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Talk to Your Spouse about life insuranceNobody wants to be a Debbie Downer. I get that.

But sometimes, it’s important to talk with your spouse about the inevitable. Like, say, death (insert dramatic chords here).

As much as I’d love to believe I’m an immortal man, unaffected by freak accidents and the second law of thermodynamics, the reality is a number of unfortunate circumstances could expedite my transfer to the afterlife.

One has to wonder . . . what would happen to my family’s finances if I died?

What would happen to your family if you weren’t there to bring in the bread and butter?

Scary prospect.

Here are three reasons you should sit down with your spouse today and talk about life insurance (after all, it is Life Insurance Awareness Month):


1. Your Family Probably Relies On Your Income

Many of the couples I speak with tell me that they have two incomes. Imagine the consequences of going down to just one income.

“But wait Jeff, if I were no longer around, wouldn’t that mean my family’s expenses would drop, too?”

Yes, that’s true, but not as much as you might think.

If you have a few little ones running around the homestead, they’re still going to many of the resources you’re providing.

Even if you don’t have kids, don’t expect your spouse’s expenses to be cut in half should you pass. There’s a financial advantage to marriage, and many of the budget categories will have to stay the same.

2. Your Spouse May Not Understand The Importance Of Life Insurance

According to a poll conducted on behalf of State Farm, only 34% of Americans think of life insurance as a “main course” of their financial plan (you can visit for more statistical goodies like this).


What did the others think? 18% thought of life insurance as a luxury they can’t afford, 16% thought it was important when starting out, 8% know they should have it but think they’ll pass on it, and the rest didn’t fall into these categories.

If you know you need life insurance, and assume that your spouse knows it too, it’s best that you talk with them today to make sure you’re on the same page. In your discussion, highlight the reasons why you both need life insurance and explain it’s one more huge way you can care for your family.

3. Death Can – Unfortunately – Occur Anytime

So, why talk with your spouse today about life insurance?

The unfortunate truth is that death can occur anytime. Check out some of the leading causes of death and the probability of death at various ages. Many of these causes are covered by life insurance – including unexpected accidents. And note that while probability of death while during youth is low, it does happen – life insurance covers you for a number of years.

When I say you should talk with your spouse today, I actually mean today – not tomorrow!

Think about it. You can probably recall some young folks you know who tragically lost their lives in automobile accidents or to unexpected health conditions – death can occur at any age. My hope is that you and your family will live long, healthy lives. But if you or your spouse passes early, my hope is that by having this important conversation today, you can avoid further pain and suffering down the road.

So, here’s my challenge to you . . . .

Talk with your spouse about life insurance today. All I’m asking is that you have a conversation. Explore your thoughts and feelings about it. If you accept the challenge, leave a comment and let me know. Once you’re on the same page with your spouse, I’d be happy to help you get a great quote.

Disclosure: This blog post was written as part of a sponsored program for State Farm to raise awareness about the importance of life insurance. All views expressed are entirely my own, and were not influenced or directed by State Farm. You can learn more about this blogger program and life insurance at,, and by following #StartLiving on Twitter.


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When applying for life insurance, insurance companies take many things into consideration.

One of the things they are most concerned about is the mortality rate of the applicant.

What contribute to the mortality rate are the applicant’s lifestyle, health, pre-existing conditions, and mental health as well.

For example, if a smoker who rides motorcycles frequently without a helmet, who is a heavy drinker, and has diabetes, applies for life insurance, they will not have a very good chance of getting accepted.

In contrast, someone who has no pre-existing conditions, does not smoke, lives a safe and healthy lifestyle and never drinks applies for life insurance, that individual will have a better chance than the previous individual.

Depression as a Pre-Existing Condition

Unfortunately, depression falls into the category of pre-existing conditions and can affect an individual’s chances of being accepted for life insurance.

It has been shown that people with depression have a higher rate of mortality than people who aren’t depressed. If you do have a history of depression, insurance companies will look closely at your depression history. They will want to know the age you were at your diagnosis, and how much time has passed since the diagnosis.

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The duration of the depression and how severe it is will be looked at as well. They will also want to know if you are taking medication and how affective the medication is. It will also matter how often you have changed medications. It will be taken into consideration if you have been hospitalized frequently due to depression. Also, they will want to know if you have made any suicide attempts, if you have any other mental disorders, if you are disabled because of the depression, if you have any current alcohol or drug abuse problems, as well as any other health problems in general.

If you have any combination of these, then the prospects for getting insurance may be very grim. Someone who has many of these problems will either be denied insurance completely, or will have to pay a higher premium. Even if you have a depression history, you can still definitely get insurance.

However, the current state of the depression, your lifestyle and your general health will greatly affect how much you pay or if you can be covered at all.

On the positive side, a perfectly healthy person who has depression can certainly get insurance at a low rate. Having depression does not mean you cannot get insurance, it just may it more difficult or expensive.

If there have been thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts, you will most likely be declined. However, a slight case of depression may not affect your application at all, depending on the case. The type of medication you take can affect your case as well. Insurance companies also decline people who have depression derived from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well.

Life Insurance Applicant with Depression

We’ve been able to help several people get life insurance coverage that suffer from all sorts of depression.  When talking with the client about their depression history, we need to know:

  • The severity—mild, moderate, or severe?
  • Are there any hospitalizations or time loss from work?

If mild and no complications, we have several carriers that will go with a preferred rating.   The key is showing that you are compliant with what your doctor has ordered.   Some life insurance companies that are more aggressive underwriting depression are AIG, AXA, Banner, Genworth, Lincoln Benefit Life, Protective and Transamerica.

A recent applicant only health issue  was depression and they were first diagnosed in 2009  and wasn’t treated again until June 2012. They were not diagnosed with a specific type of depression and they thought it was just a general depression.  They had never been hospitalized and only took two minor medications.  In this clients case, we were able to get them approved Preferred.

Getting Approved with Depression

As you can see  it really varies cases by case whether you can get insurance if you have a history of depression. It’s best to discuss your options with an insurance company or insurance agent to see what will be best for you.

This article is featured in the Cavalcade of Risk Carnival hosted by My Personal Finance Journey.


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