Although there may be some challenges, you can get life insurance if you have a history of depression. Read on to learn more about term life insurance and how easy it is to get your quotes.
Millions of Americans cope with depression on a daily basis—it is estimated that more than 16 million adults experience at least one major episode of depression each year. Just like every other family, however, those with members who have dealt with depression can benefit from the protection that term life insurance offers.
Is it possible to get life insurance if you have a history of depression? Yes—having a mental health condition doesn’t automatically mean that you won’t be able to get term life insurance. Let’s take a look at how some insurance companies may look at your application, and then we’ll show you how to find the right policy and get some life insurance quotes.
Life Insurance Companies Want You to Get Life Insurance
Believe it or not, life insurance companies really want to insure applicants—medical exams and detailed forms aren’t designed to trip up applicants. Insurance companies make money when the insured pay their premiums, so they naturally benefit from growing their customer base—it’s just that they need to limit how much risk they can take on so that they can remain profitable in the long run.
This is where life insurance company underwriters come in: they evaluate applicants based on pre-existing criteria and determine if accepting the application represents an acceptable risk. That’s why your health, lifestyle, job, and even your hobbies are so important in the calculation of how much you will pay in life insurance premiums.
If you have a history of depression, this will impact your premium rates, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t get life insurance that is affordable to you.
Here are some factors that underwriters look at when determining your rates:
What type of depressive disorder have you been diagnosed with?
Certain types of depression may be weighted differently when life insurance companies calculate your premiums. Here are a few of the most common types of depression:
Persistent depressive disorder, or dysthymia.
Persistent depressive disorder is chronic depression that is not as severe as major depression, but it impacts energy levels, decision-making, and other behaviors.
Bipolar disorder often involves significant mood swings and bouts of depression. Bipolar disorder itself has many subcategories, but each is considered a significant mental health issue.
Seasonal depression typically occurs throughout the fall and winter months, and manifests as chronic, major depression. It usually goes away in the spring and summer seasons.
Although some researchers say that most new mothers experience postpartum depression, many other women experience major depression that coincides with a new birth.
Sometimes those with major depression experience hallucinations, paranoia, or other severe symptoms. When these issues appear with depression, it’s often referred to as psychotic depression.
Don’t assume that because you have been diagnosed with a certain category of depression that you won’t be able to afford insurance: it’s always better to take the chance and apply.
Other questions that you may have to answer could include:
If you are taking medication, has it been effective?
If your medication has not worked to control your symptoms, or you have recently changed your medication, underwriters may factor this in when determining your risk class.
What is the current severity of your symptoms, and have you been hospitalized?
If your symptoms are well-controlled, or your condition has improved after hospitalization, insurance underwriters may take this into account.
Are you undergoing therapy?
If you are benefitting from on-going therapy, or have completed therapy in the past and shown improvement, this may strengthen your application.
Despite the challenges in finding the right plan, there are many life insurance companies that have enabled applicants with a history of depression to get life insurance.