Life Insurance with Depression

Nick McGowan

In today’s post, we’ll look at applying for  life insurance when you’re suffering from depression or where you had an episode of depression in the past.

We’ll explain

  • how the insurance companies define depression
  • how depression affects life cover applications and
  • the kind of questions you will be asked when you apply.

Depression / depressive illness / clinical depression is an illness and is very different from the common experience of feeling unhappy, miserable or fed up for a short period of time.

In depression there may be feelings of extreme sadness that can last for a long time. These feelings are severe enough to interfere with daily life and can last for weeks or months, rather than days.

Depression can be categorised by how serious it is:

  • Mild depression has some impact on daily life
  • Moderate depression has a significant impact on daily life
  • Severe depression makes the activities of daily life nearly impossible.
    A small proportion of people with severe depression may have psychotic symptoms.

People develop depression for different reasons and it has many different triggers. For some people, upsetting or stressful life events, such as bereavement, divorce, illness, redundancy and job or money worries, can be the cause.

In most cases GPs will help manage a patient’s depression. However, for some patients, particularly those with more severe depression or where treatment is not successful, more specialised care, including a stay in hospital, may be needed.

How does depression affect my life insurance application?

These are the factors that underwriting looks for when underwriting an application for life insurance with depression:

    • Severity of depression?
    • If historic, how many episodes?
    • If current, is it chronic?
    • Any history of suicidal thoughts?
    • Any associated alcohol or substance abuse?

In cased of mild depression, it is possible to get the normal price but usually the insurance company will increase your price by 50% to 150%.

You will be asked to complete a questionnaire containing questions such as:

1. When did you first consult a doctor in relation to depression?
2. What was the nature, frequency and duration of the symptoms?
3. Provide details of most recent symptoms.
4. Have you been treated with drugs?
5. Have you ever received hospital outpatient treatment?
6. Have you ever been an inpatient at a hospital?
7. Have you ever attempted to take your own life?
8. Was the depression triggered by any particular factor? (work stress, accident, bereavement)
9. What is the exact diagnosis? (e.g. depression, schizophrenia, mania, neurosis).
10.  Have you been out of work with this condition? If so, please provide dates and duration.

Depending on your responses, the life assurance company may still be able to accept you at the normal price but if the insurer needs more information to make a decision, it will write to your GP for a medical report.

Following the receipt of the medical report you may be accepted at a higher premium, postponed for 6 months or declined for life insurance.

Life insurance with depression. What to do now?

Are you considering life insurance today?

Simply complete the short form below and I’ll be in touch (alternatively call me personally on 05793 20836)

Choosing the most suitable insurer and packaging your application correctly is a very important first step. We know the insurers who are more lenient when it comes to assessing life insurance with depression.

If you decide to apply through LION.ie, I’ll help you through the application process and advise the best course of action to obtain your life insurance at the lowest possible price, with the least amount of hardship.

At LION.ie, we know it can be stressful answering all those health questions. We have arranged life insurance for many clients who have experienced periods of depression in their lives. All of our discussions will be on a strictly confidential basis.

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