So, there are probably two reasons why someone may ask that question
- I have a life insurance policy already and I’ve now started a course of anti-depressants, do I need to let the insurer know and will it affect my policy?
- I take anti-depressants and I’m enquiring about life insurance or critical illness cover and I want to know if it will have any impact on my eligibility for cove
Lets answer the simpler of the two first. Scenario 1, if you have an existing life insurance policy or a critical illness cover plan and have subsequently been prescribed anti-depressants for a mental health issue, it has absolutely no impact on your policy and you do not need to let the insurer know about it. This is because life insurance and critical illness cover plans are underwritten based on your health and well being at the time of application. Not what may happen in the future. So, for scenario 1, the answer is a resounding NO!
Will taking anti-depressants affect your eligibility to successfully get life insurance or critical illness cover?
OK, let’s talk more about scenario 2 then. If you have a pre-existing mental health diagnosis and you have been prescribed medication in the form of anti-depressants – will that affect your eligibility to successfully get life insurance or critical illness cover?
Unfortunately, unlike scenario 1, this is a little more of a grey area. Firstly, there is the consideration of how long, prior to the application, you were diagnosed with the need for anti-depressant meds. If it was relatively recently, within the last 6 months before your application for example, then any insurer will give more consideration to the potential risk of your application. This is because, as with all medical disclosures, the more recent the diagnosis, the less time either you or your doctors have had to assess the impact if may have on your life as well as the most appropriate form of treatment. For this reason, there may often be a small rating to the premium over what you will have seen quoted prior to an application. This is essentially a precaution from the insurer and is, unfortunately, largely unavoidable, as most, if not all insurers will take a similar stance.
What if my diagnosis was less recent?
If, however, your diagnosis was less recent, for example, 2 years prior to the application, then there is a much greater chance that your medication will have little or no impact. For example, let’s assume a person was diagnosed with depression 3 years ago and was subsequently prescribed with an anti-depressant such as fluxetine (or Prozac and Sarafem as known under its brand names), 7 months later. They started off with a dosage which was higher initially, but has more recently been reduced down and has remained the same now for a 12 month period. The apply for a life insurance and critical illness cover plan with us and complete the application. In this case, there would be absolutely no impact on the price of either the life or critical illness elements of the cover.
Now, it is important to remember that consideration timescales will vary from insurer to insurer, so it’s vitally important to use a broker like is, with a detailed knowledge of which insurance provider is best for your specific circumstances. Similarly, if you have an existing policy that you think the price has been increased on because of a disclosure involving anti-depressant medication or indeed any mental health issue, it is worth reviewing it on a periodical basis to make sure you are not continuing to pay more than you need to. As your circumstances change, we we saw when diagnosis is more recent for example, it may mean that where once a ‘rating’ or ‘loading’ of a premium (the price is increased), was made, this is no longer required. If this is the case, you are always able to swap over one policy for another at a better price.
We can talk to you about how your medication may impact an application
Of course, it would be impossible to discuss all and every type of scenario here. But, as mentioned above, if you are searching the market for a life insurance and/or critical illness policy and want to talk through your options, it is important to do so with a knowledgeable broker who can offer options via a wide panel of insurers to make sure you get the most appropriate insurer and at the best price. If you would like to talk to us about how your medication may impact an application, or indeed any areas of mental health in the context of arranging a personal protection policy, just fill in your details via one of the ‘get a quote’ tabs and let us know when you’d like to talk. We are always happy to listen to your story and will do our utmost to find you the best possible solution to your needs.