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Life Insurance with Depression

how depression affects life insurance

In today’s post, I’ll go through the procedure for applying for life insurance when you’re suffering from depression or where you had an episode of depression in the past.

You’ll be glad to hear a medical can be avoided.

In this post, I’ll explain:

  • how the insurance companies define depression
  • how depression affects life cover applications and
  • the kind of questions you will be asked when you apply.

Depression / depressive illness / clinical depression / reactive depression  is an illness and is very different from the common experience of feeling unhappy, miserable or fed up for a short period of time.

In depression there may be feelings of extreme sadness that can last for a long time.

These feelings are severe enough to interfere with daily life and can last for weeks or months, rather than days.

The insurance companies categorise depression by how serious it is:

  • Mild depression has some impact on daily life
  • Moderate depression has a significant impact on daily life
  • Severe depression makes the activities of daily life nearly impossible.
  • A small proportion of people with severe depression may have psychotic symptoms.

People develop depression for different reasons and it has many different triggers.

For some people, upsetting or stressful life events, such as bereavement, divorce, illness, redundancy and job or money worries, can be the cause.

In most cases GPs will help manage a patient’s depression.

However, for some patients, particularly those with more severe depression or where treatment is not successful, more specialised care, including a stay in hospital, may be needed.

How does depression affect your life insurance application?

These are the factors that underwriting examine when reviewing an application for life insurance with depression:

    • Severity of depression?
    • If historic, how many episodes?
    • If current, is it chronic?
    • Any history of suicidal thoughts?
    • Any associated alcohol or substance abuse?

In cases of mild depression, it’s possible to get the normal price although it’s not unusual for the insurance company to increase your price by 50% to 150% if your depression is moderate or severe.

The insurer will request you complete a mental health questionnaire containing questions such as:

  1. When did you first consult a doctor in relation to depression?
  2. What was the nature, frequency and duration of the symptoms?
  3. Provide details of most recent symptoms.
  4. Have you been treated with drugs?
  5. Have you ever received hospital outpatient treatment?
  6. Have you ever been an inpatient at a hospital?
  7. Have you ever attempted to take your own life?
  8. Was the depression triggered by any particular factor? (work stress, accident, bereavement)
  9. What is the exact diagnosis? (e.g. depression, schizophrenia, mania, neurosis).
  10. Have you been out of work with this condition? If so, please provide dates and duration.

Depending on your responses, the life assurance company may be able to offer you cover based on the questionnaire alone but if they need more information to make a decision, they will write to your GP for a medical report.

Once the underwriters have received all medical evidence, they will make a decision to offer you cover, postpone their decision or decline offering cover.

Life insurance with depression. What to do now?

Do you need life insurance or mortgage protection?

Would you like some help finding the most sympathetic insurer?

Simply complete the questionnaire below and I’ll be in touch (alternatively call me personally on 05793 20836)

Choosing the most suitable insurer and packaging your application correctly is a very important first step.

We know the insurers who are more considerate when it comes to assessing life insurance with depression.

I’ll help you through the application process and advise the best course of action to obtain your life insurance at the lowest possible price, with the least amount of hardship.

I know it can be stressful answering personal health questions and I have arranged life insurance for many clients who have experienced periods of depression in their lives.

It goes without saying but all of our discussions will be on a strictly confidential basis.

Link to an Irish Times piece I featured in (Feb 7 2017)

Nick McGowan | making life insurance easier

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