Life Insurance With Depression | The Complete Definitive Guide For 
Applying for life insurance with depression is usually a simple process. It can be a little challenging if the degree of depression is severe. Everyone knows that life insurance companies take a close look at your physical health. They will carefully examine any medical condition such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or being overweight plus many others.
The companies also pay close attention to any forms of mental illness as well. These mental conditions can sometimes advance to acts of suicide which is the only reason the insurance companies pay such close attention. In this blog post, we are going to cover everything you need to know about how to apply for life insurance with depression and get the best possible rates.
Table of Contents
- Can Depression Affect Life Insurance?
- Can I Buy Life Insurance With Depression?
- Can Depression Cause My Rates to Increase?
- Denied Life Insurance Because of Depression Disorder
- Can I Buy Life Insurance if Using Antidepressant Medication?
- What You Might Not Know About Depression
- What Are the Best Life Insurance Companies for Depression
- Can I Buy Life Insurance Without a Medical Exam?
- Understanding the 7 Main Types of Depression
- What Are Life Insurance Health Classifications?
- Questions the Life Insurance Companies Will Ask You
- What Are the Best Types of Life Insurance for Depression?
- An Independent Agent Can Answer All Your Questions
- What is the Best Way to Apply for Life Insurance?
- Consider a Free Medical Pre-Screen Before You Apply
- In Conclusion
Millions of people in the United States have some form of depression, especially during these volatile times. In many cases, their applications are approved in the “Preferred” rate class with no extra charge at all.
Whenever we speak with people who are diagnosed with depression. One of the first questions they ask is “does having this condition affect life insurance”. They also ask if it affects their chances of being approved and will their rates go up. These are all really good questions because these are all variables that can have an impact on your application. We are going to cover these questions and a lot more so hang in there and keep reading.
By far, the largest percentage of people that apply for life insurance are approved with very good rates. Most people in the United States get some form of depression at one point or another. This is one of the most common medical conditions in the country and the life insurance industry is well aware of that. By far, most people diagnosed with this condition can get life insurance with no problem at all.
Many of these applicants fall into one of two excellent health classifications which are Preferred and Standard Plus. The only time there is an exception is with more severe cases where suicidal thoughts are present with the application. Also, regular hospitalization and psychiatric care can present a more challenging application.
If your condition is very mild to moderate, probably not. If your condition is more severe then yes they can. Most cases we see end up with preferred rates. As long as your condition is stable and easily controlled you should have no problems. Here are the situations that normally cause rates to go up or even a possible decline.
- Hospitalized for depression
- Patient of a mental institution
- Prescription medication and dosages for severe cases
- Regular Psychiatric counseling with an MD
- Reporting thoughts of suicide
If you have been denied life insurance because of this condition, there is a possibility of one or two things to consider. Either you have a very severe case or else you connected with an inexperienced captive agent or both. A very severe case of depression could be defined as using multiple drugs with high dosages along with hospitalization, regular medical visits with a Physiatric Physician, or have made suicide attempts or strong thoughts of suicide.
Using an inexperienced captive agent such as a State Farm agent with little to no knowledge of high-risk medical conditions could get you declined very easily. Many companies that specialize in auto insurance would not even sell life insurance to people with many types of medical conditions. You need to work with an independent agent that understands and is experienced with high-risk life insurance.
If you were declined, contact an experienced life insurance agent such as ourselves and we can pre-screen your condition and choose the best company for you to apply with. Being approved for life insurance should not be complicated with today’s relaxed underwriting.
Using antidepressant medication is a good thought for insurance companies. They know the modern drugs for depression are very successful and can make all the difference in helping you. They also know you are seeing a doctor for your conditions and making a strong attempt to control your condition so you can lead a perfectly normal life.
On the other side of the coin, however, is if you are taking a long list of antidepressants and using high dosages. This could also mean your condition is either hard to control or it is not even controllable at all. At this point, the insurance company you are applying with would ask additional questions to clarify everything. They will not jump to conclusions about how severe or mild your condition may be.
- Depression is the number 1 cause of being disabled throughout the whole world.
- Over 17 million adults have some form in the United States.
- Over 400 people suffer from this disorder in the world.
- Depression is one of the leading causes of suicide in the United States.
- One out of every four children under the age of 16 suffers from a mild form.
- Have you ever been hospitalized due to your condition?
- Do you have suicidal tendencies or thoughts now or in the past?
- Have you ever attempted to commit suicide?
- When did you first ever experience you had depression?
- What medical classification of this disorder do you have?
- When do you most recently experience your symptoms?
- What treatment do you mainly receive?
- Do you ever have to be hospitalized for this condition?
- What type of prescription medications do you take daily?
- Do you receive therapy from a doctor regularly?
- Have you ever applied for life insurance and your application was declined?
- Lincoln Financial – First started in 1905, A+ rated with AM Best with 9.6 million policies in force.
- Protective Life – Founded in 1907, A+ Rated with AM Best with 6.6 million policies in force.
- Banner Life – Started business in 1948, A+ Rated with AM Best with 18 million policies in force.
- Transamerica – Originally founded in 1903, A+ Rated with AM Best with 7.6 million policies in force.
- AIG American General – First started in 1849, A-Rated with AM Best with 5.6 million policies in force.
- Prudential – Opened for business in 1874, A+ Rated with AM Best with over 22 million policies in force.
Make sure to connect with an independent agent which represents all the top-rated companies. Selecting the most applicable company to apply with is the key to getting the lowest rates.
Not everyone has the same type of depression. Some forms are worse than others and affect people differently. Let’s take a look at the seven most common types of depression we know about today:
Bipolar – Just about everyone has heard about bipolar depression which was originally named Manic Depression years ago. Bipolar depression patients experience dramatic lows and then very extreme highs like a roller coaster. Patients can also experience times of very high energy and racing thoughts in their minds. Usually, bipolar disorder can be treated with medical therapy and proper medications.
Situational – Situational depression also known as Adjustment Disorder is caused by major life-changing situations or events that create a lot of stress for the individual. Just about all of us experience this type of depression from time to time. This is an extremely common type of depression experienced by millions of people around the globe. This can be caused by fires, tornados, car accidents, and just about any other stressful event possible. Normally medication is not needed. Many people will reach for a good stiff drink and that is it.
Psychotic – Psychotic depression normally requires more medical attention than some of the other forms. One of the issues with this form is that the patients hear sounds and can see sights that are not there in reality. In other words, they are having delusions. This is a frightening experience for the individual because some of the sights and sounds can be monster-like or evil spirits.
Seasonal – Seasonal depression usually shows its face during the winter months when you feel like you are trapped in the house for months on end. This is most common with people who live in states that experience cold and icy winters with a lack of sunlight. The symptoms can get worse with each passing month until finally, Spring arrives.
Dysthymia – This is known as a mild form of depression that can give the person a feeling of sadness and also cause problems sleeping at night. Normally this condition does not prevent people from doing their normal daily activities. Usually, dysthymia does not require medication but some therapy usually will suffice.
Major Depression – Major depression is one of the more extreme versions that affect people from going about doing their normal lives. Individuals with major depression have feelings of less physical energy, intense irritability, insomnia, and major changes in their eating habits. Treating major depression is treated with various medications and professional therapy by a doctor.
Postpartum – This is a unique form of depression that normally affects new mothers. The statistics show that over 80% of all new mothers feel sad after having their new baby. Approximately 20% of these mothers are diagnosed with postpartum depression. The symptoms are tiredness, mild anxiety, and sadness. This condition can also give the new mother a feeling of possibly harming the baby (by accident). This causes the mother to pay less attention to the baby during the first year after birth.
What You Need to Know Before You Apply!
Needless to say, you are going to want to get the very best rates possible. It pays to get organized and prepare before you submit your application. Here is a brief checklist you can follow to help you get the best life insurance rates with depression.
- Compose a list of all the relevant medications you take for depression and the exact doses. You will need this information when you apply.
- Construct a basic list describing how depression affects your everyday life and how your condition has improved with therapy and medication.
- Your insurance company will obtain your medical records along with any of your doctor’s notes immediately after you submit your application. You will need all these records and sometimes when the insurance companies request them, it could take a month or more before the doctor’s office submits them.
- Make sure your agents carefully run a medical pre-screen so you can make sure you are going to apply with the most applicable company that will offer you the lowest rates.
A little preparation just before you sit down to apply can make the application process smoother and eliminate any potential surprises later.
You have the option of applying without having to take a medical exam. These types of policies like the name implies are No Medical Exam life insurance policies. They usually cost a little more than the full underwriting type policies but you won’t have to worry about the smell of alcohol and the blood test everyone dislikes including myself.
The only condition that could change the application process is if you have a severe case of depression where the carrier has to collect more information. No medical exam policies also have a very short approval time, sometimes between 24-48 hours. Applying for life insurance without an exam is possible for most people if your condition is not severe.
These classifications are otherwise known rate classifications which finally determine your final rates. They are determined by the life insurance company’s medical underwriting team.
There are three main tiers of health classifications which are:
- Preferred Plus, Preferred, Standard Plus, Standard Classes
- Smoker Rate Classes
- Sub-Standard Rate Classes
Here is a full breakdown of these classes:
This is not a rate class issued to people with depression. This class is also known as Super Preferred which is the very best classification you could ever receive. About 10% of applicants can qualify for Preferred Plus. You have to be in excellent health with the proper height & weight ratio, and your family history is clean and right on the money.
Very rarely does an applicant get preferred rates unless their depression is very mild. Preferred is an excellent rate class to be in. This will entitle you to have very low rates not quite as good as Preferred Plus but still very competitive.
You could have some minor issues like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. But it has to be controlled with medication. Most healthy people fall into this category if they are in good shape.
This can be a common rate class for people with mild conditions of depression. This is still a very good rate class to be in if you have a few health issues or possibly some height and weight abnormalities.
Many people fall into this rate class especially if they are in their 40s, 50s, or 60s. Their health is starting to have some health conditions arise which is perfectly normal in these age groups. You would still have to have a good family health history stemming from your parents.
This is a very common health class for people with depression. In the Standard class, you would be experiencing some problems with height and weight, your medical tests are no longer squeaky clean and you might have a small list of medical conditions that are not terrible but you have to keep your eye on them.
This is a common class for people in their 50s and 60s but the rates are still very affordable. As you get older your health is naturally going to get tarnished. But this effect is perfectly natural and this is unavoidable as you get older.
Substandard With Table Ratings:
This rate class would be for people with more severe cases of depression. The Substandard rate class is not a specific rate class like the others above but it is a scale of table ratings that will be based on your health history graded by letters or numbers which would normally be either the letters A-J or numbers 1-10.
This is normally because you have a more serious health history, or you’ve had some recent medical setbacks. Such as a heart attack, heart surgery, a diagnosis of any complicated health problems.
The only way to find out what your actual rates will be is to submit an application and let the application process begin. There is no cost to apply and the insurance company pays for all related expenses. The insurance carriers control the rates and the agents will help you from beginning to end.
There are two main types of life insurance for your condition. The first type is the Term Life insurance plan design. These types of policies cover the insured for a stated time stated in the policy. These term periods usually range by 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, 30 years and now Banner Life offers 35 year and 40-year term policies.
The second type of life insurance for depression would be the permanent life insurance plan designs such as Universal Life and Whole Life. Universal life will last the entire life of the individual covered under the policy. It costs about 3-4 times as much as term insurance does but it can be bundled with term to have an excellent life insurance portfolio. Whole life is not cost-effective and many of the companies have dropped it from their product lines.
*Here is a list of the most common types of life insurance for depression with a link pointing to additional blog posts for more information:
- Term Life Insurance – read more
- Universal Life Insurance – read more
- No Medical Exam Life Insurance – read more
- Return of Premium Life Insurance – read more
Let’s first establish the fact that you have depression and you want to buy life insurance, but you don’t know where to start. You probably are worried that this condition is going to represent a problem and possibly prevent you from obtaining affordable coverage. This is only natural, so the next step is your going to need a professional insurance advisor to help you along so you can purchase your life insurance and also have very affordable rates at the same time.
A Broker known as an independent agent works with all the top insurance carriers and can choose the best company for your specific needs. The best part is, there is no cost or obligation for his help. Independent agents such as ourselves specialize in helping people with medical conditions buy affordable life insurance with the most trusted life insurance companies.
The best way without a doubt is to apply over the telephone. You may remember the long boring 20-page paper applications or the online applications which were better but periodically had software glitches. Now we have complete simplicity with telephone applications. All you have to do is just sit back and answer the questions over the phone and in about 15 minutes you are done. Nothing could be more simple and quick!
Anytime you have a medical condition that could easily impact your life insurance rates. A very simple and quick medical pre-screen is highly advised. This is a very simple process that is done completely by your agent. It is a process that will help to eliminate unwanted surprises during the application process. The process involves you answering some medical condition-related questions and your agent checks with multiple carriers to see who will offer you the lowest rates before you ever apply. This takes about 10 minutes and there is no cost.
Virtually all medical conditions either physical or mental are different from one another. If you are a depression patient there are many forms of treatment to help you. The same holds for life insurance products also.
Don’t let depression stand in your way from protecting your family members and dependents. We can easily find a great policy for you with a simple call over the telephone 7 days a week.
Check out our let’s get started page for more useful information for obtaining life insurance.
All the best,
Take a moment to set up a time for a telephone call at your convenience and get all your questions answered at no cost or obligation.