Can I get life insurance if I suffer with depression and/or anxiety?

The simple answer is yes.

The simple answer is yes. But depending on your circumstances, it can be slightly more complicated than that. Firstly, let’s understand why mental health diagnoses can be a consideration for an insurer. All life insurance providers asses the details of an application based on the risk they perceive there will be in insuring that person. When an applicant discloses a medical condition such as depression or anxiety, the circumstances surrounding the condition need to be considered by the insurer.

Typically, the types of details that can affect a decision include things like; the length of time since diagnosis; the severity of the condition now or in the past; the type and amount of medication used to treat the condition; the impact that depression or anxiety has on the person’s lifestyle, along with their ability to work or perform daily activities.

So what does depression mean in practical terms?

Well, let’s consider the above within a couple of scenarios. Firstly, let’s take an individual who suffers from depression and was diagnosed 3 years ago. They take an anti-depressant and have done so since they were diagnosed. The dose of the medication has not changed for a year or so and they would describe their condition as well maintained in the sense that their mood, for the most part, is relatively stable. Within the body of the life insurance application, all of the above would be disclosed so that the insurer is made aware of the circumstances. The outcome of such an application would most probably be what is referred to in the industry as ‘standard terms’. This means that all the details of the mental health condition have been disclosed to the insurer and their assessment is that it poses no greater risk, therefore the insurance can be offered to the individual at no greater cost than someone who does not suffer from any mental health conditions. The same would be true if the condition disclosed was anxiety.

Let’s now consider a second scenario

If aperson wishes to apply for a life insurance policy with a disclosure for anxiety which was diagnosed 8 months ago. They have been on medication for a period of 7 months. The treatment is working, in that, it has stabilised the condition. The applicant has also decided to visit a counsellor. As always, everything is disclosed to the insurer via the health and lifestyle application. In this scenario, it is likely that the applicant would be offered the insurance, but due to the recency of the diagnosis there would likely be a small rating to the premium. This means the cost of the cover is increased due to the perceived risk to the insurer.

This is a situation we come across on a regular basis. It can often seem a little unfair to the applicant that they are being charged more for a condition just because they have been diagnosed relatively recently. In such circumstances, we often decide along with our customers to take what they have been offered in the short term with the view of reviewing the insurance when the circumstances would deem there is no further need for the rating to apply. In effect, we resubmit an application once we think the outcome will be ‘standard terms’ and in doing so limit the time the applicant has to pay the increased cost of the cover.

It’s also worth noting that not all insurers are the same in the way they react to different disclosures

That’s why it is important to use a broker that has access to a wide panel of insurers. But also, it’s extremely important that the broker has a vast knowledge of how each insurer in their panel will assess the specific circumstances of a life insurance application and can accurately predict what the outcomes will be. This is such a vital part of the process. Without the experience and knowledge specific to mental health conditions, an applicant runs the risk of ending up with an insurance policy which is more expensive than it needs to be, or even being told they cannot get cover when the actual truth of the situation is that the broker just approached the wrong insurers. Using the right broker for a depression and/or anxiety life insurance application is crucial. It cannot be stressed enough how much this can affect an outcome.

In terms of the process, we try and make it as simple as possible for you to obtain depression life insurance

We’re available most days into the evenings so you can talk to us when it suits you, and in the privacy needed in order to discuss what many people see as sensitive issues. Initially, we’ll try and find out exactly what your life insurance and/or critical illness cover needs are, and then ask you to explain how you are affected by depression and/or anxiety. With this knowledge, we can accurately describe what your options are and what the costs will be for a life insurance policy. If you are happy to proceed, we then complete the health and lifestyle questionnaire over the phone with the chosen insurance provider. It’s sometimes necessary for the insurer to write to your doctor for more information. If this is the case, we will explain how that works with the particular insurer and chase up the speedy return of the questionnaire on your behalf.

It can sometimes also be the case that the insurer asks you some more questions, either directly or via ourselves on top of the standard questionnaire. This is to allow them to more accurately understand your personal circumstances and is something, which although adds a little time to the process, can often have a beneficial effect on the outcome of an application in terms of cost and the terms of the cover offered. In many cases, however, the insurers don’t request any further information over and above what is disclosed as part of the application, meaning that you will have an instant decision at the end of the process. If this is the case, you can activate your cover immediately and you will be insured straight away.

With our knowledge or the marketplace and panel of insurers, the entire process can take as little as less than half an hour

This is mainly due to the fact that we, as a broker, are essentially cutting out the trial and error leg work that is often required if an individual approaches insurers directly or uses a broker without the specialist knowledge specific to depression and anxiety related enquiries. So, if you are one of the many people in the UK who suffers from a mental health condition like depression or anxiety and have found difficulties finding a life insurance or critical illness cover policy then get in touch. Simply fill in your details via the ‘get a quote’ tab and tell us when you would like us to call. You will then be on course to finding the best life insurance solution, tailor made to suit your specific circumstance and can rest assured you have found the best deal.

Useful info from @BWCharity
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