Get Approved For Life Insurance With Depression
By James Tobin, CFP®
Last Updated on
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Expert Review Of Available Options For Life Insurance with Depression
While there is a lot to know about getting approved for life insurance with clinical depression, the eight questions below are an excellent start. For more in-depth discussion just follow the links in the answer sections and keep reading.
Whether you're dealing with seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.) or more serious clinical depression, you know about the everyday challenges that you face. What you may not know is that obtaining life insurance with depression will also have it's challenges.
Can I Be Approved For Life Insurance With Anxiety Or Depression?
Anybody can be approved for life insurance with depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. However, your premium rates and health rating issued by insurance carriers are dependent on how severe your disorder is and your general state of health.
What information will life insurance underwriting want to know?
Apart from a standard medical examination, top insurance carriers like Protective and Prudential, will also request information regarding your symptoms, your treatments, your medication, and other relevant information.
You will also be asked to provide information regarding any instances where you missed work or had to be hospitalized due to your mental health condition.
Will I Need To Take An Exam For Life Insurance With Depression?
Many top insurance carriers allow No Exam insurance underwriting if the applicant is very healthy. Therefore, you might be required to undergo an examination to obtain the best term insurance rates. But if you only have a mild mood disorder, you may be eligible for competitive premium rates without needing to undergo a medical examination.
If you’re not prepared to undergo a medical examination, many insurance carriers are prepared to underwrite your insurance policy without the exam.
How Much Will My Life Insurance Cost And How Exactly Is The Rate Affected By My Mental Health?
The premium rates you will be charged by top carriers like Banner Life Insurance Company and others will depend on what underwriting category you are assigned by your carrier. Depression and anxiety usually don’t affect the applicant’s underwriting class significantly in case they only have a mild condition. Here, your underwriting class is determined based on traditional insurance standards.
However, an application that shows a history of repeat employment interruptions or heavy medication usage may be considered substandard. Your rating will depend on how serious your medical condition is deemed to be.
If you have a history of suicide attempts, your application is unlikely to be entertained by a top-rated term insurance carrier.
How Accurate Are The Depression Life Insurance Quotes From This Site?
Our insurance quote tool available on this website provides accurate quotes and is based on actual data from our previous clients. Provided you enter the right details, you will be given accurate insurance premium rates. However, many people do not get their health class right since each carrier has their own underwriting guidelines, which tends to vary greatly.
You can always pick a range if you don’t know how to proceed and obtain a reasonable estimation of your premium rates. You’re also welcome to complete and submit the quote form given here, which will help us reach out to you with the best offers.
How Can I Improve My Underwriting Score And Lower My Depression Life Insurance Rates?
If you want to improve your insurance rating, use an experienced agent who knows the ins and outs of the industry, and can help you access the most competitive rates on the market.
We also recommend documenting your treatment history and how successful it has been working out for you. Increased physical activity and a healthy diet will also tilt the scales in your favor during the medical examination.
What is The Best Life Insurance Company For Mood Disorders?
Every insurance carrier has a different appetite for different kinds of risk, which can be seen in its underwriting standards and pricing methods. We recommend going for policies from American General (AIG), Prudential, and Banner if you need life insurance with depression.
Keep in mind that risk appetite is different for each carrier. To ensure you’re not being denied the best deals, work with experienced independent agents. We’ve provided a comprehensive case study if you’d like to know more details.
What is the life insurance process for Applicants with Mood disorder?
All insurance carriers utilize an 8-step process while handling insurance applications. This includes setting your terms, selecting your carrier, completing the medical exam, and submission of documents and signatures. More details here.
Although applicants with mild depression symptoms typically do receive standard or better insurance ratings, some of them may be rejected or classified as substandard. But keep in mind that the rating’s severity varies from carrier to carrier. Our advice is to use the services of an experienced agent who knows how to obtain the best life insurance premium rates for his clients who have depression.
Obtaining term life insurance with depression happens to be just life seeking an insurance policy with other major physical health conditions.
Term insurance policies tend to range for anywhere between 10 – 30 years; the most commonly purchased policies have a 20-year term on average. Their minimum face value starts at $50,000. You have the option of renewing or terminating them after the term period ends. A renewed term insurance policy will require you to pay more in premiums.
When you apply for life insurance with depression, underwriters will seek some basic information from you, including:
- What symptoms are you experiencing?
- What diagnosis were you given?
- What treatment did you undergo?
- What aftercare was undergone? (follow-up and compliance)
- What’s your general state of health?
Remember that this is only a general list; the actual questions will need to answer in detail. Information will be collected from your insurance application, a Script Check, attending physicians statement (APS), the Medical Information Bureau, and a telephone interview.
Let’s analyze these questions in greater detail as to what the carriers want to know.
What are/were your Depression Symptoms
Underwriters will require information regarding your symptoms and when they first appeared before you were diagnosed.
The National Institutes of Health lists these symptoms and signs for diagnosing major depression:
Weight and/or appetite changes
Oversleeping, insomnia, or irregular sleep cycles
Difficulties in making decisions, memory and concentration troubles
Restlessness and troubles while sitting still
Talking or moving slowly
Fatigue or decreased energy
Loss of pleasure or interest in activities and hobbies
Feeling empty, anxious, or persistently sad.
Your Diagnosis and Treatments
The underwriters will need to know when you were first diagnosed with depression and subsequent instances of major flare ups. Your medication history will also be gathered and processed.
While your medical records will be used to gather the information that you’re not very sure about, it is important to know the dates on which you were diagnosed and underwent treatment to obtain accurate quotes for life insurance with depression.
Your Follow Up Care
If you need life insurance with depression, the underwriting team will need evidence to show that you’ve been taking your prescription medication regularly and that you’ve fulfilled all other follow-up requirements as well.
Apart from taking your prescription medication, physicians also encourage dietary supplementation and improvement. Check out Dr. Lissa Rankin’s Psychology Today article to learn more about some valuable homeopathic suggestions.
Your Over all Health (and related conditions)
Although applications for life insurance with depression will consider your general state of health and account for conditions like gout and high cholesterol, underwriters handling depression cases also look for associated health conditions. To learn more about related mental health disorders, go to Anxiety and Depression Association.
No Medical Exam Term Life Insurance with Depression?
The term insurance market is now offering accelerated underwriting insurance programs, which don’t require any medical examinations for the application to be processed. This accelerated ‘no examination’ protocol happens to be available for applicants with mild SAD symptoms. However, these policies won’t be available to applicants who have already been diagnosed with major clinical depression.
If you cannot avail of the ‘no examination’ option, you’ll have to undergo a paramedical examination, which is a test conducted by a nurse, taking around 15 – 20 minutes. Your blood sample, urine sample, weight, and height will be recorded and tested. Learn more about this medical examination here.
Since every case is unique, we’ve provided a range of pricing scenarios based on past experience to get you the most accurate estimates.
Best Case Scenario – If your depression is mild with symptoms under control and you’ve been complying with the instructions issued by your doctor, you may qualify for a standard rating. The quote tool can be used to obtain a standard insurance quote.
Mid Case Scenario – People with mild depression who use moderate level antidepressants and are complying well with their doctor’s instructions may qualify for mid substandard premium rates, which can be calculated by multiplying your standard insurance rate by 2 (Table 4/D) or 1.5 (Table 2/B).
To learn about how table ratings work click here.
Severe Case – People with severe depression who require strong antidepressants and have a history of multiple suicide attempts or thoughts will only qualify for severe substandard rates at best, which can be calculated by multiplying your standard insurance rate by 3 (Table 8/H). Although it might seem expensive, it’s actually quite good, all things considered.
Decline – Applicants with extremely severe depression may be declined for traditional coverage options and will have to do with policies with a lower face value, which are also called simplified issue or Guaranteed issue policies. Contact us today to learn more about them.
Pricing For Term Life Insurance With Mood Disorder
Finding the right term insurance with depression can be a challenging task since some carriers may not be very receptive to applicants with depression. Simply entering data into the quote tool & selecting the lowest priced option is not the best strategy here. We’ll discuss this in greater detail in a case study given below.
$250000 10 Year Term Female
$500000 20 Year Term Male
$200000 20 Year Term Female
$100000 10 Year Term Male
Case Study Pricing Policies with Depression
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 Depression or any other impairment.
Gender: Male Age: 45
$500000 20 Year Term
Controlled Depression Diagnosed Age 39
Uses 2 RX No Other Health Concerns
This looks like a best case scenario that could be either standard or table 2/B or 4/D depending on the insurers appetite for a depression risk. Let's take a look at the rates.
This table includes data from the biggest life insurance firms operating in the market today, which you can use to know the difference between their rates. At a standard rating, Prudential appears to be 33% costlier compared to Banner.
But reality is never that simple. If you’re assigned the same underwriting grade by both carriers, sure, it is a simple choice. But it’s an honor only reserved for folks who are young and fit. Otherwise, here’s why you’ll need a life insurance agent.
People suffering from mental health illnesses like depression may face a more complicated system. Since life insurance companies assign different underwriting grades based on their risk appetite for certain diseases, it is important to know who will give you a standard rating and who will assign you a grade covered by Tables 2 – 4.
Going by this criterion, Prudential will be your best choice. Although it is the costliest option here, it will assign you a standard grade unlike other companies, which will assign you a grade covered under Table 2/4.
So how much can an independent insurance agent save you in premiums? As much as 38% in this scenario – that’s the difference between Banner @ Table 4 and Prudential @ Standard. This is something only an experienced agent can tell you.
Keep in mind that since each applicant for life insurance with depression has a unique set of circumstances, the applications are processed individually on their own merits. As a result, you’ll often find two people belonging to the same age group and suffering from the same condition paying vastly different premiums to the same insurance carrier solely due to differences in their patient compliance report and age when they were first diagnosed.
Your Next Step
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).
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.
Simply give us a call or shoot an email over and we can get you started.
Thank you for reading about life insurance with depression, if you have any questions, We/d like to hear them.
Bonus: The most common mistakes people make buying life insurance and how to avoid them
Fast Facts about Depression
Keywords & related questions
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