If you have a history of depression and are concerned about qualifying for affordable term life insurance rates, don’t worry.
Insurance companies have become more comfortable writing policies for people with depression.
Depression is described by doctors as a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can have a negative effect on a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and physical well-being. Depression is now estimated to affect 1 in 10 U.S. adults, says a study by the CDC.
Life Insurance Companies Outlook on Depression
Underwriters for life insurance companies try an eliminate as much risk as possible when they issue policies. If they think that you are a higher risk, then you will see an increase in your life insurance premium.
Up until a few years ago, the best rates you could qualify for if you had a mild case of depression was standard. With more history on the side effects and effectiveness of anti-depressant meds, companies are realizing the majority of people taking these medications are have good results. The more history and research these companies have on the medications prescribed to people suffering from depression the better rates you will see.
The 3 C’s of Depression
When an underwriter is review a case for someone who has depression, they look at the 3 C’s; Control, Compliance and Complete medical records.
- Control – It is important for underwriters to see that your symptoms are being controlled by the medication you are prescribed.
- Compliance – Underwriters will be looking to see if you are following your doctor’s orders to control your depression
- Complete Medical Records – It is important to have their diagnosis, management and follow ups are well documented. Showing that the disease is under control will help give the underwriter a peace of mind about issuing a policy to you.
Types of Depression and Likely Rates
Mild Depression – is classified as having no suicidal attempts, no thoughts of suicide within the past 2 years, no substance abuse, no hospitalization, no lost time from your work and minimal medication.
Rates: If mild with no complications and treatment and outcome are well documented you can expect to see Preferred rates for most cases.
Moderate Depression – is classified as having no suicidal attempts in the past 10 years, no thoughts of suicide within the past year, no current substance abuse, no hospitalization within last 2 years, minimal lost time from your work and taking no more than 3 medications.
Rates: People with moderate depression can expect to see standard rates. This will also depend on if your moderate depression is more towards mild, or severe.
Severe Depression – is having a history of suicidal attempt(s), psychotic issues, current substance abuse, history of hospitalization(s) and multiple high dosage medications.
Rates: This is a case by case decision. Medical history, treatment, medications, and current state will play a big factor in if you can get approved.
Other Forms of Depression
Situational Depression – this is defined as being tied to a specific life changing event such as a death in the family or close friend, divorce, loss of employment or other issues where extreme stress is present at that time, but with time has passed.
Rates: If underwriters can tie your use of depression medication for a definite time to a certain life altering event, it should not be an issue depending on the company.
Postpartum Depression – is defined as moderate depression in women after childbirth due to changes in hormone levels.
Rates: Typically general depression guidelines are followed, but underwriters will look at how recent your postpartum depression was, how severe and how long it lasted. If the postpartum depression was temporary and short duration, it is not a factor for underwriting purposes.
Seasonal Affective Disorder – This type of depression occurs with the onset of winter months and is relieved at the arrival of spring.
Rates: This type of depression is usually not an issue. On some more extensive cases, this can be classified as mild depression.
*Please note that every case is unique and viewed by underwriters differently. If you have depression and are seeking life insurance, make sure you speak with an experienced agent who knows what insurance companies will handle your case the best.