More threads by Miette


I want to apply for life insurance. We have life insurance on our mortgage, but I want enough insurance to cover the cost of my student loans if something should happen to me. Has anyone here with bipolar disorder/depression/any other mental health issues applied for life insurance and been successful? I don't really want to bother applying if they are not going to give it to me. I don't want to be harassed about my problems if there is nothing to be gained!



Based on advice from a reliable resource I know who works in the field of life underwriting, it was suggested that after your application is completed, the agent will provide you with a questionnaire for the purposes of establishing an underwriting profile.

These questions must be answered truthfully, because a false statement could invalidate any future claim.

On the subject of mental health, these questions should be answered truthfully, as a result the underwriters will likely request further elaboration from your treating physician in order to determine risk.

The risk in underwriting and actuarial terms is based on the severity of one's illness, the threat of that illness to that person's untimely demise, balanced by the amount of money being paid in the form of premiums.

Therefore, the underwriters may and only may request an additional rating or increased premium for a certain length of time, or they may not. The type of policy you apply for may have a bearing on their underwriting decision as well.

If you were to apply for a whole life policy, which includes life insurance combined with a savings portions referreed to a cash surrender value, the underwriting may be more liberal than if you applied for term life insurance where premiums essentially equal the benefit risk.

A whole life policy provides the insurance company more incoming funds, which might temper their underwriting criteria. The Cash Surrender Value is always you money which can be withdrawn later, as it increases in value.

You may have to approach several insurers and ask the agent right up front.."what's your company's underwriting policy toward people with mental illness diagnosed with depression and bi-polar disorder"

Most agents will be able to answer your question right off the bat, as this type of information is well understood by agents.

Another approach would be to avisit an insurance broker where they have a life insurance specialist. That person deals with several companies and can perform much of the leg work on your behalf.

Are theyre any services offered by you University or by your professional organization?


Thank you Steve for the detailed response... I think perhaps I will call up the insurance specialist and ask them before I send in the application. I've been putting it off because it feels like such a violation of my privacy, even though I know that I'm the one asking for the product so they need to decide if they will accept me.


it feels like such a violation of my privacy

Not at all, Miette. You are providing legitimate information so underwriters can evaluate the risk of issuing you a life insurance policy.

There are many factors that determine the risk of life expectancy, such as lifestyle, smoking, drinking alcohol, drug use, hazardous occupations and medical history.

If your parents and grandparents all died at thirty years of age because of some congenital form of cancer, there might be a good probability you would have the same genes.

If statistics indicate that a certain number of people diagnosed with depression or bi polar disorder live shorter lives than the general population, the underwriters take that into consideration when computing your premium or deciding whether they in fact want to insure you.

Not all companies' underwriting policies are the same, nor are their rate structures or policy terms.

I would suggest consulting a competent insurance adviser, who deals with several companies with whom you feel comfortable and get several quotes.

With these quotes in hand, ask for specimen policies to compare policy terms. and options.

With that you can make an informed choice.
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