Life insurance has become increasingly more popular in recent years and more and more individuals realize the necessity to provide for the loved ones after death. For individuals who suffer from a mental health complication, such as depression, there are important considerations to be made when purchasing life insurance.
A medical evaluation or questionnaire is quite common as a part of the life insurance application process. When completing the life insurance questionnaire, you can expect there will be questions about your mental health which may require that you disclose a complication with conditions such as depression. While it is never recommended that the truth not be provided on these applications, keep in mind that some life insurance companies may rate your premium higher based upon your mental health complications.
Life insurance coverage is never guaranteed when you apply for it. Unlike health insurance, which has regulations on declining coverage for pre-existing conditions, life insurance companies are not subjected to these same regulations. For example, if you have TMJ depression, your health insurance may be required to cover the condition if it is pre-existing. With life insurance, that causation and correlation does not have to be covered. As a result, if you have a prior history of depression, you can expect that your life insurance application may be denied or, in a best case scenario, the condition may be excluded from coverage or the condition may be rated at a higher premium payment.
While we typically do not associate depression with a complication associated with death, there are physicians who strongly believe that an untreated, or poorly treated, depression or mental health complication can impose physical ailments on an adult who suffers form the condition. As a result, death is an indirect result of depression and, when disputing payment at the time of your death, your life insurance company may find a way to avoid making payment based upon this causation.
When purchasing life insurance, therefore, be sure you are keenly aware of the process by which your life insurance guarantor will handle mental illness, including depression and death related to mental health. When completing your application for coverage, remember this is a factor for consideration and be prepared to shop around for coverage if you find you have exclusions or lack of adequate protection and coverage in the event of your death.
Sources: Life Insurance for Dummies, by Jack Hungelmann