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Best Life Insurance Companies for People with Depression

If you are someone who is struggling with depression, you might be wondering what company may be best for life insurance coverage.

Like any other preexisting condition, depression also has a negative impact on your insurability, which means you might find it harder to qualify for a policy compared to the average person.

It does not, however, mean that people with depression cannot qualify for life insurance at all. There are a number of insurance providers who not only accept people with depression, but also offer policies at very reasonable rates, depending on the severity of the condition and various other factors.

The Five Best Life Insurance Companies for People with Depression

lincoln financial

1. Lincoln Financial

  • Financial Ratings
  • A.M. Best: A+
  • Moody’s: A1
  • Standard & Poor’s: AA–
  • Fitch: A+

Lincoln National is known to accept people who are likely to be classified as high risk consumers by most other insurance companies.

The company offers a wide range of competitively priced policies for older people, people with high cholesterol levels, people who consume tobacco, and people suffering from depression and anxiety related disorders.

john hancock life insurance

2. John Hancock

  • Financial Ratings
  • A.M. Best: A+
  • Moody’s: A1
  • Standard & Poor’s: AA–
  • Fitch: AA–

John Hancock’s underwriting guidelines are fairly lenient and accommodative of certain types of high-risk applicants – people with depression being one of them.

If you have mild to moderate depression and have managed to keep it mostly under control, you can qualify for ‘Standard Non-Smoker’ or even ‘Preferred Non-Smoker’ rate class in some cases.

Moreover, John Hancock is a prudent choice for people with depression for an entirely different reason. The company incentivizes you to take care of your physical and mental health.

Through its Vitality program, it educates its policyholders on the importance of physical and mental wellbeing and rewards them for participating in the program.

If you eat healthy, stay physically active, meditate regularly, and incorporate a healthy sleep schedule, you will be offered reward points, discounts on various products and services, and discounts on your policy premium as well.

prudential life insurance

3. Prudential

  • Financial Ratings
  • A.M. Best: A+
  • Moody’s: A1
  • Standard & Poor’s: AA–
  • Fitch: AA–

Prudential is yet another company that offers reasonably priced policies for people with a history of depression. Particularly, if you are only on one medication and have never been hospitalized, you can buy life insurance at extremely competitive rates.

banner life insurance

4. Banner Life

  • Financial Ratings
  • A.M. Best: A+
  • Standard & Poor’s: AA–
  • Fitch: AA–

Banner Life is one of the very few companies in the industry today which allow people with depression to qualify for ‘Preferred Non-Smoker’ rate class, as long as the symptoms are under control.

aig life insurance

5. AIG

  • Financial Ratings
  • A.M. Best: A
  • Moody’s: A2
  • Standard & Poor’s: A+
  • Fitch: A+

AIG is generally known for its incredibly flexible term life policies, which allow you to choose your own coverage period from a variety of different options.

It also happens to be one of the best insurance providers for people with anxiety and depression. The rate class you will be assigned depends on your age, the severity of your depression, and your treatment regimen.

How Does Depression Affect Your Insurability?

Any preexisting condition which increases your mortality risk can affect your insurability. Depression, if left untreated, can cause people to develop suicidal tendencies.

Statistically, people with depression are also at a higher risk of developing alcohol and drug related problems. This is why people with depression are likely to be assigned a higher risk class compared to the average person.

It should be noted that not everyone with depression is classified as a high risk consumer by insurance companies. Underwriters take a wide range of factors into consideration while determining the insurability of a person suffering from depression.

Factors that Determine the Insurability of People with Depression

Age of Diagnosis

When were you diagnosed with depression? This is one of the first questions you need to answer during the application process.

If you have been battling depression for a long time, you are likely to be assigned a higher risk class compared to someone who was recently diagnosed with the condition.

Severity of the Condition

This is undoubtedly the most important factor which decides the insurability of a person suffering from depression.

Depression can be broadly classified into three types – mild, moderate, and severe, depending on how severe the symptoms are, how long they last, and whether or not they disrupt your professional and social life.

  • If you have never had to take time off work due to your depression, it is not likely to have any impact on your insurability and you might be able to qualify for ‘Preferred’ rate class.
  • If you have had to take time off work for a brief period of time – one or two weeks – you might be able to qualify for ‘Standard’ rate class.
  • If you have had to take time off work for a significant period of time – more than two weeks – or if you have quit your job altogether, you might only be eligible for guaranteed issue life insurance.

In some cases, you might develop what is called ‘situational depression’. This type of depression is reactive in nature, which you develop in response to a major crisis in your personal or professional life – loss of a loved one, divorce, disability, bankruptcy, and other types of traumatic incidents.

It usually lasts for a short period of time, after which the symptoms subside.

Insurance companies are usually lenient with people with situational depression, as the condition either goes away or becomes more manageable after a while.

Clinical depression, on the other hand, does not have any specific cause and usually persists for a lifetime. Since there is no cure, insurance providers determine your insurability based on how well you have managed to keep the symptoms under control.

Mode of Treatment

The treatment for depression generally includes antidepressants and therapy. If have only been prescribed one medication, it is not likely to affect your insurability to any grand extent.

If you are on multiple medications and require a fairly high dose to keep your symptoms in check, you are likely to be assigned a higher risk class by the underwriter.

Similarly, if you are currently on the same medication which was initially prescribed to you by your psychiatrist, it is usually seen as a good sign by the company.

On the other hand, if your psychiatrist has had to change the medications or increase the dosage over time, it is seen as a bad sign, since it indicates that your depression has not been under control.

In some cases, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) might be required to treat severe forms of depression.

If you have ever undergone such treatments, you might find it hard to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy. In which case, your only option might be to choose a guaranteed issue policy.

Hospitalization

If you have been hospitalized – either voluntarily or against your will – to treat the symptoms of depression, you might have to wait at least a year or two before applying for a policy, as most insurance providers prohibit you from applying for life insurance immediately after hospitalization.

There is usually a waiting period involved, which can be anywhere from one year to two years, depending on the insurance company.

Other Related Mental Disorders

In addition to depression, if you have other disorders like bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or post traumatic stress disorder, you are likely to be seen as a high risk consumer by insurance providers.

Especially, if you are on antipsychotic medications and have had to be hospitalized more than one time, you might only be able to qualify for substandard rates, which can be expensive.

You also have the option of choosing a guaranteed issue policy, which you can qualify for irrespective of your health condition.

Suicide Attempts

This is, without a doubt, the biggest red flag for an insurance provider. If you have ever attempted suicide as a result of your depression, you are unlikely to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy. So, a guaranteed issue policy or a final expense policy might be your best choice.

There is, however, one exception to this scenario. If your suicide attempt was a long time ago – anywhere from eight to ten years – and if you have managed to keep your depression under control since then, you might be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy.

Even in this case, you are likely to pay a higher rate than someone who has depression, but never attempted suicide and never been hospitalized.

How to Get the Best Rates with a History of Depression?

Get Multiple Quotes

The first thing you need to do is to get personalized quotes from a number of insurance providers, including the ones listed above.

Based on the quotes, you can easily distinguish the companies with lenient underwriting policies from the companies with strict underwriting policies with respect to depression.

Compare the quotes with each other to find out which company offers policies that are best suited for your specific needs and budget. If you have trouble making a decision, you can talk to the insurance experts at Noexam.com, who can help you choose a policy that meets your requirements.

Take Care of Yourself

Eat a healthy diet and avoid foods that are known to over-stimulate the nervous system. Exercise at least 45 minutes to one hour every day. Go for long walks whenever you can, spend more time with your friends and family, listen to good music, meditate every day, and make sure you get plenty of sleep.

These are all small, incremental changes that you can incorporate into your lifestyle to improve your physical as well as your mental health.

Get Proper Treatment

While there is no definitive cure for depression, it can certainly be controlled with the right kind of treatment. So, follow your physician’s treatment plan carefully.

Never, ever think that you can ‘tough it out’ without the help of medications or therapy. Work with your physician to improve your mental health and keep your symptoms under control.

Applying for Life Insurance with a History of Depression

You can apply for a policy at any one of the five companies listed above, as they are all known to accept people with a history of depression and anxiety related problems.

If you have mild to moderate depression, never been hospitalized, and have been prescribed only one medication, you can apply for a fully underwritten policy. It is your best chance to get the most favorable rate class possible.

In case you have severe depression, have been hospitalized before, and have been prescribed multiple medications, you can still apply for a fully underwritten policy. If you get accepted, you are likely to be classified as a high risk consumer and charged a higher rate.

It is still beneficial for you, since the death benefit is likely to be larger than what you can expect to receive from a guaranteed issue or final expense policy. If you think that you might not be able to afford the policy or if you get downright rejected, you can always apply for a guaranteed issue policy or a final expense policy.

What We at NoExam.com Can Do For You

Choosing an insurance company that can offer you the most favorable rate class is very important, since the difference between ‘Preferred’ and ‘Standard’ rate classes for the exact same policy could be a few hundred dollars every year.

So, the last thing you want to do is to choose an insurance provider who clumps all the applicants with a history of depression together, instead of assessing them on a case by case basis.

We at Noexam.com can help you find a reliable insurance provider who can offer you the best possible rate class and a policy which adequately covers your financial needs and suits your budget as well.

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Jonathan Holloway
November 2, 2018
Jonathan is a licensed life insurance agent at NoExam.com that writes about insurance, personal finance, lifestyle, and sports. See our pages on life insurance, life insurance rates and burial insurance for more.
Disclaimer: We make every attempt to make sure our information is up to date, but since things change often it is best to double check the data. This review is an opinion.