Mental Health & Life Insurance

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Mental Health & Life InsuranceWe understand that having a mental health disorder, can be difficult to handle. You may find that you can control your condition by doing feel good activities, others may need medication or therapy, some may find that living with their mind as it is feels like to much to handle. Whatever your situation is, we are here for you. Our advisers will listen to your story and find an insurer who will listen to your circumstances, getting you the insurance that you need.

Things we need to know:

  • What is your mental health condition?
  • When were you diagnosed?
  • Do you take medication to stabilise your mental health?
  • Have you tried any therapies?
  • Have you seen a counsellor, psychiatrist or community mental health team?
  • Have you ever tried to self harm or attempt suicide?
  • Have you stayed in hospital as an inpatient due to your mental health?
  • Have you required any time off work for this?

Having a mental health disorders may have an impact upon a Life Insurance policy, but it is important to know that insurers are getting better at supporting people with mental health conditions. Insurers are particularly interested in knowing the severity of your symptoms, so that they can establish if they can offer you Life Insurance. Your Life Insurance may be offered at normal rates, non-standard terms or declined on the standard insurance market. It is important to know that insurers view conditions differently, where one may decline you Life Insurance because of your mental health, another may be able to offer you the cover with no issues.

Anxiety disorders, depression and obsessive compulsive disorders are all conditions that may be accepted at standard rates immediately upon application by some insurance providers, dependent upon the severity of symptoms and chosen treatment plans. Other conditions such as schizophrenia, post traumatic stress disorder, a previous history of suicide attempts and bipolar disorder will almost certainly require a report from your GP Surgery. Such reports are common place with Life Insurance applications and allow the insurer to fully understand your previous and present overall health, before they offer you Life Insurance.

To get an idea of the what you can expect when you apply for Life Insurance when you have a mental health conditions please use the links below.

Applying for Critical Illness Insurance with a mental health disorder, is no more challenging than applying for Life Insurance. As with Life Insurance, mental health disorders that are considered to of a low severity, can be accepted quickly, often without price increases.

Insurance providers are often fighting to provide the best terms for clients, regardless of existing conditions. This means that many insurance providers are now offering favourable terms to people with mental health disorders, that were previously declined Critical Illness Cover altogether. Please use the links below to look for your mental health condition and see more specific details about what you can expect when you apply for insurance.

Income Protection can be a relatively simple insurance to arrange when you have a mental health disorder. If you have been symptom free of your mental health disorder for a number of years, then you may be able to secure Income Protection with no exclusions. However, if you have had symptoms within three years, or if your mental health disorder falls within a high-risk category, you are likely to have an exclusion placed on your policy for claims relating to your condition. There are some Income Protection policies that you can arrange that will cover you for claims related to your mental health, but the acceptance criteria is quite strict.

When you plan on travelling abroad it is a good idea to make sure that you travel insurer knows about your mental health. You want to have the security of knowing that should something happen while you are on holiday, that your insurance will kick in and help you. You will probably need to tell the travel insurance company about any medication that you take and if your mental health condition has caused you make a claim, or cancel any holidays in the past. To speak with a specialist travel insurance broker, please visit our dedicated page here.

Hi. Today, I want to chat to you about mental health and how that can be viewed by insurers. The first thing that you need to consider when you have a mental health issue and, just like myself, I’ve had anxiety issues and a couple of bouts of agoraphobia, make sure that you’re comfortable with the person that you’re speaking to. If it’s an insurance broker, if it’s an insurer, you need to feel confident that you’re being listened to properly and that everything being said is being treated with the utmost confidence and empathy.

When it comes to conditions such as stress, whether that’s work related stress or anxiety or depression, with a lot of insurers you can get on the standard market, it can often be normal terms, and that’s generally depending upon whether or not you’re on medication or not, the strength of the medication, any treatment that you’re having, when the diagnosis of the condition was and how your symptoms are currently. In a sense, how you’re managing your every day to day life at the moment with the condition. Then when you start to get to more, what the insurers class as more permanent or severer mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder, that’s when again you can look on the standard market, but you may want to start being more specific as to which insurers you put your application with, because some are better for different mental health conditions.

It is probable, I think, you’re going to get some kind of loading on the policy, which means in general some kind of premium increase to offset what the insurers see as the additional risk for you having that mental health condition. Then when, again, you go onto the even more severe conditions such as schizophrenia or psychosis, then again the insurer is going to be looking at again probably loadings to the policy in the form of premium increases. Dependent upon the policies that you’re looking at, you may be looking if it’s life insurance, critical illness, income protection, on the critical illness or the income protection side of things, you may be looking at some exclusions to the claims based upon what your mental health condition is.

As I said, the insurers most want to know the medications that you’re on, how often you take them, the dosages, whether or not you’ve had an inpatient treatment at a hospital, and the insurers are of course going to want to know if there has been any suicide attempts or any self harm. Now, if there have been suicide or self harm attempts, don’t worry. There are policies that are available. On the standard market, you can get policies, it just depends on how often the self harm occurred, or how many suicide attempts there have been, and how long the timeframe has been since they occurred, and again, how your health is right at this moment in time. If there’s been recent health issues, such as recent suicide attempts or recent self harm, or any recent severe changes to your mental health, then it may be that you look at a policy that comes with some exclusions such as a suicide exclusion, because suicide is generally included on a lot of life insurance policies after the first twelve months of it being in place.

It may end up being that you maybe have that excluded from the policy, or that you want to have a look at a policy that’s known as – excuse the insurance jargon – but is known as non-medically underwritten life insurance. Which basically means that your mental health history will have no bearing on the application process or the acceptance terms, but there are restrictions to the policy. Whilst they are fantastic, and they really are fantastic, you need to know the exclusions, you need to know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for, so ideally do speak to somebody who is familiar with these policies and can explain the ins and outs to you.

As I say, the main thing is that you feel confident in what you are buying. The last thing you need on top of any mental health issues is any kind of stress that these policies aren’t exactly what you’re expecting. I would suggest that you chat with somebody, and as I say, just feel confident that you are getting what you want.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health disorders can be both lifelong and/or short-term conditions that affect an individuals ability to interact effectively within “normal” social activities. There can be a predisposition to mental health illnesses from familial medical history, but they can also be triggered by life events or a one-off genetic anomaly. Such conditions are treated with a mixture of approaches that include medicine, psychotherapy and counselling methods.

Mental Health Conditions

Below is a list of mental health disorders that need to be disclosed on most life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection application:

Common Questions

Yes you can. There are a number of options for you and the choices that you have will depend on your circumstances. To give you clearer advice we would need to know how long ago it was that you tried to harm yourself, if there was a specific trigger for your actions and how your overall health is now. It is possible that you will be refused life insurance with some insurers, until you are a number of years since you self-harmed, which is when we can step in and direct you to an insurer that suits you. You may be able to get insurance on the standard market, but if need be there will be specialist Life Insurance, Critical Illness Cover and Income Protection policies available to you.

We are able to access the whole of the market to find you the insurance that you need. Having a mental health condition, can mean that some insurers will not over you Life Insurance, Critical Illness Cover or Income Protection. It could be that your previous adviser only had access to a limited amount of insurers and could not put your application with a more appropriate insurer; this happens a lot. As well as being a whole of market broker, for standard and specialist insurers, we have developed a bespoke Life Insurance policy that can be used by people who have been declined elsewhere. The way we see it, there’s no hardship in letting us have a go for you!

Client Reviews

The Special Risks Bureau has been rated 5 out of 5 based on 374 reviews.

Review by Sarah on 26th January 2018

Cura really helped me out when I got declined life insurance online they really took their time and listened to my needs - 5 

You can read more of our reviews here.

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Mental Health & Life Insurance

Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd

Author
This page was written by Dr Kathryn Knowles Phd, an award-winning insurance adviser. To read more about Kathryn please see her bio here

Mental Health & Life Insurance

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