Depression Life Insurance

Finding life insurance with a history of depression can be daunting. Our expert team is experienced in dealing with the sensitivity of depression life insurance.

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Life insurance for people with depression related conditions – Why Insurers take it into consideration

Applications for life insurance for people with mental health conditions include those who experience episodes were their thoughts turn to self-harm or suicide. In some cases, this can lead people to act on those thoughts. This is an obvious consideration when an assessment is being made for life insurance for depression sufferers for example. The less immediate but potentially long-term damaging implications of depression and anxiety can be lifestyle choices. In some cases, people will drink alcohol to relive the symptoms of stress, anxiety or depression. This pattern of behaviour has obvious implications and can often become more regular and excessive over time. Similarly, those suffering with mental health issues can become less interested in eating well or exercising and can also often get less sleep or good quality sleep. It is for these reasons that life insurance for mental health patients will often ask questions based around lifestyle and in particular any use of drugs or excessive alcohol intake.  

 

Life insurance application - Mental health history – Before you start, get prepared!

Insurance providers like to ask lots of questions. And life insurance for people with depression & anxiety is no different. As with all life insurance policies, in order to get the cover, you will at some point be required to complete a ‘health and lifestyle’ questionnaire. This is a series of questions that cover your medical history, lifestyle, family history as well as things like more risky sports activities or occupations. These questionnaires are designed to capture information for relevant disclosures such as depression or anxiety. They will ask detailed questions surrounding such conditions in order to assess individual circumstances. The less detail or the less accurate the details, the greater chance there could be of a person either paying more or not being offered cover at all. For these reasons, it’s very important to make sure you are prepared before you begin.

Life insurance for mental health patients’ application process will focus greatly around dates and timescales. If we take an example of a life insurance for people with depression application. Firstly, all insurers will ask the date of diagnosis or in some cases the date of onset of symptoms. If this was some time in the past, it may not be immediately obvious to the individual applying. So, before you start the process, it will help to get these dates firmly established in your mind. That may take a check back with your doctor or family. It’s well worth getting the accurate date though as it will always be requested by providers of depression life insurance in the UK.

Likewise, timelines and dates about treatment are relevant and will come up with all applications for life insurance for mental health patients. This includes not only medications but also therapy treatments such as counselling and psychiatrist or psychologist visits. It is important to be able to give accurate dates for when any treatments started and ended. Any increases or decreases in dosages of medications is also relevant as well as if there has been a change from one type of medication to another. If an individual has tried different types of medications and doses in the past to find the best formula to best control their symptoms, we know this can be hard to keep track of.

Take some time to get a clear picture of exactly how your treatment evolved so that you can be as accurate as possible. It will also help with what can already be for some quite an uncomfortable experience in talking through their history to someone they don’t know. Not having the pressure to try and remember on the spot information that is very relevant to your chances of a successful application can reduce the stress considerably. 

Anxiety life insurance as well as life insurance for people with depression providers will want to gauge what affect the conditions have on your daily living. To help them with this they will ask about any time off work, what frequency you may have experienced symptoms and the severity of those symptoms. Once again, it will help your application to be able to give accurate timelines and dates in answering these questions. Generally, time of work is asked for over the course of the last two years and in weeks. Symptoms and their severity questions typically go back 5 years with most providers. However, if you have suffered with more severe conditions requiring hospitalisation or psychiatric care, then insurers will want to know details stretching further back in time.

Finally, it is unavoidable with depression and anxiety life insurance applications not to be asked about suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts, as well as any history of self-harm. We understand this can be an extremely delicate and painful topic to discuss. It is unfortunately inevitable and necessary. With this in mind, try and prepare yourself for these questions. And not only in the context of their inevitability. But also, be sure you are in an environment that does not make talking on the phone uncomfortable. A quiet spot away from eyes and ears where you can be as relaxed as possible is a good idea. 

In short, get all the information you know or think may be relevant clear before you begin. Preferably on a piece of paper or document that you can use to refer to during conversations about your quotes for depression life insurance. It will make the process so much easier and will mean you are far more composed and ready to consider your options in a clear and calmer state of mind.

 

Top tips;

  • Take the time to get dates and timelines clear before you begin
  • Have a clear picture of your treatment history 
  • Get start and end dates of treatments 
  • Have a record of when medications began, increased or decreased in dosage
  • Any time of work in the last 2 years? Be able to answer accurately in weeks
  • Have ready dates surrounding frequency and severity of symptoms in the last 5 years
  • Questions can be tough. Pick an environment you are comfortable in

 

Life insurance with depression - Other disclosures and considerations

Life insurance for depression sufferers as well as anxiety and life insurance applicants will oftenhave additional disclosures to make when fulfilling a questionnaire. As with the above, it is important to be able to provide as accurate information as possible. Most conditions will have little to no significance in terms of any link to anxiety life insurance or depression life insurance. For example, there is not commonly any association between a disclosure for asthma, anxiety and life insurance. Although both conditions are always covered in any health and lifestyle questionnaire. 

There are examples however, where there is either a direct link or in medical terms a common association. A prolonged back injury can lead to a period of inactivity which in turn can lead to the sufferer becoming depressed over time. It’s common for depression and anxiety life insurance providers to ask if there was any specific cause that initiated a condition. And in this case the physical condition could lead directly to the subsequent mental one. Providers of life insurance in the UK will often ask about causation to help them better understand personal circumstances. Quite often providers will offer terms of insurance more easily where a clear cause can be identified.

There are certain conditions that when disclosed as part of a life insurance for depression application, will be assessed as a whole. This is because of an established link between depression and the condition/s. Examples include complaints such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. These disorders along with a history of chronic pain, have strongly been associated with depression. Insurers, therefore, consider them in more of a holistic way rather than to assess them in isolation.

It is of course unavoidable not to disclose any additional conditions to an insurer as part of an application. With that in mind, as already mentioned, it is best to make sure the information provided is as accurate as possible. It can also be beneficial to work with a specialist who is familiar with the mental health disclosures in question as well as any associated conditions. Experience and knowledge can make a significant difference in outcome. This is something discussed in greater detail further down.

 

Depression Life insurance exclusion – What it means and if it applies

There is a common misconception that certain reasons for a claim can be excluded from a life insurance policy. And we get asked fairly regularly if this is the case for depression life insurance or life insurance with anxiety. Firstly, what is an exclusion in insurance terms? Put simply, it is an eventuality that would otherwise normally be covered by a policy which has been removed. This is often because it relates to a pre-existing condition or circumstance.  When compiling quotes for life insurance, you will often see disclaimers relating to a figure being subject to full underwriting. And this is the case. No price is fixed until an application has been fully underwritten and an offer of insurance made (more on that a little later).

However, there still remains a common misunderstanding with regard to life insurance quotes, pre existing conditions and exclusions. Providers for life insurance in the UK do not exclude any conditions for life insurance policies. They will where they see fit increase the price (known as a rating or loading). Or they may postpone the cover or in certain circumstances decline to offer insurance. But they never exclude pre existing conditions for life insurance claims.

The confusion comes about because of the related product know as critical illness cover. This is a type of insurance typically added onto a life insurance policy. It pays out if you are diagnosed with a critical illness such as cancer or heart attack. For these types of policies insurers do often exclude pre existing conditions and it is because of this that the confusion has come about.

 

Life insurance with depression – Further medical evidences explained

In some cases, insurers ask for more information over and above that which is captured via the ‘health and lifestyle’ questionnaire. They do this to get further clarity of an individual’s situation in order to make a fair assessment as to whether they can offer insurance and at what price. These requests are often referred to as ‘further medical evidence’ and can come in several different forms.

A report from a doctor (known as a ‘GP Report’ or ‘Targeted Medical Report’), is a request sent to your GP to ask for more information about your medical history. Before an insurer does this, they require your consent. Some request this as a paper hard copy. Many can now also request it as an electronic document. A GP report takes the form of a more general account of your medical history. And a targeted report will request answers to questions about a specific medical condition. These types of report requests are common with applicants for life insurance anxiety disorders and life insurance for depression sufferers. They assist the life insurer to fully understand a medical history and help with full disclosure on the part of the applicant.

There are also differing types of medical examinations insurers commonly use. These range from quite basic types of examinations to quite detailed and comprehensive examples. The latter is much rarer and used mostly for cases with higher sums assured of a million pounds or more. The more common examples are referred to as a ‘Nurse Screen’ or ‘Mini Screen’. In the context of life insurance for depression or anxiety life insurance applications they are not typical. This is because they are focused more on testing for basic physical wellbeing markers such as height and weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. There may be a requirement for this type of test due to other disclosures within an application. There are also limits to an amount of cover and an applicant’s age that will automatically trigger the need for such reports. For example, someone of age 30 would not automatically require a test for £500,000 of cover. But, for someone in their 50’s, it may be that a ‘Nurse Screen’ is an automatic requirement to achieve this amount of insurance.

Insurers have increasingly started to use something known as a ‘Tele Interview’ more frequently over recent years. This is simply where the insurer contacts the customer directly on the back of a completed health and lifestyle questionnaire. This is usually via a phone call but can sometimes be via a set of emailed questions. The purpose is to gather more information around a specific topic to try and get a better understanding. This action can be taken prior to requesting any of the above further evidences but is also sometimes requested after further evidence has been received and reviewed. 

It’s worth knowing that all the above reports and screenings are paid for by the insurers themselves. There is no cost to the applicant. This is reassuring the know if you find yourself in such a position as insurers don’t like to spend money unless they consider there is a reasonable chance of being able to offer some insurance.

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