Depression is a concern to life insurance companies because it increases your chances of death, either via the possibility of suicide, destructive self-medication, using drugs and/or alcohol, the increased chance of serious accidents, or even via harmful side effects from treatments like lithium. If you have depression, the life underwriter will want to know what type of depression you were diagnosed with, when your episode(s) occurred, and whether the depression was successfully treated. One of the most important things the underwriter will want to know is whether your doctor has or had any serious concerns you would actually commit suicide. In most cases, patients may share thoughts of suicide with their doctors, but have no real intention of acting on those thoughts. Often a doctor is able to perceive which individuals are not serious, and will note this in a person’s medical history. As with most diseases and medical conditions, please allow plenty of time for the life insurance company to review your application.
If you have a mild or moderate case of depression with no complications, you should not have problems finding affordable life insurance coverage. If the underwriter uncovers you are on medications, are hospitalized frequently, have attempted suicide, or have substance abuse problems, your chances of finding coverage decline dramatically. Someone with a history of depression and concerning complications may be denied life insurance coverage or pay a high rate for coverage.
More Information On Depression
Simply put, depression is a number of possible emotional disorders. It is very common and there are many treatment options including drug therapy, counseling, hospitalization (if suicide is a concern) and in very extreme cases, electric shock therapy.
Depression can have environmental origins, organic origins, or a combination of the two. Environmental origins are things like family situations, job stress, financial issues, and even things like dreary, dark winters. Organic origins are imbalances of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Environmental-related depression can often be treated with counseling whereas organic-related depression usually requires drug therapy.
It will be vital that the life insurance company be able to review all your medical records and history. Therefore you need to include contact information for all the doctors and medical facilities who have helped treat you. Also, it is important you include a cover letter explaining your situation, your lifestyle adjustments, how therapy has impacted you, and anything else you feel is relevant.
When Depression Will Not Affect Your Ability to Get Life Insurance
Not all cases of depression are the same. If the severity of your condition is only mild and you are in good overall health, there is a good chance you will not have a problem finding coverage. In fact, if your diagnosis and your medical history show you have general depression, there are no complications, and you are not treated frequently, you may even qualify for preferred rating groups offer lower premiums. It is important to keep in mind that underwriters look at applicants with a history of depression on a case by case basis. By looking at your entire depression history, your physical health, and the answers to the other questions on your application, the company can determine what rates you will qualify for.