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.