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Life Insurance with Depression

Life insurance is a policy that helps protect loved ones financially should anything happen to the policyholder. However, approval and premiums get based on a series of health questions that investigate your physical and mental well-being.

That barrier begs the question of whether one can obtain life insurance should one suffer from depression in the past and present. This guide will inform on the most frequently raised queries regarding life insurance with depression.

Can I Get Life Insurance If I Suffer from Depression?

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21% of adults in the UK in 2021 experienced depression, meaning that one in five persons over 18 had experienced symptoms. It is a very valid question to inquire whether it’s possible to get life insurance when you’ve had depressive episodes, considering the health barriers to getting accepted on a policy.

The short answer is yes, you can get life insurance if you suffer depression, but approval depends on the severity of the condition. Most applicants that disclose their depression get accepted onto a policy. However, insurers will go through a rigorous process to ensure the life insurance aligns with your current circumstances.

We can learn more about how life insurance with depression works by understanding how it gets covered.

How Does Life Insurance Cover Depression?

Applying for life insurance if you’ve suffered or currently suffer from depression is the same as any other application. You’ll choose a preferred policy, consult with the insurer, and they will process it with questions relating to your mental and physical health.

Applying for life insurance if you’ve suffered or currently suffer from depression is the same as any other application. You’ll choose a preferred policy, consult with the insurer, and they will process it with questions relating to your mental and physical health.

When you disclose your depression, the application has four possible outcomes. Those include:

  • Acceptance with no increase in premiums
  • Approval and addition to monthly payments based on the severity of your case
  • Your application will get postponed pending further review
  • Your life insurance will get rejected

The outcomes highlight that depression is not the sole factor that affects whether you’ll see approval or not. It is more considered a general health question like all other physical and mental health inquiries.

Should you disclose depression or mental health illnesses, we can elaborate on how it affects life insurance.

How Does Depression, Anxiety, and Other Mental Illness Affect Life Insurance?

Depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses are not binary factors, as cases can range from isolated episodes to ongoing severity. That’s why insurers will focus on your mental health history to understand whether severe attacks could affect one’s life.

The general principles behind approval for mental health issues are that frequency, triggers, and less control of the ailment will increase monthly premiums. More extreme factors such as suicidal thoughts and extended periods off from work may result in life insurance refusal.

The table below is an excellent example of different scenarios for those applying for life insurance with depression. Each individual is a 35-year-old non-smoker interested in a £200,000 level term assurance policy over 25 years.

Age Diagnosed Last Episode Triggers Taking Medication? Suicidal Thoughts? Time Off Work? Application Outcome
30 5 years ago. Work stress. No No No Approved (no increase)
32 Continuous but controlled. Relationship issues and general anxiety. Yes No 8 weeks. Approved with increase
35 Continuous. Not diagnosed. Yes No 16 weeks. Postponed
20 Continuous. Various. Yes Yes 15 years. Rejected

As highlighted, the first case sees approval with no increases as the depressive episodes appear isolated long ago. However, circumstances change if the depression is continuous.

The second sees an increase in premiums as the depression is ongoing and has disclosed other mental health issues that could affect their life. The third has their application postponed due to the uncertainties surrounding their ailments.

The final case gets rejected because of longevity, triggers, suicidal thoughts, and not working for an extended period.

You can speak with an expert broker if you need more information about your circumstances and how your depression could affect life insurance. But that also leads to whether you need to disclose depression entirely.

Perhaps you’ve had isolated incidents? Maybe you can hide the fact that you’re depressed well? Or you haven’t had an official diagnosis? Do you need to tell providers in your application if your depression seems irrelevant?

Do I Need to Tell Life Insurance About Depression?

You must disclose any bouts of depression on your life insurance application. Failing to do so may cause complications when applying, and many obstacles should your beneficiary need to claim the line.

Understandably, prospective policyholders may find answering questions about depression uncomfortable or hard to process. However, being as honest as possible makes the application process more manageable and straightforward should beneficiaries need to claim on your policy.

The need to disclose information about depression also leads applicants to wonder what questions they’ll get on their applications. We can look into the typical queries life insurers request on the issue.

Questions You’ll Get Asked About Depression.

Find questions that will likely get asked on your life insurance application below:

  • The date you got diagnosed with depression
  • Have you taken time off work because of depression?
  • Are your depressive episodes frequent, and how severe are these instances?
  • Do you take medication for depression?
  • Have you received assistance from a medical professional?
  • Have you ever tried to commit suicide or had suicidal thoughts?
  • Do you suffer from other mental health conditions?

Again, it’s essential to be truthful when answering these questions. If you are afraid that your application will get rejected because of depression, note that even in severe circumstances, custom policies are available.

Insurers use these questions mainly to gauge the right policy for the applicant rather than outright reject them because of a specific answer. Only the most severe cases get denied, such as the factors in the fourth case outlined in the table earlier in the article.

Your premiums will indeed increase the more severe the condition. But those believing life insurance is a solution to their concerns can take solace; there are options. For clarity, let’s look at how life insurance premiums get affected by depression.

Will My Life Insurance Premiums Be Higher with Depression?

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The elementary principle in determining the cost of any insurance product is how much risk is posed to the provider. Depression in life insurance policies poses more risk considering the severity of the circumstances, so premiums can get higher.

Your circumstances get analysed to understand the risk metrics, and you’ll get assigned a premium accordingly. If we use the examples from the table above, we can get an idea of how much premiums can cost.

  • First Case – The first case is the more straightforward of the bunch, where an insurer will offer their lowest monthly premium of £7.94
  • Second Case – There is more risk involved in the second case as depression issues are ongoing but well-controlled. The insurer offers a rate of £11.91 per month here.
  • Third Case – The third case has an investigation into the details of the depression and, therefore, won’t get insured until there’s an understanding of severity. The premium will rise as more information outlines the medical history.
  • Fourth Case – The fourth case will not receive life insurance as the circumstances are too high a risk for the insurer. This more extreme scenario includes suicidal thoughts and extended time away from work.

So what about if your depression is a result of another issue? Can you get life insurance if you have other conditions that are the arguable cause of mental health problems? Yes, you can, but with those additional disclosures, premiums will also be higher.

We’ll exemplify that notion below.

Depression with Other Conditions

Find real case studies below of life insurance applicants with depression and other health conditions.

Age Smoker? Conditions Product Cover Amount Cover Term Premium
45 No Depression, asthma, migraines Increasing life insurance and critical illness cover £100,000 20 years £103.19
49 Yes Depression, bowel cancer Level life insurance £15,000 20 years £35.34
30 Yes Anxiety, Optic Atrophy Decreasing life insurance £85,000 15 years £45.08

As seen, there are many factors involved that drive the premiums up for life insurance. These include the other conditions and their life risk, the amount requested, term cover, and type of life insurance.

The table highlights that even if both physical and mental health circumstances are complex, there is a likelihood that you’ll be able to get a life insurance policy. So are there any types of life insurance best suited to depression in light of the fluctuating premiums?

What are the Best Types of Life Insurance for Depression?

There are no set-in-stone ‘best’ types of life insurance for those suffering from depression. The policies protect families should anything happen to you, offering financial protection in the event of sudden death or critical illness.

However, a select few types of life insurance get preferred by those with depression. Mainly because of their accessibility and likeliness of getting approved. We can investigate the three main types of life insurance below and why they are more in tune for those with mental health conditions.

Life Insurance

Life insurance will be available as either a fixed-term or whole-of-life policy for those with depression. The guidelines will tailor to your circumstances, inquiring about the current state of your mental health, and offer a plan based on your requested features.

This type of insurance can be a suitable option for those seeking family protection without the concern of depression hindering the chances of approval. Only severe cases of depression can postpone or deny the process.

Critical Illness Cover

Critical illness cover is another way to protect yourself financially and your family should you get diagnosed with an ailment listed on your policy. This plan does not usually include depression as a critical illness. It will likely exclude the condition from the list of actionable claims.

However, those suffering from depression will often see the same coverage as a standard policy.

Income Protection

Income protection insurance is a policy designed to protect your finances should an event render you unable to work. Generally, you’ll get asked to disclose depression on your application, where it may get classified as a pre-existing condition.

In that instance, depression will get excluded from a claimable event of inability to work. However, there are scenarios where depression is a secondary cause of loss of income. However, the recommendation is to speak to an insurer or broker about what happens in this case.

Health Insurance for Depression

Outside of life insurance, there are options for depression should you want protection covering treatments and care. You could opt to take out a health insurance policy should your depression be the primary concern of your and your family’s well-being. However, you will not receive a payout or financial protection in the sudden event that you pass away.

So finally, with all the options for life insurance with depression, prospective policyholders can feel more confident about getting approved should they suffer from the issue. But that leaves the topic of policy denial to cover.

What circumstances will cause a complete refusal of life insurance if you have depression?

Is It Possible to Get Denied Life Insurance Because of Depression?

We’ve highlighted in the example table earlier in the guide that it is possible to have your life insurance application rejected if you have mental health issues. The general answer on whether you can get denied life insurance because of depression is yes. However, it’s unlikely unless the circumstances are extreme.

Suppose there are any cases of life insurance with depression where the insurer deems the client to be a higher risk. In that case, the more likely scenario is that they will postpone the approval. They’d instead find a solution with documentation and evidence supporting your application rather than reject it outright.

But there are circumstances where life insurance is not possible, including:

  • A recent depression diagnosis from a medical professional
  • Multiple suicide attempts
  • The recent increase in the severity of your condition (suicide attempts, self-harm, hospitalisation)
  • Other disqualifying factors such as specific medical conditions

So if your application gets rejected because of your depression, can you apply again?

Can I Apply for Life Insurance with Depression Again After Rejection?

Nothing can stop you from applying again for life insurance in the future as conditions can continuously improve. Insurers will review applications and process them as long as you disclose all the latest information about your depression and see the possibility of approval even after initial rejection.

If you need information, speak to an expert broker about how to apply for life insurance if you’ve seen rejection because of a mental health issue.