Last Updated: March 2021
Anytime you are trying to secure high-risk life insurance, you may feel overwhelmed and confused by your options, and applying with a history of depression may complicate things even further. It is understandable and we see it all the time.
Depression is no different and often has individuals afraid to apply for coverage under the false belief that depression may cause them to be declined for coverage altogether or be expected to pay to a high of a price for the premiums.
With more than a decade specializing in helping individuals with conditions such as depression, we can tell you that this is not the case, and obtaining life insurance with depression is 100% possible.
All it takes is understanding the process, applying with the correct agent and agency, and taking your time shopping around for the best rates.
In this article, we will cover how the different types of depression affect life insurance rates, what underwriters will look for, and how to apply.
- Can You Get Life Insurance with Depression?
- Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask About Your Depression
- Rates You Can Expect with Different Types of Depression
- How to Apply for Life Insurance with Depression
Can You Get Life Insurance with Depression?
Yes, you absolutely can!
While there are many pieces to the puzzle, and you may end up with higher premiums (depending on the severity of your depression or how many medications you’re taking to treat it), many people suffering from depression or other mental health disorders can still receive affordable rates.
Struggling with depression or taking antidepressants won’t automatically cause you to be declined for life insurance.
Securing life insurance with depression can be a difficult task if you use the wrong life insurance company.
Many people come to us after having a bad experience with another agent or life insurance company.
The truth is, you need to work with an agency experienced in underwriting life insurance with depression. We have reviewed AARP Life Insurance and State Farm Life Insurance to help you make the best decision for you and your family.
Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask About Your Depression
The insurance companies assess risk differently based on the different types of depression, and hand out a quote accordingly, based on your symptoms.
Below are the different types of depression and how each one can affect your life insurance rates.
If you have no history of suicide attempts or suicidal tendencies within the past 1-2 years, no substance abuse issues, no time lost from work, no hospitalizations, and low dose minimal medications, you can be rated as having mild depression and may even be able to receive preferred rates.
If you have no suicide attempts within the past 10 years, no suicidal thoughts in the past year, no hospitalizations for depression in the past 2 years, and are on no more than 3 medications for depression, you can be rated as having moderate depression.
There are definitely still carriers who have policies to accommodate you at their Standard rates and sometimes a low sub-standard rate depending on the control demonstrated in your medical records.
If you have a history of suicide attempts, psychotic issues, substance abuse, ongoing psychotherapy, multiple high dosage medications, a history of hospitalization, and a lack of family support, then you will be rated as high risk and will either receive high premiums or only qualify for guaranteed issue coverage (call us for quotes on guaranteed issue coverage).
Some of the more common medications we see (and insure with no problem as long as your depression is under control) are Cymbalta, Lexapro, Effexor, Zoloft, Celexa, Trazodone, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Ciropram and Sertraline.
There are also different classifications for depression, each one being viewed differently by the underwriters:
Situational Depression/Adjustment Disorder
This helps the underwriters determine what is actual depression and what is just stress from outside sources like work or a divorce.
Some people may be receiving treatment or have been prescribed medication to help alleviate their stress. Most underwriters will be able to recognize this, see that their situation is under control and it will not affect their rates.
Underwriters are now differentiating between regular depression and postpartum depression.
If the postpartum depression was temporary and short in duration, then it will be a non-issue during the underwriting process and the applicant will not pay more. If it was recent, long, and more severe, it will be viewed just like normal depression.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
This is depression that pops up during the winter months and is gone by springtime.
Usually, this doesn’t become an issue for life insurance, and worst-case scenario you may be classified as having mild depression.
Rates You Can Expect with Different Types of Depression
The best thing you can do is, to be honest with yourself about your condition before starting the underwriting process so there are no surprises.
- If you have mild depression, as long as you go with the right life insurance company, it is still possible to obtain preferred rates, as long as you meet all other criteria for preferred rates. In rare cases, some people have even received preferred best.
- If you have moderate depression, most people will qualify for standard life insurance rates.
- If you feel you might be in between mild and moderate, then you might qualify for standard plus.
- For severe depression, your case will be viewed on an individual basis. The underwriters will want to see your medical history, treatment, and medication records.
If you are still worried about whether or not you will be approved, or if you are nervous about what to say to the underwriters, please don’t hesitate to contact us to inquire about our guaranteed acceptance life insurance options.
Consider Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance if You are Declined for Traditional Coverage
Perhaps, you have been declined for life insurance coverage recently due to depression and are struggling to know which direction to head next.
Your family still needs protection if something happened to you, and the thought of no coverage at all is keeping you up at night. When this happens, it is essential to understand that you have other options that you can consider.
Stipulations do apply but overall, some coverage is always better than no coverage.
We have worked with many people who have depression before and can help you to get the best rates possible, regardless of your condition.
How to Apply for Life Insurance with Depression
When applying for life insurance with depression, one of the most important things you can do is work with an independent life insurance agent or agency that has experience handling medical conditions such as depression.
Like we stated previously in this article, it is extremely important to give yourself as many options as you can when applying.
This can only be done with you are working with an agent who has access to more than 50+ top-rated life insurance companies.
This allows them to effectively shop your case with multiple companies and allow you to select the company that is offering the most favorable prices for coverage.
Ultimately, this will also open the door to obtaining the most robust coverage at the desired coverage amounts for you and your family.
Also, be sure to check out our other guides below to learn more about how different types of mental health conditions can affect life insurance approval and rates: