Borderline Personality Disorder & Life Insurance
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We have found that many of our clients with borderline personality disorder, have faced some difficult times before their diagnosis.
Many have experienced a sense of relief when they were diagnosed, as they finally had an answer as to why they have felt the way that they do.
Our advisers take the time to listen to you and your story, to learn about you, and then find an insurer that matches you.
Things we need to know:
- When were you diagnosed with borderline personality disorder?
- What medication do you take?
- Have you seen a counsellor or psychiatrist?
- Have you ever harmed yourself or tried to attempt suicide?
- If the BPD has caused any time off work or prevents you from working?
Life insurance applications for people with borderline personality disorder will often need to be supported by a report from your GP. The insurer will ask your GP about your general health, medications and treatment that are in use, and how the condition affects you on a regular basis. These reports are arranged by the insurer at their own expense, once your application is with them.
The insurer will want to know if you have self-harmed or have a history of suicide attempts. This might not be something that you feel comfortable talking about, but they are things that most insurers will ask in their questions and it is a good idea to prepare for them.
We often find that it’s not the questions that are asked, but how they are asked that can make these conversations hard. That is why our team of advisers go through dedicated training, to understand how to make arranging your insurances as supportive as possible.
People with mild symptoms of borderline personality disorder, may find that life insurance is available at normal rates. If you experience strong symptoms of borderline personality disorder causes and/or there is a history of recent suicide attempts, it is possible that standard insurers may choose to offer a higher premium, postpone the offer of cover for a number of years, or decline the application. Should the latter be the case, we can arrange your life insurance with specialist insurers, so please don’t worry.
Critical illness cover pays out a cash lump sum of money, if you are diagnosed with a medical condition that is listed in the insurer’s claims set e.g. cancer, heart attack, stroke.
As with life insurance, an application for critical illness cover when you have borderline personality disorder will need to detail the strength of your symptoms, medications and treatments that are in use, any secondary conditions that are present, and if you have ever attempted suicide. The insurer will ask your permission to see a report from your GP so that they can establish the terms that can be offered for critical illness cover.
It is likely that your critical illness cover will come with an exclusion for claims related to the borderline personality disorder, within the claimable condition Total Permanent Disability. This might not seem ideal but we hope it does not put you off looking at this policy type, which typically comes with a minimum of 50 claimable illnesses.
You should place your critical illness application with an insurance provider who offers the most favourable terms to those with borderline personality disorder. Where the borderline personality disorder is classed as having quite strong symptoms and/or there have been suicide attempts, standard insurers may choose to decline the critical illness application.
This is not easy to hear and our job is to do the research to find insurers that can accept you, so that you do not need to face hearing that your cover has been declined. If need be we can approach specialist insurers for your critical illness cover.
Income protection pays you a replacement of your monthly income, if you are unable to work due to ill health.
Income protection for people with borderline personality disorder will often be reviewed on a case by case basis. The insurer will be particularly interested in whether or not having the borderline personality disorder, has caused you to have time off work.
The insurer will probably ask your permission to speak with your GP, to confirm your diagnosis, treatment and how you are generally. Where income protection is available, it will typically be at non-standard terms. This means that there is likely to be an exclusion for any claim related to the borderline personality disorder.
Where symptoms are quite strong, the insurer may choose to decline the cover. There are some specialist income protection policies that you may be able to arrange that would not exclude claims related to the borderline personality disorder, but please be prepared that the acceptance criteria is quite strict.
If you find that you are declined cover for income protection it could be worthwhile considering Accident, Sickness and Unemployment Cover. Accident, sickness and unemployment cover is not medically underwritten, meaning that your borderline personality disorder will have no impact upon the premium or acceptance terms of the policy; whilst this is the case the policy will exclude any claims relating to your condition.
An accident, sickness and unemployment policy will provide between 12 and 24 months of income protection should you be unable to work due to long-term disability, injury or involuntary redundancy.
Do you need travel insurance? It is important that you know what the travel insurance covers you for when it comes to the borderline personality disorder. Please visit our dedicated travel insurance here.
What is Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder is a condition that affects a persons mood and their ability to interact with those around them. A person with borderline personality disorder may find that they experience intense periods of negative emotions and struggle to overcome changed perceptions/beliefs in the world around them. There is no specific cause for the condition but it is thought that it is the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Some potential problems experienced by individuals who have borderline personality disorder include:
- Affective dysregulation
- Binges – alcohol, drugs, spending and gambling
- Cognitive/perceptual distortions
- Difficulty maintaining social relationships
- Fear of being left alone
- Feeling empty
- Feeling overwhelmed and worthless
- Feelings of abandonment
- Impulsive behaviour
- Withdrawal or rejection of society
- Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)
- Mentalisation-based therapy (MBT)
- Therapeutic communities (TCs)
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Yes it can. Some insurers can be a bit cautious about insuring people with mental health conditions, and tend to decline/refuse life insurance applications. The good news is that there are many insurers who can offer Life Insurance to people with borderline personality disorder. If you have had any significant events recently, like self-harm or a suicide attempt, then you may need to speak with a specialist insurer for your Life Insurance.
Yes and no. There are a couple of options that you have. Most Income Protection policies that you apply for will come with a mental health exclusion. You could consider Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover as an alternative, but again there will be an exclusion for claims linked to your borderline personality disorder. There are some Income Protection policies that you could apply for that would cover claims related to the borderline personality disorder, but access to these is limited by your employment status and employer.
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Review by Sarah on 26th January 2018
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