According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common causes of mental illness in the United States today. In fact, anxiety disorders are believe to be affecting over 40 million Americans aged 18 years and older.
That’s nearly 18% of all Americans!
Which is why…
We here at JustBuryMe have worked so hard to build relationships with life insurance companies that we “feel” have some of the most “anxiety friendly” underwriting practices in the industry.
The challenge for us however…
Is that the term “anxiety” can be used pretty ‘liberally” within today’s society. This is why whenever we encounter a client who has been diagnosed with “anxiety”, we need to learn more about what “type” of anxiety they actually have?
7 Common types of anxiety
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
Generalized anxiety disorder is a medical condition that is defined as a psychological disorder characterized by excessive and disproportionate nervousness and worry about normal daily activities such as work, relationships and or financial situations
- Social Phobia.
Social phobia (also commonly referred to as social anxiety) is an anxiety disorder that is characterized an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. This phobia will present itself through intense nervousness, low self-esteem and low levels of confidence as a result of an increase in self-consciousness.
- Panic Disorder.
A panic disorder is another psychiatric disorder which is characterized by debilitating anxiety and fear that may occur randomly or be set off by certain triggers unique to the individual patient. The main factor here is that these reactions are excessive and not considered a normal appropriate response.
Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety that is trigger by physical locations, which will typically lead someone who is suffering from agoraphobia to avoid these types of locations so that they can avoid suffering from a panic attack. As a result, patients suffering from agoraphobia will often find it difficult to leave their home and can begin to feel “trapped” in protective environments.
Phobias are defined as an extreme or irrational fear to something. What that “something” is, could literally be anything ranging from snakes to paper clips. In fact, “what” the actual “phobia” is isn’t all that important, it’s the irrational fear that is associated with it that becomes the real issue.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is defined as an anxiety disorder that is characterized by patients who will suffer from perpetual unwanted OBSESSIVE thoughts, feelings and/or ideas forcing them to COMPULSIVELY perform tasks or behaviors in an attempt to experience relief.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is defined a state of consistent mental and emotional stress that is the result of having suffered from some type of traumatic event which could be either physical or mental in nature. Symptoms of PTSD will often include vivid recall of the traumatic experience, a general withdrawal for daily activities and a disturbance in their normal sleep patterns.
Now we’ll be the first to…
Admit that the definitions that we use for these conditions are woefully inadequate….
But hey! We’re not doctors, we’re just life insurance agents!
Plus… the point of this article isn’t to help diagnose or treat any of these conditions, it’s to discuss how life insurance companies and their underwriters are likely to consider someone’s application if in fact they have been diagnosed with one of these conditions.
So… Let’s get started then!
Applying for life insurance after you’ve been diagnosed with “anxiety”.
For the remainder of this article, we’ve decided to exclude the bit about qualifying for PTSD life insurance from the discussion for two reasons:
- First, we’ve actually taken the time to write a separate article focusing exclusively on PTSD.
- Second, PTSD is going to receive additional scrutiny that our other “anxiety” conditions may not receive which is why we didn’t want to include it in the rest or our anxiety discussion.
As for the 6 common types of anxiety conditions…
Even though each of these medical conditions will present themselves quite differently, in the eyes of an insurance underwriter, these types of anxiety cases will often times be viewed/underwritten in a very similar fashion.
This is why from here on out, we’re not going to refer to all of these conditions by their name, rather, we’ll simply lump them all together under the umbrella term ANXIETY DISORDER.
So… how are life insurance underwriters going to view an applicant who has been diagnosed with anxiety?
Well it depends…
If your anxiety is mild and well managed, and you live a normal and active life, chances are, you should be able to qualify for a Preferred rate for fully underwritten term or whole life insurance policy.
You may even be able to qualify for a simplified issue term or whole life insurance policy, which won’t require you to take a medical exam.
If your anxiety isn’t exactly a “mild case”, or you’ve had issues managing it in the past, chances are, your life insurance application will begin to complicated pretty quickly.
The key at this point is to make sure that your insurance agent completes a thorough application interview and that he or she has many insurance companies to choose from so he or she isn’t simply limited to one or two options.
When it comes time for an insurance underwriter to determine how “severe” your anxiety may be, they’re basically going to have sources of information.
- The first source they’ll have access to is your actual life insurance application which will ask multiple questions about your anxiety.
- The second source will come from a prescription database check which the insurance company will order so that they can see what medications you have been prescribed.
- And the third source of information that they may choose to utilize will be your own medical records which they may or may not decide to order.
We probably don’t have to discuss why having access to your medical records and a list of all the prescription medications that you’ve ever been prescribed can be helpful to an insurance underwriter in determining the severity of your anxiety so we’ll just leave it at that.
But what probably does need further explanation is what the actual life insurance application and underwriter might ask about your condition. So, let’s just take a look a just a few of the questions you’ll likely be asked.
Common questions asked regarding your anxiety disorder.
- What type of anxiety disorder have you been diagnosed with?
- At what age were you diagnosed with your condition?
- Who diagnosed your condition? A general practitioner or a psychiatrist?
- How long have you been treating your condition?
- How have you been treating you condition?
- Are you currently taking any prescription medications to treat your condition?
- How many medications are you taking right now to treat your condition?
- Have your medications changed over the past 12 months?
- Have you ever been hospitalized due to your condition?
- Do you have any history of drug or alcohol abuse?
- Have you ever attempted suicide or contemplated suicide?
- Are you currently working now?
- In the past 12 months have you applied for or received any form of disability benefits?
Now if after reading these questions you’re thinking to yourself…
”Wait a second, I’m only using my medications so I can relax a little bit!”
Congratulations, you probably only have a mild case of anxiety in which case you may be eligible for a Preferred rate on your life insurance. However, if after reading these questions you find yourself “explaining” a lot, chances are you’re anxiety may not be considered a “mild” case.
But don’t fret…
That’s what we’re here for. Here at JustBuryMe, we’ve chosen to remain and independent life insurance brokerage that is able to work with dozens of highly rated life insurance companies. Which means that even when confronted with the most challenging of cases, most of the time, we’re still able to find a life insurance policy that you’ll be able to qualify for.
So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today and see what we can do for you!
You may also be interested in reading JustBuryMe’s Best Final Expense and Burial Insurance Companies.
Frequently asked questions
Can I still apply for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder?
Yes, you can still apply for life insurance if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. However, your application will be subject to underwriting, and the insurance company may take your medical history, including your diagnosis, severity of the condition, and any treatment you have received into consideration when assessing your application. Depending on the severity of your anxiety disorder and other health factors, you may be approved for coverage, but the cost of your premiums may be higher than those for someone without a history of anxiety disorder.
Will my anxiety disorder affect my ability to get life insurance?
Your anxiety disorder may affect your ability to get life insurance, but it is not an automatic disqualifier. Insurance companies will evaluate your medical history, including the severity of your condition, the treatments you have received, and any medication you are currently taking, when considering your application. Depending on the severity of your anxiety disorder and other health factors, you may be approved for coverage, but the cost of your premiums may be higher than those for someone without a history of anxiety disorder.
How will my anxiety disorder affect the cost of my life insurance premiums?
Your anxiety disorder may increase the cost of your life insurance premiums. The insurance company will take into consideration the severity of your anxiety disorder, your medical history, the treatments you have received, and any medication you are currently taking. The insurer may also look at factors such as your age, gender, occupation, and lifestyle habits when determining the cost of your premiums. Depending on the severity of your anxiety disorder and other health factors, you may be approved for coverage, but the cost of your premiums may be higher than those for someone without a history of anxiety disorder.
Can I get life insurance if I am currently receiving treatment for my anxiety disorder?
Yes, you can still get life insurance if you are currently receiving treatment for your anxiety disorder. However, the insurance company will consider your medical history and the severity of your condition when evaluating your application. The type of treatment you are receiving, such as therapy or medication, will also be taken into consideration. Depending on the severity of your anxiety disorder and other health factors, you may be approved for coverage, but the cost of your premiums may be higher than those for someone without a history of anxiety disorder. It is important to disclose all relevant medical information to the insurance company when applying for life insurance.
How can I increase my chances of getting approved for life insurance with an anxiety disorder?
There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting approved for life insurance with an anxiety disorder:
- Provide complete and accurate information: Be upfront and honest about your medical history, including your anxiety disorder, when filling out your application. Disclose all relevant information, including the severity of your condition, the treatments you have received, and any medication you are currently taking.
- Follow your treatment plan: If you are receiving treatment for your anxiety disorder, continue to follow your treatment plan and keep up with any medication or therapy prescribed by your healthcare provider. This can demonstrate to the insurance company that you are taking proactive steps to manage your condition.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Living a healthy lifestyle can demonstrate to the insurance company that you are taking steps to manage your overall health. This includes eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding risky behaviors like smoking.
- Work with an experienced insurance agent: Working with an experienced insurance agent who understands the nuances of underwriting for people with anxiety disorders can be beneficial. They can help you navigate the application process and find an insurance policy that meets your needs.
- Shop around: Different insurance companies have different underwriting guidelines, so it may be worth shopping around to find a company that is more favorable to applicants with anxiety disorders.
Should I disclose my anxiety disorder when applying for life insurance?
Yes, you should disclose your anxiety disorder when applying for life insurance. It is important to be upfront and honest about your medical history, including any pre-existing conditions, when filling out your application. Failure to disclose relevant medical information can result in a denial of coverage or a voided policy if the insurance company later discovers that you withheld information. Disclosing your anxiety disorder will also help the insurance company accurately assess your risk and determine the appropriate premiums for your policy.
Can I get life insurance with an anxiety disorder without undergoing a medical exam?
Yes, it is possible to get life insurance with an anxiety disorder without undergoing a medical exam. There are some life insurance policies that do not require a medical exam, such as simplified issue or guaranteed issue policies. However, these policies may have higher premiums or lower coverage limits compared to policies that require a medical exam. The insurance company will still ask you questions about your medical history, including any pre-existing conditions like anxiety disorder, and may use this information to determine your eligibility and the cost of your premiums.
Can my anxiety disorder impact the type of life insurance policy I can get?
Yes, your anxiety disorder may impact the type of life insurance policy you can get. The severity of your anxiety disorder and any other medical conditions you may have can affect the type of policy you qualify for, as well as the cost of your premiums. For example, if your anxiety disorder is mild and well-controlled with medication or therapy, you may be eligible for a fully underwritten policy, which requires a medical exam and a detailed health questionnaire. However, if your anxiety disorder is more severe, you may be limited to a simplified issue policy, which does not require a medical exam but may have higher premiums or lower coverage limits.
Will I need to provide medical records or other documentation when applying for life insurance with an anxiety disorder?
Yes, you may need to provide medical records or other documentation when applying for life insurance with an anxiety disorder. The insurance company will ask you questions about your medical history, including any pre-existing conditions, like anxiety disorder. Depending on the severity of your anxiety disorder and other health factors, the insurance company may ask for additional medical records or documentation, such as your medical history, treatment records, or results from previous medical exams. This information can help the insurance company accurately assess your risk and determine the appropriate premiums for your policy.
If my anxiety disorder is well-managed, can I still expect to pay higher premiums for life insurance?
If your anxiety disorder is well-managed, you may still be required to pay higher premiums for life insurance than someone without an anxiety disorder. The insurance company will consider your medical history, the severity of your condition, the type of treatment you are receiving, and other health factors when determining the cost of your premiums. However, if your anxiety disorder is mild, well-controlled, and does not require medication or frequent therapy, you may be eligible for more favorable premiums than someone with a more severe form of the disorder.