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Life insurance if you have depression?

A man sits in a darkened room resting his head on his hands, in silhouette.

Every day, more and more people are paying attention to their mental health and wellbeing, especially when things aren’t going so well. If you have a condition such as depression, you probably understand the effect it can have on your day-to-day life. What you might not know is how such a condition can impact an application for life insurance. Keep reading to learn more.

Can you get life insurance with depression?

Many people assume that if you have a pre-existing medical condition such as depression your chances of getting approved for life insurance are vastly narrowed – but that’s not entirely accurate these days. Insurers understand that everyone is different, and they try to take into account all the circumstances that affect your application when assessing whether or not they’d like to offer you insurance.

Because of this, many people who live with depression are able to get life insurance without it being a big hassle. The best thing to do if you are considering life insurance is to use an expert broker to help you obtain as many quotes as possible and narrow them down to the most fitting option for your personal circumstances. The Insurance Surgery has near-exclusive access to a life insurance product for people with mental health conditions that offers better terms and rates, only available to three other insurance brokers in the UK.

How does depression affect life insurance?

The exact impact of depression on life insurance applications varies from provider to provider, and can also change based on your individual experience of the condition. For example, if your depression is mild, you may feel less of an impact than if your symptoms were more severe. It’s also worth remembering that insurers will look at all aspects of your application together, meaning that if you have other pre-existing medical conditions, they could also affect your policy.

The way insurance works is that the terms and conditions of your policy depend on your circumstances. One key aspect of this is the price of your insurance premiums. While insurers want to offer you the best deal they can in order to stay competitive, they also want to protect their interests by limiting how much money they are likely to have to pay out. In practice, this means that they use questions on your application to determine how much of a risk you are to insure, and then they set your premiums higher or lower to compensate.

Therefore, the more serious your condition, the higher your premiums are likely to be. It’s also the case that your premiums might be higher due to events in the past – for example, if you have ever attempted to take your own life or thought about doing so.

Another way your policy might be altered if you have depression is that you might find certain exclusions are put in place or extended. Most life insurance policies have what’s known as a suicide exclusion period which prevents beneficiaries from receiving a payout if the policyholder takes their own life within that time period. This is usually one or two years from the start of the policy.

However, if you have depression the insurance provider might make the suicide exclusion period longer. This doesn’t mean that your loved ones will be automatically denied a payout, but it may take longer to come through if the insurer suspects you may have taken your own life. There may be an investigation into the cause of death to help establish the facts, and your loved ones would have to wait until a conclusion is found before your life insurance payout is released.

In some cases, usually where the condition is severe, it may be the case that the insurer offers a policy with an exclusion on it that lasts for the duration. For example, you might be offered a life insurance policy where your loved ones won’t receive a payout if the cause of death is related to your depression.

Any terms and conditions relating to your policy will be made clear to you before you agree to it, so you don’t need to worry about surprises along the way. If you’re unsure about what anything in your policy means, speaking to a trusted adviser can help. An adviser can also help you with the process of filling out your insurance application so you can be sure you provide all the right information as clearly and as accurately as possible.

At the application stage, the questions insurers ask you about your mental health can vary. When you disclose your depression, you may be asked additional questions to help insurers understand your particular circumstances. You should always answer these questions honestly, as failure to do so could mean that your loved ones are denied a payout further down the line.

However, it’s important to know that insurers will sometimes specify a cut-off point for how recent a condition should be to be of interest to them. For example, you might be asked if you’ve had depression in the last five years. If you had depression when you were younger, but not during the time period the insurer asks about, then you don’t need to disclose it and it won’t have an impact on your policy. 

If you’re worried or confused about how to get life insurance with a pre-existing mental health condition, then get in touch (0800 083 2829) with one of our trusted advisers today to learn more about your options. 

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