Mental health issues don’t have to keep you from obtaining affordable life insurance. Some life events such as the death of a family member, divorce, and even giving birth can cause short term depression. Most life insurance companies understand a brief use of anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications as they relate to these types of events. Assuming that you are physically healthy, these types of mental health issues should not result in a lower rate class and higher premiums for life insurance. However, a life insurance company may be concerned if an applicant has been on multiple medications for mental illness at one time, or has been hospitalized to stabilize a mental health issue. Issues such as these might knock you out of the Preferred Plus rate category down to Standard.
Life insurance companies won’t comb your mental health records looking for a reason to deny life insurance. However, if they notice hints of a mental health condition that has not been treated, you may become a bigger risk to them than if you had been officially diagnosed and treated. They will also be wary of combinations of certain mental illnesses and other health factors. For instance, having anxiety along with heart disease and elevated cholesterol would make you a much higher risk to a life insurance company. This might result in extremely high premiums or no offer of coverage at all. Any use of drugs or alcohol as self-medication for a mental illness will also be a cause for concern by life insurance companies.
If you are currently undergoing treatment for a mental health issue and are applying for life insurance, there are a few things that the insurance company will probably want to know. This includes when you were diagnosed, by whom, and the name of the doctor currently treating you. They will also want to know what type of treatment you are receiving, for how long, and how you are responding to it. Overall, they will look at the severity of the condition as well as the ability for the condition to be treated when making a determination of eligibility and rate class.
Life insurance doesn’t have to be unattainable even if you have had a more serious mental illness, such as an attempted suicide. Many life insurance companies might wait one to two years after an attempted suicide before issuing a policy, or issue a policy with an increased premium. All life insurance companies have a contestability period running for two years from the “in force” date of the policy. In part, this clause states that no death benefit will be paid to a beneficiary for a death determined to be a suicide within the first two years of issuance of the policy.