxiety or a more serious form, you are in the right place.

When you're dealing with clinical anxiety, you know about the everyday challenges that you face. What you may not know is that obtaining life insurance with depression may also be a challenge.

​When applying for life insurance with anxiety disorder, carriers will want to know as much as they can about the risk they are being asked to insure. This is no different than how the carriers deal with any other condition like high blood pressure and Atrial Fibrillation or lifestyle choices like marijuana use or or scuba diving.

The purpose of this article is to provide a background on the information insurers will require of you, and answer any questions you may have about how to obtain life insurance with anxiety disorder at the best price possible.

I​f you already know more than you ever wanted to about depression, or you know exactly what you are looking for, you can use the quick navigation tool to skip around.

Fast Facts about Anxiety Disorder

The Mayo Clinic defines anxiety disorder  that causes a persistent feeling of fear, out of proportion to any actual danger, that is difficult to control and  interferes with daily activities.

Clinical anxiety  isn't a weakness and you can't simply "snap out" of it. More than just a bout of nerves , clinical anxiety may require long-term treatment.

40 million people in the United States are believed to suffer some form of anxiety disorder.​

Some of the famous people who have suffered from major depression include: actresses Scarlett Johansson, Kim Bassinger, musician Adele, and major league baseball player Joey Votto.  

life insurance with anxiety
life insurance with anxiety disorder
life insurance with anxiety disorder
life insurance with anxiety disorder

What Life Insurers Will Take Into Consideration

When applying for life insurance with anxiety, or any other condition, underwriters will generally be concerned with some basic questions:

  • Do you fit into the usual risk factors for the condition
  • What are/were your syptoms
  • What was the Diagnosis & Treatment
  • What is the aftercare (follow up & compliance)
  • What is your health like apart from the condition/history in question

While the outline above is general in form , the questions will require specific answers. These answers will be gathered from your application, a telephone interview, the Medical Information Bureau, a Script Check, and possibly an attending physicians statement (APS).

Lets look at the general areas of inquiry one at a time.

Do you "fit" into the usual risk factors for Anxiety disorder

Due to the myriad contributors to anxiety, other than scrutinizing drug and alcohol use, this is not a factor.

The reason it matters with most conditions is that underwriters are more comfortable with making offers when an applicant fits into a common pattern. If the condition doesn't fit, there is a real possibility that something else is at play. When this is the case, underwriters will take a harder look at the file.

What are/were your Depression Symptoms

Underwriting will want to know the symptoms you had (if any) and how long you had them before the diagnosis.

Below, from the National Institutes of Health is is a list of some of the signs and symptoms that major depression is afoot:

  • Restlessness or feeling wound-up or on edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating or having their minds go blank
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Difficulty controlling the worry
  • Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless, unsatisfying sleep)

Panic disorder, a more severe form of anxiety, exhibits the following traits:  

  • Sudden and repeated attacks of intense fear
  • Feelings of being out of control during a panic attack
  • Intense worries about when the next attack will happen
  • Fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past

Your Diagnosis and Treatments

Life insurance underwriters will want to know the date of first diagnosis​ and of any subsequent major flare-ups. Underwriting will also want to know what medications you have been prescribed for anxiety.

A quick look as WebMD list the following drugs commonly prescribed for depression:

life insurance with anxiety disorder
  • Trcyclic anti-depressants​
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors​
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors​
  • serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors​

To see a list of names (brand & generic) of drugs that fall into these categories please see WebMD.

​While information that is "foggy" will be taken from your medical records, knowing the dates of diagnosis and treatments is necessary to get an accurate quote for life insurance with anxiety.

Your Follow Up Care

For Life insurance with depression, underwriters will want to see that you have been compliant with prescription medication and any follow up requirements including doctors appointments.

In addition to taking prescription medications, ​dietary improvement and supplementation are often encouraged by physicians. For a brief write up of homeopathic suggestions see Dr. Lisa Rankin's article in Psychology Today. While the piece is geared toward depression, there is a lot of crossover in the conditions.

Your Over all Health (and related conditions)

While any application for life insurance with depression will take into consideration your overall health including conditions like high cholesterol and gout, underwriters in depression cases will specifically look for certain related conditions.

Among the related conditions of special concern to underwriters are

For a full discussion of related orders (not necessarily of concern to underwriting) visit Anxiety and Depression Association.

Obtaining Life Insurance With Anxiety Disorder

With a couple of caveats, the process of obtaining life insurance with depression is essentially the same as for any other condition.

The information that you will be required to provide in order to get the most accurate quote is as follows:

  1. Date of Diagnosis

  2. Age at Diagnosis

  3. Treatments Undergone- This will require a list of any pharmaceutical drugs being taken as well as any recent prescription changes.

  4. Dates of Treatments-This will include any hospitalizations as well as evidence of compliance.

  5. Severity of Symptoms

  6. Other Health Issues

Possible Underwriting Ratings with Anxiety Disorder

Because applications for life insurance with depression are evaluated on a case by case basis, your story always matters. That is to say two people with the same age and condition may get vastly different offers from the same carrier based on age of diagnosis and patient compliance.

Because each case is different, the following pricing scenarios are the best estimates based on experience.

Best Case – If anxiety symptoms are under excellent control and there is good compliance, some cases have a chance for a preferred/preferred plus rate. Simply use the quote tool on the right for a standard quote.

Mid Case –If your anxiety seems to be moderate, controlled by prescription and good compliance you may be looking at a standard to mild substandard rate (table 2/B). This may include panic disorder and even PTSD cases as long as there are no hospitalizations.

To learn about how table ratings work click here.

Severe CaseIf your anxiety symptoms are severe with a need for chronic maintenance drugs and/or you have a history that includes hospitalizations or disability, the best you will likely do is a severe substandard rate. You calculate this rate by multiplying the standard rate by 3 (table 8/H).

Decline– For a severe case you may be declined for traditional coverage. If this is the case you may be eligible for a smaller face amount policy. These policies are referred to as Guaranteed issue or simplified issue. If you have been declined please contact us.

Why to use Independent Agent when Shopping for Life Insurance with Anxiety Disorder?

Now you already understand that your story matters, and that two people in similar situations can get very different offers from the same carrier.

What you might not know is that different insurance companies will also treat each case differently.

For example Lincoln Financial may have more of an appetite for the risk that life insurance with anxiety presents than say AIG. In this case the underwriting grade will reflect this increased appetite.

So, if your Agent only represented one carrier and you found out later that that you could have gotten a rate 35% or 45% better, how would you feel?

You’d probably be mad either at the agent or yourself or both. So it’s important that your Agent represent multiple carriers.

In fact a good independent agent will have access to over 50 carriers. This ensures the best chance at a good rate.

Note, that if he doesn’t, he may not be in a such hurry to let you in on this info.

Case Study Pricing Policies with Depression

So, I have been preaching about the importance of using an independent Agent and you may think that sounds a bit self serving coming from an independent agent.

You’re right, it is. However, it is also the (provable) truth.

Please see the case study below . it will show why it is in your interest to have as many options as possible available when shopping for life insurance with anxiety or any other impairment.

Gender: Female Age: 29

$1000000 20 Year Term

Tobacco: No

Well controlled anxiety disorder. Diagnosed Age 28

Iodine only No Other Health Concerns

This looks like a best case scenario that would be either Preferred, Standard Plus or Standard depending on the insurers appetite for a Graves disease risk.. Let’s take a look at the rates.

Preferred Rates - Standard Plus Rates - Standard Rates

sbli express$37.32sbli express49.50AIG59.17
AIG37.54AIG49.65sbli express59.42
prudential logo49.95prudential logo59.85prudential logo70.65

This table which shows only a few of the major life insurance companies available illustrates the difference in rates.For Preferred rates Prudential is 29% more expensive than SBLI.

On it’s face this seems like a pretty straight forward choice and if underwriting grades between carriers is the same, it really can be that simple. This kind of easy price shopping is particularly useful for younger folks in good health and demonstrates why you want to use an independent Agent.

For people who suffer from anxiety disorder or any other serious diagnosis, it gets much more complicated.

Because life insurers manage their appetite for specific risks by being more lenient or more stringent with underwriting grades, you need to know which company will grade you a preferred risk and which ones will grade you as standard (or worse).

In the case above, because the anxiety is well controlled and the applicant is in excellent health, Prudential (the most expensive standard rate) is not a factor. However, if her health was not quite as good as this example, Pru would likely be among the best deals because of more lenient underwriting.

That is if the more competitively priced carriers dropped her rating to standard or standard plus Prudential would likely be the best deal because they might still rate her as P+.

This is something you can’t know by simply looking at the lowest price. In the alternate scenario using an independent agent could save you 17% (the difference between Prudential @ preferred and AIG @ Standard).

Your Next Step

Thank you for choosing the Life Insurance Help Desk to researh life insurance with anxiety disorder. Now that you know the information you will need to receive the most accurate quote possible, it’s time to gather the information and speak to an independent Agent (raising my hand).

Simply give us a call or shoot an email over and we can get you started. We are committed to totally transparent pricing (we’ll even share our computer screen with you if you’d like), and making the application process as painless as possible.

If you have any questions, We’d like to hear them.

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James Tobin, CFP

Jim Tobin is the owner of Life Insurance Help Desk, a Fairfield County, CT. life insurance agency. You can find him on Google + and Facebook. Over the past 10 years, Jim has used his CFP-financial planning designation to help individuals with their life insurance needs. In addition to working with life insurance clients, Jim teaches ESL classes in his spare time. He resides with his beautiful wife Nicole and the 3 cats that rule their lives..