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When you apply 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 contributes to the mortality rate are the applicant’s lifestyle, health, pre-existing conditions, and mental health as well.

The more risks that they are to insure, the lower your chances of getting approved. Additionally, the higher risk, the more that they are going to charge for their coverage.

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, but do not worry too much, you can get life insurance with depression, there are several different options of how to apply for this and we can help you look into those.  As a veteran I am acutely aware of this because so many of our service members get hit with higher rates as a result of depression when they see a veteran’s life insurance policy.

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, good 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.


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 effective 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, even if it is a no physical exam policy.

These no exam policies are a great option for anyone that isn’t able to be accepted for coverage through a traditional life insurance policy, but they should only be used as a last resort option because of the disadvantages of these plans. There are several pitfalls to understand before you buy coverage.

The first is that these plans are much more expensive than a policy that requires an exam. The insurance company wants to see what type of health you’re in before they accept your insurance application. If they don’t know how good your health is, they are taking a much great risk to insure you.

Additionally, the company is going to limit how much insurance coverage you can get through a no exam plan. Unlike a traditional plan, you can get only get $250,000 of life insurance with one of these plans. If you want more than that you’ll have to buy two plans, or go with a medically underwritten policy.

If you’ve been diagnosed with depression, it can be difficult to find an affordable life insurance policy to fit your needs and the needs of your family. At some points, it can almost seem impossible.

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, BannerLife, 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.  You can get initial quotes and talk with a trained agent by using the form on the side.  If you have any questions along the way your agent will be able to answer them for you.

Working with an independent agent will help save you both time and money on your insurance. Additionally, we will be able to give you unbiased advice because we are not going to be pushing insurance products from one single company. We are trying to give you the best policy to fit your needs.

Life insurance is the best safety net you can invest in. You don’t want to think about it, but your family will be glad it’s there.

Without life insurance, your family members would have to pay for your debts and other final expenses, which can easily put them under thousands and thousands of dollars of debt. All of those unpaid bills can make an already stressful situation a thousand times worse. It’s vital that you not only have a life insurance policy, but that your coverage is large enough for your family.

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