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Can I get life insurance if I have depression?

Do you prefer to learn by watching? We answer this question in a video below. Click here to jump ahead.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults. Major Depressive Disorder specifically affects approximately 16.1 million American adults in a given year. Persistent Depressive Disorder, a form of depression that usually continues roughly at least two years, affects approximately 1.5% American adults in a given year.

While they’re in the realm of “mental health”, psychological disorders like depression can have an impact on physical health as well.

Impacts on physical health can include:

  • Acute physical stress which can lead to premature death
  • A weakened immune system
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • High blood pressure
  • Poor sleeping/eating/exercise habits

A study by the National Institute of Mental Health found that by age 18, 35 percent of the Millennial generation will be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, 25 percent will be diagnosed with a substance addiction, and 20 percent will have a behavioral disorder.

This generation is in the workforce, getting married, and raising families. This means they need life insurance coverage. How do mental health diagnoses, such as depression and anxiety, affect buying life insurance?

We know you provide and protect the ones you love each and every day. Life insurance can ensure they are financially protected even if you are not around to do so yourself. Life insurance companies offer coverage to individuals suffering from depression every day. Depression does not automatically mean you are disqualified from life insurance coverage.

» Compare: Term life insurance quotes

Life insurance companies offer coverage to individuals suffering from depression every day. Depression does not automatically mean you are disqualified from life insurance coverage.

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Life Insurance and Depression: A Real Life Case Study

Linda, a Quotacy customer, 41 years old, applied for a term life insurance policy. She has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and also takes medication to treat it.

The life insurance company she originally chose to apply with would have offered her Preferred—the second best risk class possible.

Linda’s Quotacy agent felt confident that he could get her the best risk class possible if she would be willing to apply to AIG instead. AIG has a history of treating depression diagnoses more favorably than the company she originally picked.

Linda went with her agent’s suggestion and they moved her application to AIG. She was approved for Preferred Best—the best risk class possible—and saved $200 annually in premium payments.

Applying for Life Insurance with a Depression Diagnosis

If you suffer from depression, when you apply for life insurance we will ask you to complete a questionnaire form so we can get more information about your specific situation. How the disorder is treated varies by insurance company and we use the information you provide to shop the specific companies we know have a higher chance of offering you the best coverage.

» Learn more: Mental and Behavioral Health and Their Effect on Life Insurance

Underwriters look at applicants with a history of depression on a case by case basis. The severity of depression and how it is being managed will be taken into consideration. Information the underwriters typically want to know includes:

  • If your depression affects your sleeping habits
  • If your depression affects your weight or eating habits
  • If you use medication to manage your depression
  • If you have been treated in an inpatient or outpatient clinic
  • If you have been hospitalized from depression
  • If your employment history has been affected
  • If you have a history of suicidal thoughts or attempts.

The life insurance companies ask for this information to determine their risk of insuring you. If you manage your depression carefully and are otherwise healthy, you still can get affordable life insurance coverage.

Once you apply and we have received the proper information from you, we will shop your case at the appropriate carriers. Having worked years with multiple life insurance companies, we have developed relationships with them and know which are best in covering individuals who have a history of depression.

Protecting your loved ones from financial struggle in the face of premature death can be helped by purchasing term life insurance. Term life insurance is affordable and you can take a look at your estimated cost by running a quote instantly.

At Quotacy, you do not need to give up any personal contact information just to see a quote. Everyone deserves the chance to find out more about life insurance without fear of being bombarded by phone calls and e-mails. Even if you have an anxiety disorder, it does not mean you can’t get affordable life insurance coverage. We’ll help you protect those you love most.

» Calculate: Life insurance needs calculator

Watch the Depression and Life Insurance Video

Video Transcript

Welcome to Quotacy’s Q&A Friday where we answer your life insurance questions. Quotacy is an online life insurance broker where you can get life insurance on your terms.

I’m Jeanna and I’m Natasha.

Today’s question is:
Can I get life insurance if I have depression?

Depression is a common mood disorder that can be tricky to insure because of how unique each case can be. There’s no one cause of depression and there are multiple distinct types of depression.

Millions of Americans cope with depression on a daily basis. It’s estimated that more than 16 million adults experience at least one major episode of depression every year. And because of how common it is, our agents here at Quotacy work with many clients diagnosed with depression.

If you’ve been diagnosed with depression we can work with you to try and find you life insurance coverage. As a life insurance broker, Quotacy has access to many different life insurance companies so we can shop your case to find the carrier that will give you the best price.

You see, not all life insurance companies evaluate risk factors in the same way. Each has their own underwriting guidelines that they follow. Some insurance companies are very strict when it comes to underwriting depression and some are a bit more lenient.

One of your agent’s main priorities is to match you with the right life insurance company.

When you apply online at Quotacy.com there is a section of the application where you check Yes or No to different medical conditions. After you submit your online application if your agent sees you checked Yes to depression he or she will double check what insurance company you picked through the application process on our website. If you chose an insurance company that isn’t typically lenient with depression, we’ll reach out to you and explain your options.

For example, if you have mild depression that is well-controlled with medication, the number of prescription medications you’re on affects how the insurance company will treat your application. Typically, even with well-managed mild depression, if you take two or more medications, the best risk class an insurance company can offer you is Standard.

For reference, a 35-year-old woman applying for a 20-year $500,000 term life insurance policy will pay an average of $40 per month if given a Standard risk class.

However, Quotacy works with life insurance companies that would consider offering the best risk class to this applicant. Moving from Standard to the best risk class changes her monthly premiums from $40 to around $20.

Example of saving money buying life insurance with depression

In general, when applying for life insurance with history of depression, the insurance companies will typically want to know if your depression affects your sleeping habits or your weight or eating habits, if you use medication to manage your depression, if you have ever been treated in an inpatient or outpatient clinic, if you’ve ever been hospitalized from depression, if your employment history has ever been affected, and if you have any history of suicidal thoughts or attempts.

Questions to expect when applying for coverage with depression:

  • Does your depression affect your sleeping, weight, or eating habits?
  • Do you use medications to manage your depression?
  • Have you ever been treated in an inpatient or outpatient clinic?
  • Have you ever been hospitalized for depression?
  • Has your employment history been affected?
  • Do you have a history of suicidal thoughts or attempts?

When applying for life insurance, your medical records will also be ordered and reviewed by the insurance company.

Not every applicant with depression will qualify for best class no matter which insurance company you apply to. There are many, many risk factors the insurance companies evaluate. We can promise, however, that your Quotacy agent will try their hardest to find you the best price possible.

As an independent life insurance broker Quotacy works for you, the client, not the insurance companies. At Quotacy you do not need to give up any personal contact information just to see a quote.

When you’re ready to apply though be sure to provide detailed information regarding your depression diagnosis on the online application. This allows your agent to set realistic expectations right away. As the application moves through the buying process, your agent will keep you posted every step of the way.

If you have any questions about life insurance, make sure to leave us a comment. And if you’re ready to get quotes, check out Quotacy.com. We’re here to help you find the best deal on the life insurance you want.

Photo credit to jimmy brown

About the writer

Headshot of Natasha Cornelius, a life insurance writer, for Quotacy, Inc.

Natasha Cornelius

Marketing Content Manager

Natasha is a writer and content editor at Quotacy. She is also co-host of Quotacy’s YouTube series. She can't get enough of life insurance and outside of work is also working toward her Chartered Life Underwriter designation. Connect with her on LinkedIn.